FOCUS ON FANS

A PLACE TO THE LETTERS FROM FOCUS´ FANS IN THE WEB
Part 4 - From 26/nov/97 till 03/feb/98
03/feb/98

Rodrigo,

I stumbled on your page doing a random search for Thijs Van Leer and was very
pleased! I just introduced my 10 year old son ,a budding flutist , to Focus
and Van Leer ( the Montreaux Summit 2 LP ). It's great to have updated info
as I lost track of these fine players many years ago. What really bugs me is
finding out that Thijs lives in Mill. I was there 2 years ago and had no
idea. Oh well.... Keep up the good work. I'll be checking back regularly.

Dave Cohen Pete Bardens' Mirage

29/jan/98 I had a look at the comments page on your site recently and saw that a TV programme has been made in the Classic Albums series about Moving Waves. Does anyone know if it was made in English or if it is part of the same series that included Electric Ladyland and Rumours If so, I will keep a sharp eye out for it. I have been searching (without success) for years and years to find a video of focus playing together in the good old days. Does one exist? Anybody know? I have a 3 minute recording of them playing Hocus Pocus on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1972 which is pretty wonderful. Jan spends most of his time laughing at Thijs and Thijs seems very earnest when he gets to yodelling (if that's how you spell it!). I also have a video from the late eighties called Night of the Guitars on which Jan wipes the floor with every other participent (people like Robin Trower etc). The BBC must have a load of stuff on video that was recorded for the Whistle Test show. I tried (in vain) a few years ago to get a friend of mine in the TV business to get hold of the tapes so that I could dump a VHS tape from them. My friend chickened out. Could anyone else do this? I believe tapes can be requested for the making of documentaries etc. Perhaps a concerted effort by a group of fans could bring this about? I would be willing to contact them in the first instance if there is enough support for this idea. I have some contacts who could do conversions of the videos to PAL, NTSC, SECAM or broadcast standard BETA.SP etc. You have a great website Rodrigo. Julian Evans - England
22/jan/98 Fiquei muito feliz por conhecer este site, pois sou fã do Focus desde o ínicio dos anos 70. Gostaria de saber se voce tem alguma informação sobre videos do Focus, porque só consegui uma cópia (ruim) do Raimbow Concert apresentado na TV. Obrigado. Jose Luiz Marchesin - Brasil
16/jan/98 Hola: mi nombre es Adrián Cacciatore, soy Argentino y fanatico de Focus desde que lo escuche por primera vez en el año 1974 en un programa de radio que sintonice por casualidad. Segui su historia musical y hasta el dia de hoy escucho su musica (tengo todos sus discos en vinilo y cd). Me encantaria que me envien informacion, y por sobre todo noticias sobre la posible re-union que lei en Internet. Por ahora, te dejo un saludo afectuoso y espero tu mail. Un abrazo enorme....... Adrián Cacciatore - Argentina
06/jan/98 Hi Rodrigo! At first I want to compliment you with your Focus website! It looks terrific! Secondly I was really surprised that there nowdays is still such a great interest in my all time favourite band! I am a fan of Focus since they released the single "House of the king" here in The Netherlands. I saw them live on stage in 1973 (when I was 19 years old) in a school in my hometown Zaandam (10 kilometres north of Amsterdam). That was a concert I will never forget! I never saw them together live anymore, only on TV. I have all there albums and c.d.'s, and also most of the soloalbums of Thijs and Jan. In 1996 I went to see the Jan Akkerman Band with my son, the music he played was fabulous, but in a way I missed the interaction with Thijs. In December last year I went to A Christmas concert in Leeuwarden in which Thijs participated. He played on the 300 year old curchorgan and played some tunes of Bach and Haendel on flute it was beautiful! He also introduced the new Focus guitarplayer Menno Gootjes, he played a new song called Focus VII, accompanied by Thijs on piano, that was really magnificent! Later Thijs played the flute again and Menno accompanied him on the piano in Rondo (from Introspection I) and a Mozart flute concerto. They also participated in songs from other artists. I enjoyed it very much! Bye the way in the new Focus are also Hans Cleuver on drums and Bert Ruiter on baseguitar. They are at the moment working on a new album, I have heard. I hope to hear something from you soon Best wishes for the new year from Irene Heinicke - Netherlands
01/jan/98 Have you heard anything about the rumored Focus re-union that was supposed to have taken place last year (97)? If so is there any info on it? Richard Bell richardb@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
28/dec/97 Help!! I've been searching everywhere for the CD by the Dutch band Focus entitled "Con Proby". I need to purchase it. Is it available on CD now? And where can I get it without a huge hassle? I live in Canada. Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, to be precise. Our local music stores have been hopeless in helping me purchase this CD. Do you have a telephone or an email number of someone who can help me get this CD? Please advise me, thank you. Patrick Sullivan Nanaimo, B.C., Canada email: sullivpm@mala.bc.ca
27/dec/97 Muito legal a página dedicada ao Focus. É uma ótima maneira de divulgar o trabalho deste grupo que, para mim, foi o maior grupo instrumental que já existiu, hoje, infelizmente, relegado ao esquecimento. Sou guitarrista e gostaria de trocar partituras e dicas sobre os solos do Jan Akkerman. Parabéns pela iniciativa ! Sergio - Brasil
26/dec/97 Can you please tell me whether or not the album Introspection is available on CD. I am aware the original album was recorded in 1972. It was under the CBS label and the number is S 64589. Thank you. My email is Qwerty909@Aol.com
23/dec/97 Hi world! I wish everyone out there a merry Christmas and a very happy new year! Carsten - Netherlands
