Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Guy Before…


UPDATE, 11.19.11: Dutch reader Rob sent my an obit announcing that Tielman died on Nov. 10 at age 75.

For the last year or so, this video has been ricocheting back and forth among my guitarist friends. It’s a 1960 clip of the Tielman Brothers, featuring guitarist Andy Tielman, an early rock-and-roller justifiably famed in has native Indonesia and in the Netherlands (Indonesia’s former colonial power), but practically unknown everywhere else. (Admit it: When you think of high-octane rockabilly, Surabaya, Indonesia, isn’t exactly the first burg that springs to mind.)

The Tielman Brothers of Surabaya, Indonesia, rockabilly capital of the third world.

And check out that showmanship! He squeezes in just about every crowd-wowing guitar techniques ever to claw its way out of the Chitlin’ Circuit into the rock and roll mainstream—and he did it seven years before Hendrix deployed ’em out at Monterey. And can you believe LouLou Tielman’s over-the-top, Krupa-esque drumming? I can’t!

The Tielmans were nothing if not prolific—there’s much more to view here.

Okay—who’s on your list of “seriously great, but seriously unknown” players?


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