Roland Vonk

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Most people will know Roland Vonk from his shows for Radio Rijnmond. His collection is at least 100 times greater than mine. And I am talking about quantity here.
Roland specialises in music that little people will care for. He has made it his life work to bring together all music ever made by people who were born in Rotterdam. Or in places not (too) far from Rotterdam. Or by people who lived in Rotterdam all their life. Or many years. Or a few weeks. And not only records and CD’s, but also tapes or other recordings. And if nothing is recorded, and the musicians are still alive, Roland visits these people and makes his own recordings of their music. This work leaves little him time to send me CD’s, which is a true pity.
Every one or two years he sends me a CD with some highlights from his audio museum, and usually that is good for 80 minutes of laughter and amazement. Last week I found in my P.O. boxanother collection of rarities that Roland has unearthed, and to show you that I am not talking nonsense, is here a little selection:
- Bert van der Brink is a blind piano player (no doubt from Rotterdam) who years ago recorded music with only his voice and two tape recorders. Man!

-I have no idea who Johnny Bowtie Barstow is. He operates in a musical territory that Roland and I share a mutual interest in. I have some more rare highlights in this section on tapes that I got from Roland. If there is interest in this dark corner of the musical universe, I will glad share some more of this material. Here’s Johnny!

- Jacob Klaasse is the pianist of Jan Rot, but Roland sent me this cover of a Beach Boys classic that Jacob Klaase did at least one song all by himself. And probably more, but I haven’t asked Roland yet. Very well done!

With every mail that I get from Roland, I get a telephone book sized want list. This time a part of the list consists of full colour prints of the sleeves of the records that he is searching for. Here is a small selection: