Greetings from The Netherlands

From: Tapio Vaisanen ( - August 5, 2004

           Hi everyone, I'm back from a 10 day vacation in The Netherlands. It was pouring and flooding in Finland, so it was good to be elsewhere. We went to all adventure parks with children (Six Flags, Duinrell, Slagharen) and managed to see Hillbilly Boogiemen ant a park concert in Gouda and Howlin' Coyotees at Caddy's Diner in Purmerend and I also visited in most of the record shops in The Netherlands (surprise, surprise). There were some good concerts at the time we were there, but with family we had some other priorities... so no Stray Cats, Bo Diddley or Annita & The Starbombers this time.
           Bert Louwerse's "Blues & Rock Records" in Rotterdam is the place to go whenever you go to Holland (lots of original vinyl too). It was a real pleasure to meet Dik de Heer again, he picked me from Nova Hotel in Amsterdam and drove to Bert's shop as he has done a couple of times before and we also met at Hillbilly Boogiemen's park concert. As we drove to Rotterdam Dik played some tapes and made me some difficult quiz questions of rock'n roll instrumentals, this time I couldn't identify The Routers' "Maria Elena", even though I had just bought the Dutch pressing of the 45 with a rare pic sleeve :-)
           The Hillbilly Boogiemen had two sets in Gouda, first one as Grand Old Country with Cor Sanne on vocals. They had just returned from Norway and played a nice set of old time country including songs like "All Over Again", "A Fool Such As I", Mama Tried", "Lightning Express", "Memphis Tennessee" (with mandolin & fiddle solos!), "Crazy Arms, "Suppertime", "Right Or Wrong", "Blue Days, Black Nights" and Johnny Cash medley "A Thing About Trains". Cor Sanne was a very good singer, but I was eagerly waiting for Hillbilly Boogimen's own set, their set was mostly bluegrass this time, but it was fun to see these talented guys when they obviously had lots of fun on stage. For me the highlights were tremendous version of "White Lightning" and "You Oughta See Grandma Rock" which was perfect for the elderly people in the audience, the grandmas were rockin' with the band. Two hours of good music for free before two Football matches on the Amsterdam Arena what else do you need for good time?
           The other must place to go is "Royal Crown Records" in Zwanenburg, which is open only on Sundays. They sell pinball machines, jukeboxes, and other cool stuff from the 50's and of course only original vinyl & shellack. The owner Wilco is a very nice guy and he's also very respected Sun collector and knows his stuff. If you're going, be sure to call first, so Wilco will bring all boxes containing the expensive stuff... Datzzit in Amsterdam had closed, but the other two shops on Prinsengracht are worth to go, "Sound of The 50's" ja "Second Life Music", there's some special Elvis stuff in the first. Plaatboef on Rosengracht is only a couple of blocks away, Martí & The Barnshakers have even played there sometime, the selection is not as good as it used to be, more CDs nowadays, but if you're in the area... There's also Concerto not far away from Rembrandtplein, it's a very big shop, and there's lots of jazz & classical, but you may find some rare LPs there too, the biggest flea market is Waterloo Square Flea Market and it is located behind Amsterdam's the Townhall, I've always picked a 45 or two there.
           "Elvis museum" is Molkwerum is okay too, they have guitar and clothers from his Germany time,  all Sun originals and lots of specialities, they also have a good selection of 45s for sale, mainly from 50's & 60's and not just Elvis, there are also Jukeboxes and Italian motorcycles in the museum. On your way to Museum you can strop in Hoorn, there in the walking centrum of the city is a very good record shop called "Dropstyle", nice original LPs & EPs in excellent condition. I didn't go to "Rock 'n Roll Museum" in Arum because I didn't have enough time, but I heard that they sell also vinyl there.
           Rotterdam's "Hitsound Records" is almost completely CDs now, huge selection of C&W and all BF boxes in stock, not much vinyl and only a few books. There's also "Original Jukebox Company"  about 10 kilometers from Schiphol airport, the owner is old guy who used to collect R&B, he is still selling his R&B 78s (Modern, Specialty, Excello, Atlantic, etc.). When we went to the shop, the owner's son was repairing old jukes there and while I was browsing the 45s I mentioned that I collect 78s too. He called to his father immediately and he brought three boxes full of R&B and vocal group 78s, some of which I couldn't resist.
           Here are some addresses if you need them:
           We also managed to visit some old Dutch towns (Middelburg & Edam) and eat some local specialities including peasoup & rye bread and Hutspot (mashed potatoes & carrots with meatball), it felt like home...There's also a decent second hand record shop in the centrum of Middelburg... Belgium wasn't far away from Middelburg so we visited briefly in Belgium (Antwerpen). I tasted some Belgian beers there, but I was glad that in the Amsterdam there where many Irish pubs where you could get Caffreys, Kilkenny, Murphys or Guinness easily. The Leidseplein is full of restaurants from all over the world and nice place to sit in the evenings, there were some greasers after the Stray Cats concert too, but not too many.
           The Sunday evening was reserved for football, I knew about the Sony Tournament, but I couldn't buy tickets from Finland, except some packages including dinner, museum visits or hotel. The first thing after we dropped our stuff in hotel room was to find Ticketbox and get the tickets to the two day tournament. It was late in the Saturday evening, but Free Record Shop was still open and selling the tickets (one good reason to visit Free Record Shop). The tournament was at Amsterdam ArenA, and I got the tickets for the two matches on Sunday, River Plate from Argentina vs. Panathinaikos  from Greece and Ajax vs. Arsenal. The latter was the match I wanted to see, Ajax  won the tournament, but the match was tie 0-0. Bergkamp was very good at his old home arena, otherwise the Gunners weren't shining, Vieira and Henry didn't play at all and Pires was alone in the middle and whole arena was booing when Robin van Persie touched the ball :-)  Of Ajax, Van der Vaart was great before he was changed, Zlatan didn't have any good places to score. It wasn't until midnight we managed to get out from the stadium.

