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Jan Akkerman Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by $tratcat, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. $tratcat

    $tratcat Member

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    Back in the early 70's, I was a complete blues snob. If it wasn't blues, I wasn't interested.
    Then I heard bands like Mahavishnu, RTF (Bill Connors) and Focus. When I heard Jan Akkerman for the first time, it was when a friend played me the "Live at the Rainbow" album and I was floored. I started buying everything I could find by Focus and Jan's solo albums, including Profile and Guitar for Sale. For anyone that's heard the live version of Eruption (not EVH) on the Rainbow album, I imagine that you were as impressed as i was at his technique, phrasing and tone - remember this was (I believe) 1973. And, to top it all off, he can play something like this Dowland piece!
    I only got to see him live once: on the Hamburger Concerto tour at Kent State University, opening for Roy Buchanan(!) and he was amazing.
    Anyone else have any special memories or favorites re: Jan?
     
  2. ArchDukeOfTops

    ArchDukeOfTops Member

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    I still pull out Moving Waves when I want to get my Jan Akkerman fix.

    That tone he gets in Erruption when he plays the motif is benchmark for me. You can tell he's playing an amp that is pushed to the limit, screaming into feedback. Good stuff.
     
    amoodymule and $tratcat like this.
  3. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Huge fan of his Focus years and early solo records.
    Unique, tons of facility, risk-taker, knowledgeable, some amazing sounds...
     
    IGuitUpIGuitDown and $tratcat like this.
  4. Harryq

    Harryq Member

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    It's hard to explain, but I find Jan Akkerman's music, solo as well as with Focus, to be life affirming and joyful. I just feel better after listening to it. I also love the fact that he's not afraid to make a mistake in pushing himself to his limits. Long may he play!
     
  5. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

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    Love him.
     
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  6. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    FINALLY finding Moving Waves (was out of print in the late 70s) after realizing THAT was the band doing that weird-ass extremely catchy "Hocus Pocus" tune with all the manic yodeling - changed me forever as a lead guitarist. I learned all of Jan's riffs, and still play them. HP is actually rather tricky to play, his chord voicings are quick. Unlike some other very famous lead guitarists, Jan's note choices "spoke" to me. If they don't, then I'm not on board. Fame has nothing to do with true music.

    And "Janis" is a frickin' masterpiece of mood and Thijs's overdubbed flute solos. :bow
    Only Eruption loses me after too many Pupillas, Eurydices, and whatnot. A sort of structured jam. Which was really a huge amount of Focus 3.
    Still, I like their inventive wandering though those wispy, canal-ed Amsterdammian(?!) soundscapes!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  7. ak301

    ak301 Member

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    Amazing player, a huge influence on the guy who got me into the guitar Phil Collen of Def Leppard and by default me

    I saw Jan play a solo acoustic show about 10 to 15 years ago and he was incredible
    People were calling for the Focus hits all night and he finally conceded and blazed through solo versions of Hocus Pocus with Jan playing the yodelling parts on the guitar

    Spectacular player but I've heard he's not the nicest chap but I can live with that considering how great a player he is
     
  8. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    Focus III is still in regular rotation for me. We used to play (or attempted to play) "Hocus Pocus" back when it was a hit on the radio. Yikes!
     
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  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Similar to your experiences. I got into them after (was that yodeling song also called Hocus Pocus? I think so ) first hearing that one hit, bought "moving waves" and then like you...everything else I could find including all of Jan's solo albums.

    And that also was in the 70's for me.

    Weird thing, years later I had to spend a lot of time on sites (it systems) in the Netherlands. Made funds with many Dutch colleagues. Say more than twenty and some of them also were into music.
    Not ONE of them knew who Jan Akkerman was or is. Even when I tried to explain, and about that one song, telling the ones that seemed to like jazz or other music, they ought to check him out. I got the impression they weren't interested.
     
  10. Carltone

    Carltone Gold Supporting Member

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    I love Jan's music in all phases of his career... he has a great feel and wonderful knack for melody!
     
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  11. UliM

    UliM Silver Supporting Member

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    I love Jan's music as well. Living in Germany, I saw him quite often, especially in the 80s. He often played in a small club, called Conni'sCome In"', mostly trio gigs, they were all amazing. Love his self-titled album (great cover!) and "Can't stand noise", the first track "Pietons" has a wonderful cool groove.
     
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  12. wajobu

    wajobu Supporting Member

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    BIG yes to Jan Akkerman!

     
  13. Vishnu

    Vishnu Member

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    this for me too.....been a an avid fan since HOCUS POCUS single
     
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  14. ArchDukeOfTops

    ArchDukeOfTops Member

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    Imagine being a budding guitar player in the mid-90's, and your Dad thumbs through all his ELP, Yes, Brand X, etc. records to put Moving Waves on the turntable.

    The old stereo system took up a whlole living room wall in our middle class home. Jan Akkerman filled the rest of the house, and blew my mind.

    Thanks Dad.
     
    fataxeman, Tonekat, $tratcat and 2 others like this.
  15. Braciola

    Braciola Silver Supporting Member

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    Incredible guitarist!




     
  16. Little_Wing

    Little_Wing Member

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    Those blistering guitar solos in HP always blew me away.
     
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  17. Jiminvan

    Jiminvan Supporting Member

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    Anybody know what amp he was playing on Rainbow? I think he played Hagstrom guitars back then but amp...?
     
  18. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Was he using that Fender Super Showman?
     
  19. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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  20. Jiminvan

    Jiminvan Supporting Member

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    Could be. Whatever it is has an awesome mix of clarity, edge, and touch sensitivity that's beautiful. Answers Questions Questions Answers has always blown me away for both his playing and his tone.
     
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