In the years after WWII, austerity was trump and it took until the mid-1950's before the Netherlands emerged from the dark, resulting in a shift in consumption patterns. The young people in the Netherlands were in a vacuum towards the end of the fifties: on one hand there was the morality of austerity, industry and economy dictated by parents, church and state, and on the other hand they saw the promises of the new consumer society. For a number of young people born before the war, the latter won. Movies like ''Black board jungle'' responded to those developments. The loosened youngish workers soon got the dutch label "nozems" (rowdy) affixed. Nozems hang out on the street or in cafeterias, eat fries and frikandelles (like fish and chips in the UK), drink a lot of beer and imagine themselves being James Dean or Marlon Brando, whilst riding their staged mopeds. For the second generation, born around the 60's, a second 50's wave repeated, this in parallel with the success of the Beatles and the Stones, which developed in the late 60s and 70s and reigned supreme around 1980.
Around Rock & Roll, for example, things started slowly in 1970 and more and more attention was paid , among others, to SUN artists and their records. On June 27, 1972 the Country and Rock Bar opens in Hengelo (NL) where Dick Waanders and Herman Gierveld start playing records from their own rock and country collections. The first time there was a real Rock & Roll meeting in province south-east Brabant is March 1973 and I was then 14 years old. The meeting was announced in a magazine called 'The Sound of the Sixties'. During the weekly card evening with friends, Tommy v.d. Brekel suggested the idea of a large record fair, and then Peter Roelen, Karel v.d. Waerden and Wim van Seters held the very first Rock & Roll Meeting on 13 October 1973 under the name "The Sunshine Klub Nederland" (quirk after the Sun-label) in a café called Extase in Tilburg.
The Elvis Gang and what was happening around Rock and Roll further around Eindhoven, did not represent that much in the early 1970's. They were just groups of youngsters varying in composition.
Frans and Bert were unacquainted at the time and Bert told about how they got to know each other: ''One afternoon I am at home in Voorschoten, and my brother Arie comes in: Bertie.. I met a boy from Eindhoven in swimming pool ''De Vliet'' (Leiden) who is just like you... crazy about Elvis. His name is Frans and he has red hair. Come along tomorrow because they are in Leiden for another day. (Frans was there with a summer camp group from Eindhoven). Unfortunately I had other arrangements with Freddy Reiling so I could not go.
A few years later 1974 we moved to the Barrierweg in Eindhoven. From my bedroom you could see the Karate school of Joop van Doren, and I wanted to go there to further shape the martial arts ambitions I started in Leiden. And what coincidently happens there... (coincidence does not exist ... I call it destiny), at the Pastoor van Arsplein in Woensel near that karate school I walked into Frans van Dorst ..., or actually Arie saw him first because I had never seen him at that time. We soon started talking about our music etc. etc. and I assume the rest is well known to you.
And so a friendship that will last forever was born, and I am sure that whoever is in charge upstairs in heaven and will map out our routes and karma for life, has crossed our path here and did it very good !! ! "
But back to the meetings ... All this started as a regular record fair, but when, six months later, Dick Waanders (from Diwa Records) added Tony Macaroni & the Swinging Devils as a life act on the 2nd show, to musically cheer-up the fair a bit, international interest arises for the meeting. The meetings became an important semi-annual event in the months of March and October for collectors of rock and roll music.
At the 3rd Meeting in the Extase bar the band 'Rocky West & the Humbugs' performed of which records had already been released on the Belgian ''Mac Records'' (by Mac Bouvrie). Interest in the Rock & Roll Meetings grew rapidly and because Extase became too small, it was decided in 1975 to hold the fourth Meeting in larger concert Hall, near the Tilburg Station. I was now 16 years old and could go there nicely on my Zündapp, so i did...
At this fifth meeting, Saturday October 11th, 1975, not only did the duo Bert and Frances Rookhuizen appear there for the first time, but I also saw Frans and Bert, who also came there for the first time, to me they were still completely unknown, but they were noticeable. I myself did not stand out because a quiff and a helmet were not a good combination, and I also had to be home before dark so I missed the performances. (never heard of that bloke Cavan)
October 16, 1976 the Dutch band ''The Huricane Rollers'', a band Band from Den Bosch with guitarist Bart Strik (1945-1993) and singer Jef van den Akker (1945-2012), Both originally played in The Hague Huricane Rollers (Indo Rock) from the 1960s, which at the time also played regularly in the "De Looiersbeurs" in Tilburg. After a 10-year hiatus they picked up where they left off around 1975 and also called themselves 'Big Jeff & The Hurricane Rollers'.
