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bad medecine

bad medecine is a Tèxord based alternative rock group that made music between 1966 and 2003. Original founders Bobby and Papa Beer found companions to travel through Europe in the late sixties and gained world wide regocnition in the seventies for their songs '7', 'you and me' and 'soldiersong' and sold over fifty millions albums in their whole career. Their music was descibed as heavy rock and they were famous for their wild gigs and won several awards.




1966 – 1974
1977 – 1983
1986 – 1993
1996 – 2002
Musical style




1966 – 1974

In the summers of 1966 and 1967, Papa Beer and Bobby played daily in the park on two guitars. It was mostly hippies who came to listen to the pair and that is how they meet Mick Oe. Mick Oe allowed the youngsters to record an EP in the autumn that they called ‘popanovic’, but they are not allowed to go on tour because Papa Beer had only just turned 15. That’s why their first LP record ‘youth’ was only released in the summer of ’68. The record was rather well received and for the first time, bad medecine toured in a VW van through Europe to perform in pubs. Piet de Hond drums and drives, Bobby is on bass and he sings, Papa Beer plays guitar and sings the most.

In the beginning of 1969, bad medecine visited the studio again and this resulted in "traffic" that unfortunately didn’t do much in the press. Still, the trio toured Europe and they brought out ‘bad medecine’ as a stand-alone single, which was played a lot on late night radio stations. The song received critical acclaim and this lead to national recognition of their efforts, giving them some fame outside their hometown. A management team, lead by XY, soon showed interest and offered a contract that the young guys sign eagerly. More performances were planned in autumn and the management released the album ‘one’, with both old material and their youngest single.

Early 1970, offers were made to play in the USA but Piet didn’t want to join them. His cousin Bello replaced him and Matt N’Debe joined them in New York. The album they recorded that spring, ‘serene desire’, didn't become commercially very successful as the band had already broken up with the management after disputes of credits. With Mick Oe being in Texord and bad medecine in America, there was done hardly any promotion for the album and it sold as little copies as their first albums. This however didn't withhold the band to tour through Europe and the Americas in a convoy, spreading their word via mouth-to-mouth and as a result the album ended up in the charts anyway.

In the summer of 1971 the hit single ‘7’ was released which made them world famous. Venues became larger, and because of that, the group added Gérardo de Bakker [organ] and Ino del Haybo [guitar] to the line-up. In autumn the band went through nearly all European countries and were televised everywhere. During the winter, the band travelled to Asia and Africa and they spent their spring in Los Angeles. In the summer of ’72, bad medecine records the double album ‘famous’ in a theatre with the help of an orchestra. It gained much critical acclaim and once again the band toured the world: Europe and Asia in autumn, North- and Latin-America in 1973, India in late autumn and through the Levant to Europe, where they travelled in ’74 and perform four times a week.

This life style, however, started to take its toll and the band decided, after releasing no eastern inspiration in this case, to introduce a sabbatical. During this silence, Bobby released a solo album, Bello studied film and Papa Beer treks through Africa for two years. Gérardo joined Bobby’s band and Ino Matt N'Debe’s, who died in 1975. His solo album, released after his death, became nearly as successful of ‘7’.

1977 - 1983

When Papa Beer wanted to go into the studios after two years of wanderings, Bobby was on tour with his own band and as a consequence, the music on "untitled/unwritten" is done by Papa Beer and Bello. Lisa Laverre added vocals on the album and she joined the band on the small tour they did in the autumn, with Bobby on guitar. Papa Beer plays bass, which he also does on "37 < ZACK > 37", the record they release in 1978, when Lisa has already left the band.

There was an intense tour supporting their best-selling album "37 < Z A C K > 37" and Gérardo joined the group on keyboards and bass. Bello drums and Bobby and Papa Beer both play guitar. This is the line-up for 1979, when Papa Beer also records "eternal dread" solo. Bobby left the band [not because of that reason] later that year and as a trio, bad medecine records "in blue". Gérardo quit the band after the recordings and on tour, Papa Beer and Bello were joined by Daan Kasteels and Lex Demarco.

As a quartet they recorded "she smoked with elegance" in 1980, a record that was a lot more experimental than the previous two records. Consequently, the sales were lower and the venues they play were smaller and more underground. They stayed over two months on each continent in the year that followed and played together with The Punkers. Their bands emerge as the Punkers' drummer left them, and together the two bands recorded "wished to be dead" in 1982.

Just before the recordings, Lex and Daan both left the band and Papa Beer & Bello sporadically played live as a duo, but the promotion of the album was completely lacking. After the release of an ep with more noise than rock, it became calm around the band and only in the autumn of 1983 they played a handful of gigs. On invitation of television, they played in an intimate acoustic setting with Papa Beer on vocals and guitar, Bello on drums, Gérardo on piano, Luna Gomez on violin and Mehmet Kazankaya on double bass.

