BIO – short

Biography RJ STIPS

>—— SHORT ——<

04 02 1950
RJ was born in The Hague,father came home with a grand piano
First piano lessons (Yoli Buriks)
first public appearance at the van Heutz elementary school, playing accordion.
Played the piano on the yearly ‘Farewell Evening Show’ at elementary school.Parents divorced
Accompanied the complete ‘F. E. Show’ at his old school 1961 and won the cultural contest at (Thorbecke) high school. Saw the first (school)band ever at the same cultural contest.
Moved house, changed school (Grotius Lyceum).—- for more details > long & super long version —
Making a necessarily habit of winning the yearly cultural contest, to rebalance his further mediocre results at school (dreamer).
Was invited by Marco Vrolijk to come and play with school band ‘the Blubs’,
When they rehearsed (on Sundays) ) RJ played the piano and sang. Most places, however, where they performed, there was no piano at all, so mostly Robert Jan was front man singer, playing tambourine and mouthharp when not climbing into the curtains…
who later changed their name to :1965/6
’The Q-Provocation’, later to ‘Provocation’
playing in different line ups with all members from the same (Grotius – later Segbroek) high school.In the same period he was playing the piano for a chlidren ballet/operette company called ‘Morgenstond’, earning his first organ.The Provocation playing more and more frequently now with Ron van Eck on bass.
A unique performance with the Provocation (and the children ballet) was the one in the garden of palace Soestdijk, celebrating Queen’s Juliana’s birthday It was breaking news in national and international press: BEAT MUSIC IN PALACE !!
Sacha van Geest joins the band on flute, the band getting under influence of the alternative and hippie movement in the person of Rob Douw.Following the time spirit, they started to do research into new directions, playing underground and alternative music, performing together with lightshows, action painters, poets and dancers.
changed the band’s name into :SUPERSISTER 1968 – 1974 /1999 – 20001968/9Sacha van Geest,
Ron van Eck,
Marco Vrolijk and
Robert Jan Stips.

RJ left school to go study (classical) piano with piano professor Simon Admiraal at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. —- for more details > long & super long version —-


As one of the few Dutch groups Supersister played on the main stage at the Kralingen Pop Festival, Rotterdam,  First single ‘She was Naked’ became a big summer hit, created by heavy rotation on Radio Veronica. First album: ‘Present from Nancy’ on Blossom label, Polydor, also produced by Hans van Oosterhout.


Supersister now really ‘hot’, sharing the nr.1 place in polls with Golden Earring and playing  Germany, France, England and Italy.
Second album: ‘To The Highest Bidder’. Single ‘A Girl Named You’ (top 20),


Third Supersister album: ‘Pudding and Gisteren’
single ‘Radio’ reached top twenty, while the title track was written as ballet music for the Nederlands Dans Theater.
For this album Supersister received the Edison Award ‘73 out of the hands of Mr.Willem (O) Duys.


The band was nearing a natural ending.
a new line up was formed:

Charlie Mariano – altsax, bass clarinet,
Herman van Boeijen – drums and percussion
Ron van Eck – bass
Robert Jan Stips – keys & vocals

The new band took off for England (Manor Studio’s) to record the fourth Supersister album: ‘Iskander’, produced by Georgio Gomelsky.
Later Elton Dean replaced Charlie Mariano.

—- for more details > medium & long version —-

1974/5 Golden Earring

RJ joined Golden Earring surprising friend and fiend. First as an ‘extra’ musician, later as a member of the group. Touring the USA, coast to coast, Europe and UK. Records posthumous Supersister album: ‘Spiral Staircase’ with Sacha van Geest.

Records first solo album: ‘Nevergreens’

receives the Dutch Export Award and a gold copy of Golden Earring compilation album.

And meanwhile in Amsterdam a group called ‘the Nits’ is founded

1976 / 1978


while on tour with Golden Earring in the USA, RJ met Bertus Borgers (again) after Golden Earring they formed ‘Sweet d’Buster’, after Bertus’solo-album.
Herman Deinum bass
Hans Lafaille drums
Paul Smeenk guitar, vocals
Bertus Borgers sax, vocals
Broer Boogaert = percussion and co-writing
, didn’t join the band.
Herman Brood scored a hit with his version of their  ‘Still Believe’ their most successful album was ‘Gigs’,



When still playing in Sweet d’Buster, RJ takes over the production of Gruppo Sportivo from Barry Hay. The group became immensely popular, big hit successes with singles (Rock & Roll, Hey Girl, Disco Really Made It) as well as albums: ‘Ten Mistakes’, (over 50.000 copies) went gold, ‘Back to ’78‘(over 100.000:) platinum.
later  RJ produced ‘Pop Goes the Brain’, ‘Rhythmisaconstantbeat’ and ‘The Opposite’, but the real magic did not reappear.



