Ton Scherpenzeel Bio

Ton Scherpenzeel

Ton Scherpenzeel

Ton (Born 6 August 1952) got his first piano lessons from his aunt at the age of six. He wasn’t very eager to learn and play by the book. Instead, he preferred to improvise and play his own stuff. At the age of seventeen he left school to study classical double bass at the Hilversum Academy of Music. At that time he and Pim had already started playing in some local popular bands together, in which Ton played piano and bass guitar. With one of these bands, called High Tide Formation, he recorded his first single in 1970 (‘Fluffy’, with his own song ‘White Walls’ on the B-side).

From 1972 till 1982 Ton was the keyboard player and main composer of Kayak. When Kayak broke up in 1982, Ton started another band, Europe (not to be confused with the Swedish group with the same name), together with guitarist Johan Slager and bass player Bert Veldkamp. They released one album. Lack of success caused the band to break up within a year. In 1983 Ton became the keyboard player of the British group Camel. After 1985 Ton still made a few contributions to the albums of that band, but he quitted touring until he was asked, in 2003, for the band’s European Farewell Tour.

In Holland, Ton became more and more involved with all sorts of theatre projects like writing the music for cabaret performer Youp van ‘t Hek (a long lasting collaboration), as well as several other theatre companies like the Youth Theatre in Rotterdam and Opus One in Amsterdam. He made a stable career ‘behind the scene’, in which he wrote more music than he had ever done before with Kayak. Much of the music Ton wrote for theatre (musicals and ballet music) has been released on CD.

Solo albums

  • ‘Le Carnaval des Animaux’ (1978)
  • ‘Heart of the Universe’ (1984)
  • ‘Virgin Grounds’ (as Orion) (1991)

Album with Europe

  • ‘Europe’ (1983)

Album with Earth & Fire

  • ‘Phoenix’ (1989)

Albums with Camel

  • ‘Stationary Traveller’ (1984)
  • ‘Pressure Points’ (1985)
  • ‘Dust and Dreams’ (1991)
  • ‘Rajaz’ (1999)

One Comment

  1. Nice website on a great band! But in Ton Scherpenzeel’s biography I miss the albums that he made with Kayak (whis was after all his ‘main band’!):

    * See See The Sun (1973)
    * Kayak (1974)
    * Royal Bed Bouncer (1975)
    * The Last Encore (1976)
    * Starlight Dancer (1977)
    * Phantom Of The Night (1978)
    * Periscope Life (1980)
    * Merlin (1981)
    * Eyewitness (1981)
    * Close To The Fire (2000, with guitar solo from Andy Latimer on 1 song)
    * Chance For A Live Time (2001)
    * Night Vision (2001)
    * Merlin – Bard Of The Unseen (2003)
    * Nostradamus – The Fate Of Man (2005)
    * Coming Up For Air (2008)
    * The Anniversary Box (2008)
    * Letters From Utopia (2009)

    Thanks, take care!
    Jeroen, The Netherlands

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