Zwolle and Brood
At the Herman Brood Experience we would like to give you an insight into the legendary life of the singer and painter who died in 2001. But you can also just walk around the center of Zwolle, because you will come across enough places that have been decisive for Brood's artistic development.
State HBS - Bagijnesingel
After primary school, Herman went to the HBS at the Bagijnesingel. After two relatively quiet years, things went wrong in the third year. Herman passed on parole and was given the opportunity to prove himself until Christmas. Because Herman was seriously in default in the eyes of the school management, he was back in second grade after Christmas. Things now went from bad to worse, because Herman sat again and the school management expelled him from school. A trend had been set.….
Het Refter - Bethlehem Kerkplein
After he had stayed twice at the Rijks HBS, Herman Brood went from 1962 to 1964 to the Handelsdagschool HBS-A, then located in the Refter on Bethlemkerkplein. The Refter used to be part of the Bethlehem Monastery, which also included the nearby church (de Proosdij).
But Herman was also bored at this school and often crawled out of the window with his drawing supplies in order to make drawings and sketches on the Potgietersingel.
Fun fact: close to the school was "de Spinne", a cafeteria with a jukebox and rock-n-roll music where Herman visited a lot in his early teens, together with his friend Hans la Faille.
In the middle of our country
lies a city that is very appealing
It's the small town of Zwolle
with its Sassenpoort
One of the first songs that Herman learned at school and that he played many times at a later age. The Sassenpoort, together with the Peperbus, is the calling card of the Hanseatic city of Zwolle. Built in 1406, this city gate is the only gate to survive time, although the row of houses to the left of the gate was broken off for the sake of road safety and the associated outer gate was demolished in 1839. On the Sassenpoort there is a neo-gothic bell tower from the end of the nineteenth century.
Zwolle is an old fortified city, as can still be seen on the current map. The bastions, the forward defense posts of the city, were later, when everyone saw the ridiculousness of this form of city defense, turned into walking parks.
The Potgietersingel is such a beautiful location, where the modern city dweller can recreate. For Herman this was his favorite place, when he was bored again with all those theory lessons at the Handelsdagschool and he crawled out the window with his drawing supplies to be able to draw undisturbed.
The park owes its name to the poet and businessman Everhard Jan Potgieter (1808-1875), who was born in Zwolle. This authoritative literator was co-founder and editor of the literary magazine "De Gids". On the occasion of his hundredth birthday it was decided to place a bust of him and to name the park after him.
The chambermaid has come across something. I can't think of any other explanation. Or it should be because I used up the whole minibar. But no, they should be happy with that. I didn't expect them to poke around my room.
I made a drawing for that director. I just wonder if it's pretty enough to give him the right dose of pain. The present had to be beautiful enough to trigger doubt in him. That he could screw himself for a minute or so, thinking he was right, but the next second he thinks, God, he's a nice kid. and then: I should never have sent out. To make him think for the next second: am I a dick? Trembling. Then it is arranged. That is such a vicious weapon of war, from the Bible, to turn someone "the other cheek.")
The above quote relates to a fact from July 1994, when Herman Brood was expelled from hotel Wientjes. From about his twentieth Herman had no longer a home in Zwolle. He roamed all over the country (later from his location in Amsterdam) and his parents had moved to Assen, where his father had taken over a café. Herman regularly visited friends in Zwolle and stayed in one of the Zwolle hotels. Sometimes he was in hotel Fidder, then again in hotel Wientjes.
In 1994 Herman ended up in Wientjes on a sentimental journey with friend and biographer Bart Chabot. Herman always said that anyone who really wanted to get to know him should come to Zwolle. "There is a memory of my childhood on every street corner," he would say.
Herman and Bart went there by scooter and folding bike and both gentlemen had such a good time that they wanted to book an extra night. However, the then director of Wientjes put a stop to this, because some iniquities (needles, etc.) had been found in Mr Brood's room. Herman and Bart were asked to leave the hotel.
Herman decided to make a sketch of Beatrix and hand it over to the director personally in order to boost his displeasure even more. This drawing has disappeared (with the director). The guestbook contains another sketch by Herman ("with mistress"), apparently from better times.
That is the Outdoor Society, where I played a lot as a child. When I was about four years old, I had a boyfriend. Yes, this goes back a long way. His father was director of the theater. Annex cinema. We were always allowed in for free. For example, we saw some films eight times. ….
Once in a while there were fashion shows, during the week, in the afternoons. Awesome! We had discovered a door to the ladies' dressing room, where you could see through the keyhole….
That's how we saw those ladies undressing. A viewing box. Those women, how they tied their stockings. Suspenders. I have days, no weeks… Oh, I spent so much time for that hole. High times. The other was allowed to count every ten, taking turns. Did you have tears in your eyes from going through that hole. "
Before the New Outdoor Society came, the (Old) Outdoor Society stood here. Herman had a boyfriend, whose father at one point rose to become manager of the "Buitensoos". Herman and his friend Fransje have acquired a solid film knowledge from this, because on Sunday afternoons they could often be found among the film guests of Fransje's father. According to Hermans, Robinson Crusoe saw them twelve times, so they could reenact entire scenes.
