Dutch Goes Home – RIP

April 2011 – by Lynne Wright

9th April: Dutch goes home after a few weeks of palliative care



AUSTRALIAN RADIO BLUES CHARTS ’10 Dec 22 – ’11 Jan 11 – ’11 Feb 5 – ’11 Mar ?
Anthony Moulay, Bay FM Blues Radio Show sends me updates of how Dutch is rising up the charts as shown No 22 upwards to No 5 and I am hoping Dutch sees his song ‘Going on a Journey’ hit No 1. Keep playing his song while his ‘Journey’ is On….On.
Dutch Tilders is getting more airplay and we both want to thankyou all for solid support.

My solemn apologies if I have not responded to some postings online. I assure you I am reading, printing and forwarding your kind thoughtful comments to Dutch. Thankyou. Good News is our faithful Bluesman is still with us and beating all odds against pains. Such an incredible human being, to suffer cancer with a smile, to keep loved ones from worry. Dutch has determined to be genuinely happy with life as it is. I see his truth.

Dutch was told the news, of him having an incurable esophagus tumor, back in April 2010, after visiting the Doctor with a swallowing problem in February 2010. Within one week Dutch wrote ‘Going On A Journey’ as this bluesman does. The lyrics are so meaningful. He is aleady concerned for his family, friends and sweethearts as Dutch says “The worst thing about cancer is it makes your friends worry so much.”
Wonderful news is that Dutch is not complaining and feels a satisfying sense of peace.

March 23rd Dutch had trouble breathing, due to what was found out later to be a chest infection which was also complicating his pain management of cancer medications. Box Hill Hospital strengthened Dutch enough, to be trusting his health was stable, so he was able to move to Wantirna Health Palliative Care Centre where he has been happily re-cooperating for a week. If management of incurable cancer pain can be maintained, then the Dutchman can go back home and administer himself, all medications, with assistance from his carer, Rory. Family and friends are abound. Dutch welcomes visitors between 11am-7pm daily, as conversation is lucid and company is the best therapy ever.


Dutch Tilders Last Tour January 27-31 2011

Thought I should fill some of you in on what has been happening over the past couple of months, since Dutch’s illness has forced him into retirement, at the ripe old age of sixty-nine. Fortunately his long career finished with a successful Queensland/New South Wales Tour, organized by Dutch’s personal friend of 35years, Miss Christine Lowen. Many assisted her with her pursuit to treat, greet and spoil our legendary Australian Bluesman, one last time interstate, with special musician friends of old. Peter ‘Scrubby’ Hurcombe assisted Chris and his Band supported Dutch for each show. Guests included Geoff ‘The Chef’ Achison, Dirk ‘Chain’Debois, George Washingmachine, David Rankin, Johnny Grey, Greg Baker and Lily White. The sound engineers were faultless.

Chris was determined to show Dutch a good time with all the frills. We arrived at the Coolangatta Airport, where Chris gifted me, with a huge floral arrangement. Pavlos Cadillac Limo was awaiting to serve Dutch and I a drink on entry while driving to our accommodation, on the Tweed River. Beauty at its best.

On arrival at our motel we were showered in Food Platters and more flowers in our rooms. Two ladies, Shirl and Kim who were employed by Chris to assist with the tour were our welcoming committee. Dutch’s and my needs were so well planned and catered for, we felt like royalty. Chris excelled in hospitality. No work the first night, so we all drank to be merry and ready for our three night tour. I prayed Dutch would be able to perform all gigs, with regular rests prepared, to build his strength.

Pavlos Limo collected us with a full bar and snacks to relax us after several hours of travel. I wondered if Dutch would want to move again, after settling in to comfy lounge in Limo. Dutch questioned Chris ‘I’m no Diva’ what’s this Limo thing for? He felt humbled and that feeling left him quickly, so he could thoroughly enjoy being treated so special by his friends. Most travel trips to and from gigs saw Dutch mini-napping, while us gals chin-wagged our way to the gigs, as we do. I loved this tour, with an entourage of ladies. Usually Dutch and I travel together, catching up with many male musicians at shows. Dutch had a harem and as we all know, he deserved to be served.


