Rick van der Linden -- August 5, 1946 - January 22, 2006.(Departures)

Byline: Django Mathijsen

Dutch keyboardist Rick van der Linden was a symphonic rock visionary, revered for his lyrical chord progressions, virtuoso choruses in breakneck tempo and tight, explosive grooves. He incorporated all styles and captivated audiences in rock arenas, concert halls and jazz clubs alike.

After completing his conservatory studies in 1967, he joined a jazz combo called Ekseption. Next year they won a record contract, but had no original material. "We were desperate!" Rick remembered. "I'd once worked out a drumbeat for Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. So we did that, with Katchaturian's Sabre Dance on the back." They were stunned when it hit number one in Holland and France. …

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