As I step out of the elevator, I am greeted by a friendly Phonogram-ess.
I shake her hand and someone opens a door for me. Before me, an audience
of record-company guys in sleeve shirts. I am offered a cigarette as well
as an easy chair. One of those present starts handling an absurdly small
tape recorder. A gigantic sound fills the space. For the first time in
my life I hear REVOLUTION by the KJOE. 'I Got Nightmares' booms through
the Phonogram offices. I get a little nervous. I have to write the sleeve-notes
for the first KJOE-album. So what do I think? What do I hear? 'Well', I
think, 'it's all very simple if you put your record player in a very small
room in your house. You lock the windows and doors very tight. Furious
parents, neighbors and other passers-by will need the playing time of REVOLUTION
to force their way inside. You turn on the record player and look for the
button that says VOLUME. That button you have to turn up all the way. Very
carefully (or it will explode) you put REVOLUTION on the turntable and
you put the arm into the first groove.
But it isn't like that yet; I am hearing the immense KJOE-sound for the first time and I am supposed to be moved. I am sitting a bit more relaxed now.
Before I know it, I'm sitting upright in my chair. Bewildered I refuse a second cigarette and I think to myself: 'Yeah, man, this has turned out to be a great album. Overwhelming music that you have to play as loud as possible and which will make you dance yourself into a frenzy.
So there are sleeve-notes done by me on the back of this REVOLUTION album. Notes in which at this moment you read that the KJOE consists of a bunch of very eigenwijze guys, who don't let anything or anyone tell them what to do, let alone each other. A bunch of nice guys who are constantly arguing and never have a fight.
You know: Stones against Beatles, Blues against R&B. For their first single they only wrote two songs (sitting around the table together) so Phonogram had no other choice. On stage the KJOE play until they burst, and it's the same in the studio (no bothering). The KJOE also decided that only Jan Audier (age 24) was allowed to record their songs, because he is the only one who understands them, they think, and who does something about it. One of the (rare) recording engineers who simply digs the music. The KJOE know exactly what they want. This music was made with tremendous enthusiasm, and an atmosphere has been created that bursts out of the album. Maybe that was created because most of the recording has been done at night. Sometimes with the lights off.
When both sides of REVOLUTION have been played and the record-company guys look at me expectantly, I can say nothing more sensible than: 'Good guys, these KJOE!'
Well, honored sleeve-notes-reader, be sure to remember to turn that button that says VOLUME up as far as possible. Oops, pardon me.
Willem de Ridder
The Life I Live
Our second single, written by the five of us, one week before recording it, at Jay's home. Normal line-up: Frank: rhythm guitar; Peter: bass guitar; Joop: lead guitar; Jay: drums and Willem: vocals and also harmonica.
I Got Nightmares
A song that betrays a bit of Bo Diddley's influence in its use of floor-toms and maracas. The latter are played by Willem. This is the only composition in which Frank hasn't participated. So, when he is asked for his opinion of this song, he always conceitedly mumbles something about 'universal patterns.'
Just Who's In Sight
The idea for this song came to Frank from one of the pieces he had to rehearse while he was studying classical guitar. He changed it around here and there, so now it has got a bit of an eastern strain to it. Frank plays lead and flute and he hums with Willem, who also plays tambourine. The cymbals and the ticking sound in the middle of the song are provided by Jay. Joop plays acoustic guitar.
Some time ago this song was a big hit in Britain and America for Otis Redding and to include it on the album was Joop's proposition. Joop is a big soul-addict, in contrast with, for instance, Jay, who prefers the authentic blues. Frankie plays saxophone in this song.
I'm A Man
A song by Bo Diddley that is familiar due to the many versions that exist. We've been playing it in clubs for months with our own arrangement. Joop's 'blubbering' noise is very prominent here, as well as Frank's harmonica playing, to which Willem joins in later.
We tried to make this one sound like an original blues song with a chaotic ending. We succeeded in the second thing, but of course not in the first, because we aren't black. But anyway we tried it. In this song Jay makes his first appearance as a narrator. He also plays washboard and Frank plays bottleneck guitar. Joop plays acoustic guitar, Willem harmonica and the feet stamping and background calls are Peter's.
Summerthoughts In A Field Of Weed
The last song for the album that we wrote ourselves. It was constructed only days before the last recording session, but it became a tasty one. Frank plays lead.
Down In The Bottom
Shortest track on the album. Nice to end a side with. This is the first of three Willie Dixon compositions we recorded. It is pure coincidence that we recorded three of his compositions for this album, because we knew the songs from other versions. Only later we discovered that they were all his. Anyway it proves Willie Dixon's importance as a present day blues composer.
Get Out Of My Life, Woman
We start the second side with an old Lee Dorsey song, just because we think it's a great song and to give Frank another opportunity to play the saxophone.
Another song that, like 'Down In The Bottom,' was written by Willie Dixon for Howlin' Wolf. We think it's one of the finest songs of the album. Frank plays bottleneck guitar again and Willem claps his hands.
Jay plays harmonium on this track. He also composed the intro. Because the pedals of the harmonium were extremely heavy to operate, it became very fatiguing for Jay to tread and play at the same time. So Peter did the treading. He went down on his knees and Jay sat on his back and so the problem was solved. But Peter couldn't play for three days afterwards. Joop plays acoustic guitar and Frank plays a kind of 16-string mandolin. He took the thing to a museum in the Hague to find out its name. The only thing they could tell him was that it came from Bulgaria, which is the reason we just called it Bulgarian.
Bring It On Home
Is a bit well known from the version by the late Sonny Boy Williamson (no. 2). To us it is the greatest song in our repertoire. Some examples of special sounds: the 'Bolero' part, the grinding paper that at a certain moment is rubbed together by Willem, and the steam whistle in the last section were all invented in the studio. Frank plays alternating lead guitar and harmonica.
Q'65 Greatest Hits'Q'65 Greatest Hits' is a collection of great songs that were recorded by producers Hans van Hemert and Peter Koelewijn and recording engineer Jan Audier in the years 1966-'69 with this now legendary group.
from the liner notes :Decca 6454 409 English translation by Theo de Grood
Annotation by Theo
- 'Nederbeat' is what they called pop music made by Dutch bands in the 60's. 'Neder' from Nederland (the Netherlands) and 'beat' from beat-music of course.
- 'Radio Veronica' was a very popular pop radio station in the 60's. They were illegal so they broadcast from a boat on the North Sea.
- 'Called up by the Defense Ministry' of course means he had to go into the army.