Doe Maar

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Doe Maar
Doe Maar in 1982
Background information
GenresNederpop, ska
Years active1978–1984; 2000–2021
Past members

Doe Maar (Dutch pronunciation: [du maːr]) was a Dutch pop band that combined punk, ska, and reggae influences. Formed in 1978, they broke up in 1984, reunited in 2000, and remained sporadically active from then until 2021, when their frontman, Henny Vrienten, died. They are considered to be one of the most successful pop bands in Dutch history. The name Doe maar translates as "go ahead" or "just do it". Throughout their career, the band released five studio albums, four live albums, ten compilations, and numerous singles.


Formation and debut album: 1978–80[edit]

Doe Maar was formed in 1978 by keyboardist and vocalist Ernst Jansz,[1] bassist Piet Dekker (they had previously played in several projects together, including Boudewijn de Groot's backing band[2]), guitarist Jan Hendriks, and drummer Carel Copier. They released their debut, self-titled album a year later, and Dekker departed in 1980. The band replaced him with Joost Belinfante.

Henry Vrienten and Skunk:1980–81[edit]

At the end of their first tour, Jansz invited Henny Vrienten, a professional musician and composer, to join the band. They began work on the group's second album, Skunk, which came out in 1981.

Doris Day and breakthrough: 1982[edit]

In 1982, Carel Copier suffered a career-ending injury, forcing him to depart the band. René van Collem was recruited in time to record Doe Maar's third album, Doris Day en andere Stukken, whose title track, "Doris Day", proved a hit. The album was a success and gained the band prominence among Dutch audiences. A dub version of the record, titled Doe De Dub, mixed by Vrienten and producer Peter Vincent, came out the same year, and the band won a Zilveren Harp award from Buma Cultuur.[3] In May 1982, they were the opening act at Pinkpop. Van Collem left shortly after (he joined Spargo the following year) and was replaced by Jan Pijnenburg.

4us, touring, and solo work: 1983–84[edit]

In March 1983, Doe Maar issued their fourth album, titled 4us (a creative spelling of "virus"). In September, the band embarked on their first tour of Belgium. They also released their first live album, titled Lijf aan lijf.

Jansz published his debut novel, Gideon's droom, while Vrienten recorded his first Dutch-language solo album, Geen ballade, having previously released the English-language record Paul Santos, in 1977. The last track on Geen ballade, the instrumental "Amstel Hotel 13:00", features all Doe Maar members playing their instruments.

Breakup: 1984[edit]

In February 1984, Doe Maar went into the studio to record their fifth album. However, they made little headway, and after releasing the single "Macho", they decided to split up. The band played two farewell concerts at Maaspoort in Den Bosch, the recordings of which were released in 1995. They also released their first compilation album, titled 5 Jaar – Het complete overzicht, which included two new tracks. In the following years, the band played several reunion shows and released five more compilations.

New music and tribute album: 2000[edit]

In November 1999, Doe Maar announced a one-time reunion. In February 2000, they issued two singles on the same day: Vrienten's "Als niet als", featuring rapper Brainpower, and Jansz' "Watje". In April, a new album from the band came out, titled Klaar. They played several concerts at Rotterdam Ahoy, a recording of which was released the same year, under the title Hees van Ahoy.

In December 2000, a tribute album, titled TriLLend Op M'n Benen (Doe Maar Door Anderen), consisting of 14 Doe Maar songs recorded by various artists, was released. Contributors to the record included Bløf, Postmen feat. Def Rhymz, Rowwen Hèze, Skik, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Caesar, the Prodigal Sons, Grof Geschut, Daryll-Ann, Abel, Heideroosjes, Marcel de Groot, Bob Fosko, and Osdorp Posse.

Doe Maar! the musical: 2005–07[edit]

At the end of October 2005, reports appeared in the media that Doe Maar was working with V&V Entertainment on a musical theatre production set to their music. Doe Maar!, subtitled De popmusical, premiered in Tilburg on 28 January 2007 and was attended by the full band. It was nominated for five John Kraaijkamp Music Awards and won four, including best male lead (Daniël Boissevain), best male supporting role (Jan Elbertse), best female supporting role (Annick Boer), as well as the audience award. Written by Pieter van de Waterbeemd, the production's cast also included Kim-Lian and Jan Rot.[4][5]

Versies/Limmen Tapes and further activity: 2012–2021[edit]

In May 2012, Vrienten announced on the television program De Wereld Draait Door that Doe Maar was working on new material, in collaboration with the record label TopNotch. Released in September of that year, Versies/Limmen Tapes was a double album that consisted of new versions of the band's classic songs on the first disc, Limmen Tapes, and rap covers of Doe Maar tracks on Versies, produced by the Anonymous Mis, by such artists as Gers Pardoel, Kempi, Kraantje Pappie, the Opposites, Winne, Extince, Postmen, Def Rhymz, and Spinvis.[6][7]

Later that year, the band received the Edison Award,[8] and they held a charity concert for War Child.[9]

In early 2013, Doe Maar embarked on the Glad ijs tour. Later that year, the television documentary Doe Maar: Dit is Alles was broadcast. In 2016, they celebrated the 32nd anniversary of their breakup and released a Dutch version of Toots and the Maytals' "54-46 That's My Number" with Surinamese reggae singer Kenny B.[10]