Here's a list of some of the records I picked from the Dutch record shops:
Cliffy & Jerry: Go To Sleep Little Suzie 78rpm (Quality)
Crickets: Not Dade Away 78rpm (South African Decca)
Hank Harral: Dream Band Boogie78rpm (Star Talent)
Larry Williams: You Bug Me Baby 78rpm (Specialty)
Jesse & Marvin: Dream Girl 78rpm (Specialty)
Guitar Gable: Congo Mombo 78rpm (Excello)
Guitar Gable: Gumbo Mombo 78rpm (Excello) Sax Kari: Disc Jockey Jamboree 78rpm (Checker)

The Great Rock Stars (Redita 103 1st series)
3 Moonshine compilation LPs, Bert had all, but I couldn't carry more :-(
Trini Lopez: 3rd King LP 24 Hits,
Peacock Chicks & Duchesses (ACE)
Going To New Orleans (Flyright)
Lee Curtis & All Stars (both Star-Club LP's)
Eddie Cochran Story vol. 2 (Hol)
Billy Fury (Decca/Ace of Clubs) 2nd LP
VA: He digs Rock'n Roll (Decca comp 1956, pinup cover)
VA: Oldies But Goodies vol. 1 (Studio One), 50/60's Jamaicaa
VA: By request - 16 great instrumentals - We All Remember vol. 1 (Shadow)
VA: Burmin' Rubber On The Last Wave (Surfin Rod)
VA: Drumbeat (EMI)
A Tribute To Louis Prima
Diz Watson: Rhumbalero (ACE)
Rock with Bill Haley (Somerset),
Original Beat aus England 2 (from an old German six LP box set) 

