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Jamming sessions

Oscar Holleman was a guitarist and co-founder of Dutch power rock band Vengeance, which was established in 1983. Holleman was a great fan of AC/DC and together with Arjen Lucassen, he was responsible for the sound of Vengeance. Holleman recorded two albums with Vengeance and then left the band in early 1987. In 1989, he rang Gerard Haitsma and invited him to come over to his studio and jam together. Gerard brought along Jeronimo as well and all agreed it was worth a repeat.

M-Bush

After a while, the need was felt to complete the line up with a second guitarist and a singer. Oscar Holleman remembered a talented young guitarist he had seen play as a support act for Vengeance a couple of years earlier. His name was Erik van der Ven and he was a member of M-Bush. Erik had won a specially designed guitar in a contest and like Oscar Holleman, he was an AC/DC fan.

Singer

Similar to the formation of Mk-I, the position of a singer was filled in last. The band had the idea that a Steve Marriott-type singer would fit in the band. Some attempts were even made to reach Steve Marriott himself, but to no avail. Auditions were held, but the level of the applicants for the postion behind the micophone was disappointing. Until one day in 1990 Robert Soertboek turned up. "I remember meeting him in the studio," Erik van der Ven recalls. "After what we had heard from other applicants we didn't get our hopes up too high. But when Robert started singing "Since You've Been Gone" by Russ Ballard, we were impressed! This guy could make a difference!"

Robert Soeterboek, who had made his first singing career steps in Vulture, was recruited. Now, the five of them worked on songs together. However, after a while, both melodically and lyrically, compositions didn't seem to turn out right. The band decided to hire someone who could help out with the singing parts and the lyrics. The bold idea was spawned to approach Jay van Feggelen to compose the voice melody and to write the lyrics. Jeronimo was the go-between between the band an Jay. He took some tapes to Jay and asked him if he could write lyrics and music to the songs. Jeronimo did not give away too many details about the line-up. Jay didn't rush into things but after a while he delivered two songs. "I wasn't very much inspired at first" Jay said, "especially after I found out that Gerard was the drummer on the tape that I sang to." The two of them hadn't sorted out things after the rumourous split in October 1981.

Direction

The intention was still that Soeterboek would sing the songs that were completed by Jay. After a while, however, the band concluded unanimously that it still didn't work out well enoguh. According to an article in Aardschok, it was Soeterboek himself who volunteered in getting original members Haitsma and Jay back to gether again, in an ateempt to involve him more with the creative process.
He couldn't foresee that this would lead to the final downfall of Bodine, about a year later.

A delegation including Gerard and Robert went to visit Jay at his home. He happened to be in a good mood since his daughter was having a birthday party. Jay agreed to help out the band in the studio, initially to coach Robert singing. At long last, Jay decided it would be best if he would sing the lyrics himself and thus Robert Soeterboek - benevolantly - stepped aside. Jay became a constant member. Bodine's fourth line-up was complete.

New material

The band rehearsed once or twice a week in Oscar Holleman's studio in Waalwijk. About 13 songs were written, five of which were recorded on demo. The following titles were mentioned in Aardschok: Mephistopholes, Give It To Me, Leave I Must, Promise Of Love, One happy S.O.B., Mean and Talk Humanity.

 

Bodine Mk IVBodine Mk IV.    L2R: Erik van der Ven, Gerard Haitsma, Jay van Feggelen, Jeroen Bos, Oscar Holleman
© Willy Verdiesen

Logistics

Bodine received some airplay on KRO's CAROLA and VARA's VUURWERK and played a couple of live shows, earning praise  from the audience. It appeared as if Bodine was close to another breakthrough, when suddenly the band fell apart once more. Logistical problems were a constant barrier to rehearse and Holleman was asked as a producer for other projects, which took away focus from Bodine. In early 1993, Bodine's demise was definite.

Aftermath

1996_Smilin_Ears_Bonus_disc-frontBodine promo CD that came with Smilin' Ears Magazine (1996)

The vinyl records were re-issued on two CDs on Pseudonym records in 1996, but Bodine would not arise from the ashes once more. A promo of the CD-releases was distributed though Smilin' Ears Magazine.

Chances that Bodine is ever going to reunite appear to be slim. Axel Langemeijer is no longer among us and each of the formerly involved musicians has chosen a different path of life, which gives little opportunity for another attempt to revive Bodine.

Some questions still beg for answers, though. How do the persons involved with Bodine look back on their musical partnership? Has it been worthwhile for them? In what way does Bodine play a part in their lives nowadays? Do they still listen to their music? Hopefully these questions will be answered some time in future.



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