Harrie Jekkers en Koos Meinderts – De zingende zwanehals (03-008)
Jekkers used to be the lead singer of a band called Klein Orkest (Small orchestra). Not only did they make some great songs, they managed to get a message to their listeners. Two great albums in the beginning of the eighties have so many songs on them that at some point in my life have become really relevant, it is almost scary. 20 years on I still listen to their songs.
After the band split up, Jekkers went solo, in the Dutch theatres. Great songs, some funny stories, an evening entertainment. The funny stories were written together with Koos Meinderts, a life long friend. Mostly they wrote children’s books, but a few novels came out of their word processor as well. The most famous one became a tv-series, about a school, with the acting debut of Katja Schuurman, nowadays one of the biggest stars in the Netherlands. I have seen the two men together on an evening in a student club, before they actually performed in a regular show. They created a great atmosphere, some songs, some funny anecdotes and a few stories from their books, they felt exactly what the crowd wanted. Last month in Amsterdam I bumped into their fourth novel, the only one missing in my collection. Obviously I had read it, in the days I still visited libraries on a regular basis.
In the train home I had visited my book, so I started reading it again. Funny story about a plumber who becomes a singer overnight, but loses money on bad management and bad planning. Nearly 200 pages, still one reads through it like a train, compliment for the writing style of the two friends. Humour from the Hague, for the lucky few who can still find it somewhere.
Just read an interview with Steve Earle. I like this quote: "I'm against any form of violence, I don't even like hunting. Sometimes I humiliate a fish before I throw it back into the water."
I'll have to download his last album Jerusalem.
Sometimes sports can be such a brilliant spectacle. Erben Wennemars just became world champion on the 1500 meters speedskating. He is a sprinter, specialist on 1000 meter, but also good on this distance. He always starts like a madman and hopes to have enough energy left for the last lap. He lost a lot of his advantage in that last lap, but it was enough to finish first. Only one race after him, with two of the favourites though, so he wasn't sure yet. The look on his face after that race was unpayable. The big eyes of a small child who just can't believe what he sees. Mouth open, head back, his face looks like a striker from a Scottish second division football side. He starts jumping, not knowing what to do with himself. Hands wide and up, resembling an Italian at a funeral of a loved one. His tears make mine come out as well.
Wennemars is talented, but also very human. He tends to suffer from stress, therefore at big championships missing out on the prices. Sometimes he is overconfident, hence overestimating his own powers. An interview with him is always a treat. He talks faster than he skates and always has a stutter in his lines. He is open and honest and makes for brilliant television. Today he won and he deserved the win. He has beaten everyone, nearly a second ahead of the second place. In the interview afterwards he claims to be the happiest man alive. A little boy, a lovely girlfriend, getting married and a world title. It'll be in the books still when he is a granddad. And the tears came back.
I sat watching with goosebumps on my arms..