The originally Picture got together in 1977 and started jamming with various musicians. It wasn’t until 1979 that the classic lineup of Rinus, Laurens, Jan Bechtum, and Ronald van Prooijen came together. Jan came first and as they auditioned singers, Ronald, who they all knew, decided to step in and audition. After one session, Jan, Rinus, and Laurens decided Ronald was the man, so the classic Picture was born. Henk van Antwerpen discoverd Picture at that time. Henk signed them to the label WEA. However after six months , Picture felt this label were trying to steer them in a pop direction and quit the label to sign with Backdoor Records, a low budget label of Phonogram with the labelmanager Ton v/d Bremer..They started gigging and throughout the Netherlands. Later they acted as support act of AC/DC, Saxon, April Wine and Rose Tattoo.
The original line-up recorded their debut album Picture 1 and their second effort, Heavy Metal Ears and after that Daimond Dreamer.in 1980 and 1981 respectively. As a bunch of young kids, they didn’t know much about the realities of recording. When the album came out, none of them liked the sound quality, they found the demo better. As they grew in popularity, they went in to record Heavy Metal Ears and it was much the same. It wasn’t until they were a little older and wiser that they really got their sound in the studio (thanks to Jan Bechtum) with Diamond Dreamer. However, after touring trough Italy and Germany again, Ronald had left for personal reasons and they found Israeli singer, Shmoulik Avigal. Not only was the recording much better done, but Shmoulik had a different and some say, more powerful voice. Many say Diamond Dreamer was the band’s best album. At that time Picture went to Israel to gig in one venue for one week.
Touring was a hit or miss prospect. The record company did not want to put up enough money to really get behind the band and some great opportunities like touring in England with Twisted Sister were missed. This was the moment for their manager Henk van Antwerpen to q1uit the Picture business, to concentrate on a other hardrock band Vengeance (CBS records) and Emergency (BMG/Ariola). Despite all, Picture developed a large fan base covering much of Europe and South America Mexico, Venezuela etc. Its a shame that royalties from those countries were never paid by the Backdoor Label.
Band consensus confirms their best gigs were touring with Saxon while the worst was when they played with Rose Tattoo, during the Heavy Metal Ears period. They were not happy with the road crew, plus they were more popular in Germany than Rose Tattoo and some of the band felt they were sabotaged.
After recording and touring with Shmoluik for the Diamond Dreamer album, he suggested they add a second guitarist to fatten their live sound and Chris van Jaarsveld was brought in. Though he was a technically proficient guitarist, he just didn’t gel with Jan and things went downhill. Then Shmoulik got in a petty argument with their manager Henk van Antwerpen and was fired from the band. About this time, Jan had enough and quit for personal reasons. To fill in the gaps, a new singer, Pete Lovell was recruited along with a second guitarist, Henry van Manen. This album was slicker than Diamond Dreamer and the two guitarists significantly altered the heavy sound of Jan Bechtum for a more technical groove that sort of worked, but started the trend for the final albums that veered away from the Picture sound. Around this time, Laurens could not take the rigors of touring or the stress of all their management troubles while supporting a wife and twins, so he called it a day.
From that point on, the only remaining original member was Rinus. He soldiered on for three more albums, Traitor, Marathon, and Every Story Needs Another Picture. Many described them as going into hair metal, very commercial and with anonymous songs. Rinus is particularly disgusted with Every Story Needs Another Picture, as it was an album forced by the record contract and it is rumored the whole album was recorded by studio musicians and minimal participation from him.
As of mid 2008, a permanent lineup was established with Jan Bechtum, Rinus Vreugdenhil, Laurens Bakker, Rob vanEnkhuizen, and Pete Lovell. They are currently playing throughout Europe to very enthusiastic crowds. A limited edition live album was recorded at various venues and was released by the band. Plans are to go into the studio in early 2009 to record a new CD with new songs, two of which appeared on the limited edition CD.
Apr 11 de Peppel Holland (Zeist)
Apr 25 Keep it true XII (KIT) Festival SOLD OUT!! Germany (Lauda near Würzburg)
Aug 15 Green Mile Almere Festival Holland (Almere)
Oct 23 Heavy Metal Maniacs (Manifesto) Festival Holland (Hoorn)