16/dec/97 HI RODRIGO ! Thanks for the addresses of new Focus sites, they are valuable. And thank you for readdressind me to Timothy, I have contacted him and whait for his response. As I got from your reply you have got me a little wrong. "Moving Waves" was the very first Focus recording that I was able to get. Then I purchased "Hamburger Concerto", "In and out of Focus", "Shop of Memories", "Mother Focus", "Focus III" and finally "Live at the Rainbow". I should say that all Focus albums (with the exception for P.J.Proby and Co. and in a certain extent Mother Focus) are of highest quality. But the most belowed albums were and I think would remain "Focus III" and "Moving Waves". Those are among the best in Art Rock (to my mind). Unfornatuly all these Focus recordings that I have are CDs. No LPs... I don't know if you are satisfied with the sound quality that CD can offer. As we (me too) were promised the "perfect sound forever" by Sonny/Philips gang we all turned digital. Many years I thought too that CDs are superior to any analog source (LPs, tapes, etc.) until I started reading some HIGH END magazines that were full with article for CD vs LP combating. They were claiming that properly cut LPs (heavy vinyl LPs) sound more true to the analog tapes than the CDs cut from the same tapes. That looked like heresy, you know. But the most terrible thing was that those high end people were absolutely right. Vinyl is all analogue and CD is analogue-to-digital-to-analogue. When processing analogue information to digital you lose something very important, it's getting cold, mechanical and untrue. I have recently purchased ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery" album cut from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g high quality vinyl. So I compared it to my Rhino CD. Though I have very modest system the difference was clear, especially with acoustic instruments. Today there are lots of HQ Vinyl reissues for many artists including some Art Rockers (Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, ELP, etc.) but ... no Focus. So my idea was to tell MIke Vernon or better Jan and Thijs to think about high quality 180g virgin vinyl reissue for any of Focus albums. The market can't accept multi million issues but 5.000 pcs. (as usually issued by high end companies) are quite OK. Of course that's not a real business but who thinks that real music is commercial. I don't. If You take it more or less seriously please contact Timothy and Jan or Thijs through him. Please note that's only my opinion, I might be wrong, and no one else seek for better preserved Focus music, but anyway I hope that before old analogue masters turn to ash somebody would use them for cutting great Focus LPs. Than You for reading that long, wait for your response, Kirill Demjanov. - Moscow
13/dec/97 HI RODRIGO ! I am Focus fan since early 1993 when I purchased Moving Waves CD. It shook me, I have never thought the progressive rock might vary much from Yes, ELP, or any other big names, but Focus did. Focus is a very specific music. Thank You for Your site, it is great! Do you have any contacts with Mike Vernon ? Do you know his e-mail ? I want to send him some of my questions on technical side of Focus. If You can send it to me that would be nice ! Thank You again for your cool site, best regards, Kirill Demjanov, Moscow, Russia.
10/dec/97 Rodrigo- my name is mark mancina and I am a film composer (Speed, Twister, Conair) and record producer (ELP and YES). I can't find any of the Van Leer Introspection cds anywhere here in the states. Do you know where I could order them? I'd really appreciate your help. thanks mark mancina
08/dec/97 Ficou bem mais legal este novo visual de sua home-page!!! Luciano - Brasil
07/dec/97 Caro Rodrigo Já te enviei anteriormente um e-mail a respeito de onde conseguir cd's do Thijs Van Leer da coleção "INTROSPECTION" , pois não consegui achar nas lojas do ramo .Se você puder ajudar ! Meu endereço eletrônico é mailto:mgmonte@gold.com.br Um abraço Marcilio Moura Monteiro - Belo Horizonte - BR
05/dec/97 Fala amigo Mantovani Obrigado pelo Link espero que a página ajude a todos nas pesquisas dos grupos. Sua página tambem é muito boa. Eu tenho algumas idéias sobre páginas só para grupos mas no momento estou cheio de trabalho. Sobre os Links do Focus Valeu a chamada, geralmente tiro uma hora por dia no trabalho para dar uma olhada nos links e depois atualizar, só que esta semana não deu tempo. Estou indo para L.A a trabalho e só volto no dia 15 de dezembro. Vou subir um update hoje sexta-feira. Mais uma vez obrigado. Carlos Vaz - Brasil
26/nov/97 I picked Jan's 'Blues Hearts' up in the Netherlands (a music shop in Leeuwarden called Van Den Akker, believe it or not) a couple of summers ago. I can't get a scan to you now, but here's the track list, with Akkerman's inner sleeve track notes. 1. Wake Up! - Basement tape, found in an old rehearsal room and now re-recorded. This rockfeel is timeless. 2. Blues Route '94 - There's this big blues festival in the city of Utrecht in Holland where I used to jam a lot with my friend Ronald Abrahms, a blues player from Chicago. Ron died last year. This is a tribute to him. 3. Milestones - On tour with Focus we always jammmed to this piece by Miles Davis. I gave it a harmonious Spanish turn. 4. Red Pool House Blues - Written at the Royal Red Pool Lounge on the island of Curacao. 5. No Gossip - Mr. Tom Salisbury on piano. As you can hear he played a lot with the Pointer Sisters, James Ingram, Quincey Jones and all these people ... 6. Virgin Mary - Get a glimpse of her purity, innocence and beauty! 7. Traffic Jam - Bass-line groove, but the horns give this piece the 'nobody home' feeling. 8. Mercy, mercy, mercy - I recorded this years ago. Doing it again, I realize what a great tune it is. 9. Soft Focus - Inspired by Man Ray, as he sometimes was filming through stained glass to obtain a special effect. Blues Hearts - 1994 - EMI Music Holland #7243 8 310 91 2 8. Bill Whitehouse - U.S.A.



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