I met René for the first time in 1987 and one of the first things I noticed was that whatever he was doing, he was always enthusiastic. I was at the time playing in a band called Naga. We would rent a van from someone who lived in the same student flat as René and this is how we met. It proved he also played in a band and had a critical attitude to things like military service, which greatly appealed to me. We became friends and it would last for 32 years.
I remember so well how he started his industrial design bureaux and was working long hours every day. He was never lazy.
One evening he and I had a few drinks together in Café "De Klok" in Delft and we decided there and then that we both would learn to fly. I will never forget it. We decided it and we did it. That was truly our spirit!
After my band Naga was disbanded, René and I started the cover band "No Erection at All". We both caught the flying bug so earning a little bit extra to pay for the flying lessons and having fun as well was very welcome. Over the years we did 375 gigs. In the end, I had to say goodbye to the band and to music as my flying activities were turning professional and I just didn't see how to combine the two any longer. It would take twenty years before I would return back to music as Long Tall J doing home recording and music production.
René stayed active in music and played with many musicians from in and around Delft. His design bureaux became very successful, and in flying he became a "tailwheel specialist" owning shares in a Vans RV7 and a DH82 Tiger Moth.
In 2019 a tragic flying accident meant that he had made his last flight on planet earth. But his memories and his positive spirit will live on and will always be remembered.
That is why I've made this musical tribute. One of my musical heroes, David Gilmour, the guitarist of Pink Floyd, has definitely influenced my style of playing. I thought it to be most fitting to use a Pink Floyd style backing track and play my white Fender Stratocaster over it in order to capture the spirit of René and everything that he stood for.
René, larger than life.
The link to the payed backing track used in this project is: