"C.Q. Sessions"

By Richard Groothuizen, summer 1994. Originally appeared on the "C.Q. Sessions" CD Booklet [1994, Pseudonym Records, Holland]
In the summer of 1967 the OUTSIDERS accomplished the zenith of their success, "Summer is here" reached the TOP 10 and the song easily matched the spirit of the Summer Of Love. Their debut album - released in March - sold extremely well.
Around April RELAX announced the new single "Filthy rich / Won't you listen". But the sound was too raunchy so "Summer is here" became the logic alternative. The first sign of their declining popularity became visible when the members of the OUTSIDERS became more and more uncomfortable with the solo-records WALLY TAX released.
The follow-ups to "Summer is here" faired poor in the charts. "I've been loving you so long" and "Don't you worry about me" only reached the lower parts of the Dutch Top 40. In order to stop the way down a few changes were considered. First longtime member Tom Krabbendam was fired from the band and replaced by Frank Beek. For some weeks Ronnie Splinter was replaced bt Tony Leroy (former member of ZZ & THE MASKERS) and the OUTSIDERS did silly publicity stunts: Wally cut his 48 cm long hair to 24 cm on Dutch television and when the nation was celebrating Sinterklaas the OUTSIDERS dressed up in medieval page costumes. 1968 saw quite some changes indeed. Polydor became their new record company. "Cup of hot coffee" disorientated longtime fans, while "I don't care" was a change to the better known musical direction.
But despite much television promotion the new singles sold very poor, just like Wally's two records. The golden days of the OUTSIDERS, like many other Dutch Beat acts seemed over. Q65, LES BAROQUES and The MOTIONS stopped having big hits after the summer of 1967. The Musical taste of the record buyers was changing. Underground, R&B, Soul and Soft Pop (Cats, Tee Set and Buffoons) became very popular.
The OUTSIDERS started to experiment in different directions. Slowly they replaced old standards for new compositions during live concerts, much to the discomfort of their loyal fans. During the spring and summer of 1968 the band recorded at GTB Studios, The Hague.
October 25th saw the release of their second album "CQ" (phonetically pronounced "Seek You"), an expression used by radio amateurs who are painstakingly scanning airwaves for new stations. When they contact a station their return the compliment for informing them about the range of their signal and a QSL card is their reward. The simple QSL card design is reflected by the cover of "CQ", the same primitive lines confirm QSL design. Metaphorically it can also be a "signal" from The OUTSIDERS to get in touch again with the fans from their haydays.
The same day the band performed "CQ" live on stage of FANTASIO in Amsterdam for a crowd of 825 people. Wally at the time claimed his musical influence from US undeground bands, but for all of you familiar with the PRETTY THINGS album "SF SORROW" you can exactly hear how many ideas were "borrowed". Not only the compositions, but technical tricks and production owe a lot to "SF SORROW". Not criticism at all but a compliment to the British band that the OUTSIDERS got compared with in 1965.
Oddly enough the new single "Do you feel allright?" did not appear on "CQ". An incredible composition that had deserved to be a Top 10 hit, but instead failed to sell. Heavy television promotion in Holland (Twien) and Germany (two times on a show called BAFF) did not help at all. "CQ" sold bad, despite critical acclaim. In a way it was the beginning of the end for the OUTSIDERS.
1969 saw little activity on the outside, but Wally and Ron kept on experimenting. They composed the soundtrack for a VPRO TV play and performed in FANTASIO with Dutch fluteplayer Frans Bruggen in June. These two nights were a success, but Wally was thinking in a different direction. The OUTSIDERS ceased to exist, TAX FREE started their activities in the autumn of 1969, but that's quite a different story. For now sit back and enjoy the second chapter of the career of one of Hollands most talented bands.

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