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1968 youth
Youth is the debut studio album by Tèxord based rock band bad medecine, which was released in may 1968. Recordings took place in April, with Stéphane Heulot on drums as Papa Beer and Bobby hadn’t found a drummer yet. The record was produced by Mick Oe, who had lent the youngsters his studios to realise their dream. Initially the record didn’t sell very well, but Papa Beer and Bobby Beeldhouwer went on a small tour through Europe anyway with Piet de Hond, who not only played the drums but also was the only one who had a driving license.


1. [3.58]  we’re not there [oe/oe, heulot]     
2. [3.56]  be Quiet [k/k, beeldhouwer] 
3. [2.35]  az [heulot, oe, k, beeldhouwer]    
4. [4.49]  celebrate [oe/oe, heulot]
5. [4.03]  walking home [k, beeldhouwer/k, beeldhouwer]   
6. [3.47]  mother [k/k]   
7. [7.01]  please [k/k]
8. [3.29]  under the lazy sun [beeldhouwer/beeldhouwer]   
9. [7.05]  i’m alonely [k/k]


Papa Beer : vocals + guitars + harmonica
Bob Beeldhouwer : bass
Stéphane Heulot : drums
Lead vocals on “celebrate” and “under the lazy sun” by Bob Beeldhouwer
Hammond organ on 3, 4 + 7 by Gérardo Debakker
Guitars on 1, 5 + 9 by Mick Oe

Recorded at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord, April 1968
Produced by Mick Oe
Engineered by Gérardo Debakker
Mixed at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord in May 1968
Released at Myzelf music inc. July 1968


After Mick Oe had assisted bad medecine with the first EP ‘popanovic’ in the autumn of 1967, he wanted them to go to school and finish at least one more year, as Papa Beer [born 1952] and Bobby Beeldbouwer [born 1951] were still too young to go on tour. He gave them the opportunity to use a rehearsal space once a week and in their April holidays in 1968, bad medecine got one week of studio time. Together with Gérardo Debakker and Stéphane Heulot, Mick Oe helped the band to write and record their first vinyl record.
As a duo, Papa Beer and Bobby always played with two acoustic guitars, but for the recordings they wanted to have bass and drums as well. After the ‘popanovic’ single, Mick had given them a left handed Epiphone Casino guitar, a right handed Rickenbacker bass and two amplifiers. Papa Beer got more comfortable to sing and except for ‘az’ all songs do have lyrics. Papa Beer wrote mostly about the miss of his family and their adventures in the previous summer, Bobby wrote about hanging in the park. Next to their own songs, the album also has two covers of Mick Oe songs.

Writing and composition

Inspired by Bobby’s aunties record collection of blues musicians, most songs are simply the blues played by a trio. Mick’s youngest interim engineer, Gérardo, added some rhythmic organ on a couple of songs and joined them on their jam ‘please’ for a solo. Also, Mick himself played rhythmic guitars on three songs to give it some more volume and depth. ‘Mother’ is played by Papa Beer solo on his acoustic guitar, and the crack in its body creates a natural distortion.


For the sleeve, Papa Beer and Bobby wanted a photo of them but they also wanted to give the idea of being in a three-piece band so they asked Stéphane on it. Like the hippies, they wanted long hairs and beards, but the guys were too young to grow them theirselves so they asked Stéphane not to shave for a week before the photoshoot. Papa Beer’s hairs were still very short when they recorded so he wore a fisherman’s hat and Bobby put on his aunties funkiest glasses for the photoshoot.


A couple of weeks after the recordings were done, Gérardo introduced Papa Beer & Bobby to Piet de Hond. They jammed a couple of times with the four of them, but Gérardo preferred to focus on the technical aspect so he didn’t join the band on tour. As soon as their school years were done in June, they went on the road in a VW van with their gear and travelled throughout Europe.

Critical reception and legacy

‘be Quiet’ was chosen as a single, but it didn’t get a lot of airplay. This didn’t withhold the guys to travel around and ask in bars if they could play for some dinner. They drove to Berlin, Hamburg and Copenhagen, then descended to visit Prague, Austria, Italy, Spain & France.
As the single nor the album was really distributed to radios, the only change they had of playing was to simply ask people in those cities where to play. This turned out to be the bars rather than venues and, as Papa Beer recalls, they got very experienced playing to semi-interested audiences.
The album was reprinted in 1971, when the band had become world famous and again on cd in 1993. Even though initially the album didn’t do anything on the market, more than three million copies have been sold over the years and critics have praised songwriting skills of ‘be Quiet’ and ’mother’ taken into consideration that Papa Beer and Bobby were only 15 and 16 years old when they wrote the songs.


a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski