In the band from 1989-1993
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Credited for 5 songs
No. of gigs with Bodine (documented): 8
If it wasn’t for AC/DC, Erik van der Ven may never have picked up a guitar to play rock music. At 12, he started playing electric guitar and at 14, he saw Bodine play live at a festival with Picture and Highway Chile. A lot of practising helped him to develop his talent and he started playing in a band called Blackmail. After Blackmail, he played in M-Bush. The main source of inspiration for M-Bush was Iron Maiden and NWOBH-bands.
Erik’s talent was noticed when he participated in a guitar talent contest organised by Veronica’s Countdown Cafe. There were about 300 contenders. Erik won the contest and the main prize was a specially built guitar by Roberts with Countdown Cafe’s logo on it. Erik still owns it. With M-Bush, he recorded the demo “Lie in Ambush” and the band opened for Vengeance on a couple of occasions when they played in the vicinity of Oss, Noord-Brabant. After a couple of years, M-Bush fell apart.
The Vengeance boys also noticed Erik’s talent, notably Oscar Holleman. Somewhere late in the 1980s, Oscar gave Erik a call and asked him whether he was interested to audition for Bodine. According to Oscar, Erik’s musical orientation fitted neatly in the new direction that Bodine Mk–IV was taking. Since Erik had reached a dead end in M-Bush, he was eager to join. “There was a musical click right from the start,” remembers Erik, who found himself surrounded by musicians he had admired on stage as a rookie.
For a couple of years, Gerard, Jeronimo, Oscar and Erik jammed in in Oscar’s studio in Waalwijk. "After about three years, things became more serious,” says Erik. “We used to rehearse once or even twice a week and started writing songs together.” It was decided to recruit a singer. His name was Robert Soeterboek, formerly from a band called Vulture. It was as if the story of Mk-I formation repeated itself.
“When Jay replaced Robert, I started to believe in a chance at a career in music” remembers Erik. “We reached a point where we had a choice to either fiddle on or get serious. We chose the latter. Then, I had a job as an optician and I remember telling my boss that I was going to quit my job. In hindsight, I was lucky that he didn’t let me go. Instead, he proposed that I work part-time for a while and see how things develop.”
It turned out to be a smart move, because a couple of months later, Bodine fell apart, this time indefinitely.
Erik has fond memories of his Bodine days. “I learned an awful lot from Gerard and Oscar, about playing music and stage presentation as well. I was pretty naive still when I joined them and I had a chance to develop. We recorded five songs on demo and played live five or six times. And I got to play songs like Rock Machine and Rock Rosetta live. I also remember that one time we were invited to play at a local radio station somewhere in the north of Noord-Holland. It must have been in Anna Paulowna or Hippolytushoef. We played a couple of songs unplugged. After we left the studio, we tuned into the station on our car radio, thinking it was a quite a deal that we were on air; only to find out that after 20 kilometers of traveling the station had no coverage. Man, did we have a laugh!”
After Bodine stopped, Erik resumed to making a living as an optician. He continued his musical activites with Gerard Haitsma playing clubs and cafes for a while, until he joined blues band Big Bad Wolf. After BBW, Erik again teamed up once more with Gerard and still later he played with Jeronimo in a band called Bony Moronie. At the end of 2011, Erik joined the Foo Fighters tribute band and is hoping to play at a number of festivals in 2012.
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