Dutch music might not be one of the most recognized forms of musical expression in the world, but nevertheless it has its moments. One of those moments is the career of Hans de Booij. It spans 4 decades and shows if nothing else that perseverance and the right attitude can get you a long way. And that the end of the journey might be more about happiness than money.
In the 1970s Hans de Booij worked in a theater in Antwerp, Belgium as a technician. This was an informative period in his career. He met famous Dutch artists such as Boudewijn de Groot, whose song he was later to cover and make him briefly a pop star.
In the 1980s Hans de Booij started his own comedy troop and started writing songs and performing them. He soon had a couple of hit records the biggest of which was de Groot’s song Annabel.
Success quickly left Hans de Booij. His songs became increasingly dark; he got in trouble with the police; he took too many drugs. Within a few years of his success he was performing in the street and was hard up for cash.
In 1999 Hans de Booij met the Dalai Lamai. The meeting was to prove inspirational for de Booij as he wrote a book called Ministry of Love in which he espoused his personal philosophy. The book was not a success. He ended up going door-to-door in Hooland trying to sell it. He claims to have sold 4,000 copies by doing this.
In 2007 nostalgia for 1980s music gave Hans de Booij ‘s music a new lease of life. He started performing again in Holland to big audiences. He also released a new album. Finally, Hans de Booij had gained some recognition and financial security. He had also gained more peace of mind.
In 2008 he moved to Koh Phangan. Hans de Booij makes music in Koh Phangan, a small Thai island and seems at last to have found peace. You can sometimes hear Hans de Booij play in the Jam Bar in Hin Kong.