28/01/11: Currumbin RSL ‘The Sound Lounge’ was pumping right from the opening of the first set, as Blind Willie Wagtail were excited to be seeing and performing on the same bill, as too was Dutch Tilders again after five or so years. Dutch came onto stage for the second set Solo and captured the audience within minutes, as he can. A highlight of the night was watching George Washingmachine and his son, perform together on stage, as the chemistry was enlightening and only got better when Dirk Debois joined them on bass. This comfortable seating venue, was full of friends from far and wide, who were thankful to see such an exceptional performance, from one so frail. Dutch’s vocals were rich and soulful, with no loss of professionalislm during all of his one hour plus shows. The spirit of this first welcoming gig rolled onto the rest of the tour gigs.

Dutch awoke early as usual each day but was obviously tired as he slept some of the days, in preparation for each show. He had plenty of medication on hand and at this stage of his cancer battle, he was still carefully attempting to pace his need for higher dosages of drugs. I have accompanied Dutch from the beginning of his Journey with Cancer illness and watched Dutch bear much pain, over a longer period than expected. It is an honour to see him happy to deal with whatever life deals him and thank god his strength of character has always been extraordinary to cope with body changes.


29/01/11: Byron Bay Brewery Pavlos Limo drove us to what was another great show, sharing the bill now with Geoff Achison, while George Washingmachine traveled onwards up the road. Well! we all loved ‘Blind Willie Wagtail’ Dolphin Award Winners and Scrubby kept introducing surprise guests. This kept Dutch and other artists fuelled, for the end of each night, final jam. Locals from around Byron came to support the tribute to Dutch Tilders gig and it was an appreciative crowd. Super to meet with Anthony Moulay, Bay FM Radio who has been playing Dutch’s Blues, forever, on his Bay FM Blues Show. Lovely to meet after being email buddies for many years. My brother Phil, who lives in Ballina, came too! Great to catch up again. Lucky in my career, as Dutch Tilder’s fearless leader, as he calls me, I can mix business with pleasure. Yes, everyone loves to see Dutch and Geoff duo show, so they blew the audience away again, with their incredible talent and such excellent magnetism on stage together.

Oh! Ok! Best we group together after this gig, with Dutch, Scrubby, Geoff and the gals, to celebrate another great gig. Naturally with a few nibbles, drinks and chats goings on, we lost time and realized again, that the night was almost morning. Dutch slept through some of our after parties, as he just can’t hack the pace like he easily did before illness. We watched Dutch resting peacefully while we sat outside his room and talked about him. Listening to Dutch’s Morphine/Scotch banter while asleep, is a whole episode to laugh about. Dutch may go into a conversation for five minutes or an hour on anything about his father, Max Merritt or Fred Flintstone with a cough or snore to boot.

Lucky with his hearing aids out and him lying on his side, he missed a few cool jokes at his expense. Like how he had been directing my trafficking him in a wheelchair, at airports and him teasing me by putting on the hand brakes, if I might choose to go a different route. Cheeky as, still! I remember when I had him trying to run to the plane.


30/01/11: Condong Bowling Club Chris was determined to make sure a comfy resting place was available to Dutch in the Limo or in the venue at all gigs. The last show was five minutes drive from our Motel but there was the Limo again awaiting to drive us. Drinks on ice, lollies plentiful, fun loving company set the mood for the last tribute show.

We arrived to find a venue full of tables and chairs, BBQ meal and lotsa blues fans. The show sold out (500) so the crew of entertainers performed for almost five hours. Wow! This was a sensational send off. Friendly folk only applied for tickets and all went home ‘happy as larry’. Dutch left after his show, due to exhaustion of giving such a huge emotionally fulfilling show, with only a smile on his dial but a need for sleep. This ol’ Godfather of Blues rang me a couple of hours later asking was the show over and when was the after party happening back at the Motel. Hurry home! He was ready to rock n roll. Soooo good to see Dutch gleeful of warmth given to him during shows. Old, young and in between ages of folk came to support him with friends at these shows and he was in his element, happy knowing he had left them his legacy and knew they were satisfied.

Dutch gave his all on his last gigs and was sorely disappointed to not be able to continue performing after this tour. Phil Manning, Geoff Achison, Lloyd Spiegel, Marrissa Quigley, Joules Boult, Martin Cooper, Peter Beulke and Chris White all pooled together to fill in Dutch’s Solo Sets of booked gigs in Melbourne. Thankyou from Dutch x


What has life been like for our legendary Bluesman since being forced into retirement?

