foundation for Q65 is laid in January 1965, when guitarists Joop Roelofs and
Frank Nuyens decide to start a band with singer Willem Bieler. To spice up
their sound, the line-up is completed by bass player Peter Vink and drummer
Jay Baar, both from Leadbelly’s Ltd. During the summer, the band rehearses
seriously, inspired by Rhythm and Blues traditionals and the songs of Robert
Johnson and Willie Dixon. Of course, they also play the usual Kinks, Animals
and Rolling Stones covers. Apparently, it was Roelofs who came up with the
catchy band name Q65, based on two Stones classics: Susie Q and Route 66.
However, Q66 did not sound appealing enough, so it was changed into Q65.
May 21st, Q65 plays their first ever gig in the UTS in Scheveningen for the
small fee of
10,- against expenses of FL. 20,-! Roelofs starts to take care of bookings,
and the fee is soon increased up to Fl. 150,-. Q65 gigs are always spectacular.
Singer Willem Bieler tumbles allover the stage and because of their heavy
sound Q65 is soon labeled the Dutch Pretty Things. Despite guitars being
broken or occasionally out of tune, the fans still adore them: ‘The Q kicks
ass!’ As a tribute to the band, they paint the band name on many walls in
The Hague and beyond. Even now, in 2002, one can still admire the graffiti in
some places! (Check out www.Q65.org <http://www.Q65.org> for more
a gig at skating rink De Eenhoorn, the band meets producer Peter Koelewijn.
Very impressed by their performance and their popularity, he invites them to
an audition at the Phonogram studio, where they record two of their own songs:
‘And Your Kind’ and ‘You’re The Victor’. When listening back to the
tapes, producer Koelewijn and technician Jan Audier are so thrilled with the
songs that they decide to release them on vinyl unaltered.
January, debut single ‘You’re The Victor’ is released. It has the
typical Q65 sound: a rattling beat with Willem Bieler’s voice in barely
audible, typical ‘the Hague’ English. On March 5th, the song enters the
charts at number 16. It will remain in the top 40 for 13 weeks, reaching
number 11. A fine debut indeed!
With a hit on their hands the number of gigs expands rapidly. Joop
Roelofs can’t handle things alone anymore, and Wout van Soest is appointed
fulltime manager. Hans
van Hemert replaces producer Peter Koelewijn.
Thursday May 5th, during a nocturnal session,’The Life I Live’ (about the
band’s adventures at Joop’s wedding party) and ‘Cry In The Night’ are
recorded. For the presentation of the single Phonogram comes up with a great
promotion stunt: Q65 will sail from London to Scheveningen in a small rubber
boat. Never mind that some band members don’t know how to swim, a fact they
discover later. Friday June 3rd,the entire Q gets on board and leaves for
England. For safety, sailing ship ‘De Zilvermeeuw’ , accompanies them. The
band is interviewed by pirate radio station Radio City, which is situated in a
radar post. Unfortunately, the promotion gig at the London Tiles club is
cancelled because they lack a work permit. However, the band does many
interviews and photo sessions with English media. On Sunday June 5th, the Q
gets back on board to return to Scheveningen. About 30.000 fans and other
people have gathered on the beach in Scheveningen to await the Q’s arrival.
When they finally reach the shore, the band members have to fight their way
through the crowd. They do a gig on the pier, which is filmed by both NTS and
the major newspapers publish articles about the stunt, and as a result the
Q’s popularity increases tremendously, and
‘The Life I Live’ is a big top 40 hit.
September, debut album Revolution is released (working title ‘Lava’). It
is a very diverse record including heavy R&B and blues, but also humble
songs such as ‘Sour Wine’, and of course their hit single ‘The Life I
Live’, and all that for only FL. 9,90. Journalist Willem de Ridder of music
magazine Hitweek writes on the back of the album cover: ìAnd don’t forget,
dear reader, to pump up the volume as loud as you canî. During the album
session, the song ‘Feel Her Still’ is recorded as well, only to vanish
into the archives until 1997 when, playing the original tapes for the Classic
Album series, the song is discovered at the end of the ‘The Life I Live’
tape. The album cover of Revolution is a true work of art, depicting the Q
guys in a scene from the American civil war. The album is premiered on
September 10th in a TV special featuring singer Boudewijn de Groot. As special
guest, the band plays extended versions of
‘I’m A Man’ and ‘Just Whose In Sight’. Within only three
months, Revolution sells 25.000 copies and in October it enters the local
single top 10, with its only competition being the Q65 single ‘I Despise You/Ann’.
