Q&A

Reporters are kindly requested to read this page before doing an interview. I have been interviewed countless times and noticed that most journalists don’t read any of my books. As a result, matters are being discussed which I researched at length decades ago. Here are the most asked questions…

Q: Who killed Chet Baker?
A: No one killed Chet Baker. He simply fell off a window sill. Writers usually cherish the idea that his ‘mysterious’ death was the result of a crime. But his hotel room was locked from the inside and Chet was alone that night. A possible murderer must have entered the room from the outside, climbing through the window, thrown his victim on the street and leave through the window as well, all this without leaving a trace in the room and right in front of Amsterdam’s busiest railway station.
Q: Why did Chet Baker fade into obscurity after the 60s?
A: He did not fade into obscurity. Bruce Weber, director of the documentary ‘Let’s Get Lost’ (1987), is usually credited for having ‘rediscovered’ Chet Baker. In reality, Chet was a busy touring and recording artist until the very end. Just listen to the incredible concert ‘Chet Baker in Tokyo’, recorded a year before his passing.
Q: How can we purchase your books?
A: The 2017-edition of 'Chet Baker / His life and music' can be ordered at your local book shop; go for details to the 'Books'-page. Dutch readers can still buy 'So Near So Far', a selection of interviews, and my bio about the legendary drummer John Engels. Purchasing most of my other books is a rather complicated matter. The thoroughly updated 2007-edition of my Chet-biography is only available in Dutch and Hungarian. The first edition (1989) was translated into German, English and even Japanese, all for small publishing houses, but these books are only available second-hand. My biography of Ben Webster simply disappeared without a trace after a so-so review in a high-profile newspaper and after the American publisher got out of business. ‘Go man, go!’, a selection of interviews with various jazz musicians, is available in Dutch and as a remaindered book.
Q: Anything more to say?
A: More important than Chet’s death is his life, and more important than his life is his music. But his passing seems to fascinate people, so I go into this matter at length in my bio, providing many more details. A different topic: I’d love to see my book on Ben Webster back into circulation again, preferably updated as well.