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February 2020

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It was recently world news in the Netherlands: Matthijs quits De Wereld Draat Door after fifteen years. I understand the fuss a bit, but it doesn't really matter to me personally: I was never a regular viewer and I have not watched for years.

With Kayak we have been allowed to perform once in the program in all those years. I do not know which bribes and machinations were involved, but it did not happen by itself, I can report. "Kayak, what is that? Oh, are they Dutch? … Let's have a look,… .gosh, what a lot of records they have already made… ”was an unhelpful response from an, I suspect, intern who acted as a telephone buffer for overly obtrusive record pluggers. Well, everyone wanted to be in such a popular program. But in 2008 our promotional man finally did it, and we were allowed to show up for, yes, a full minute of music. And a chat with Matthijs. Now we thought: we have a new album out (Coming Up For Air) so we can promote that, and of course we do a new song. Not Ruthless Queen again, right?

Uh-uh. We were allowed to play, according to the editorial staff, but it was a) not intended that we pontifically came into the picture with our new CD, because DWDD was not an ordinary commercial promo spot for artists, and b) they did expect Ruthless Queen.

We were very surprised that the CD cover would not appear. If I already looked, there was often a writer or musician who came to promote a new product in DWDD. That book or cover simply came into the picture. Well, then we thought so, because it would be discussed in the interview. I can't remember afterwards whether or not the cover has been on the screen, but at least it was a thing beforehand.

One of the other guests that night was politician André Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) who turned out to be a huge Kayak fan. I began to suspect that our presence and his musical preference were not completely separate. Anyway, after the interview, in which Matthijs spoke to singer Edward Reekers to our great surprise with Max (strange, he happened to have been eight years from the band and also showed neither musically nor externally much resemblance to the person addressed), we complete that one minute with our biggest hit. We took our places behind our instruments and were ready to start. But the editors had counted outside André: he unexpectedly took the floor and, to everyone's surprise, started to mention seven to eight songs by heart that we could play as far as he was concerned. Why always Ruthless Queen, he wondered.

We thought so too, and the somewhat bewildered Matthijs was no longer able to deal with it. It so happened that we improvised a two-in-one on the spot: starting with the new single Undecided, and after 50 seconds, only with the help of a quick agreed nod by the undersigned, seamlessly transition to Ruthless Queen. Contrary to the agreement, our total playing time was half a minute too long, but Matthijs probably easily solved that time problem by then talking a little faster.

Out of this context I occasionally ran into Matthys at Youp, when I played in the performance and he came to watch. When Pim had died almost a year, and plans to do a Tribute in Paradiso had taken shape, I met him again on such an occasion in the Utrecht City Theater. I told him about the idea, and that we would like to announce it ourselves in DWDD. Of course he was enthusiastic. He indicated that he had no say in the interpretation of the program itself, so he would throw it into the editorial meeting the next day.

You get it, it stayed one time - never heard of it again. When asked, we had to call an intern again, who, like her predecessor, really had no idea what or who Kayak was, and certainly not that we had only been in DWDD a year and a half before. Unfortunately, that Leo Blokhuijs, nevertheless a good acquaintance of Matthijs, was the presenter of that emotional evening in Paradiso, was to no avail. I'm afraid that half a minute did the trick.

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