1961 – 1988 (27 years)
Voorburg, Leidschendam-Voorburg, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Sandy Coast was a beat/rock/pop band from Voorburg, The Netherlands, fronted by Hans Vermeulen. They were active between 1961 and 1974. There was a succesful reunion in 1980-1981 and a less succesful one in 1988.
Hans Vermeulen formed The Sandy Coast Skiffle Group in Voorburg in 1961, aged 14. With the name abbreviated to Sandy Coast the group got a recording contract with Negram in 1965. Their début single, 1965's 'Subject Of My Thoughts', failed to chart but is now regarded as an early 'Nederbeat' gem. Début album, And their name is... Sandy Coast (1967), featured a melodic brand of sixties beat, 1968's From The Workshop was a bluesy, psychedelic album, whereas Shipwreck (1969) was an ambitious concept album about a shipwreck in 1739. The biggest Sandy Coast chart hits of the 1960s were 'I See Your Face Again' (1968) and 'Capital Punishment' (1969), both of which hit #12 in the Dutch Top 40.
Sandy Coast's greatest chart success came in the 1970s, when the group had developed a more radio-friendly sound, akin to the the 'west coast sound' of California. 1971's 'True Love That's A Wonder' became their biggest Dutch hit (#3) and the self-titled Sandy Coast album a big seller. The successor, Stone Mill (1973), was a disappointment in every way, both artistically and commercially. Sandy Coast folded in 1974.
Line-up: Hans Vermeulen (vocals, guitar, keyboards), his brother Jan Vermeulen (bass and guitar), Jos de Jager (bass, 1964-67), Henk Smitskamp (bass, 1970 till 1971), Onno Bevoort (drums, in 1970 temporarily replaced by Will Morkus), Ron Westerbeek (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Charles Kersbergen (guitar, until 1965) and Marianne Nobles (vocals, ex-solo, 1972).
After Sandy Coast's demise, Hans Vermeulen enjoyed solo success, wrote a #1 single ('The Alternative Way', recorded as a duet of Vermeulen and Anita Meyer), became a succesful producer and released albums with Rainbow Train and The Train.
Sandy Coast reformed in 1980 for a performance as The Hague's 'Beatnach' ('Beat Night') but also recorded a new album (Terreno, 1981) which yielded one of the band's most enduring hits, 'The Eyes Of Jenny', which hit #11 in The Netherlands, but also did well in other countries.
The second Sandy Coast reunion (1988) was much less succesful. They released Rendez-Vous, a rather forgettable album of re-recorded hits, which would turn out to be Sandy Coast's final outing.
'Mister Sandy Coast', Hans Vermeulen, struggled with addiction, divorce and tax debts in the early nineties, but managed to pay off his debts and build a new life (from 1994 onwards) on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, where he lived happily until his unexpected death in November 2017, aged 70. During his 'Thai years' he had a big hit in Thailand with a re-recorded version of 'The Eyes Of Jenny'. He regularly travelled back to The Netherlands to perform Sandy Coast material in concert, on special occasions.
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