Someone there?



First, there’s the tour with the Rosenbergs.  I’ve always been talking about other music forms like Chansons, Accordion Music, or Classic and Django, Wes, Charley or Christian, from the start in any pop magazine, newspaper, TV program etc. and now I know why I did.  The thing is, that it’s a pleasure to play next to someone (Stochelo), who doesn’t need all sorts of bull to prove he can play the Gtar, that’s uno.  The refreshing things Django played and the development of very new approaches of the same style but in a different direction, technically unbelievable, harmonically it’s extending in a tasteful way, never ugly or boring.  

I’ve always loved "freedom" and the music that implicates it and to live that way, it takes a lot of hardship or whatever fate is sending my/our way but at least I have the privilege to play inside/outside the boundaries of the industrial demands cause THAT’s where it’s about in the Music of Django or any great Musician. Either successful or unsuccessful in the eyes of the media.  It’s not a word you read in schoolbooks, au contraire, it’s much harder to take that road outside, I can tell. I’ve admired Charles Chaplin’s film "Modern Times"; it shows how it is in industrial countries, like working on the assembly line and the music that comes along with it.  

I know a lot of people look up to “money big” and think, when an artist is that stinking, rich that he can’t laugh anymore, he’s done "the Right thing".  I once saw someone laugh publicly about another Gtarplayers CD cover about “Art” or something.  If you look closely to the man’s “oeuvre” you can see in which chapter he’s stuck in a book every boy read in the 50’s “Winnetou and Old Shatterhand” by Carl May. O.K. un oeuf est un oeuf (French for “enough is enough”)  

BTW. Talking bout blues: A few years ago I had the privilege to meet the Grand blues man himself: “BB King”!  The very 1st meeting I had with him was funny, cause the grand man had been talked to or whatever impression he had of me but he sat behind the Grand Piano in the dressing room “films rolling” and I didn’t know what to expect, one hour in advance I had faxes rolling in and phone calls from various managements that BB wanted to see me. In the meantime I was fixing my bike and my old lady just put me in the car and oil and stench of that machine still hanging around me but I could shower in dressing room, she said.  So there I was an hour later & BB behind the Grand Piano and I looked like a terrorist (No shower) with my knitted thing on my head (always liked hats or things, I’m a hat man) oil stains still on my T-shirt and cameras rolling and BB behind this Steinway looking like an agitated schoolteacher.  He said:” I play the blues, I am a blues man” 

To me that was the understatement of the century and agreed with that very sentence and that I was about the same thing but that I was not into the copying thing and explained that I loved the blues too and that and try to do my own thing with it, like Django did.  I’m not one of those new colonials (there’s too many of them).  Sid Seidenberg, his manager, all dressed officially too, suddenly cracked up and I could not keep a straight face either considering the whole scene.  That was about it and I got ready for the first night and I have to admit that I’m more connected and influenced by BB ’s playing than I realised.  

In fact I took (still do take) great pride in making neo classical bull of a famous band I was in once, sound like blues, take “Tommy” for example, I don’t play pure blues in that sense, it’s not a blues theme, but the Gtar playing is definitely blues or gospel, if you like.  That’s BB ’s influence, I realise now, not Eclectic but Electric.   

At another time, just after the show in the east part of the country, a radio reporter with a microphone in his hand (for a change) came up to me, I just came off stage and he spoke these immortal words:” Mr Akkerman actually you don’t play the Blues, do you”?! I looked at him, flabbergasted.  I noticed that his hair was standing up in any direction with a couple of pins in his eyes or something (post punk), it looked like a handgranate exploded in his mouth and said:” as far as BB and I know, I do play the blues. So I said:”wasn’t your mother glad that you found a place to live on your own? Silence…then I said: “F…Y…" (NOT, “for you”).  

One night I could play Django stuff and the next night BB just played that stuff back in his own way. That makes him unique, it’s still refreshing what the grand man does and thank God, has humour in his playing, and it was a real honour and fun to play with him.  When I heard about the new CD, first I thought they’d said on the radio “Riding on the King”!Cause I previously visited BB ‘s website and saw he’d recorded a tune called “Get off my back”! Now I realise, I was wrong. (Oh dear!)   I remember Sid said something about “Geniuses, all think alike” with this big grin on his face”. 

I like that one.  

Jan A.