24 December 1946, Amsterdam, Netherlands. When Akkerman surfaced in 1973 as Best Guitarist in a Melody Maker poll, it was the public zenith of a professional career that started in Amsterdam in 1958 as one of Johnny And The Cellar Rockers. Their drummer, Pierre Van Der Linden, later played with Akkerman in the Hunters - who owed much artistically to the Shadows - during the guitarists five years of study at the citys Music Lyceum, from which he graduated with a catholic taste that embraced mainstream pop, Latin, medieval and the music of Frank Zappa, among leading preferences. With Van Der Linden, Bert Ruiter (bass) and Kaz Lux (vocals) Akkerman formed Brainbox, a hard rock outfit whose only album (featuring the single Down Man) was issued on Parlophone Records in 1969. Owing to Akkermans keen participation in rehearsals with the nascent Focus, Brainbox dismissed him. In 1971, after the release of the Focus album In And Out Of Focus,...
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