The latter, with Jay on piano, is a parody of ‘Jungen Komm Bald Wieder’ by
German schlager singer Freddie Quinn.
the fall, the band records the movie Beat It for VPRO TV, with Les Baroques
and The Maskers. They are filmed fooling around at the Scheveningen beach. The
movie by filmmaker Langestraat is broadcast on Dutch television on December
year starts off very well. Music magazine Popfoto includes a giant color
poster of the band. On January 21st ‘From Above/I Was Young’ is released
as a double A-side. During the single session, the band records another four
blues songs: one by Jimmy Reed (‘Ain’t That Lovin’ You Babe), one by
Howlin’ Wolf (‘No Place To Go’) featuring Peter Vink on contrabass, one
of the Q’s own compositions called ‘80% O’ (referring to hash mixed with
80% pure opium), and the traditional ‘Rambling On My Mind’. These tracks
are featured on the EP Kjoe Bloes. On March 8th, during the interval of soccer
match Ajax-Dukla Prague on TV, an impression of the band recording ‘Rambling
On My Mind’ is broadcast.
the course of 1967, the musical interests of the band members begin to differ
widely, caused mainly by the increasing use of soft drugs by Jay, Frank and
April 11th, new single ‘World Of Birds’ is launched in Dutch TV show Fan
Club. The song, about the influence of being stoned, is full of hidden meaning.
Besides changing their music, their drug use gets them involved with the
The single ‘So High I’ve Been So Down I Must Fall’ is also
clearly about mind-expanding drugs and its periphery. B-side ‘Where Is The
Key’ sounds almost prophetic, as if singer Bieler is at a loss himself. The
tinkling harp effect in the song is produced by the increasingly tuned, thin
E-snares fixed on Roelofs’ guitar.
November, Jay Baar goes to jail in The Hague for possession of hash. Things
are not well with the Q and the band members drift apart because of personal
differences. At that time, Wim Bieler is drafted into military service a
second time, and this time he cannot postpone it.
In December, the band is in the studio one more time to work on a
totally new sound. As soon as Jay is released from prison, they record an
instrumental version of ‘Mother Mutha’s Great Sundance’, with Bieler and
Roelofs on percussion and Vink on bass. The inspiration for the song comes
from Jay listening to an album of African music.
Early January, Bieler joins the army and the Q falls apart. Frank, Jay and Joop attempt to hire Shoes singer Theo van Es but don’t succeed, and they work with successively Herman Brood and Henk Smitskamp, but neither one of them lasts very long. Marco Klein is the new keyboard player and Frank Verhoeff takes up the bass. In February, three new songs are recorded: ‘Fairy Tales Of Truth’, ‘Change Of Scene’ and ‘Voluntary Peacemaker’. The new band, called Circus, performs successfully during the opening night of Paradiso. According to Hitweek: ìCircus has a fantastic lightshow including liquid slides and flickering lights. The music is individual and psychedelic. The very commercial first single ‘Medusa’ will be released mid-Aprilî. Although the demo single for ‘Medusa’ is pressed (with ‘Mother Motha’s Great Sundance’ as a B-side) and a final cover proposal is approved, the release is cancelled at the last minute because supposedly the band does not deem the recording representative. Decca still releases a single including ‘Ann’ and ‘Sour Wine’. A single advert in Hitweek in August speaks of the revival and glorious comeback of Q65. But nothing could be further from the truth. ìCircus has big plans for a total performance, with music for mind and bodyî the band tells Hitweek. On May 8th, Circus performs a great show in the VARA TV show Rood Wit Blauw. The band performs ‘Mother Motha’s Great Sundance’ and ‘Change Of Scene’ live on TV, supported by swirling and bubbly liquid projections.
Nuyens leaves Circus because of a hand injury and becomes producer for
Phonogram, producing artists such as The Tykes, Marva Hodge & Moody Sec
and Indiscrimination. In the summer of ‘68, Circus consists of Marco Klein,
Jay Baar, Piet Kuiters (sax and piano) and Gerard Romeijn (guitar). When Jay
returns to jail one more time in November, he decides to quit the band,
leaving the band without a single member of Q65. Despite a great number of
problems, the band still manages to continue until the end of the year, before
finally falling apart.
the meantime, Willem Bieler records the single ‘(I Know) In My Mind’ and
‘Baby You Know You Ain’t Right’ with producer Harry van Hooff. But the
tracks are not finished and the Jay-Jays will later use the basic tapes for a
Q65 is contractually bound to produce one more album, producer van Hemert
decides to finish the already recorded Circus tracks. He does the vocals for
‘Voluntary Peacemaker’ (about Frank Nuyens) and ‘Sundance’ himself,
while the vocals for ‘Change Of Scene’ (working title ‘Ridin’ On A
Slow Train’) had already been completed by Jay. Willem Bieler is guest
performer on ‘Fairy Tales Of Truth’.
The collection album Revival (its working title being Yesterday And
Today) is released that summer. The A-side is a collection of Q65 singles and
the B-side features the reworked Circus tracks. However, although Q65 is
mentioned on the album cover, there is not a single word about the Circus
‘Medusa’ remains under lock and key until 1993. ‘Sundance’ and
‘World Of Birds’ are released as a double A-side for promotion purposes.