Today, the New Outdoor Society is a multifunctional meeting and entertainment complex.
"The Dutch Railways? Not a bad word. Top. They really do their utmost to please the customer. Nice outfits. He went dressed as a blue Boy Scout. This is hoped to discourage aggression, eh. That a football fan thinks: Oh god, what am I doing really crazy. There is a great future for the Dutch Railways. I can feel it coming. "
A driver's license was not for Herman, so he was dependent on his two favorite means of transport: taxi and train. Herman Brood was a great promoter of the Dutch Railways, although he did not always act as an exemplary traveler. He was in the habit of traveling without a ticket. He managed to win over conductors several times by handing over a sketch or drawing instead of a ticket.
"I'm coming from Zwolle, bad luck"
A motto of Herman Brood who never found his way in Zwolle, but did not deny his roots. Characteristic of this are the sketches he made of himself with the Peperbus in the background, the most striking symbol of the city of Zwolle.
De Peperbus owes its name to the characteristic roof covering that was applied here in 1828. The tower itself dates back to the end of the fifteenth century. Originally the tower was to be raised with an octagonal lantern, but the then contractor took off with a considerable advance, so this plan was canceled.
Today, the tower is owned by the municipality of Zwolle and there are regular opportunities to climb the tower and enjoy a beautiful view over the Hanseatic city of Zwolle.
Hans La Faille
In their teens, Herman Brood and Hans Lafaille often came to 't Keldertje on the Voorstraat. Here Hansje and Hermanus went on the hunt for female beauty, where Hansje was considerably more successful than Hermanus.
Another catering facility that was popular with Herman and his friends in the mid-1960s was dancing Dijkhoff on Harm Smeengekade.
In the period 1973-1978, Herman visited every week at cafe bar Old Inn in the front street, where Ivo de Lange was the owner at the time. Herman got a drink here, made a few drawings and borrowed some money from Ivo. Those were the set rituals. Two doors down on Voorstraat was Bar Dancing In den Herberg, later called the Circle Bar. Herman has performed here several times with his band Wild Romance.
Provincial Overijssels Museum
Herman and his friend Hans were loyal visitors to the then Provincial Overijssels Museum (POM) and nature museum (now the Stedelijk Museum Zwolle). Herman just didn't seem to behave so well there; he sat everywhere to the annoyance of the employees of the POM. Hans then acted as Herman's older brother to tap him on the fingers.
Before the current Maagjesbolwerk arose in 2002, the Zwols Popfront was located here at the Rode Torenplein. Here were the studios where pop musicians could practice and record.
In one of these studios Herman Brood cooperated in 1992 on an anniversary CD on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the foundation. Here he recorded a special version of the song "I don't need you" together with a number of Zwolle musicians. The Zwols Popfront Foundation still has a limited number of CDs signed by Herman himself.
Hedon is the stage for music in Zwolle, the most important venue for pop culture in the city. Much of what the Zwolle music scene in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century produced came together here: Hans la Faille, Herman Deinum and of course Herman Brood. Although his music career did not start from Zwolle, Herman often came back and unique recordings were made. Herman last performed in Hedon in 1998.
His bronze bust can also be found in the pop stage, first outside and only later inside. Owner Ivo de Lange did not like the fact that the statue was outside in front of the entrance, in connection with bronze and copper thieves. Now Herman is safely inside.
Fun fact: Herman's bust would first be placed on the Grote Kerkplein after his death, but the municipality did not agree.
"I am a big believer in paying taxes. Thanks to those taxes, I assume, we can keep a country like the Netherlands afloat. It is not unwillingness on my part, but I lack the self-discipline to always put that money aside as a private entrepreneur. "
Herman had a unique deal with the tax authorities. He always said that he did not collect money but anecdotes. His financial accounting was a complete chaos and it was therefore impossible to distil a realistic tax return from this.
To compensate for this tax-related offense, Herman was "detained" by the tax authorities for a number of days each year with the assignment to produce drawings, sketches and other works of art. These were then considered as tax returns in kind.
Here I always watched World Cup football with my father, back in the day. Such a small device. You were all staring. At that time you only had television in cafes and, as said, with prostitutes.
Café Stroomberg is a real Zwols café, located on the Brink, with a view of the Stadsgracht and the houses of Noordereiland. Father and son Brood came here regularly.
The café exerted a great attraction on Pa Brood, so much so that after a sad end of NV Brood decided to run a café elsewhere. The family moved to Assen and took up residence above the Spoorzicht café. Herman, too, has occasionally performed manual and span services in the café.