In 2018, Doe Maar celebrated their 40th anniversary with the club tour Er verandert NIX.[11] In 2021, the band was set to perform at Down the Rabbit Hole, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A farewell tour for the group, which was to start at the end of 2021, was also cancelled, owing to Vrienten's illness.[12]

On 25 April 2022, Henny Vrienten died of lung cancer, at the age of 73.[13][14]


Doe Maar have a tile on the Walk of Fame outside GelreDome stadium, in Arnhem, for four sold-out shows of Symphonica in Rosso they performed there in 2012.[15][16]

Band members[edit]

  • Ernst Jansz – keyboards, vocals (1978–1984; 2000–2021)
  • Piet Dekker – bass (1978–1980)
  • Carel Copier – drums (1978–1982)
  • Jan Hendriks – guitar (1978–1984; 2000–2021)
  • René van Collem – drums (1982)
  • Joost Belinfante – bass (1980–1984; 2000–2021)
  • Henny Vrienten – vocals, bass (1980–1984; 2000–2021)
  • Jan Pijnenburg – drums (1982–1984; 2000–2021)



Studio albums

  • Doe Maar (nl) (1979)
  • Skunk (nl) (1981)
  • Doris Day en andere stukken (nl) (1982)
  • 4us (nl) (1983)
  • Klaar (nl) (2000)

Live albums

  • Lijf aan lijf (nl) (1983)
  • Het afscheidsconcert – Live in de Maaspoort 's-Hertogenbosch (1995)
  • Hees van Ahoy (2000)
  • Symphonica in Rosso (nl) (2012)


  • 5 jaar Doe Maar, Het complete overzicht (1984)
  • De beste van Doe Maar (1984)
  • De beste (1991)
  • Het complete hitoverzicht (1994)
  • Het allerbeste van Doe Maar (1999)
  • Alles (1999)
  • Hollands glorie (2004)
  • Écht alles (2007)
  • De singles (2008)
  • De doos van Doe Maar (box set, 2012)

Other albums

  • Doe de dub – Discodubversie (nl) (dub version of Doris Day, 1982)
  • Versies/Limmen tapes (Doe Maar and various performers, 2012)
  • TriLLend Op M'n Benen (Doe Maar Door Anderen) (tribute album, 2000)
  • Doe Maar! De popmusical (soundtrack from the musical, 2007)

Compilation appearances

  • Uitholling overdwars (1979)
  • De gevestigde orde (1982)
  • Een gebaar (charity album for Amnesty International, 1983)


  • "Ik zou het willen doen" (1979)
  • "Sinds 1 dag of 2 (32 jaar)" (1980)
  • "Smoorverliefd" (1981)
  • "Doris Day" (1982)
  • "Is dit alles" (1982)
  • "De bom" (1982)
  • "Pa" (1983)
  • "1 nacht alleen" (1983)
  • "Macho" (1984)
  • "Sinds 1 dag of 2 (32 jaar)" (1991)
  • "Als niet als" – with Brainpower & Def P (2000)
  • "Watje" (2000)
  • "De bom" (2007)


  1. ^ "Boek De Neerkant incl. CD 'De Neerkant' + bonusCD 'De eerste jaren' (Doe Maar)" [Book De Neerkant incl. CD 'De Neerkant' + bonus CD 'The first years' (Doe Maar)]. (in Dutch). 20 August 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Boudewijn de Groot – Waar Ik Woon En Wie Ik Ben". Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Winnaars Zilveren Harp" [Silver Harp winners]. (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Verhaal" [Story]. (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Musical Doe Maar". (in Dutch). 1 January 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Doe Maar de studio in met rappers" [Doe Maar in the studio with rappers]. (in Dutch). 25 February 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2023.(subscription required)
  7. ^ "Henny Vrienten doet het met rappers" [Henny Vrienten does it with rappers]. (in Dutch). 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Edison Oeuvreprijs voor Doe Maar" [Edison Oeuvre Prize for Doe Maar]. (in Dutch). 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Doe Maar voor War Child" [Doe Maar for War Child]. (in Dutch). 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Doe Maar en Kenny B maken reggaenummer" [Doe Maar and Kenny B make a reggae song]. (in Dutch). 18 April 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2023.(subscription required)
  11. ^ "Doe Maar viert jubileum met clubtour" [Doe Maar celebrates anniversary with club tour]. (in Dutch). 27 February 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Doe Maar cancelt afscheidstournee vanwege ziekte Vrienten" [Doe Maar cancels farewell tour due to Vrienten's illness]. (in Dutch). 23 September 2021. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Henny Vrienten was een muzikaal icoon dat nog zoveel te vertellen had" [Henny Vrienten was a musical icon who still had so much to say]. (in Dutch). 25 April 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Zanger en componist Henny Vrienten op 73-jarige leeftijd overleden" [Singer and composer Henny Vrienten died at the age of 73]. (in Dutch). 25 April 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Doe Maar eigen tegel Walk of Fame Gelredome" [Doe Maar gets a tile on the Gelredome Walk of Fame]. (in Dutch). 12 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  16. ^ "Doe Maar betovert in 2012 tijdens Symphonica in Rosso" [Doe Maar enchants in 2012 during Symphonica in Rosso]. (in Dutch). 24 August 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2023.

External links[edit]