Playing Accordion (2)

We rehearsed at the home of Hans Meeuwig and he introduced me to Jazz. I remember the LP he had me listen to: Night Train, by Oscar Peterson. It is still one of my favourites. Of course we also had some jazz on the repertoire, but it is not really the music you can play in a circus.

The motto of the children's circus was: "By Children, For Children", because all the profit that was made went to Child Organizations. The circus also had donors.
A speciality of this particular circus was the use of real horses.

On this picture you see one of the pony's performing. The girl (Leneke) is telling the pony (Doortje) what to do and mister Roubos, the trainer, is watching closely. If you click the photo you reach my photopages of this circus.

From 1965 till 1967 my brother played in a group called "The Limited Noise". I started handling some correspondence for the band during these years but later also played with them. This was the start of my "bandcarreer", that will be continued in the next paragraph.

In the summer of 1966 I stopped with my accordion lessons, but kept playing for the circus.

Then in 1967 we received sad news: my teacher Frans van Norden had died from a stroke.

I had a subscription to a monthly magazine aimed at accordion players, called "Accordeon Revue en Gitaar-revue". There was an article about van Norden with things I never knew about him. He wrote for the magazine as Mr. Accordi as well as under his own name. As "Cas Noiset" he wrote articles about young musicians who played on radio and television. I knew he was also a guitar-teacher but didn't know he wrote under the name "Philip Morgan" about guitar-issues in the same magazine. He was very busy in many associations and his death was a great loss. He was only 45 when he died.

Frans van Norden
20-apr-1921  -  13-feb-1967

The first instrumental song I made was a waltz. My parents told Frans van Norden about it and he asked me to play it for him. Then he gave me some good advice on where I should make changes. I still remember his advice and always think of it when I compose.

In the years that followed I played organ in The (Soul) Connection, a R&B group where I often played the parts of the brass-section, but also the special organparts (like in "A whiter shade of pale"). About the Connection in the next paragraph.

Already from the early 60's I went on vacation to Italy, of course with mun and dad. We stayed on a camping at Lago d'Idro, near a small village called Anfo. I also played guitar and brought it along in 1969.

In 1971 I brought my accordion along and played in Angelo's Bar in Anfo. Not for money, but for pleasure - I was on vacation, you know!
Close by was a military facility and the soldiers were happy with me. They wanted me to play their songs and of course I did. It was fun.

From 1971 I also joined a group that performed mostly for elderly people. There was little money involved and there were not many performances, but it was fun while it lasted. During these years I bought a new accordion, one with more of a jazz-sound. On the photo's below you can see me with this group and my old (L) and new (R) accordion. In the middle I am singing along with the group.

With the group I played wellknown songs as the tango Olé Guapa and I accompanied the singers with evergreens. The singers did classical music too, and there was a pianist to accompany them with that repertoire. But with my new accordion I also wanted to do more Jazz. I couldn't play that in the circus and I couldn't play that with the group.
My favourite songs to play were Take Five and Whisper Not, and I arranged them so I started to play Take Five and then it modulated to Whisper Not.
Then I heard of a talent-hunt for a television program, organised by the NCRV. Normally I wouldn't even bother to try it, because they want singers, and although accordion is a popular instrument, it is not popular in my country for jazz. However I liked the idea behind the program and decided to join the contest and see how far it would bring me.

Playing Accordion (3)