Huba de Graaff – violin, keybrds, vocals
Henk Wijtman – drums, percussion
Dick Schulte –Nordholt – bass
Robert Jan Stips – vocals and keyboards

RJ gets his own group together, In an amazing short period the new group recorded ‘Zig Zag’ and toured in Holland for a year.

RJ ‘s production work kept on growing, in the summer of 1979 three recording sessions in a row were realized : Transisters ‘Zig Zag’, Hans Vandenburgs ‘Buddy Odor’ and

THE NITS 1979 / 1996 / 2003 / …

Alex Roelofs – bas
Michiel Peters – vocals, guitar
Henk Hofstede – vocals, keyboards,guitar
Rob Kloet – drums, percussion

In this first session 4 songs were recorded,  The Young Reporter, Harrow’s Accident, Umbrella and Tutti Ragazzi

Aad Link and RJ founded a new agency in the Hague ‘Rock in Waterland’ and contacted the Nits for a recording contract with CBS.
Tutti Ragazzi – with RJ as producer – was their first hit single, followed by their first (CBS) album ‘Tent’ – produced by the Nits.

Second NITS album ‘New Flat’, co-produced by RJ
singles : New Flat , Holiday on Ice, Bobby Solo


RJ contributes to the live tour of Danny Lademacher’s Innersleeve 

RJ’s second solo album : ‘U.P.’ Recorded at the Arnold Muhren Studio in Volendam. Engineered by Aad Link

RJ produces Gruppo Sportivo album ‘Pop Goes the Brain’


RJ joins the Nits, at first replacing  bass player Alex Roelofs who left just before their second German tour.


RJ now full Nits member.
Third NITS album: ‘Omsk’,
Hit single : ‘Nescio’
both album and single Dutch top 10.

Later that same year mini album ‘Kilo’.
single : ‘Sketches of Spain’.(top 20)

album : Adieu Sweet Bahnhof
(top 30)
touring Europe more frequently, Michiel Peters leaves the group.


Founding new agency and studio with Aad Link: Buro GeluidsManipulatie – BGM .
Bought first sampler (PPG) and directed a cartoon synch/translating project ‘Ferdy de Mier’ for the new BGM studio.

Radio Freedom Gala, Carré A’dam. First encounter on stage with Freek de Jonge.


NITS trio (Rob, Henk & RJ) album: ‘HENK’.


‘In The Dutch Mountains’ (recorded on two track) album & single top 10, European break through.
Joke Geraets –bass and Petra Lugtenburg – vocals join the group.


Petra leaves the group.

hit single ‘J.O.S. Days

Henk, Rob, Joke and RJ record the succesfull mini album ‘the Hat’ (top 11) with two hit singles ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Train’.

RJ mixes Gruppo Sportivo single ‘Mexican Radio’


Nits double live album ‘Urk’ (platinum), (single Adieu , Sweet Bahnhof)

The Nits receive the Gouden Harp and also the BV Popprijs.

RJ produced, arranged and mixed Gruppo Sportivo’s ‘Sucker of the Century’


Joke Geraets decides to leave the Nits, mainly because of a muscle-problem-disease MS
new album: Giant Normal Dwarf, recorded by the trio Henk, Rob, and Robert Jan.

video ‘Urk’
live single : ‘Home Before Dark’


Monique Olivier and Robert Jan get married


Hjuvi – A Rhapsody in Time
A project with the Radio Symphony Orchestra


NITS album Ting  + touring


NITS CD + tour : ‘dAdAdA’

After 14 years  Robert Jan took the (hard) decision to leave NITS.
The final concert was half a year later at the Uitmarkt on the Dam in Amsterdam, broadcasted by national television.
RJ’s founds his new group ‘STIPS’.
and re-recorded several songs from his several pasts for the CD ‘Egotrip’.


NITS – jan : Luxemburg, D – Karlsruhe, Austria – Vienna
feb march may : NL

may : TV special item about RJ in NOVA (Tonko Dop)

RJ writes the strings arrangements for Golden Earring album ‘LoveSweat’

june: first rehearsals ‘STIPS’ trio,
Martin Bakker
 – bass,
Roy Bakker – drums,
RJS – keys & vocals,

NITS play Thessaloniki, Greece

july: NITS play Canada, Reading and Bern

august 25 : Last NITS concert with Robert Jan, Martin Bakker and Peter Meuris also leave the Nits. This concert took place on the Dam-square in Amsterdam and was broadcasted on television nationwide.

