Day Opening - December 2

Yesterday morning, Ramses Shaffy, the Dutch7French singer and actor died aged 76. Most of them plump for recent ones showing him as an old man worn down by drink, but we can also see "the Netherlands' only chansonnier" as a young icon of the popular cultural scene, a striking flower-power figure in the 1960s.

One Dutch newspaper devotes a whole inside page to what it calls the dismay caused by the flamboyant Amsterdammer's death. Under the headline, "Addicted to life", the paper prints a quote from 1995: "It's a wonder I'm still sitting here, with all the cigarettes, drink and I don't know what else".
The paper says he lived life to the full, giving us another quote: "The blood that pumps though my body screams out for adventure!" Under the headline, "Ramses last glass", it tells us of his last visit to his favourite restaurant, just a short stroll from the Amsterdam nursing home where he ended his days. "He came in around 5 or 6 [...] and sometimes stayed till very late. He drank red wine or sambuca. And also ate something," the restaurant owner fills us in.

It's not only other celebrities who are mourning the star's demise: fans are to hold a vigil at the place where Shaffy moored his houseboat in the heady days of the 1970s. The organiser recalls that Shaffy started out life in Amsterdam as a foster child: "I want to make the statement that all kids, even those who don't look like they have many chances, can grow into monumental people".
He was one of my heroes...why? The guy was pure and had not one ounce of aggression in him...


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