PICTURE was a heavy metal band, that formed in the Netherlands in 1979. The original band consisted of Ronald Van Prooijen on vocals, Jan Bechtum on guitar, Rinus Vreugdenhil on bass and Laurens Bakker on drums. They recorded a demo in 1979, which included the song "My Gun Shoots", which was very popular on Dutch radio. They were offered a record deal with Warner Bros. initially, but were dropped when they refused to bow to the wishes of the record company to play commercial rock.
After getting a record deal with Phonogram/Back Door Records, PICTURE recorded and released their debut album “Picture” in 1980. The album had a raw sound and featured such songs as "Dirty Street Fighter" and "Bombers". The album was huge in the Netherlands, but international success would be another story. In 1981, the band released their second album “Heavy Metal Ears”. Better production led to much stronger album sales. The title track and "Rock And Roll/Under Your Spell" were notable tracks from this classic metal outing. Talk about PICTURE began to spread beyond the Dutch border. It seemed that the band were on their way.
Just before PICTURE was set to record their third album, vocalist Ronald Van Prooijen left the band for personal reasons. This was a blow to the other members, but they found a replacement in Israeli born singer Shmoulik Avigal. The third album “Diamond Dreamer” was released in 1982 and is classed as one of the best PICTURE albums. Highlights included the title track and "Get Me Rock And Roll". By this time, PICTURE was popular enough to start touring overseas. They were offered chances to tour with such bands as KISS, but financial problems plagued the band, so they could never promote their music like they wanted to. “Diamond Dreamer” was the only album to feature Avigal...during the tour, he fought with PICTURE's management and was kicked out of the band.
The band started to fall apart at this point. Guitarist Jan Bechtum left the band at the end of 1982, and two new guitarists stepped in to take his place, Chriz Van Jaarsveld and Henri Van Manen. With this line-up change, PICTURE's sound changed dramatically. English vocalist Pete Lovell came in to replace Avigal and the new line-up released the powerful metal album “Eternal Dark” in 1983. Featuring the sinister album cover, “Eternal Dark” was another big success for the band, featuring the hit title track. Though the band was offered several chances to tour, they had to turn down most of them because of lack of funds. They sold albums, but never enough to get out of Europe much. More problems plagued the band by 1984. Drummer Laurens Bakker dropped out of PICTURE, to be replaced by a drummer known as 'Shake'. This left only Rinus Vreugdenhil from the original band to record the fifth album, “Traitor”, released later that year. The band's albums finally started to get noticed in North America, particularly in Canada, where “Traitor” was released on Canadian-based Viper Records.
The band originally called PICTURE pretty much ceased to exist after “Traitor”. The band had two more albums to complete on their contract with Phonogram. With studio musician line-ups, PICTURE released “Every Story Needs Another Picture” in 1985 and “Marathon” in 1986. After those two albums, PICTURE was put to rest. The original line-up tried to reform in 1988, but did only one concert. The members went on to various projects afterwards, and it looked like the PICTURE story was over.
In 1995, original guitarist Jan Bechtum formed a new band with bassist Jos Adema and drummer Mark Maas. After auditioning many vocalists, the band chose Michael Zandbergen to be the frontman. Bechtum named the band PICTURE and a new era appeared to be starting. But only demos were recorded with this line-up and after a few years and several concerts, Bechtum decided to pull the plug out of PICTURE.
In 2007 original PICTURE members Jan Bechtum, Laurens Bakker and Rinus Vreugdenhil decided to put their heads together again. Former frontman Pete Lovell and guitarist Rob van Enkhuizen, who also played on the “Marathon” album, completed this line-up. In 2008 PICTURE continues their live gigs, where they left off (they play a very successful gig at Headbangers Open Air in Germany) and release a live album, entitled “Live 2008”. In 2009 they record a new studio album “Old Dogs New Tricks” and play more live shows and a few festivals, among the famous Keep It True festival in Germany. In 2011 Rob van Enkhuizen is being replaced by Mike Ferguson and also Jan Bechtum quits PICTURE for good. His replacement is a guy called Peter Bourbon, who played in VENGEANCE for a short time. However in 2012, Peter Bourbon moves on and is being replaced by Len Ruygrok. Jan Bechtum and Rob van Enkhuizen start a new band called DIAMOND DREAMER, which unfortunately is granted only a short life. In 2012, PICTURE strikes back hard with a new studio album “Warhorse”, which gets excellent reviews everywhere!!! PICTURE is back and you’d better believe it!
(text conducted by various sources and completed by Toine van Poorten)
Ronald Van Prooijen – vocals (ex-FRAGMA, ex-EXIST, now ROSSLYN)
Shmoulik Avigal – vocals (AVIGAL)
Pete Lovell – vocals
Bert Heerink - vocals
Michel Zandbergen - vocals
Jan Bechtum – guitar (ex-DIAMOND DREAMER)
Chriz van Jaarsveld - guitar
Henry van Manen - guitar
Rob van Enkhuizen – guitar (ex-DIAMOND DREAMER)
Peter Bourbon – guitar (ex-VENGEANCE)
Gert Nijboer - guitar
Mike Ferguson – guitar
Len Ruygrok – guitar
Andre Wullems - guitar
Rinus Vreugdenhil - bass
Ronald de Grouw - keyboards
Laurens Bakker - drums
Jacques van Oevelen – drums (FRED WESTRA & THE FRED ALERT, X-IST)
*Demo (Demo 1980)
*Bombers b/w Dirty Street Fighters (Single 1980)
*Picture (LP Backdoor 1980)
*Heavy metal Ears (LP Backdoor 1981)
*Diamond Dreamer (LP Backdoor 1982)
*Eternal Dark (LP Backdoor 1983)
*Eternal Dark b/w Into The Underworld (Single 1983)
*Fantasies (Limited edition EP 1985)
*Traitor (LP Backdoor 1985)
*Fantasies/Traitor (12 inch Single 1985)
*Love Me b/w Lost In The Night (Single 1985)
*Every Story Needs Another Picture (LP Backdoor 1986)
*Stay With Me b/w Theme From Stay With Me (Single 1986)
*Marathon (LP Touchdown 1987)
*We Just Can’t Lose (Single 1987)
*Live 2008 (CD 2008)
*Old Dogs, New Tricks (CD 2009)
*Warhorse (CD 2012)