‘STIPS’ played the 2 Meter-Session with
radio DJ Jan Douwe Kroeske 
and Leo Blokhuis, and the most popular TV Program ‘Spijkers met Koppen’
a program of and with former radio DJ Jack Spijkerman.

Gemee­ngoed: Freek de Jonge with Stips, a vast Dutch tour and CD, from which the single ‘Leven na de Dood’ reached the top position in the Dutch charts: RJ’s first  No 1 !


Rapsodia live in Paradiso, Amsterdam with Freek de Jonge.


RJ’s solo CD : Greyhound, on tour with Mark Boon – guitar and Judith Sijp – violoncello.


de Grens : 10 different (TV & theatre) shows in one year with Freek de Jonge.


first child of Monique and Robert Jan, lovely daughter Floyd is born

RJ was asked to contribute the ‘live’ music for the alternative Rembrandt  exhibition in The Hague, resulting in the CD ‘Rembrandt 2000.

Supersister  reunion in Los Angeles!


recording ‘ De Geheelontkenners ‘
|with Bart Chabot and Ardy B.


great news again : their second child, beautiful sun Nomee is born

More Supersister concerts in Tilburg (013), Groningen (Oosterpoort), the live recording at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the last concerts in The Hague (Kon. Schouwburg).

Release of live album ‘Supersisterious’.

Sacha van Geest all of a sudden dies of an hart attack while on holidays on Malta.
(see Sacha special in Supersister Tower – Stips City)

*under construction*


NITS ‘1974’ CD & TOUR

RJ joins in with a Nits 30-years anniversary tour.  it was decided to record a complete new CD:‘1974’,
Nits went on a vast tour from Oct.’03 till Aug. ’04
new NITS line up:

Henk Hofstede vocals, guitar, banjo
Rob Kloet drums, samples &
Laetitia van Krieken keyboards, violin,
Robert Jan Stips keyboards, vocals


NITS appear at Vrienden van Amstel’ as special guest with Di-rect.
RJ also playing the opening piano act,  accompanying Willeke Alberti.

Henk Hofstede and Robert Jan appear also as special guest at the (DVD recorded) Ahoy concert of BLØF.


touring Nits-territories like France, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and (the French speaking part of) Canada, new places like Barcelona and Winnipeg, Canada, appeared on the Nits tour schedule, all organised by manger Aad Link.

A live DVD ‘1974’ had been recorded at the end of the Dutch tour in May ’04 at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, released fall ’04.

De Vergrijzing

At the end of August 2004 an immense Freek de Jonge project started, called ‘de Vergrijzing’, a theatre/television marathon contending 15 weekly new 55-minutes complete theatre shows, each one freshly created and performed live in the week before the – VPRO – broadcasting weekly on Sunday. RJ provided the leader and live music for each episode,


RJ arranged some songs from de Vergrijzing for the project Freek de Jonge & the Metropole Orchestra at the Concert Gebouw planned February 4th.

March 2005

RJ and Freek were given the Annie M G Schmidt Prijs for their song ‘Vergeet Mij Niet’.

New recordings with the basic Rob-Henk-RJ NITS trio,  Mixed by Paul Telman, a new NITS highlight was born: the album ‘Les Nuits’. Released in the autumn of 2005

In September ‘05 Jelle de Jonge, sun of, produced a television series called ‘Kortgehouden’ for and with FreekRJ delivered the leader music and the music for  the  short movies.


NITS Les Nuits tour


RJSOLO mini tour in Feb/March

first leg

recording new NITS album

2nd leg


RJSOLO tour in Nov/ Dec


RELEASE new NITS album – Doing the Dishes + touring
NITS Doing The Dishes Tour 1st LEG
under construction

RJSOLO tour in Sept / Dec


NITS Doing The Dishes Tour 2nd LEG
under construction

May / June – recording new NITS album: Strawberry Wood
– under construction

June/ July – RJ writes 8 songs for VPRO documentary.
– under construction

Oct / Dec – NITS Strawberry Wood release and tour, 1st leg : Dutch theatres, Helsinki, Paris.
– under construction


RJSOLO tour in Jan/Feb/March


At PARKPOP 2010 RJ organizes a big event,
celebrating the festival’s 30st anniversary :
a 3 Simultaneous Stages Performance !

– under construction –

SUPERSISTER and NITS both plays on DUTCH TV – Nacht van de Nederpop.


RJSOLO tour in jan, feb, march.

NITS rcording new album [ > Malpensa]
in A’dam, Utrecht (Kytopia) and Piemonte, Italy

– under construction –


RJSOLO tour in Jan/Feb/March


RJ misses first leg of MALPENSA tour, due to an operation on his left hand ( bacterial infection).

summer : NITS play festivals in Switzerland and Holland.

