Last April, I was interviewed by the website The Legacy Of Music. It was mainly about the records we made and the shows we gave in the eighties. Below the Facebook update were a lot of messages about This Is Welfare. Apparently the song still evokes streams of warm memories, shared by people of our generation.
I still find it amazing that they say The Dutch contributed to the soundtrack of that period. It is fair to say our miraculous resurrection could well have gone unnoticed without all those fans who remember The Dutch, especially from that one pièce de resistance. But good gracious, all those personal memories and emotions, surely they are heart-warming, but as a matter of fact we don’t have that much time for nostalgia. We just don’t care much about retro, golden oldies and eighties revivals. We need to move on people! This Is Welfare cannot help it but it sets us on our first creative flowering period while we are busy working with the second.
Anyway. The fans want This Is Welfare, there is no escape. We’re no match for so much love. We usually keep the song for the encore. And then, our newest songs are a bit jealous because of all the phones flashing on.
We have to admit, occasionally we too suffer from good old Sehnsucht. This was sparked when we watched the only television recording ever made of This Is Welfare. On 20 November 1983, we starred in Nederland Muziekland, a playback music show. Playback, nowadays almost non-existent, except perhaps in the really rancid programs. But in those days nearly every music program was a pantomime parade. Guitarists who had taken a cord to pretend to be really playing were told by the producer: “Don’t bother man, nobody does.” It was fake, but everyone did it, so nobody cared. We did of course, but hey, if you wanna be famous you gotta compromise every now and then.
And so, that afternoon in Leiden, the cameras swung from Rubberen Robbie -yes indeed- to The Dutch. You can still see the Robbies walk away as presenter Chiel van Praag announces a “new group, they come from Amsterdam, they’re called The Dutch.”
After a long search we found the footage, well hidden in the Dutch broadcast archives. It is… a sentimental journey. So, for all the fans who like This Is Welfare, now there’s footage of the lads who played it, and those young faces make us swoon. Immerse yourself in nostalgia, and could we then leave those daunting eighties behind us? There are new exciting musical adventures in the offing. There’s more where that came from.
September 9, 2017