Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.




Focus Guitarists

Down the years there have been just five Focus guitarists. Head and shoulders above the rest is the best and the original - Jan Akkerman. Since his departure following the Mother Focus album four others have sought to fill the role - Philip Catherine, Eef Albers, Jan Dumée (Focus 8) and Niels Van Der Steenhoven (Focus 9). In 1998 there was an abortive attempt to relaunch Focus with Menno Gootjes.
There has never been a problem with the technical compentency of such guitarists, they simply lack the flair and individuality of an Akkerman. In Catherine's case he was much more a jazz player than a rock axeman. Catherine is the only non-Dutchman, being a Belgian. Akkerman had quite a history before Focus (in various groups including Brainbox) and also after Focus as a solo artist.

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