Robbie van Leeuwen

Robbie van Leeuwen  (born 29 October 1944, The Hague) is a Dutch musician who was guitarist, sitarist, background vocalist, and main songwriter for the Dutch bands The Motions, Shocking Blue, and Galaxy-Lin.  His most well-known compositions are Shocking Blue’s most famous song, “Venus”, which was a US and UK No. 1 hit; “Love Buzz”, which was covered by Nirvana and released as their first single; and “Demon Lover”.  (More from Wikipedia)
The depth of my obsession with Shocking Blue is reflected in the name of my bichon frisé (who just passed away a couple of months ago – his 16th birthday would have been in a few days):  Robby van Leeuwen, a combination of Robby the Robot from one of my all-time favorite movies, Forbidden Planet with the name of the bandleader of Shocking BlueRobbie van Leeuwen
(August 2012)
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I was first introduced to the raw 1960’s sounds of Dutch rock when I was fortunate enough to find a copy of a compilation album called Searching in the Wilderness in about 1987 in a fondly remembered basement-level New York record store called Underground Records in the Village.  (There was at least one and maybe two other record stores in that same space over the years).  Though much of the early output from Dutch bands was heavily influenced by Merseybeat sounds almost to the point of aping them, that was most definitely not true of two of the tracks on that album:  “Chunk of Steel”, an early single by Golden Earring; and “For Another Man” by the Motions, which included the future bandleader of Shocking BlueRobbie van Leeuwen.  Wilderness was also my first introduction to other excellent Dutch bands, like the Outsiders (not the American band called the Outsiders that is best known for “Time Won’t Let Me”) and Cuby & the Blizzards
(January 2013)
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Shocking Blue frontman Robbie van Leeuwen has been quoted as saying that he doesn’t know how to write songs in the Dutch language.   


Also, while bandleader Kurt Cobain wrote most of their music, the first single by grunge pioneers Nirvana was a fairly obscure Shocking Blue song called “Love Buzz”.  Their version of this Robbie van Leeuwen song (Nirvana’s “Love Buzz” only used the first verse and chorus) is included on the band’s little-known 1989 debut album, Bleach 


(April 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021