Formed in 1964 from the remnants of Ritchie Clark and the Ricochets, The Motions were one of the bigger groups of the 1960s Dutch beat explosion and went on to become hitmakers for the next several years.
The enjoyed a string of hits in the Netherlands during 1965 and 1966 with singles like Wasted Words and It’s The Same Old Song. Their debut album, Introduction To The Motions, is considered one of the best albums of the era.
Their second album, Their Own Way (1966), was disappointingly sluggish and subdued in comparison to their brash debut.
The emphasis was on lethargic soul-rock ballads – as if van Leeuwen was trying to find something that would find the same chart success as (better) British singers of the time such as The Walker Brothers.
Why Don’t You Take It was a pretty obvious attempt to capture a Drifters-like mood, and though the group occasionally got into a bluesy mode, the sound was surprisingly thin and the execution rather perfunctory.
The biggest problem was that the songs weren’t memorable, with the notable exception of the scorching mod masterpiece Everything That’s Mine (now enshrined on the Nuggets 2 box set).
Early in 1967, Robbie van Leeuwen left to form Shocking Blue and was replaced by Gerard Romeyn. Later that year, Henk Smitskamp was ousted in favour of Leo Bennink, and a fifth member was added in multi-instrumentalist Jan Vennik.
When in mid-1968 Gerard Romeyn and Jan Vennik were busted for possession of marijuana and incarcerated, Bennick switched to guitar and the band took in Paul van Melzen on bass and Bobby Green (real name Bob van der Vaart ) on organ.
This line-up recorded the album Electric Baby for Decca in 1969. The single Freedom (1969) reached the lower regions of the American charts.
The band then suffered another setback by the departure of drummer Sieb Warner to rivals Golden Earring. His replacement was Han Cooper (born Han Gordinou de Gouberville).
The last line-up of the group played a few gigs in England and went on a trip to the USA (only playing at The Scene Club in New York) but international success eluded them.
They recorded one more album for the Simogram label of supermarket chain Simon de Wit but split up in 1971. After the break-up, Rudy Bennett, Bobby Green and Gerard Romeyn all released solo singles.
In 1992, The Motions reunited for a one-off gig for Veronica television with the original line-up, augmented by Leo Bennink on guitar and keyboards.
Rudy Bennett regularly performs at Golden Oldies gigs with pick-up bands under the moniker of The Motions, often including Leo Bennink.
Rudy Bennett (Ruud van de Berg)
Robbie van Leeuwen
Sieb Warner (Siebolt Warntjes)
Saxophone, flute, organ
Paul van Melzen
Bobby Green (Bob van der Vaart )
Han Cooper (Han Gordinou de Gouberville)