Band members



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Alex van de Graaf

Band members




Name: Alex van de Graaf
Date and place of birth: 27 juli 1970, Voorburg
Longshanks Member since: 1987


From the age of ten my musical inspiration has been hardrock. Infected and super inspired by my big sister Anita (six years my senior) I was already an outcast at Elementary School, wearing AC/DC and Iron Maiden patches and buttons on my denim jacket. Old tape recorder in my schoolbag, so the auditorium regularly reverberated with sweet heavy metal sounds by e.g. Judas Priest ("Breakin' the Law"!!)

When in Highschool (HAVO) I soon found fellow 'Denim-and-Leather'-sufferers and it wasn't very long before I joined my first Heavy Metal band (called Trasher) at the age of 14. As I had always been too lazy to learn to play an instrument, I chose to become a singer, which worked out reasonably well for me.
We pulled off three fun-packed gigs at various school parties (much to the shock of those representing the teachers institute).
Often the band would go to Delft for 'a night on the town' (in 'de Koornbeurs' and 'biercafé Locus Publicus'), where I met Rob Boshuijzen (a talented young drummer) and got to know him better through regular drinking sessions.

In 1986 Rob asked me whether I would like to become the lead vocalist in an Iron Maiden cover band, that also had songs of their own. After an audition with this band at their rehearsal location ('Don Bosco' in Rijswijk ZH) I was accepted (I could do hard and high well enough...) and I embarked on a 7 month musical adventure with the band Enforcer. This is also where I met Peter ten Haaft (Big Peet), Peter van Heijningen (Little Peet) and Guus Linneman.
As Enforcer we recorded two songs in the 16-track Don Bosco Sound Studio, called: "Twilight Moon" & "The Warlords". Allas, shortly after the band fell apart because of diverging musical opinions and differences in personal ambitions.

Rob and Big Peet wanted to continue making music together and Big Peet knew a good guitar player from his musical past with TnT, called Peter van Es. I was to join them as their singer. They hired a rehearsal accomodation at 'het Haags Popcentrum' (they would not let me pay anything, being the youngest and still a school kid…) and in no time at all we were performing glorious Priest and Maiden covers, and Peter van Es gave birth to a song that Rob dubbed "The Shuffle". Rob also came up with the name for the band: CC-Superstar.

At the end of 1987 I said farewell to these guys (HTS college, girlfriend, getting serious, etc.), but halfway through 1989 I revisited the band. From then on we spent many sundays at 'de Koornbeurs' rehearsing a set of 7 delicious swinging old-school hard rock songs. Ultimately, 1991 or something, we did one last gig together at 'de Koornbeurs' at the occasion of a 'bands' night. That topped it off, we had had our fun, it was closing time.
Nowaddays guitar player Peter van Es sadly isn't among us anymore, he passed away in 2007.

In the mean time…. In this same period (1987 - …) I came into contact with André Kamer, through Rob and Big Peet. André was planning to record a musical composition with them and he was looking for a singer. Having profiled myself in the past as "Enforcer front man", soon the link was established via Rob, Little Peet and Big Peet. So, at the beginning of 1988, I found myself back at the Don Bosco Sound Studio again, to record the song "Cycles & Circles" with them.

I had a good connection with André, and his ideas on making music fitted very well to my personal wishes (creating music (not just repeating someone elses) and not being in some rehearsal accomodation the same day each and every week…). So I gradually got involved in his "The Quest"-project, where I also met the sisters Alexandra and Karin den Heijer. For more info: see the Longshanks 2 page at the History section. In those days I got real close to singer Alexandra, so close that we actually had a relationship for 3.5 years.

From 1993-1994 I was drafted for Military Service, and when that was over, I decided to grow up and get a job. My relationship with Alexandra ended soon after that. From then untill 2007 I've never again been involved in seriously making music (the closest I got was singing Marco Borsato covers at company parties…)

After having had a successful career for 13 years and having fulfilled all my hearts desires (including finding my 'soul-mate' and nowadays 'wife' Bregje Kaasjager) I decided to google my old 80's musical friends and found myself at André Kamers website (www.imagesandmusic.nl). Triggered and slightly annoyed by the last sentence on his Longshanks page ("Alex lost interest in Longshanks and then the project bled to death…") I decided to take a chance and called him on the phone in december 2006. The rest is history (See the Longshanks 5 page at the History section).

I have become convinced of at least one thing: making Music was, is, and will always be an essential part of my life. It has shaped me, and moreover continues to shape me untill this very day. It makes me a succesfull, happy and complete human being.
And sorry for André Kamer: he and (our) Longshanks are part of that…..

Alex sings: "Intricate the web of life..." (2008)

Alex, Big Peet and Little Peet: gig by Enforcer at Don Bosco, February 21st 1987.

Cover for the demo tape by Enforcer (6 Feb. 1987)

The Enforcer T-shirt (January 22nd 1987)

CC-Superstar at 'de Koornbeurs', with at the far right Peter van Es.

Alexandra, Alex and Karin at the live performance by Longshanks for radio station "Omroep Delft" at Delftdag.