However, headlining in 1976 was the Flying Saucers from England who had featured prominently at the March to the BBC earlier that year, as well as a band not featured on the poster. Trevor Noddles thinks he remembers that an extra band played in the afternoon that day; Matchbox, directed by Wiffle Smith (born 1948) and starring Steve Bloomfield, Fred Poke, Rusty Lupton and Wild Bob Burgos.
With the following very well attended Meetings with performances by Hot Jumpers, Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers and Shakin 'Stevens & the Sunsets, the Harmonie also became too small and they moved to the playing hall in the "Beekse Bergen" recreation park, some kilometers outside of Tilburg. Afterwards, it turned out that quite a few acquaintances had walked around there in Tilburg, and the first contacts were made there for many.
I also met Louis Smeets there, from which I bought some records. Together with Felix Meurders, he presented the radio program the ''Rock and Roll methode'', and this record fair was also promoted during those broadcasts. Bert Rookhuizen from 'De Platenboer' now suddenly called himself Bert Rockhuizen and promoted his first LP 'Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers' on the brand new Rockhouse label. (October 1975).
Frans; In the afternoon we arrived, neatly in a jacket and white ties......you know... dancing a bit, getting thirsty, and suddenly Bert stood among some Englishmen who handed him a bottle of water........we thought of course (a clear substance)
Bert holding the bottle with that transparent stuff, takes a draught.... and I SAW him becoming happy! No water: Gin and Vodka! Bert takes another sip... and half the bottle was empty! The English were very impressed, and after that he showed some stunning moves, the bee’s knees on the dance floor !!
From that moment on, Bert had his nickname: The Big Bopper! In the evening we were standing right in front of the stage, watching Cavan, when Peter Roelen says to me: You have to grab that singer on your shoulders! ME: "Yes, and then he will punch me in the face!" No no no: it was okay, he nodded. I was a 16-year-old boy, and still had a lot to learn .... the result! My first claim-to-fame: Crazy Cavan on my shoulders! "
On March 5, 1977 the eighth Meeting took place there with evening performances by Matchbox and again Shakin 'Stevens.
This was the first meeting where Frans and Bert voluntarily took on the security. This event already attracted more than 1000 visitors with still growing interest. The ninth Meeting also took place in the "Beekse Bergen" and by the tenth in 1978 the number of visitors had already risen to 1500 and from now on also American artists such as Carl Mann were booked.
Financial troubles eventually led to the group of friends falling apart, after Peter Roelen had handed over the meeting to Rockhouse as an individual.
From the 11th meeting it is now organized by Rockhouse, and the Eindhoven rock and rollers are now among the regular visitors, all the more because from the 12th meeting onwards, the event is being moved to venue 't Karregat in Einhoven. The Rocking Rebels are founded in 1979, and they had already started to take care of the security on the meetings some meetings ago.
In the meantime, a close communion had also been established in Liessel (Parivon), and there were regular performances there.
A big fight in 1988 put an end to the big Rock and Roll meetings in the Karregat. From then on the festival went into the country. The 34th (1990) is for example in the Maasland hall in Oss and via a lot of wanderings it ended up in Eindhoven again around 2005-2006 on the Wilhelminaplein.
At the end of the nineties a few more meetings take place in the Karrregat under the name Revved-up Rock and Roll Revue, which focused more on Neo and Spycho-Rockabilly.
However, it took until 2005/2006 before we could speak of a real Rock and Roll meeting in Eindhoven, and Jose Verspaget and Paddy van Lieshout, revived the phenomenon of Rock 'n Roll meeting Eindhoven. These meetings, on the Wilhelminaplein became free of charge, and attract about 3000 visitors, and have also become an international meeting place for the rockers of the good old times. (see http://www.rockenrollmeetingeindhoven.nl/)
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