In 1270 people dammed the Rotte river, unaware that seven hundred years later people would be damming some of the musical residents of the settlement that became Rotterdam. The port sitting along the Niewe Maas is home to Toten Herzen’s Susan Bekker and Rene van Voors and their first band After Sunset. (With Wim Segers and Marco Jongbloed.)
Rotterdam may play second fiddle to Amsterdam, but the city has one of the most famous music venues in Europe: the Ahoy arena (Rotterdam Ahoy). It was here in 1967 Bekker’s mother took her daughter, van Voors and others to see Jimi Hendrix and the desire to become a rock guitarist was born.
Because of the scale of operation at the port, Europort, Rotterdam is sometimes called the Gateway to Europe. In 2015 Frieda Schoenhofer travelled from Bamberg to meet Marco Jongbloed. A pretext to meet Susan Bekker and find out why Lena Siebert-Neved was obsessed with Toten Herzen.
The train transported her through the sedimentary layers of urban sprawl, and each stage evoked a moment in her life from humble beginning through growing affluence to the final isolated gems of wealth. Yes, the threadbare edges of the city reminded her who she was, from where she had come, and why it was so important to keep moving to escape the filth.
(Who Among Us…)
Toten Herzen’s management company Alien Noise Corporation is located on Zaagmolenstraat. Former After Sunset vocalist Wim Segers is buried in Crooswijk Cemetary; his bakery and restaurant situated on Bergweg. There are currently no signs of Rotterdam celebrating its most notorious citizens with tourist merchandise or memorabilia, suggesting the city is not proud of one of its biggest exports.