From left to right: Menno Gootjes, Hans Cleuver, Thijs van Leer, Bert Ruiter (the new FOCUS line-up) and D.J. Mark Deren
From left to right: Menno Gootjes, Hans Cleuver, Thijs van Leer, Bert Ruiter (the new FOCUS line-up) and D.J. Mark Deren. Picture from the new line-up kindly sent by Tim Baugh.


On Sunday, April 5th Thijs van Leer performs with the Metropole Orchestra on the occasion of the 75o birthday of a Dutch broadcasting organisation called AVRO. He is interviewed by Jetske van Staa. (female). Interview kindly translated and sent by Irene Heinicke.

Jetske First congratulates on your 50th birthday, last Tuesday, Thijs!
Thijs Thanks!
Jetske Something very special is that tomorrow you will announce the new Focus line-up.
Thijs Yes, tomorrow will be the press-presentation in Amsterdam. Except from the "Oldies" Bert Ruiter on bassguitar and Hans Cleuver on drums, we have a new guitarplayer, some kind of "Wonderchild" who's 22 years old and who's name is Menno Gootjes. Tomorrow we are going to present ourselves for the first time.
Jetske What is exactly your goal, are you going to sound like the seventies or aren't you?
Thijs Well we're going to play the old repertoire, but will mainly focus upon new stuff. In October we're going to start a tour along some main theatres in The Netherlands and Flemish Belgium first, later also to other countries. Most likely the first theatre will be Carré Amsterdam.
Jetske You just could not let go or something like that?
Thijs Yes, well I don't know really, it's not only a nostalgic feeling, it's actually hardly nostalgic, but most of the old stuff could stand the ravages of time and the new compositions are good enough to be heard again.
Jetske What is your part in all of this?
Thijs I'll be mainly playing the Hammondorgan in the group and I sing and yodel with some kind of turkey...
Jetske What? Yodel?
Thijs Yes you know the English word "turkey" has 2 meanings: a country and a bird. In the new repertoire there is a new piece called "Hurkey Turkey. In it there's a fragment with yodeling that sounds like a turkey.
Jetske Let's hear some of it, so we know what you mean by that.
Thijs I can't do that right now, because my voice is a bit broken. (He tries to do the yodelling from Hocus Pocus, but his voice sounds a bit hoarse)
Jetske I had better not asked you to do that, because you start to get lost on all parts.
Thijs Yes the problem is actually that my voice is a bit broken, but anyhow we will do a song that once was recorded by Richard Harris, who also "talk" sang himself, so I will take my chances.
Jetske But didn't he have problems with the higher parts of the song?
Thijs Yes, O.K., well maybe I will talk in these parts or something like that, but I also play the piano along with it.
Jetske Ladies and gentlemen, here's Thijs van Leer with "McArthur Park".

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