RJ rejoins NITS MALPENSA THEATRE TOUR , mainly in Holland + European trips – oct/nov/dec.

– under construction –


RJSOLO tour in jan /feb

NITS – MALPENSA THEATER TOUR ctd. – march/april/may/


the year in which NITS celebrated its 40 years anniversary. first they played material from their first 10 years up in the small concert place upstairs at the Paradiso A’dam, where they played 40 years before as well, there first gig at the Paradiso, 1974. a few weeks later followed by a big concert down in the big Paradiso concert hall with a collection of songs from the ‘rest’ of the 40 years, a memorable night, also because between concert and encores the major of Amsterdam van der Laan appeared on stage and held a speech in which he declared that his Majesty the King had decided to give the 3 NITS members the medals of being Knights in the order of Orange – Nassau !
from there on a small international tour was played to celebrate the 40 years  in Germany, Austria, England and last but not least Switzerland, where a wonderful initiative of Swiss hard core fans resulted in a wonderful 3 double CD full of highly original and well performed  NITS covers by somewhat 50 Swiss, German, French and English artists, entitled ISN’T NITS ! 

in the meantime RJ was invited by theatre ‘De Wegwijzer’ in Zeeland to be the musical ‘chief’ for ‘O die zee’ , a high reaching and risky enterprise in order to realise a unique music-theatre-spectacle near the Westerschelde in the summer of 2014. Huub van der Lubbe (singer/author of ‘de Dijk’) writing the song-lyrics, Tom de Ket (ao de Verleiders) writing the script and directing, RJ inviting Dutch pop-composers of all ranges to write the music for one song, arranging, organising and playing them with the band, for which he invited ‘Ocobar’.
Resulting in a stunning multi-discipline 20 very successful and sold out musical and theatre performances, ‘O die zee’ was also the start of the theatre band ‘FABELHAFTt’ , touring in 2017 (!) with ‘O Die Zee – In Concert‘…

later that year RJ writes and records 10 special pieces after 10 paintings that are part of the special exposition of his brother, painter Wouter Stips entitled ‘Kind van 70’  (‘Child aged 70’) from September 21st at the Singer Museum in Laren, Holland.
listen/download )


jan/feb RJSolo

Nits tour – Holland Finland Switzerland

solotour including the ‘three grand piano concert’ in the Beauforthuis – resulting in the release of “Present tot the Highest RJS plays Supersister

summer: Music for ‘new TV Channel ‘ONS’

october ” Frits (Freek & Nits)


jan/feb/march/may – RJSolo

june / first performances with NITS and Scapino

sept / october /  TING! 
18 performanceses in Rotterdam : with SCAPINO, NITS & CODARTS

music for NTR docu series about the dutch connection with South Africa ‘Goede Hoop’ 

nov/dec /  RJSolo and NITS


jan / feb / FABELHAFT theater tour
O Die Zee – in 
release CD ‘O die zee – 11 songs’

apr / may / RJSolo

june / july / NITS recording  CD ‘angst’

aug / sept / release CD ‘angst’,
first try outs
oct – december : NITS ‘angst’ NL theater  tour (first leg)


jan / feb /  RJSolo
+ first performance of  ‘Stips in het Kwadraat’ – with Wouter Stips (paintings and poetry) and Marieke Brokamp (violin)

march /NITS ‘angst’ NL theater tour
( 2nd leg )
april / may /  NITS ‘angst’ Europe : 
Austria, Switzerland,France, Belgium, Finland, Germany

summer : NITS Festivals and RJSolo

sept / october / Reprise TING! in Carré – A’dam and de Nieuwe Luxor – R’dam

october / recording NTR documentary about RJS


– under construction –

jan / feb / march RJSolo

feb / documentary on Dutch Television:
‘De Tovenaar van de Nederpop’

release  CD /LP ‘RETSIS REPUS’
XXL concerts The Hague & Amsterdam

June / July concerts
and  Stips&Brokamp

club tour

november / release NITS CD ‘Knot’
nov&dec / NITS  ‘Knot’  tour


jan – feb / RJSolo
new TV Leader “Andere Tijden”
icw Marieke Brokamp
march / NITS KNOT tour

…   c o r o n a  …

may / Requests On Line

June/ The Festival (Was On) – remembering The Holland Pop Festival of 1970

+ playing solo live stream concerts

release of the Supersister Biography:
‘ Looking Back, Naked’
and its audio-illustrative CD


rjs – hilversum, helsinki, rennes, münchen, nantes, hamburg, the hague, chappes, quebec, beaufort, delft , lenk