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(Read all about Diesel after the video)
Diesel is a Dutch pop/rock group that became one of the few Dutch acts to chart in the U.S. when their song "Sausalito Summernight" entered the U.S. Top 40 in 1981.
Diesel was created in October 1978 by ex-Kayak drummer Pim Koopman. The group, at first no more than a hobby project, initially consisted of Koopman (drums, keyboard and vocals) and Rob Vunderink (guitar/lead vocals, composer and lyricist), Mark Boon (guitar, composer and lyricist), and Frank Papendrecht (bass). Their first album, Watts in a Tank, was released in the Netherlands in 1980. One of its tracks, "Going Back to China" was released in the Netherlands as a single in 1979 and became a top 40 hit. Two other singles from this album, "Down In The Silvermine" and "Sausalito Summernight" (also misspelled "Sausolito Summernight"), were released in 1980 and also became charting hits. In late 1980, Boon and Papendrecht left to join Meike Touw's Tutti Frutti. They were replaced by bass player Wijnand Ott and guitarist Hugo de Bruin. In mid-1981, Koopman left the band and Kim Weemhoff took the drumseat.
In 1981, Watts in a Tank was released in the United States. The single "Sausalito Summernight" rose to #25 on the U.S. Top 40. It reached #1 in Canada. Watts in a Tank itself went up to #68 on the Billboard 200. This success prompted the return of Mark Boon and an American tour. At Boon's suggestion, guitarist Bas Krumperman joined the band just before the North American tour, moving the band's sound in a country-rock direction. The band got a distribution deal with Atco Records and recorded another album, Unleaded, in 1982, but it was not a success. In the next few years the group had many new members, such as Leen Barbier (guitar/vocals), André Versluijs (bass), Jan Loomans (guitar/vocals), and Henk Hager (guitar/vocals), and released several more singles before disbanding in 1985.
Diesel was reconstituted in 1988 and had a hit in the Netherlands with their single "Samantha", sung by Jeroen Englebert. The band broke up again in 1989. Mark Boon later formed The Zoo, managed by André Versluijs, releasing a CD called What's in the package. Diesel reformed in 2000 with members Koopman, Vunderink, Versluijs, Thomas Kroon (drums) and Otto Lenselink (guitar) They recorded a new album, Diesel On The Rocks; this album, released in 2001, consisted of covers and previously recorded material, along with three new tracks.
Watts in a Tank was reissued in 2002, including the original five-minute version of "Sausalito Summernight".
In 2004, the original line-up of Boon, Koopman, Papendrecht and Vunderink did a one-off charity gig which led to plans to reform the group on a permanent basis. Papendrecht was replaced later by Werner Cornand, but the group hasn't done a lot of concerts since the announcement of the rebirth of Diesel early 2007.
Frank Papendrecht died on 17 November 2009 as a result of a heart attack. Less than a week later, on 23 November 2009, Pim Koopman also suffered a heart attack and died.
In 2016 founder members Rob Vunderink and Mark Boon got together again and will be recording a new album for Diesel. The band will be playing festivals again. In March 2017 Diesel released their single ‘Like Hell I Will!’.
Use in popular media
"Sausalito Summernight" is used as one of the bumpers when returning from commercial break for "The Steve Czaban Show" on Yahoo! Sports Radio. Early in 2013 it was played in an "80s Rejoin" segment and Czaban said that it was one of his favorite songs. Since then it has been included in the rotation of bumper music. Nearly every time it is played, Czaban will tell his engineer, Solly, to "turn it up".