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Rick van der Linden RIP

On January 22 Dutch keyboard wizard Rick van der Linden passed away after suffering a brain stroke in November. Rick was the very best keyboard player ever in the Netherlands, better than Keith Emerson and on a par with Rick Wakeman.
As far as I know the only (remote) connection to Deep Purple is Rick playing on Eddie Hardin’s Wind in the Willows.
He came to prominence in the Netherlands at the end of the 60s with the group Ekseption, playing popular adaptations of well known classic pieces like Beethoven’s Fifth and Katchaturian’s Sabre Dance. This was a group with trumpets and saxes instead of guitars, and almost no vocals. In 1974 he founded Trace, a power trio like Emerson Lake and Palmer. Later on he had an off and on relation with Ekseption, finally owning the name in the 90s.
Three years ago he restarted the name Ekseption, with friends from Canada. A more common lineup with keyboards, guitar, bass and vocals, reinterpreting the old Ekseption and Trace songs. I saw them at one of their concerts (first time I saw Rick live), and it was great. Introducing his grand song Gaillarde, it was like “we start off on piano, then improvise like Deep Purple, and then go on to the end of the song’. And indeed, Rick improvised magnificently on the Hammond. Any future plans he had then and announced on stage never came true, because of his ill health, causing his death last week.
More information on www.ekseption.nl. Several greatest hits CDs of Ekseption exist, and all three Trace elpees are reissued on CD. To appreciate his genius, listen to the first Trace CD, called Trace. Magnificent, it is.

Rob Slegtenhorst

9 Comments to “Rick van der Linden RIP”:

  1. 1
    Fedor says:

    A sad loss. Didn’t Rick also play on Wizard’s Convention?

    – Fedor

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    Yes, Rick also played on Eddie Hardin’s Wizard’s Convention. On a track ‘She’s a woman’ piano parts were played by him and Jon Lord. First piano solo – van der Linden, second solo – Lord.

  3. 3
    Tommy Woods says:

    Truly a great loss. I own all three Trace albums and recently fixed my turntable and started listening to them again. I was given a promo copy of their first album in 1975 and I was hooked from then on. I find it very interesting that I would choose to start listening to these albums again only then to learn that Rick had died.


  4. 4
    David says:

    I’ve been a prog rock fan since 1972 when I saw my first Jethro Tull concert at age 14. I bought a copy of Ekseption 3 from a cut out bin at a local record store; I was so impressed with Rick’s brilliant keyboard work. I sell at record shows and Ekseption and Trace LPs sell very well still. Rick Van Der Linden’s music will live on!

  5. 5
    Ramón Porta Claverol says:

    Im very sad,always was listening Trace i bought his Birdsd in a cassette because in this time was the only way to listen everywhere (im from Catalonia-Spain).The god’s of prog are dien.

  6. 6
    Peter says:

    RICK brought with EKSEPTION the interest for classical music in me.The combination of classic tunes with rock-drive- and Rick playing his keyboard-battery- was absolutely the greatest thing for me in the 70s!!Finally his interest in Pipe-Organ/church-organ was a thing,I liked very much.Wish he would play on forever…

  7. 7
    Jan Sigurd says:

    I’ve listen to Hardin’s band with Rick. I think it stinks. He doesn’t know shit about jazz or blues. Never swings. White garbage.
    I was a fool to like Exseption in the esrly seventies. I think Keith Emerson was more unique. But he couldn’t play jazz either. Sounds pathetic.

  8. 8
    Brien Comerford says:

    Rick Van Der Linden was an amazing virtuoso on organ, piano and other keyboards. His skills flourished with Ekseption, Trace and on the two exemplary Cum Laude CDs

  9. 9
    Arthur Herrera says:

    Very sad. I have all his collection , I hear it quite daily. I have been listening his songs since 1976. Ekseption … Trace … . I saw Wakeman once in Madrid , is not comparable to Rick : He has a personal sound that is difficult to find in a piano player… maybe Chick Corea has his own personality.
    Rick left something difficult to forget.

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