Pierre van der Linden

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Pierre van der Linden
Pierre van der Linden.jpg
Pierre van der Linden in 2012
Background information
Birth namePierre van der Linden
Born (1946-02-19) 19 February 1946 (age 73)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Years active1967–present
Associated acts

Pierre van der Linden (born 19 February 1946) is a Dutch drummer and songwriter who gained prominence as a member of the rock band Focus from 1970 to 1973. He returned in 1975 and 1990, and has recorded and toured with the group since 2004.


Van der Linden was influenced by his childhood hero Buddy Rich. He finds inspiration in French philosophers and classical composers of the twentieth century. For drumming, he is influenced by Tony Williams and Elvin Jones.[1] Van der Linden practises his drumming technique each day, at least one hour on his practise pad.[1] He avoids modern tuning and prefers to use open tuning, closer to a jazz than a rock drummer, and adopts a mix of matched grip and traditional grip.[1] Away from music, van der Linden enjoys painting and writing poetry.[1]

He began to play in professional bands in the 1960s and befriended guitarist Jan Akkerman. The two played in the Friendship Quartet, Johnny and the Cellar Rockers, The Hunters, Brainbox, After Tea, Tee Set, and ZZ and the Maskers.

In late 1970, after Akkerman had left Brainbox to join Focus, van der Linden rejoined Akkerman in , the progressive rock band which brought them to international fame. His drum fills on the serio-comic, proto-metal opus "Hocus Pocus" single became, in the seventies, what those of "Wipe Out" were in the sixties,[citation needed] an FM radio staple in the United States. Dissatisfied with the band's change of direction to a more commercial, mainstream sound (which included less-syncopated, simpler time signatures) he left Focus in October, 1973 and was quickly enlisted to Trace, a Dutch supergroup led by classical keyboardist Rick van der Linden (his second cousin) and bassist Jaap van Eik.

When his Focus replacement Colin Allen left the band, Pierre briefly rejoined the group in 1975 for live dates and an unreleased track, "Glider", subsequently on the "Ship of Memories" LP. He toured and recorded with Jan Akkerman on Jan's solo album "Eli" in 1976, and on "Floatin'" on Akkerman's eponymous 1977 release. He also recorded with jazz keyboardist Jasper van 't Hof and with the band Sweet'd Buster's "Out of the Blue" in 1980.

In the 1990s he joined the free jazz group Advance Warning and played on four albums: Cut the Crap, Regroovable, Hot House, and HiFi Apartment.[1] He also recorded in a trio with organist Herbert Noord and tenor saxophonist Rinus Groeneveld, and rated the album Dare to Be Different as one that he was particularly proud to play on.[1]

In 2004, van der Linden rejoined Focus and continues to record and perform worldwide.


  • Swung Vol. 1 & 2 (2014)
  • Drum Poetry (2017)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Micallef, Ken. "Portraits: Pierre van der Linden". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 23 November 2018.