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(This blog was previously published as a column in the magazine iO Pages)

In the music world there are prizes in all kinds of areas to be won. I will name a few: the Edison. the Golden and Silver Harps (do they still exist?), the BUMA Export Prize, and some other official recognitions for musical and commercial merits. Kayak has never been overly spoiled with that: I can vaguely remember an Edison for the LP Phantom of The Night in 1979, but yes, that was not difficult because that album had just been awarded platinum (for 100,000 copies sold, that were times again). That was also the only other "price" I remember. Incidentally, I have no idea where Thomas is today, last I sighted him in 1981 or so at our then manager's office, and I suspect the gem ended up with the curator afterward. Probably melted down a long time ago, because I can hardly imagine that the statue is now showing off on a chimney with a complete stranger.

Is that important, such a price? Yes and no. Perhaps important enough to dedicate a blog to it, but what else? As I suggested above, it was a nice token of recognition, but I actually found the 100,000 copies a lot more interesting and moreover, it was a bit of an open target for the jury. Suppose 308 copies of that album had been sold, I just suspect that the price had passed us by. Look, and then we would have just needed him. That would have been a helping hand. And, but that's personal, we've made much better albums than Phantom or The Night. But yes, it had a big hit and that makes talking a lot easier.

I once wrote the song 'Mister Alzheimer', mentioned in a previous blog, together with Youp van 't Hek, and that was, I understood, at one point in the nomination for the Annie MG Schmidt prize for the best cabaret- song of the year. However, the highly esteemed jury could not appreciate the number, in fact, that year no prize was awarded at all due to "lack of quality". Youp thought that was so incomprehensible that he subsequently refused to ever have a song nominated for that price again. I thought that was a pity, because after that we really wrote some things that were worthwhile and my trophy cabinet, unlike his, showed many empty spaces.

It's a bit double. Are you waiting for the verdict of some jury, some of whose members, like many reviewers, have made it little further than just judging something they can't do themselves? No of course not. On the other hand, such a prize can help to generate some attention among the general public and that is another attractive thought, says the businessman in me.

But the best price - and although you can't afford the butcher and the baker, the only thing that really matters - is the reaction of people who are touched by your music. Who tell you that you have somehow changed, influenced, or at least made your life more pleasant.


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