A Tribute to Alfred Lagarde with Picture and Highway Chile. That was the full name of this evening. Alfred Lagarde was hollands hard rock and metal DJ on national radio since the seventies. I knew he passed away, but did not realize that was already 22 years ago. In the seventies he presented Betonuur on the radio. I got into hard rock and metal through Hans, when he moved from favorite pop acts like Queen, Quo, Cheap Trick and Meat Loaf to bands like Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Deep Purple, Van Halen and the likes. This last one got famous in Holland when Alfred Lagarde started playing Runnin'with the Devil on national radio. I did listen to Betonuur, but as it was an afternoon show, not as frequent as follow-up Stampij on the Wednesday evenings. If you check the internet you can still find streams of the last eight or so episodes of Stampij. Later on Alfred Lagarde showed up at Countdown Cafe, but I do not recall listening a lot to that show. So where Alfred was fundamental for the start of metal in Holland the bands Picture and Highway Chile were as important for the local scene to develop. Now I must admit that I never really got into Picture. I only started travelling to shows when I just turned 17 and I believe Picture were not playing that often anymore as from begin 83. At least in my memory bands that would tour all the time in the mid eighties were Jewel, Vengeance, Helloise and even Vandenberg. Still Highway Chile I saw a few times, mainly as support in major venues. My first big gig was Whitesnake and Ozzy in Tivoli January 83. Whitesnake were in their Moody/Marsden years with Cozy Powell on drums Jon Lord on Keys and Neil Murray on bass in their favorite line-up for me. Ozzy was rumored to refuse opening for Whitesnake and cancelled, so Highway Chile stepped in. Later that year when I already knew Storybook Heroes, they would also support MSG and they were among Holland's finest. Picture can be considered Holland's first metal band and as was mentioned during the evening James Hetfield was spotted with a jeans jacket with the Picture logo on it. Pity for them Metallica never covered a song by them as that can do wonders to name and income. So for Picture I know their hits. I believe I had a tape of the Stampij show where Schmoulik Avigal was introduced as their new vocalist as well. So this evening woud be a trip down memory lane and it was no surprise that the decent filled Boerderij was full of people in their fifties and sixties. I even ran into Gerrie from Limburg, so being Dutch bands people would travel for this occassion as well.
Highway Chile were opening the evening and Stan Verbraak is taking care of vocals nowadays. As he was also in Helloise we did get a Helloise intermezzo with songs I recognized as well. Highway Chile already sounded pretty good, with The Fever as highlight. After some 40 minutes original vocalist Armand van der Stigchel joined and we got treated on their best songs Jesse James and Carol (Lady of the dark room, dark room) He flew over from the USA for this and showed he still has a stage presence and the voice to match. Later we got a hairmetalish song on Highway Chile's metal infused Whiskey, which was touring along in a barrel, but not served (tip). Ending in style Armand came back singing for us that we are Headbangers. I was maybe coming more to see Highway Chile once again and that did not disappoint. During the break Kees Baars another DJ with a heart for metal was supposed to talk about Alfred, but he was sick as a dog and could not make it. Stan Verbraak and Armand took over and we got a short lesson in metal history in the Netherlands and Alfred's major role in that. So hereafter Picture came on. A band in almost original 79 lineup meant we got a lot of white hair on the stage, with most of them managing to keep their big hair. As I said never the biggest Picture fan it was nice to hear Eternal Dark, Heavy Metal Ears, Diamond Dreamer live on stage. Peter Strykes gave a guest performance and showed he has a better voice although more commercial maybe. Their biggest hit is Bombers and this song got introduced by a radio interview with Alfred of some 40 years ago. So this was an evening of old school dutch metal and it seemed to me that those present highly enjoyed it with two bands in still remarkably good form. Rock 'n' Roll proved to be still better than music.