Composer of a.o.


Clous van Mechelen

"Musicality, genius, original"



His music is more known than he himself: Big city and the Grolsch-add. (‘everybody thought that it was Vivaldi’) Wim T.Schippers and others about the centipede of centipedes: Clous van Mechelen.’He has an idiotic feel for music styles’

Clous van Mechelen… who was that again? Whoever sees him, or even hears his voice, knows: this is Jan Vos. At least, anyone who ever listened to the radioprogram Ronflonflon (with Jacques Plafond).

Clous van Mechelen (born 1942) started as a musician, but especially as centipede. And everybody knows his compositions when you hear the titel, although his name rarely stands upfront. Van Mechelen even wrote a couple of hits.

When he was sixteen he played in the Amsterdams Quintet together with Hans Dulfer, a formation with East Coast Jazz.
Dulfer: “I knew him via Theo Deken who also came out of south-Amsterdam just like Clous. Clous had all sorts of connections, which gave us regular gigs.
In 1958 there was the Elvis Presley-festival in Cinema Royal on the Nieuwendijk, organized by café-owner Pim Maas senior. It was an election of the Dutch Elvis, the winner in the end was Pim Maas junior, that was the level. We were diskwalified because we didn't play any Elvis music. To us it was just a gig. These sort of things were arranged by Clous.
Clous never boasts about his hits. I think that's why he isn't rated at his true value. He is incredibly musical, although he always acts as if he has no knowledge about anything. And he never talks about the "good old days", thats another good quality. Because it wasn't so good at all.”

After graduating from the conservatoire (klarinet, subsidiary subject piano) he toured with jazz- en latin-formations through Europe.


He also performed for a while with the Amsterdam rock-formation The Sharks with the later well-known Tol Hansse. They played regularly in Germany and also made a few singles.

Photographer Paul Huf was also one of those connections. He fouded the Paul Huf Film Associates in 1965, with which he made cinema-and radiocommercials. Van Mechelen became Hufs regular composer.
Huf: “Clous was friends with the son of my first wife and used to come to our house. Even then he was incredibly musical and original. We made cinemamovies for a.o. Stuyvesant and Pall Mall.
The most well-known music Clous made for an advertisement is the Grolsch-music. everybody thought it was Vivaldi, but it was Van Mechelen.”

People not only call him very likeble, but anyone who knows Van Mechelen calls him an amazing musician. He plays almost all instruments and has his own recording studio. Apart from working for commercials he also wrote film music for amongst others: Theo van Gogh and at the end of the seventies he recorded four albums with Hans van Tol, alias Tol Hansse. The single of the first album became a big hit which we still hear now and then: Big city.

At that same time he also wrote songs together with Wim T.Schippers for caracters like Barend Servet and Sjef van Oekel. From these songs a couple also made the hitlists, like Prima de Luxe and Waar moet dat heen?
Together with Schippers and Paul Haenen, Van Mechelen composed the songs for the Bert en Ernie-cd’s. The songs on the Margreet Dolman-cd are also of his hand, like Ik ben een beetje misselijk.
Of most of the things they concocted together, Wim T.Schippers doesn't remember what was thought of by Van Mechelen was and what was his: ”Clous is a genius. He has this idiotic feel for the craziest music styles without you having to let him listen to an album so that he can copy the style or something of the sort. Forinstance, you can give him a year and he'll play something that sounds exactly as music you remember out of that time. I have a tendency to concoct things that go against musical "laws" and I've noticed that he kind of likes that. I even do it on purpose, but he always manages to come up with something that's fun. I found that he's also happy on the stage. That's how Jan Vos came into his life.
It'll stick to him for the rest of his life. Other people have resented me for it, but if a caracter isn't succesful it's also wrong. And I really hope to be working with him again soon.” (Source: Varagids 20 augustus 2001)


30 oktober 2003his latest beautiful jazz-cd "Songs for Sale" was released by
Munich Records
On this cd he works together with vocalist Colette Wickenhagen.
In the last few years they often work together because they share that great love for the Mainstream jazz. Or as Colette says: "We just go well together...!"
At the end of 2001 they formed the plan to record a few of the songs they so love to play.
The purpose of both musicians was to make an album on which they could render their love for the old jazz standards and and their musical delight. They wanted an album that can be played loud (!) as well as softly in the background.
An ode to all those beautiful jazz-songs which have been written throughout the years..
Together with Nick van de Bos - piano, George van Deijl - bass and Menno Veenendaal - drums, they succeeded in making a wonderful cd.
It can be ordered in any cd-store::
" Songs for Sale"
Colette Wickenhagen & Clous van Mechelen - 2 CC & Company - ACE - BMCD 341
released by Munich Records.
Or you can click on the cd-photo, it'll lead you to the cd-page of Colette's site. There you will find more information on how to order the cd. You can also listen to some music (MP3-files).


Part of the liner notes written by Jan Rensen:
"..... I have now listened to the recordings several times and again and again I am struck by new details.
Those elusive, indefinable moments in timing, variation of melodic line, interaction with the contribution of the saxophone ..., all aspects hard to describe for the guileless listener, but contributing to the distinctiveness of the music. Of course Colette does not do this all by herself.
Clous van Mechelen is such a fantastic counterpart and the accompaniment of the trio is so solid and inspiring, that risky improvisations were simply bound to emerge. But that these are invariably brought to a fascinating and successful conclusion is the merit of the singer who has managed to surprise and captivate us once more....."


Part of the liner notes written by Lex Lammen:
"..... A couple of years ago he turned up at "Elsa's Café" with his tenor-saxophone and easily joined our trio that takes care of the music on Tuesday nights. His tenor-playing had developed into "Rock 'n Rollins" and an occasional breezy ballad on the side for a contrast. His enthusiasm was contagious and, luckily, it still is as you will notice on this CD......"


More info Clous: