The group Kayak, from Het Gooi, was born in 1972 out of the High Tide Formation. The line-up that year featured: Pim Koopman (vocals, drums & guitar; ex-HTF), Ton Scherpenzeel (vocals, keyboards & bass; ex-HTF), Max Werner (vocals, mellotron & drums), Michel Marion (bass; ex-Stadium; that same year to Mayfly and replaced by Kees van Leeuwen, ex-Blues Service, Torch & Paradise) and Johan Slager (vocals, guitar; ex-HTF).

An unusual publicity campaign to promote their first single, "Lyrics", introduced the High Tide Formation - come symphonic rockers Kayak - to the pop-oriented Dutch crowds. The sales of "Lyrics", however, were not all that successful, although the single was credited to Kayak. The follow-up single, "Mammoth" reached the Top 20. The first album, "See, See The Sun", produced by Gerrit Jan Leenders and Kayak, contained nine compositions, written mostly by Ton Scherpenzeel and Pim Koopman. It was clear for all concerned that Kayak were drawing their inspiration from Yes. In fact, those Yes influences were also evident on their second, self-titled album. Prior to recording their third LP, "Royal Bed Bouncer", bass player Cees van Leeuwen was replaced by Bert Veldkamp. "Royal Bed Bouncer" turned out to be a more balanced effort overall, and the press greeted it with much enthusiasm; some music magazine articles speculated that Kayak would soon conquer the world. In reality, due to all kinds of ambiguous deals struck with record companies and agencies, this was not to be. In 1976, manager Frits Hirschland was at loggerheads with Kayak's record label EMI/Bovema. Hirschland implied that EMI/Bovema were not doing the best in order to promote the group. The members agreed with Hirschland, and Kayak switched to Phonogram. "The Last Encore" was released on that label, and was, effectively, their best album to date. Shortly thereafter, Pim Koopman left the band and went to work for EMI/Bovema as a producer. He was replaced by Charles Louis Schouten, who was still studying at the Conservatorium at the time. In early 1977, Kayak went on tour of England together with Jan Akkerman/Kaz Lux Band. Due to the lack of interest shown by the public, the tour was cancelled half way.

In 1978, the group released their next album, the somewhat disappointing "Starlight Dancer". Important personnel changes were to take place shortly thereafter. By way of advertising in the UK music paper, Melody Maker, Kayak got in contact with Edward Reekers, who was living in Berkel-Rodenrijs at the time. He became the group's new lead vocalist. Edward replaced Max Werner behind the microphone, who, in turn, replaced Charles Louis Schouten on the drum stool. Peter Scherpenzeel, brother of Ton's, stepped in on bass. Kayak also recruited the 'Kayettes': Irene Linders (Ton's wife) and Katherine Lapthorn. With this lineup, Kayak recorded "Phantom Of The Night", which became their gold record. This album, aimed primarily at the American market, contained the huge hit, "Ruthless Queen". Subsequent US sales proved this venture to be worth the group's while. American magazine Record World announced Kayak as "the most promising act of 1979". The sound of "Phantom Of The Night" was inherited by the follow-up, "Periscope Life", a record, which received less response, but, nevertheless contained another hit single, "Anne".

The follow-up, "Merlin", was a concept album about the wizard in the court of King Arthur. It revealed neo-hippie-tinged romantic fantasies of Ton Scherpenzeel's. Reekers, meanwhile, recorded an outstanding solo album, "The Last Forest".

The end of Kayak came in the form of a live farewell album, "Eyewitness", released in 1981. In early 1982, the group split up. Scherpenzeel and Slager launched a new project, Europe; Ton's old friend Bert Veldkamp was invited to play bass once again. The vocalist was John Filippo (ex-Finch) and drummer - Roger Wollaert (from Belgium, ex-Lademacher's Innersleeve). The debut album, "Europe", sounded nothing like Kayak - more in the vein of Scherpenzeel's 80s solo work.

1973 Lyrics/Try to write a book				  Imperial 5C 006-24691
     Mammoth/Ballad of the cripple			       EMI	  24838
     See see the sun/Give it a name					  24865
     LP See see the sun						      056-24933
1974 Wintertime/Alibi						      006-25035
     LP Kayak (in various countries released as "Musica popular")
1975 We are not amused/Serenades				      006-25097
     Chance for a lifetime/My heart never changed			  25339
     LP Royal bed bouncer                                      EMI 5C 064-25271
1976 Still my heart cries for you/Raid your own house		Vertigo 6012951
     Do you care/Nothingness						6012953
     LP The last encore						Vertigo 6360854
1977 Starlight dancer/Irene						6208900
     LP Starlight dancer
1978 LP Phantom of the Night
1979 LP Periscope Life
1981 LP Merlin
1981 LP Eyewitness
See see the sun					   Pseudonym, CDP 1024 DD, 1995
Kayak (second album)				   Pseudonym, CDP 1025 DD, 1995
Royal bed bouncer				   Pseudonym, CDP 1012 DD, 1994
The last encore						      Mercury 518 751-2
Starlight dancer/Phantom of the Night/Periscope Life (3 originals, 2CD)
							      Mercury 558-782-2
Merlin				   		   Pseudonym, CDP 1017 DD, 1994
Eyewitness					   Pseudonym, CDP 1018 DD, 1994
Close To The Fire				     ProActs, PRO CD 2004, 2000
Chance For A Live Time (2CD)			     ProActs, PRO CD 2027, 2001
Night Vision					     ProActs, PRO CD 2057, 2001
Merlin, Bard Of The Unseen					    KAY17, 2004
Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man (2CD)		SMH Recordings, SMHR 2515, 2005

[14-04-1973]^20*5	LYRICS   kayak
[21-07-1973]^18*4	MAMMOTH   kayak
[28-09-1974]^30*5	WINTERTIME   kayak
[13-12-1975]^31*4	CHANCE FOR A LIFETIME   kayak
[15-10-1977]^17*6	STARLIGHT DANCER   kayak
[01-07-1978]^30*3	WANT YOU TO BE MINE   kayak
[24-02-1979]^6*10	RUTHLESS QUEEN   kayak
[05-04-1980]^26*4	ANNE   kayak
[04-04-1981]^33*5	SEAGULL   kayak


This group from 't Gooi, still known as Balderdash in 1968, changed their name in 1969 into High Tide Formation and, finally, in 1971 - into KayakMembers: Ron van der Wei (g), Chiel van Praag (p), Ton Scherpenzeel (b) and Pim Koopman (dr, in 1971 replaced by ex-Amsterdam drummer Johan Slager).

1970 Fluffy/White walls Omega 35914


1977 Die eerste keer/Een broodje met zaadjes Polydor 2050449

Article submitted by: Louis Rentrop (uriahboz@zeelandnet.nl)
Discography submitted by: Adri Verhoef (a3@a3.xs4all.nl-removespam)
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