Deze blog verscheen eerder in het tijdschrift iO Pages. De laatste alinea heb ik later toegevoegd.
When I was asked in February this year if I would like to write something for IO-Pages, or maybe more often, I said yes almost immediately. I was free to choose a subject myself. Maybe something with Kayak, Camel, or something that had struck me as a musician, and maybe not even directly related to the 'music scene'. In short, I had complete freedom, but I already thought that as a musician in a prog magazine I do not have to talk about pets. Although, why not. I can open a book about our golden retriever Milan who, because it was not by chance that Kayak drummer Pim Koopman always walked around with dog biscuits in his pocket, he could not be beaten. No one in their right mind ventured within five feet of his drum kit when Pim took up the drumsticks, but our dog was almost with her head in the bass drum. So love not only makes blind but also deaf.
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I'm already digressing. So my answer was yes, because I like to write. Whether it's music, or blogs (or columns, when we talk about the print version), I just love doing it: making something that wasn't there before. I have already published many blogs on the Kayak site, and I like to read them a lot. Also on my own site I occasionally tell something outside of Kayak. And for those who are wondering what I'm going to talk about: at least not too much about the music IO-Pages focuses on (prog), very simple because most readers probably know more about that than I do. But I like to bother others with the peripheral issues and certain music-related phenomena.
The reactions to the news that I was going to do this were positive. There was someone who was publicly concerned whether my wife (Irene Linders) might write those columns in my place. Not because she could not write, but because she had worked for the Hitkrant very early. Indeed, a very different magazine than IO Pages with a completely different musical approach, but even then. The idea that I would have my wife write colums for IO Pages under my name is somewhat odd. And the idea that my wife would want to do that at all.
Someone also, not entirely wrongly, wondered why I chose to write such a column. I am not known as a huge prog fan, although I regularly play in two bands, who are accused of being more or less involved in this genre. It may surprise and even disappoint the reader, but I know very few prog musicians who are prog fans themselves.
Most are inspired by music that is not directly related to the genre prog. Maybe that is a precondition for staying innovative, to distinguish yourself. Within Kayak there was certainly no one who listened to prog-rock more than the average musician, and within Camel I could only count one man among the experts. But he immediately knew a lot about it, came up with all kinds of obscure records and bands that had not yet penetrated the rest of the world. A musician with a fan's heart, so to speak. While we were in the Real World studios with the band in preparation for the tour (we only ate there, honestly tells me) and suddenly the owner, Peter Gabriel, entered the property, he got as excited as a teenage girl her first date.
But what exactly is prog? And are its makers so very different from other musicians? Absolutely not. They face the same problems as their colleagues, whether playing country or death metal. They too have highs and lows in a career, and experience how the dynamics of a band work. In good and bad times. Corrupt managers, colleagues with diva tendencies, disgruntled fans - they all come by no matter what musical style you have chosen.
One thing I never really understood about 'prog'. How can a band play the same for forty years and still remain prog? To me, Prog means progression (f), renewal, change. Doing the same thing for forty years is at odds with that. If Kayak suddenly started to play country, that would be prog! Or not?
Well, no, so, when we talk about the music, because country has been played for a while and is not exactly innovative. But making such a switch would testify to a progressive mind. It's not about long guitar solos, or complicated time signatures. Do something that others have never done or dared to do before. That is the essence of prog for me.