Focus Biography

Jan Akkerman biography

JAN AKKERMAN: Guitars an lute

Born: Amsterdam, December 24, 1946.

Educated: Secondary and private schools in Amsterdam.

Musical Training: Played accordion when three years of age. Took up the guitar at six, teaching himself. Played in R and B groups while still at school. Studied guitar at Amsterdan Music Lyceum for five years and won a scholarship.

Amateur Debut: With the Friendship Sextet during his schooldays.

Career: Started at 18 with his own group, called Johnny and the Cellar Rockers, wich lasted for two years and included Pierre van der Linden. Formed a new group, the Hunters, wich ran for two years. Formed the Brainbox, but quit after eight months to join Thijs van Leer in FOCUS.

Musical Influences: Django Reinhardt, Julian Bream, Charlie Parker, Elvin jones and street musicians in Holland.

Favourite Single: None.

Most influential LP: "Concerto for Orchestra" and "Third Piano Concerto", Bela Bartok.

Favourite Songwriter: Bartok.

Favourite Musician: Julian Bream.

Favourite Singer: Jack Bruce.

Instruments: Gibson Les Paul Custom and Personal, Gretsch White Falcon, all with Picato Red ultra light gauge strings. Yamaha accoustic with C and W strings, Jose Ramirez Spanish guitar with Savarex strings, Amon Meinel lute with La Bella strings, A sitar from Lahore, Fender Super Showman YFL 1000 stack with two Fender cabinets, each one containing four l5 inch speakers and a built in 200-watt solid-state amplifier, Marshall 100-watt Super Lead amplifier with two cabinets containing specially built speakers.

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Text and pictures kindly sent by Steffen Staugaard ( Denmark )

Thijs van Leer | Pierre van der Linden | Bert Ruiter
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