1986 – 1993

After four years of not having brought any new music to the table, bad medecine released ‘two’ with Papa Beer as guitarist and singer, Bello as drummer and Roy Beast as bassist with Nelson James who was responsible for the production and also played keyboards on the record.

Afterwards, the band went on tour as a quartet in small clubs in Europe in autumn, America and Africa in winter and the summer festivals without Nelson James. After that they travelled to Asia and even more America, to end up spending 1988 in the studio and recording two albums: ‘under a broken sun’ and ‘broken’. From the last record onwards, Papa Beer's son Robijn joined the group permanently, adding guitars, backing vocals and keyboards.

In 1990 the album "three" is recorded, after which bad medecine becomes headliner on all mayor festivals and the band tours for two years nonstop. In the autumn of 1992, when bad medecine started making plans for a new album, Roy Beast dies in a car accident. Papa Beer, Bello & Robijn decide not to make a record and only two years afterwards, they get together again to make music.

1996 – 2002

For the recordings of their comeback album "the art of coincidence", Papa Beer, Bello, Robijn & Rafael Vanhetschildt go to Wales. The record was received very positively and it results in the band's biggest tour so far. They go around the globe twice in three years and release two ep's and a live registration.

The 2000 is spend in the studio and the band hardly leaves Tèxord. Firstly, they release "bèbè" which is a compilation of all the songs they wrote on tour and "the otherside of god/child of jesus" encompasses all the songs they write in the studio that year.

The tour that follows is another tour de force, before they record their final album "rock 'n' roll" in 2002. Upon the release of this album, the band announced the supporting tour would be the last one they'll do and indeed they finish their last leg of the tour in Tèxord in the spring of 2003.

Music style and development:

The songs from bad medecine in the sixties lean heavily on the blues and rhythm and blues: protrusive riffs make up the song, or the guys just play with the 12-bar classic. Papa Beer plays on a Epiphone Casino, Piet drums decent and Bobby plays a lot of walking bass. There's a lot of repetition in the vocals with slight alternation and the structures of the songs stay simple.

In the seventies with Bello on drums, the songs become more refined and outrageous. Matt brought Papa Beer & Bello in contact with poets such as Rimbaud, Breton and Apollinaire and the beat generation. The lyrics became more narrative on one hand and abstract on the other. The genre of the sextet following on "famous" sounded most like psychedelic rock. Papa Beer played on a Gibson SG, Matt on a Telecaster and Bobby played a Rickenbacker bass.

As a trio in the late seventies, the music is a lot compacter again. The songs are structured, shorter and overall it sounds poppier: less strange chord changes and less staying drone notes. After Bobby's departure, the songs get more energetic and even vile. Whereas the apocalyptic noisy endings with which they end their shows took about five minutes in the beginning of the tour, they can take up to half an hour near the ending.

After the silence in the mid-eighties, bad medecine's music is a lot more thoughtful and progressive. Papa Beer still plays rock music based on the blues, but the band flirts with rock 'n' roll, punk as well as jazz. Bello drums more subtle than before, Roy plays on double bass and electric bass and Papa Beer plays on gibsons Fenders en sometimes even acoustic. Robijn joins them on stage to give more volume.

When Rafa joins bad medecine halfway the nineties, their output is a sophisticated reading of rock music. Mostly the songs are played in a classic line up - two guitars, bass and drums - with verse/chorus and every song has its own twist


Papa Beer  1966 - 2003
Bob Beeldhouwer
Piet de Hond
1966 - 1979
1968 - 1969
Bello 1970 - 2003
Gérardo de Bakker 1970 - 1980
Matt N'Debe 1971 - 1974
Ino del Haybo 1972 - 1974
Lex Demarco 1979 - 1982
Daan Kasteels 1980 - 1982
Roy Beast 1986 - 1993
Robijn Debeear 1990 - 2003
Rafael Vanhetschildt 1996 - 2003




1968          youth
1969          "traffic"
1969          one
1970          serene desire
1972          famous 
1974          no eastern inspiration in this case
1977           untitled/unwritten
1978           37 < ZACK > 37
1979           eternal dread 
1979          in blue 
1980           she smoked with elegancy
1982           wished to be dead
1986           two
1988           under a broken sun 
1988          broken
1990           three 
1996           the art of coincidence
2000 bébé
2000 the other side of god / child of jesus
2002 rock 'n' roll


1973           nightlife
1983           with tapestries, bottlenecks & tobacco
1991          live 'n' loud
1993           playing mistakes
1998          liver
1999          i don't know for this band
2005          a rather big box  

see the complete discography


a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski