Jan Akkerman

For those (hopefully) few who have never heard of Jan Akkerman.

This exceptional guitarist was born on Christmas eve 1946 in Amsterdam.The son of a scrap iron dealer he started playing the guitar at the age of 5 and had his first single released at the age of 14.

He pioneered the use of volume swells as well as being capable of exceptional high speed play and has a deep interest in the lute.

He was, in his time, a member of Johnny and The Cellar Rockers, The Hunters, Brainbox and the Thijs van Leer Trio, which continued as Focus into the 1970s, where he made his mark. In 1973 he was voted as the best guitarist in the world by readers of 'Melody Maker', a UK music magazine.

He left Focus in 1976 to pursue a solo career.

As far as I am concerned, my abiding memory of Jan Akkerman is his guitar play in 'Sylvia' with Focus. Despite the hair and the 'tache!

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