Amsterdam though in reality only half an hours drive from The Hague, seemed at the beginning of the sixties hundreds of miles away. The indorock, which was booming in that town, stayed almost invisible for the capitol city off Amsterdam. Indorock which was a form off rock and roll mixed with traditional indonesian rhythms, would become the catalyst for the beatexplosion in The Hague. In Amsterdam it was the visit off the Beatles which sparkled the growth off a huge beatscene. At that time though the number off clubs was still very limited. Bands with some ambition had to play in sleazy nightclubs like Las Vegas, or the better and bigger Rembrandtpleintheatre.
In de middle of the sixties beatmusic and the Provo movement were fighting for the attention of the youth. This politically motivated lot became a serious threat to the local authority. They resisted against the arrogant way that local government, police and big capitalist ruled the country. Resistance consisted of ‘ludieke acties” whereby the walking public and the police were nonviolently provoked. The most famous off these happenings took plays in the centre of town at the Spui square, round the statue of “Het lieverdje”. Aspired by the great anti-smoking magician Robert Jasper Grootveld the Provo’s proclaimed war against the big cigarette producers. At the same time they were passing flowers to passersby. Despite these soft demonstrations the police intervened violently in lots of occasions.
At the height of the movement in ‘66 a few members threw smokebombs during the wedding ceremony of the future queen to be Beatrix. In the years to come Provo would eventually fuse with the broader progressive protestmovement and the hippiescene.
The two youthcultures, beatmusic and provo, had a big influence on eachother. Provo’s liked to affiliate with the longhaired musicians, and there were some provos would tryed, not very successfully by the way, to make records. One off their chiefs Roel van Duijn ones said the aims of Beatmusic and Provo were the same. “Beatfans write down the names off Provos and beatmusicians on the walls. That's good”. Just to make his position clear, he sais in the same article that he believes the wellknown Dutch troubadour Boudewijn de Groot, to be a nitwit and certainly not a beatnik.
Tthere were provos like Jonny de Selfkicker and the provowriter Simon Vinkenoog who influenced young musicians with there uplifting performances. In many occasions seeing those figures meant that bandmembers went copying there acts, which made there liveperformances more vibrant.
In 1966 Amsterdam had managed to be a big competitor against The Hague in the quality and quantity of bands and venues. Now there were concerts being held everywhere: in clubs with names like: The Hubbubclub in the Spinazolyceum, The Rotanhuis, The Bavohuis etc. One of the newer and hipper clubs, The Sigma club, would give broader entertainment than just Live bands, with strange performances. It was organized by Simon Vinkenoog. Besides the houseband Short ’66 they planned to give the audience poets, workshops and other alternative artists. But after its opening in The Doelen in november ’66, the project never really came off the ground.
During de summer of ’67 Amsterdam became infected with the Love-In virus. The capitol city of the Netherlands would become one of the capitol cities in the world for the Hippiescene, with the Vondelpark as its Magic centre. The liberal drugspolicies, and the openminded ideas about the sex were big benefactors to this development.
At that time Amsterdam had surpassed The Hague as the most important city for popmusic. To accommodate the ever growing numbers of Hippies, bigger venues were sought. On the 29 th of october 1967 a large group of longhaired scum marched out of the Vondelpark, because off the cold, in search off a warmer place to organize a Love-In. They moved up to a former Church at the Weteringsschans. This big place was promised to them by the local government as a poptempel, but a decision was haltered, so they went ahead to squatter the place. After the brake- in it didn’t take the police long to arrive, and beat the hippies back out on the street. Eventually the Club got its approval and one off the most important popclubs, which is still open today, would open its doors: The Paradiso.
Club Paradiso in 1968
Besides this big club there were numerous smaller clubs at that time like Beatclub ’66 and Club ’67.
In the late summer of 1967 a big hippie event was organized ‘Hai (which stood for stoned) in the Rai’.It would be the rehearsal for the even bigger Lowlands Paradise events in Utrecht. Hai in the Rai meant lots of alternative music and passing the Hashpipe. In ’68 Amsterdam got two new bigger venues behind its walls: Club Fantasio and Lijn 3. Fantasio, which opened its doors just recently again, suppost to be a cosmic relaxation centre, by which the guest good blow out their minds and drink a cup of herbal thee. It turned into a worldfamous place in just a short time.
Lijn 3 was a place under the bridge which crosses the Vondelpark. Bigger and lesser bands could show their stuff in this dark setting. In this period a new phenomenon called Provadya was starting to get popular. The first of them were organized in 67 in Felix Meritas. Provadya meant music, lightshows, sexmovies, magicians etc. It was a sort of syntheses between the Provohappenigs and Beatmusic.
When Felix Meritas didn’t want to give more room to this experiment, because they preferred the performances of the Dutch chansonnier Ramses Shaffy, these Provadya’s were continued in club Fantasio. They became so popular that it started a nationwide hype, which would go on until 1970.