Singles (I know here's some crap too...)
Hall Brothers: My White Convertible (Arc)  - this was a very good find, definitely an original pressing
Barbara George: You Talk About Love (Smash)
Yvonne Tims: Tumbleweed Lover (WMS)
Jenell Hawkins: Moments (Amazon)
Jeanette Baker: Crazy With You (Aladdin)
Chuck Alaimo: How I Love You (M-G-M)
Al Taylor: The Ripple (Unart)
Bill Robbin: Boll Weevil (Pink)
Carl McVoy: Your Magic Love (TRI)
Gary Trexler: Teen Baby (REV)
Del-Airs: Lost My Job (M.R.S.)
The Castle-Tones: At The Hotdog Stand (Firefly)
El Domingoes: I'm Not Kidding You (Kappa)
Tony Brent: Love By The Jukebox Light (Columbia, UK)
Lenny and The Continentals: Get Off The Road (Donmar)
Buddy Holly: Learning The Game (one sided blue Coral promo, UK)
Kathy Zee: Buzzin' (Polydor, Ger)
Vince Castro: Bongo Twist (APT)
Ronnie Self: Bop-A-Lena (CBS, Hol, pic sleeve)
The Rollercoasters: Rimshot (Holiday Inn)
Johnny Horton: All For The Love Of A Girl (CBS, Hol, EP, pic sleeve)
Frank Ifield: Lovesick Blues (Vee-Jay USA)
Buddy Holly: You're The One (Coral, Hol, pic sleeve pink)
Eddie Cochran: Three Steps To Heaven (London, Hol) - yes Dik, you were right, this was HL-G 9115, but Dutch anyway...
Trini Lopez: Surf no 2 (Reprise, Fra, EP, pic sleeve)
Trini Lopez: Surf no 3 (Reprise, Fra, EP, pic sleeve)
- okay these are bad compared to King stuff...
Never Be Anyone Else But You/Tragedy (Bell)
Poor Little Fool/Fever (Bell)
Blueberry Hill (Buddy Lucas)/The Green Door (Bell)
Green River Boys: Truck Driving Man (Capitol)
George Hamilton IV If You Don't Know (ABC)
Cornbread and Jerry: Roadhouse (Southtown)
Joe Hinton: There Oughta Be Law (Back Beat)
The Cryan Shames: Sugar And Spice (Destination)
Bobby Dowell: Our Love (Jewel)
Routers: Maria Elena (WB, Hol, pic sleeve)
Bobby Vee: More Than I Can Say (Liberty)

Huey Long: Elvis Stole My Baby
Charlie Feathers: Jungle Fever/That Certain Female (Kay??)
Shakin' Stevens: Jungle Rock (Killroy)
Jerry Martin: Lonely One (Fredlo)
Bill Beach: Peg Pants (King)
Mackey Beers and The Rockitts: That Jim (Mark) - totally cool
Ral Donner: Don't Leave Me Now (pic disc)
Charlie Ryan: Hot Rod Lincoln (4-Star)
Rock 'N' Rollers: For You (Ven) - This is really the String-A-Longs

Legendary labels of New Orleans (Night Train) (Bobby Lonero...)
Liberty Rock and Roll (Liberty)
Grand Old Country (=Cor Sanne & Hillbilly Boogiemen)
New Orleans Vocal Group Connection vol. 3
Eddie Cochran: Best Collection (strange Best of Japanese CD, where 4 Gary Lambert tracks)
Kip Tyler (Hydra)

           I also picked Roger White's book THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Walk Right Back and managed to read one book in the evenings and while we were on the beach, "American Rock'n'Roll Artists - The UK Tours 1956 - 1972" by Ian Wallis. This is highly recommended book if you're interested in UK scene, after reading the book it's very easy to understand why Gene & Eddie are so popular in UK compared to some other stars.
           The trip was totally great and I must say that people in The Netherlands are very friendly and speak fluent English almost everywhere. The only bad thing is the cost of parking in Amsterdam and Zandvoort, it's really killing your budget, 3.00¤-3.20¤/hour in Amsterdam and 4.00¤/h in Zandvoort except after midnight.
           Now, I gotta pack my stuff, because today we'll take the kids to the grandparents and after that we'll be on the road with Triumph for 4-5 days depending on the weather, it's not pouring anymore here, but you can't be sure of Finnish summer. I can post later a list of some other good finds which I've purchased from eBay & GEMM. What have you bought lately, I'm eager to read that when I'm back from the road.

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