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Published on Sep 26, 2009
The Outsiders were a Dutch band from Amsterdam. Their period of greatest popularity in the Netherlands was from 1965-67, but they released records until 1969.
Featuring Wally Tax (vocals), Ronnie Splinter (guitar), Appie Rammers (bass guitar), Tom Krabbendam (guitar), Leendert "Buzz" Busch (drums), and Frank Beek (bass guitar 1968-1969), the band exemplified the "Nederbeat Sound", a raw and immediate Dutch take on rock 'n' roll created in the wake of the 60s British Invasion. Unlike the many European bands influenced by the Beatles, the Outsiders took their cues from harder-edged British groups like The Pretty Things (who frequently toured the Netherlands) and The Rolling Stones. In November 1965, in in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Outsiders were a supporting act in the The Rolling Stones' second Dutch concert. However, others have cited influences as wide-ranging as Buddy Holly, Jacques Brel, and Love (band), as well as Eastern European folk influence from Tax's Russian Roma ethnic roots. The Outsiders developed a reputation for a wild and raucous stage act, and were eventually banned from various venues.
The Outsiders released three full-length records, Outsiders and the singles collection Songbook in 1967, and C.Q. in 1968. The latter sold poorly upon release, but is now considered a masterpiece of psychedelic garage rock. The band also released thirteen singles, including 1967's Summer Is Here, which reached the Top Ten on the Dutch charts. Their eponymous debut album, which featured one side of studio recordings and another taken from their live show, also sold well during this period. Unusually for this era, the band never recorded any covers.
After the summer of '67, many of the Nederbeat bands fell from commercial favor, including Q65, Les Baroques, The Motions, and The Outsiders. Later Outsiders singles had lower chart peaks, and personnel changes, friction, poor promotion and management problems followed. Experiments and changes in musical style, though critically well-regarded today, only served to alienate the band's fanbase. The group began attempting publicity stunts in the hopes of building interest. These included dressing in medieval costumes, and staging a haircut for lead singer Wally Tax on Dutch television.
Reportedly, Kurt Cobain was a fan of the Outsiders and made an unsuccessful attempt to meet Wally Tax.
A reunion tour of the four original Outsiders took place in October 1997. Wally Tax died in 2005.
The Outsiders are the subject of an official biography, Outsiders door Insiders (1997), written in Dutch by Jerome Blanes. English translation has been completed in June 2008 and will be published any moment now. Two collections of photographs, The Outsiders Picture Book, Volume 1 and The Outsiders Picture Book, Volume 2 and 2 Scrapbooks with articles have also been published. Please see publications at publisher lulu dot com.