Liesbeth List

Last Wednesday, March 25th, iconic Dutch singer and actress Liesbeth List passed away at her home in Soest aged 78. Liesbeth was a well-loved singer in The Netherlands, who rose to fame in the 1960s, first with singing French chansons, with artists like Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour. In her later life she portrayed Edith Piaf in a well-received musical in Dutch theatres. She performed regularly with her long time friend and singer Ramses Shaffy. Liesbeth was essential in the breakthrough of Magna Carta in the early 1970s.

Chris Simpson remembers:

The time to move on from our mortal bodies does indeed come to us all in some shape or form: and with the virus rampaging around the world right now, I’m sure we all, as human beings feel more fragile than ever.

I have, as many of you know, been sceptical for a long while as to the vast amount of junk we tell ourselves we need, from Facebook to Streaming, Instagrams and beyond. The world is changing and life hangs in the balance.

It occurred to me that so any of my songs, i.e. Uncertain Times, Lord of the Ages, Long Time Running and so any more tried to tell it like it is… but you cannot get away from the fact ..’man born of woman hath but a short time to live..’

Then in the face of all this something happens that brings our mortality home with a bang. I heard it from many dear friends just this morning, a soul has indeed moved on in Holland, and our world as the poorer for her passing.

Liesbeth List. She died on Wednesday, 78 years old and a year older than me. Her husband Robert Braaksma preceded her. He died in 2014. In 2017 Liesbeth quit performing as they discovered that she had dementia.

What a life!

Thousands will recall her in concert and on record. If I recall the name correctly, she made some albums with Ramses Shaffy.

We met her in 1971. Magna Carta was then myself, Glen Stuart and Davey Johnstone before he joined Elton John. She gave us an incredible lift up the uncertain ladder of show business, and recorded my ‘Airport Song’ as well. That recording has been lost.

She was a true lady, kind, gracious and oh so very generous. We played big, sold out places, and she put us on the map in Holland. She introduced us at the beginning of each performance, and gave us such a generous slice of time that we cut an album. ‘In Concert’ recorded in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. If I recall it right, she had the Louis Van Dijk trio backing her.

One particular harrowing incident was Davey being electocuted. I forget exactly where, but he was knocked out and once we knew he was still alive thank heaven, Liesbeth, the true professional, came straight out on stage and played a set. Golden times and memories of a fine lady. Many years later, she joined us for a session at Radio Hoofddorp. Just the same Liesbeth and lovely as ever.

Rest in the wonderful peace that you deserve.

Love eternal,

Chris Simpson

Davey Johnstone┬áreplied: “Sad news indeed. Liesbeth was an angel. DJ”