Both songs are totally ignored by the media, with the exception of radio show
Supercleandreammachine, which regularly plays ‘Sundance’.
year sees the first rebirth of Q65. It marks the return of the original
line-up without Jay Baar, who lives in a commune with singer Boudewijn de
Groot. Beer Klaasse, ex-Group 1850, replaces him. The band signs a record deal
with Negram for two albums and four singles. Although their style has remained
the same throughout the years, musically the band has progressed enormously,
sounding much more melodic.
the end of March their first single for Negram, ‘Don’t Let Me Fall’, is
released. The band is successful once again with great live shows. The album
‘Afghanistan’ is released in October, with both studio recordings and
live-recordings, including a rock & roll medley, recorded in Sarasani,
Texel. A different edition of the album is released in Germany. The band is in
the top 40 for two consecutive weeks with single ‘Sexy Legs’. To promote
the single and album the band does a 15-minute performance in TV show Midweek,
introducing their sound and dynamic performances to the Dutch audience once
January, ‘Love Is Such A Good Thing’ is released. It is a smokin’
R&B song with singer Willem Bieler as the leading man. However, the song
is barely noticed and does not get any airplay. Frank Nuyens breaks his leg
during a soccer match and the Q has to go on without him. Joop takes over all
guitar parts. Their second album for Negram is ‘We’re Gonna Make It’, a
collection of singles with additional leftover tracks for only FL. 8,90. Their
last single for Negram is ‘I Just Can’t Wait’. Unhappy about the lack of
promotion, the band decides to sign with Polydor.
Is Easy/Country Girl’ is their first single as a quartet for Polydor.
Because of internal struggles singer Willem Bieler leaves the band in October.
He is replaced by Johnny Frederikzs, former George Cash.
Nuyens releases his solo album ‘Rainman’, with many lyrics written by Jay,
who drums on various tracks as well. Later that year Jay joins Amsterdam band
original band name is changed into Kjoe. New singer Johnny Frederikzs gives a
new impulse to the music and Vink, Klaasse, Roelofs and Frederikzs are very
motivated when they go into the studio, determined to record a successful new
track. ‘Hoonana’ is released in April, but despite a very funny TV
performance it is not a hit. This will be the band’s last release. The Q
continues to perform in various line-ups, but when Johnny Frederikzs quits the
band, they become the instrumental symphonic rock band Finch.
Bieler records a number of demos with Frank Nuyens and Boudewijn de Groot at
the Phonogram studio. In the fall, Willem Bieler & Dambuster release
‘Lady of Love’ on Polydor. Remarkably, the B-side is an old Q65 song
called ‘Fighting Is Easy’. The song ‘Happiness’, also recorded during
these sessions, will not see the light of day until 2002.
of a radio show on November 30th, 1979, dedicated to Beat music from The Hague
in the sixties, plans are made to get a number of legendary bands together
once more for a show in the Houtrusthal in The Hague. After long deliberation,
the original line-up (Jay Baar, Frank Nuyens, Peter Vink, Joop Roelofs and
Willem Bieler) agrees to take part. On Friday June 13th, the band gives a
memorable performance at the ‘Haagse Beatnach’.
band does a trial recording with producer Hans Vermeulen for a new version of
‘Ann’ for CNR Records, which they are unable to finish because Joost den
Draayer refuses to offer them a contract. CNR
releases a double album featuring recordings of the Haagse Beatnach. However,
the label feels that the live-recordings are not up to standard and they
insist that the songs are cut and re-recorded by studio musiciansÖ
band profits from the enormous attention for the Haagse Beatnach. This renewed
interest results in a number of Dutch shows in the fall, featuring Vink,
Bieler and Roelofs, with the addition of guitarist Joop van Nimwegen (ex-Finch)
and drummer Fred van Vloten. The very dynamic and sold-out live shows feature
songs from both past and present. Despite rumors, no live album of this tour
Q is back again, this time with veteran Beer Klaasse on drums, besides Vink,
Roelofs, van Nimwegen and Bieler. Allover Holland, highly popular Back to the
Sixties festivals are organized. Bands like Shocking Blue, After Tea, Tee Set,
the Shoes and the Golden Haigs get back together and are touring again on the
basis of their former hit success. On November 24th, Q65 performs a very
successful gig during the Back to the Sixties festival in Den Bosch. Until
April 1987, they play shows on a regular basis.
Bieler dissolves Q65, only to start The Q with veteran Joop Roelofs, Rick
Finck on bass, Rene van Spanje on keyboards, Rob Lauwers on drums and Rinus
Hollenberg on guitar. Their sound is a reflection of the new line-up,
consisting of the old guard completed by young souls. Once again their gigs
are sensational and passionate.
October ‘Let’s Roll’ is released, produced by Barry Hay and Freddie Haayen
on the Golden Earring’s Jaws label. The B-side is ‘Are You Home’, an
adaptation of ‘We’re Gonna Make It’. The band uses its original name, Q65,
7th, 1990, drummer Jay Baar dies in Amsterdam of pneumonia. Q65 continues to
exist in various line-ups until 1995.
TV broadcasts the Classic Albums series; a series of programmes featuring famous
albums. One of those albums is Q65's Revolution. During the recording of this
show, the original line-up Joop Roelofs, Frank Nuyens and Willem Bieler play
together for the first time in years. Bass player Peter Vink agrees to take part
in the documentary, but refuses to be filmed with his former band mates because
of strained relations.
update 23 march 2003