The riff for this song was written in Redwood City, California, in Late November, 2013, whilst I (Henk) was out there. My friend and ex-colleague Bryan Wright lent me this gorgeous gold top Gibson Les Paul. I wrote the song on that.
My daughter Anneka has commented in the past that the majority of my friends seem (tend?) to be women. I guess I have always appreciated – and felt more comfortable in – the company of women. This has always been the case. My life (especially childhood and adolescence) has been blessed by the presence of very capable and strong women. My Mum is a prime example. My Aunt Annick (about whom the song “En Famille” on the first album, “Songs Of The Feet”, was written) is another. Joe’s Mum June (about whom the closing track on the “Roots” album, “June in June” is written) is a third. They have been major influences and sources of support to me.
Another strong woman who featured significantly in my adolescence was a wonderful neighbour by the name of Betty Hill. She was a extraordinary character. Elegant and stylish, and already in her late seventies when I first got to know her, she exhibited an impressive and enviable zest for life – a real joie-de-vivre. I was fabulously impressed. She was a great source of encouragement and used to tell me that in this world, all things were possible: “you can be whatever you want to be”. This was very reassuring to hear for a vulnerable adolescent!
Although this song “Betty” is a shout out (and “thank you”) to Betty Hill, she is really a representative for all the great women I have been lucky to know in my life.