A quick spat of tears was shed and then Dutch expressed he felt quite dead inside of himself momentarily, now he was no longer sharing his gift of passionate playing, singing and travelling to others. Dutch was learning something new and at 69 years of age and working as long as he has, in one helluva ride, it was to be expected he would be sad for awhile. Dutch is over it enough to be enjoying his journey, for all his experiences he grasps and retains in his memory, be they good, bad or ugly.

During this past two months Dutch has been under serious pain management with regular increases in medications and many ups and downs. His continuous flow of comfort from family, friends and fans visiting or writing, to care for him, has overwhelmed our gentle mellow elder. Whether a good or bad day, he welcomes all, with a smile and when he needs to rest, visitors sit at the table and await him to arise or come back again soon.

Sometimes I feel so in awe of having the rewards of knowing Dutch so closely as many others have over his lifetime. Dutch has a presence that if met is never forgotten and those who have met him, remember his charm, intelligence and healing prowess. Having been in Box Hill Hospital with a chest cold a couple of weeks ago and defying death on his doorstep, Dutch has amazed Doctors by beating the common cold and getting back on his journey with cancer. A damn chest cold was not going to win.
Billy Kavanagh stated to Dutch “Your too stubborn to die”. Dutch’s laugh is alive!

The Irreverend Steve Clark, as Dutch calls him, visited last month and asked Dutch this tough question, “Have you made peace with God”? Dutch answered, “Well I never thought I offended him in the first place”!
Last thoughts on this since, Dutch says, “I didn’t hurt anybody? At least not intentionally”. This sums our Dutchman up to a tee, as if you’ve known him, it is possible to understand his soft nature to please and appease.


B B King is coming to town and Dutch has decided he is too ill to travel to his show in Melbourne 16th April. I bought a couple of frontline tickets and then received a couple of complimentary tickets from Chuggs Entertainment, which Dutch has asked me to return. Last November Dutch asked if we could go to the States so he could meet some of the bluesfolk, he stole blues rifts from, over the years. He! He! Well I suggested we could plan for April, as Dutch said he would prefer to go during the warmer months. OK!! What I wouldn’t give to tour Dutch overseas but the dream was a fantasy as we both knew but we had fun talking about it. He was hoping to visit BB King and Barbara Blue for a starter when he reached the USA but his health declined more rapidly, so not to be.


Retirement is different for Dutch while unwell, as he isn’t frequenting the local tab, sharing a yarn and an ale with fellow regulars from the Manhattan Hotel, Ringwood. He hasn’t been to a live show since attending as a guest at the Cornish Arms Hotel gig 20th February organized as a Dutch Tilders Tribute Show. With 3 Generations of Blues sharing stage our Elder Bluesman sat and watched with a mini nap on and off during the show. Dutch had to leave early due to new drugs playing havoc on his body and mind.

We can thank Scott Carn, Popshop Entertainment for putting this tribute together with Gary Jones, MBAS President working the door, raffles and guest control in his gentlemanly manner, as always. Thankyou to our newest found friend, Shirl Lowen, who has been such a breath of fresh air, selling merchandise during this gig and also during Dutch’s last tour interstate. She traveled from Melbourne like us and then fell in to the groove only to have to stop (due to Dutch’s retirement) just when she wanted to do more.


Peanuts Promotions/Peanuts Publishing will live on in the music industry as I am not ready to retire and wish to continue promoting my favourite artists, as I have Dutch. Soon I shall be sharing my new website, of artists available to book through my agency, online or directly with me on the phone, as I appreciate not all people are computer friendly. These Artists are on my books for the future after booking them in the past. Chris Finnen, Rosie Hayden, Jules Boult, Doc Span, Rocking Rob Riley ‘Rose Tattoo’ (has a new band coming soon), Dave Blight & the Flyers, Barbara Blue USA, Ron Tabauteau, Chris White, Jeannie Lushes, Blind Willie +. At present I am still doing what I love best, sharing quality time with my close friend and business partner, Dutch. I cherish my family and Dutch is surely one. I shall keep the blues alive and in honour of Dutch Tilders, keep his musical craftsmanship excellence in Authentic Blues also alive.