35 years ago the impressive Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw is released

Claw Boys Claw - 1984 (pinterest.com)

Claw Boys Claw – 1984


In 1984 the debut-album by Claw Boys Claw, in The Netherlands also known as the Dutch Stooges, is released. The story on Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw by the exciting band from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Claw Boys Claw

The band is formed in 1983 by drummer Allard Jolles (who also played as singer and guitar player in the band L’Attentat), with guitar player John Cameron and bass player Bobbie Rossini. Upon adding singer and graphical designer Peter Te Bos to the line-up, the band is complete and the endless touring through all the rooms, halls and youth centers within The Netherlands commenced. Te Bos stood out with his powerful voice and sensational and driving stage presence. The band plays garage rock with huge sound and energy (think The Stooges and The Gun Club).

Together with bands like The Fatal Flowers, Blue Murder and The Thought, Claw Boys Claw and L’Attentat were commonly categorized as ‘Amsterdam Guitar School’ (at times called ‘Amsterdam Guitar Mafia’).

The band quickly gained notoriety with their exciting mix of rock, punk, rockabilly and blues resulting in winning the main prize at a local talent show in 1983: 500 guilders (which equals 227 Euro).

Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw

Claw Boys Claw - Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw (napster.com)

Claw Boys Claw – Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw

The band used the money to book studio time for 3 hours to record their debut album. The sound quality isn’t too great, but the spontaneity, the power, the musical zest and the energy are clearly audible. It sounds like a local band giving their all in the rehearsal space.

The record (vinyl only) was released through the band’s own Hipcat label, reportedly somewhere in the month of May 1984, and was relatively successful, partly due to the fact the band performed constantly and everywhere. Around that time I saw them for the first time and, as was the case at many of their shows, water literally dripped from the walls of the venue. Such excitement and lust for life! Those concert were truly impressive.

The album wasn’t available up to 2008. That year Claw Boys Claw celebrated their 25 years existence and to honor that occasion Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw was released on cd, supplemented with singles that were released in 1985.


All songs written by Peter Te Bos, John Cameron, Bobbie Rossini and Allard Jolles, unless stated otherwise.

  • Business
  • Venus *
  • Melrose
  • Hippy On The Highway
  • Wanking Fun
  • Cars
  • Camargue
  • Understanding Her
  • Shake It On The Rocks
  • You Gotta Go
  • Feed Me To The Lions
  • Phantom Shark

Extra songs on the 2008 re-release:

  • Indian Wallpaper
  • Love Like Seas
  • So Mean
  • Foul Play
  • Dirty Dog

* Robbie van Leeuwen


Claw Boys Claw:

  • John Cameron – guitar
  • Peter Te Bos – vocals
  • Bobbie Rossini – bass
  • Allard Jolles – drums
Claw Boys Claw - May 19th,1986 - Pinkpop (ANP - Frans Van Der Linde)

Claw Boys Claw – May 19th,1986 – Pinkpop

After Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw

In 1985 the band released the singles So Mean and Indian Wallpaper, as well as the EP Now!, which consisted of live recordings made on November 29th, 1984 at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. After that Jolles returned to L’Attentat, but would frequently work together with the band in the coming years. He was replaced by Marius Schrader.

In 1986 the band signed a deal with Polydor and played the Dutch Pinkpop festival on May 19th, 1986. A legendary, energetic performance. Singer Te Bos didn’t just attack the audience vocally, but he threw everything he could get his hands on into the audience, up to and including his own shoes and socks. Somewhat later the band also performed at the famous Danish Roskilde festival.

The same year the band’s definite statement was released: the brilliant With Love From The Boys, which, like The Fatal FlowersYounger Days, is produced by Vic Maile, making him responsible for two of the very best Dutch rock albums ever, being released in one year as well. It’s a disgrace that With Love From The Boys was never released on cd and, to this day, isn’t available on on-line streaming services, like Spotify.

N.B.: Peter Te Bos designed the album cover to With Love From The Boys, as he would do for several upcoming album covers.

Claw Boys Claw - 1987 - Te Bos kisses minister of culture Brinkman (muziekencyclopedie.nl)

Claw Boys Claw – 1987 – Te Bos kisses minister of culture Brinkman

In 1987 the band won the BV Pop-prijs, made famous by Te Bos kissing the Dutch minister of culture Eelco Brinkman on the cheek.

Even though the band is a true live sensation, record sales are disappointing (yet another similarity with The Fatal Flowers). Following the release of 1987’s Crack My Nut the contract with Polydor is annulled.

In 1988 the band released Hitkillers, an album with covers of Dutch pop hits, like Earth And Fire’s Ruby Is The One, Pussycat’s Mississippi, The Nits’ In The Dutch Mountains and The Blue Diamonds’ Ramona. Next, several musicians came and went, but the duo Peter Te Bos and John Cameron remained intact. The Fatal Flowers‘ Geert de Groot played bass in the band for quite some time.

Claw Boys Claw - Polydor promotion (muziekencyclopedie.nl)

Claw Boys Claw – Polydor promotion

After Hitkillers several albums were released:

  • Angelbite (1990)
  • $ugar (1992)
  • Nipple (1994)
  • Will-O-The-Wisp (1997)
  • Pajama Day (2008)
  • Hammer (2013)
  • It’s Not Me, The Horse Is Not Me – Part 1 (2018)

$ugar is the band’s most popular album. In 1993 the band played as the support act for U2’s impressive Zoo TV tour. After 1997 Peter Te Bos re-focused on graphic design and created the corporate design for the Dutch Lowlands festival. He also designed the famous Urban Dance Squad logo.

In 2008 the band made its comeback and has released an album every 5 or 6 years ever since and regularly performs live.

In closing

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This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: 35 years ago the impressive Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw is released. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

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