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Promotiefoto Kayak, 2011 (Bron: officiële website)


1972 - current


symphonic rock


Officiële website


Authoritative symphonic rock band from the '70s.
Full biography


Joost Vergoossen   gitaar
Ton Scherpenzeel   toetsinstrumenten, zang
Edward Reekers   zang
Rob Vunderink   gitaar, zang
Jan Van Olffen   basgitaar
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Former members

Michel Marion   basgitaar
Johan Slager   gitaar, zang
Bert Heerink   zang
Pim Koopman   drums
Charles Schouten   drums
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Mentioned in the biography of

1954   Ernst Reijseger
1972   Ton Scherpenzeel
1974   Western Justice
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Biography Kayak

Authoritative symphonic rock band from the '70s.


Ton Scherpenzeel, Pim Koopman, Max Werner, Johan Slager and Michel Marion form Kayak. They are influenced by bands like Yes.

Cees van Leeuwen Chiel Van Praag Gallery High Tide Formation


Kayak's debut single Lyrics enters the Top 40 and the debut album See See The Sun gets good reviews. The second single Mammoth does even better in the charts. Scherpenzeel and Koopman are the band's foremost composers.


In May the second album is released and gradually Kayak becomes more of an album group: It takes until September until they release a single (Wintertime) from the album.


The self-entitled LP Kayak is released. The single taken from this album is We Are Not Amused. At the end of the year the album Royal Bed Bouncer comes out, a highlight in the band's career so far.


Kayak signs to Vertigo, a Philips sub label, and releases the album The Last Encore.



Early this year the band goes to the UK to support Jan Akkerman/Kaz Lux Band for several gigs. The single Starlight Dancer, which precedes the album with the same name, climbs the Dutch charts.

Jan Akkerman Kaz Lux


Promotiefoto 1978 (Bron: Collectie Popinstituut, UvA Bijzondere Collecties) The album Starlight Dancer is a commercial success and the single Want You To Be Mine even enters the Billboard Hot 100 Singles. The band's line-up undergoes several changes: Max Werner takes over as drummer; Peter Scherpenzeel is the new bassist and Edward Reekers the new singer. With the new line-up the band's sound moves away from symphonic rock to a more AOR (alternative oriented rock) sound.

Ekseption Taurus


The album is the band's most successful album so far and the single Ruthless Queen tops the charts.

Max Werner


Opname 14 april 1980 voor de AVRO (Bron: fotocollectie Beeld en Geluid) Periscope Life comes out.

Edward Reekers


The concept album Merlin is released and the single Seagull enters the Top 40. Max Werner in the meantime releases the single Rain In May. The songs becomes a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic but is also criticised because of alleged plagiarism (Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight). Later that year Kayak releases the live album Eyewitness.


Kayak splits up.



Guitarist/singer Johan Slager and singer Dorien Teeuwisse form the band Plus Doreen, which will last until 1996. Amongst others it will release the album Got To Be Love.

Plus Doreen


Reekers sings on the Dutch version of Tom Parker's The Commandments.


Pim Koopman and Ton Scherpenzeel perform together.

De Kast


In May the new Kayak album Close To The Fire comes out. The band goes on tour but the first shows are cancelled because Max Werner is ill. Halfway through the tour Max Werner quits. Bert Heerink (ex-Vandenberg) becomes the new lead vocalist.

Bert Heerink De Kast Youp van 't Hek


The live album Chance For A Live Time is released. In the summer the band goes into the studio to record Kayak's 12th album Night Vision. In October Universal releases a 2CD with the band's greatest hits.


In July ex-bassist Cees van Leeuwen becomes State Secretary of Culture. Joost Vergoossen replaces guitarist Rob Winter.


The quintessential symphonic rock band re-records and completes its '80s rock opera Merlin - Bard of the Unseen, based on the wellknown mediaeval tale about the druid Merlin, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Released on February 10, it is now a 65-minute musical piece, starring Bert Heerink as Merlin, guitarist Rob Vunderink as Mordred and guest vocalist Cindy Oudshoorn as Morgan LeFay. From February 12 to May 23 the band, enhanced with a 30-piece classical orchestra, tours the album in the Dutch theatres. On February 22 Heerink takes part in the Dutch finals of the Eurovision contest. That night he is replaced by ex-Kayak lead singer Edward Reekers, who is a special guest at three tour dates. Reekers is special guest during three shows of the rock opera Merlin Bard of the Unseen. Kayak performs the rock opera Merlin accompanied by the North Sea Philharmonic Orchestra. About 150 people are involved with the performance, including Bobby Kimball, from Toto. Keyboard player Ton Scherpenzeel goes on a tour of Europe with UK band Camel.

First Show Band


Jan van Olffen replaces bassist Bert Veldkamp. Kayak is touring its new rock opera Nostradamus: The Fate Of Man, premiered in Amersfoort's De Flint theatre on April 29. The stellar cast features the likes of Bert Heerink (as Nostradamus), Syb van der Ploeg (as Jules-Cezar), Monique van der Ster (as Catherina de Medici), Edward Reekers (as Yves de Lessines), Cindy Oudshoorn (as Anne Ponsarde) and Rob Vunderink (as critic)

First Show Band Jody's Singers Spanner


Act Of Despair (plus two more tracks from the rock opera Nostradamus) is released as a single to promote the KAYAKoustic Tour 2006. It marks Kayak's first single in five years. The semi-acoustic tour is an intimate, personal show without big backdrops, costumes or choreography. The line-up consists of seven band members: apart from Ton Scherpenzeel, Pim Koopman, Rob Vunderink, Edward Reekers, Cindy Oudshoorn plus guitarist Joost Vergoossen and bassist Jan van Olffen. The first show is on August 24 in Harlingen. The shows in Hoogezand (November 23) and Ermelo (January 31) are recorded for a live album. In September Petra Berger puts an Italian version of Kayak's hit Ruthless Queen (Grande Amore Mio) on her album Here And Now.

2007 - 2008

In April the live album of the KAYAKoustic Tour comes out. Kayak starts recording new studio album Coming Up For Air. In the fall Kayak embarks on The (35th) Anniversary Tour. The anniversary show is visually supported by video footage from the band's rich past. During the show on 7 October 2008 in Paradiso, audio and video recordings are made for the Anniversary Box 1973-2008. This box includes two CDs with the entire show and two CDs with songs selected by fans and also with three tracks that were previously unreleased in Europe and a new song which was recorded during the sessions for the album Coming Up For Air. During the Paradiso show Kayak is joined by Syb van der Ploeg, Monique van der Ster and Marjolein Teepen.


After the release of the double album Letters From Utopia (September) the band goes on tour, the last in the present line-up. On Monday 23 November drummer Pim Koopman dies at the age of 56.

Discography Kayak

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Kayak

Audio/Video Kayak

Video Kayak

Kayak - Wintertime (live ...
Kayak - Wintertime (live 1975)
Kayak - Ruthless Queen (H...
Kayak - Ruthless Queen (Hendra's Video)
Onderscheiding voor popgr...
Onderscheiding voor popgroep Kayak (1979)
Kayak - Merlin (live)
Kayak - Merlin (live)
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Kayak - Merlin (live)

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