'The first record I bought from my own money was a 12” by Amii Stewart, Knock On Wood. Although my budget was still limited, more records followed, such as a great live album by Gary's Gang. In the late 70's disco was the thing. I loved it very much - still do, although I also got to like the dance music that came after that. Especially if it has an underground edge to it.'
'Around that time I began spinning records on Friday evenings in the local townhouse. It was quite successful. Usually there were 400 to 500 people on the dance floor. Thanks to Peter Sloothaak I also became involved with a pirate station in Amstelveen, Radio Klasse. We had a line connection from the studio to the transmitter, unlike most other illegal stations. This meant that when we were spotted by the authorities we only lost the transmitter - gear was easily replaceable - and not the studio.'
'When I became busy as a deejay in the townhouse and with the radio station, I began to frequent the dance music stores and distributors in Amsterdam, like Attalos, Monopol Music Center and Rhythm Import. I was always looking for great, new import 12”es. At my time with Radio Klasse I worked closely with that last company, which was one of the major outlets for dance music in Holland. I played a weekly Rhythm Import Top 50 every Sunday, as compiled by its owner Peter Duijkersloot.
'It was the first time I got in touch with a professional company. Rhythm Import grew rapidly. At first it was just a tiny store. Then it became a distributor. After a while a bigger office space was needed. I was already studying to become a programmer, which came handy when the company needed to be automated. Everything took off quite fast from then on. I was involved with other radio stations, such as VLOH Radio in Haarlemmermeer and Decibel in Amsterdam. I began managing artists, taking care of everything, from checking their contracts and booking gigs to making sure they got to the venue in Leeuwarden in time. These were hectic times.'
“A few years later I met Marcel Nothdurft, an old friend from VLOH Radio, at a disco night. We got to talk and it appeared that Marcel was doing something similar as myself, so we decided to join forces. We had some good years. One of our biggest successes was Give It Up by The Good Men, which was a project of the producers DJ Zki and Dobre for which we run their management. It was released on their own Fresh Fruit label, and got high in the charts everywhere. Around 1994 we wanted to have our own imprint and started Touché Records. The vinyl was pressed at the Sony Music pressing plant in Haarlem. Touché was a huge success, in Europe and in America. We released tracks by Carl Craig, Loophole, Booka Shade, Paperclip People, Laidback Luke and Trancesetters - all underground dance. I loved working with Sony; they were efficient and delivered great quality. At the time the company planned to close its doors, I was their biggest customer. And then I took over the plant, which was 15 years ago.'
'I still have all my vinyl - never sold anything. Why should I? There are too many great memories attached. They are stored in my attic now. I still have a couple of turntables. Every now and then I go upstairs, open a box and spin some of the maxi's, for my own pleasure. It's always great to hear the tracks again. I'm always struck by how fantastic they sound. Nothing beats a turntable and a well pressed 12” record.'
'Once every two or three years I am asked to deejay again, usually on a private party or something like that. I don't have time to do it more often, which is okay. I still listen a lot to music on the radio. When I like something I buy it - I never download anything. I recently picked up the latest Daft Punk album, with the contribution of Nile Rodgers. It obviously reminds me of my younger days. So I suppose it's true what they say. The music you experience between the age of 16 and 25 makes the biggest and most lasting impression. That's also why I don't buy as much as in the old days, but thanks to my work at Record Industry I am still surrounded by music every day.'