Hans Vander Wall, A Dutch Rockabilly Gone Stateside

Well, to answer your question of age, "I'm old enough to know better, but too young to resist". Actually I'm 55, and I was there when rock was born. Sounds like an old Johnny Cash tune doesn't it, but it's true. I grew up listening to Carl Perkins, Cash, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and the rest, not to mention the fabulous Burnette family... .and who would have thought that later in my life I would end up playing drums for various rockabilly bands. Too cool!

When we first left Holland, my family emmigrated to Canada where I lived most of my life. I ended up on the west coast, by myself during the late sixties, where I began my music carreer, such as it was, got married, divorced, married again, raised a family, divorced again, yeah I know... poor taste in women LOL.

Then one day almost two years ago I met this wonderful woman on ICQ. We talked for over a year, then finally we met. I moved my computer business to the States and have been here ever since. I guess you could say we are one of those rare internet relationships that actually worked.

Now I'm trying to get some of my music chops back, cause I really do miss performing, nothin' like hitting a groove and watching people dancing and digging the music. The bands I played with back in the good old days and I'm speaking of the late '70s, early '80s, were what you might call local bands, notably "Cadillac Bob", "Livin' Proof" and many more over my so-called career. We were local, but were road bands and travelled that great 25,000 mile bar, on the west coast; playing every sleaze bar and honky-tonk we could book, being away from home six weeks at a time.

There was one point were we got to the point of almost getting a recording contract in '82, so close as to put out a press release, but before we could sign the papers, the band had a falling out and we broke up. Such is the nature of the biz, but it was a blast none the less. I loved playing the small clubs, you know the ones, in small towns, it seems that people there really appreciate the live music and you get a great feedback when you play, which in turn you give right back through your music and everybody rocks the night away. Big sigh! I sure do miss that...

I quit playing in '84, my family life was paying a heavy price, I have one son, Justin, and he was becoming a hand full so I decided to take myself off the road and find a new career; sold my drums, guitar, sound system and motorcycle. It broke my heart to have to do it but it was necessary. Got into computers then, became a database designer and later a systems analyst. But that's another story entirely.

So, a few months back Karen and I were snooping around some pawn shops and second hand stores (always lookin' for a bargain) and spotted a Fender SB220 Dreadnaught Acoustic for only $200 and grabbed it. It was so cool to finally be able to plunk about after all these years, but quickly discovered that I had forgatten almost all the tunes I knew. Not to mention having to relearn progressions etc.. My voice was gone as well, but that's the fun of playing; practice, practice, practice... I'm still doing all this just for fun and practice, but Karen is hard after me to think about going out and playing again, but I have to keep telling her that I'm a drummer, not a guitar player, although I do enjoy pickin' and grinnin' LOL.

As I've said, I'm a programmer/analyst, but also a website designer and computer artist and a really bad poet too, but I love to write, so we decided, hell we have the company website, why not incorperate the music, art and graphics into the site... which we did. not only that but I have a number of music composition apps (Cakewalk, Cool Edit Pro) which I'm trying to learn to use when time allows, have a look at the results, you may get a kick out of the last tune "The Breeze".


Keep on Rockin'
H. Anthony Vander Wall


For BlackCat Rockabilly Europe, May 2001