A famous footballer, a composer and musician and one shared passion. Andrew Miles delves into the mystic.
Predominantly, this site is for the automotive enthusiast. But with that enthusiasm comes other tangents, arguably tenuous but wholly relevant. To that end, we today delve into the worlds of football and music. One particular patrician of the game is no longer with us but still commands respect and admiration. The music side is dealt with through the medium best known as Jazz.
Johan Cruyff was born in Holland in 1947 near to the Ajax football stadium. Fear not dear reader, we are not striking any further into his on-pitch antics or managerial career. Benjamin Herman was born in London in 1968 though raised in Holland from an early age. What connects these two apart from the Dutch references? Please, read on.
Looking into the life of a footballer sees large amounts of money being made and consumed. Cruyff had other passions, golf and cigarettes being just two, but from his early playing days it was obvious his talent was to be highly rewarded. He could thus indulge in collecting cars which he did with some aplomb.
As this first picture shows (Alfa), he may not look deliriously happy with his purchase but consider how young he looks. Seventeen? Easily under twenty. Think back to when you were a similar age and contemplate what you were thinking of buying. A work colleague mentioned he was given 15 pence spending money in 1972, therefore unless wealth was in the family, I’d wager it would be a second hand, beaten up old jalopy. Not a brand new Alfa Spider.
Moving on but a few years and this next picture sees Cruyff getting the keys to a Porsche 911, sold to him by fellow looking like a younger Eamonn Holmes. The dealership architecture appears interesting with a Beetle suspended up on high. He seems far more happy to be getting his grubby paws onto a vehicle made in Stuttgart. Simpler times too for his picture is being taken no doubt for some promotion or other but that’s it. No entourage, hangers on, camera phones nor undue fuss. Would Gareth Bale, for example even go to a dealership to collect his new Lamborghini?
The clothes and hair have grown now. And a leaning towards the far east. The picture isn’t too clear but a Datsun this most obviously is. I leave it to our better informed clientele as to which particular Z car this is. I just hope it’s a seventies brown affair in order for Cruyff’s leather jacket to contrast a little. And look at the size of that pocket; you could easily store engine parts in there, not that this car would need many spares.
To the 1980s and a return closer to home, with a Double Chevron CX. Again, I leave it our more keen eyed brethren to specify the exact model but once again, Mr Cruyff looks pretty pleased with himself. Aged, experienced now and with a trophy of some sort. Hopefully for winning a competition rather than having an award for being famous such as today’s overpaid frauds. The ground looks more salubrious than where he left his Datsun. Other than the litter which won’t cause a puncture, fortunately. One wonders if the colour might be Brun Scarabee? Perhaps not, too old a hue for a modern footballer…
Now in order to link football and jazz, we must return to the past. With all the sartorial elegance one can muster wearing a multicoloured sweater, at least Cruyff”s latest motor passes muster. Yes, the SM. But not just any old SM; this very car became a catalyst. The Citroen’s number plate 06-54-UD became an inspiration to one Benjamin Herman who began to orchestrate a collection of pieces that can be easily related to by the car enthusiast.
Project S might just contain some Citroen references. And sounds immeasurably Gallic. Slow, breathy one minute , hurried and altogether more bracing the next. One could be belting along a peagé, twirling the wheel around the Simplon or merely heading to Reneé’s boulangerie to share a Gauloises. Or reading DTW with a Chateaux Neuf de Pape.
The opening piece, Opronology begins your journey into silky smooth, upbeat jazz and for the next half hour, sit back, relax and allow the music to transport you wherever you want. Jazz can do this. Jazz connected to cars and in particular the SM owned and driven by Johann Cruyff should make that journey easier. One can only guess as to where you could be transported by wearing such clothing; illegal drug use may compensate one can assume.
Other pieces on this album have titles C114, Traction Avant, Sa Majesté and of course 06-54-UD. This production is from 2018: Cruyff died two years previously and had not been involved with football for some years. His presence though remains strong, clearly inspiring Herman’s work as well as me for finding out this stuff.
“I like to drive the 20km’s from the training ground to my house. It relaxes me, I love the cars.” Said Cruyff in 1976. Amen to that.