The Nits History

In autumn 1974 four former students of fine arts founded the Nits in Amsterdam. The members then were Henk Hofstede, Rob Kloet, Alex Roelofs and Michiel Peters. They were influenced by the Move, the Kinks, the Beatles and the Talking Heads. Their 60's horizon broadened when they discovered Kraftwerk and XTC. In the following four years the Nits played only clubs.

In March 1977 they produced their first single Yes or No (see also vinyl singles). Then followed a tour through Belgium and Germany. In 1978 the Nits presented their first album, titled The Nits. It was published under an independent label, and only a few thousand copies were printed. Rumor has it that this album will never be released on CD.

In 1978 the Nits signed a contract with CBS (now Sony Music). R.J. Stips produced the hit single Umbrella, and shortly thereafter Tent was published (see also Nits on CD).

After the publication of Work, Alex Roelofs left the band in 1981 and was replaced by R.J. Stips, who had already worked with the Nits and produced several songs for them. (see Portraits for more information about R.J. Stips work)

In 1985 Michiel Peters left the band to go back to his original field of study, law, and was replaced by Joke Geraets. Shortly afterwards the Nits had an European hit single with In the Dutch Mountains and toured Russia. Michiel Peters was later persuaded to do a solo album featuring several of the Nits and Alex Roeloefs.

Joke Geraets left the Nits around 1989-1990. She had to stop making music because of a muscle disease and now runs a small soundstudio in the feminist circuit.

Down to three members, the Nits did several (? at least one) concerts with the Radio Symphonic Orchestra and performed Hjuvi, one was broadcast by Dutch TV company Veronica.

Peter Meuris and Martin Bakker joined the Nits as guest musicians during the production of Ting, and are now permanent members.

The Nits joined Dutch stand-up comedian and entertainer Freek de Jonge and formed a project called FRITS, playing Freek's songs. In December 1994 they did several concerts in Amsterdam, one was taped and broadcast later by Dutch TV company VPRO. A CD and video has also been published, Dankzij de Dijken.

In February 1995 the Nits released their latest CD dA dA dA in the United States.

1996 saw the release of the long awaited Best-Of album, containing two new songs. Multiple versions are available, jewel box, cardboard box (digipack), a French version with singer Kent of France and the rare Quest box, containing an extra CD with 20 more tracks and a video tape.

In August 1996 the Nits gave their final concert with RJ Stips on the Uitmarkt festival in Amsterdam. RJ and Martin Bakker formed their own project, released a CD Stips Egotrip and worked with Freek de Jonge.

In 1998 Henk and Rob were joined by two new female musicians, Arwen Linneman and Laetitia van Krieken for the tour promoting the latest album Alankomaat. Band lineup remained unchainged for the 2000 album Wool.

The 2003 album 1974 celebrated 30 years of Nits music and brought back Robert Jan Stips, who not only contributed to the album, but also appeared live on stage with Henk, Rob and Titia. Arwen gave birth to a baby boy and has been devoting all her time to family life. In Autumn 2004, Titia decided to pursue new musical challenges and left the Nits as well.

From 2005 onwards, the Nits were back to veteran band members Henk, Rob and Robert Jan.

[Portraits] [Band] [Main Index].

Jochen A. Stein, jst at nitsfans dot org
Last modified: 29-09-2009