Music is the leitmotiv in Johan Bakker’s life. He was introduced to Debussy’s piano compositions before he was even born, and as a toddler he preferred singing songs with incomprehensible lyrics to playing with toy cars. During a period of illness, Johan moved his parents’ radio to his bedroom. The set itself – with all its tubes and lights – was no less than a mystery for the little boy, but its modern technology brought the world into his small room. Johan discovered new, unknown music broadcast from ships on the North Sea semi-legally bombarding the Low Countries from their maritime no man’s land.
Music became so important that Johan left school early and started to work to be able to buy his own instruments and amplifiers. He kept his head above water by working as a process operator, a waiter, a caretaker, a teacher, a musician and a journalist. In the meantime, he studied English linguistics and literature, and submerged himself in the study of Art history. His focus shifted from making music to writing about music. Johan published hundreds of concert and CD reviews, as well as interviews, and broadened his perspective to include literary fiction, film and the visual arts. Eventually, his love of art in general, and music in particular, culminated in a thorough study of the life and work of the American singer-guitarist, and artist, Eva Cassidy (1963 – 1996). The biography Behind the Rainbow is the crowning achievement on Johan Bakker’s work – for the time being.