Spring 1978 15 year old Joris Pelgrom, or as he was known Half Twee, was asked by No Fun record label owner Hansje Joustra and God’s Heart Attack singer Ronald van den Brink if he wanted to record a single. Lacking any musical talent Joris asked Pieter ‘Piep’ Kooijman, guitarist with God’s Heart Attack, to help with the music. Pieter came up with two great tunes and Joris wrote the words. ‘I don’t care what the people say’ about no more or less than what the title indicates and ‘Half Twee’ lyrics influenced by the Dada poetry that he was reading at the time.
The songs were recorded with the rest of God’s Heart Attack members and Frank ‘n’ Stein guitarist with The Softies. As soon as the record was released it became a success in the Amsterdam punk underground scene. So much so that it was decided that gigs were in order. First Joris did some guest appearances at God’s Heart Attack concerts. But soon, after Pieter and Joris had written ten more songs, concerts as Helmettes were given around Amsterdam and other Dutch places.
Two years later Helmettes more or less fell apart.
After the band stopped the last unsold examples of the single were sold for very low prices by the No Fun record store.
Still the record frequently turned up in publications about Dutch punk, as one of the major punk records made in Holland. In 1996 the compilation album with Dutch punk ‘I’m sure we’re gonna make it’ was released on the Epitaph label. Helmettes was the band with two songs on the compilation. The cd has had some very successful bootleg releases on vinyl in the USA. And so the interest in the Helmettes 7” continued.
These days the record is a very much sought after collectors item, getting high prices on ebay and at record fairs. Sometimes fetching more than $400.
Helmettes did a few small gigs in the 2010’s the last ones with original drummer Ron Kreeft and long time friend Mick Ness on bass.
With the sad passing of Pieter Kooijman from ALS in 2020 Helmettes stopped forever. .
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