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Tax free
Wally Tax

Wally Tax (1948-2005), frontman of the Dutch Sixties band ‘The Outsiders’ and well known as a solo-artiste, belongs to the list of ‘Nederpop heroes, who were pioneers of pop music in the Netherlands 1960-1970.

A noteworthy anecdote from Wally Tax’s life, ‘the outsider in Amsterdam-Oost’: ‘’Tax died at the age of 57 at his home in Amsterdam. After his death a local inhabitant said that Tax often came and ‘’borrowed” a small amount from them. Never a rounded-up amount, but always the exact amount he was short of to buy a beer. The neighbours had gotten used to this form of entertainment tax and it was known as “the Wally-tax” among themselves.

The toll, the price, the ‘tax’ was a theme throughout Wally Tax’s life. ‘Tax free’ is also the title of the 1970 record. ‘Tax free’ means free of tax, but it may of course also mean ‘free of being taxed’ in the metaphorical sense. In other words: ‘liberation’ and  ‘deliverance’. ‘Tax Free’ describes Wally Tax. Wally Tax has risen to higher spheres and is now in the ‘tax free zone’.

Moreover, the ‘Tax free’ figuration gains extra significance if we think of the connection between ‘tax free zone’ and ‘shopping area’, the retail quarter in Oostpoort. ‘Tax free’ as part of the ‘Legacy of the twentieth century’ project may be interpreted in various ways and is capable of several explanations, particularly in this environment.



‘Tax free’, column, 80cm x 80cm x 40cm.


Wally Tax (1948-2005), was a Dutch singer and composer. Wally Tax was the singer in the Amsterdam band, The Outsiders. Almost all Outsider hits were sung in Mokum (Amsterdam) English, smooth and thick as it was unique. The band went downhill in 1968. Tax and the other band members did not agree on how the band should develop musically and they split up in 1969. Together with Leendert Busch, Tax started the ‘Tax Free’ band, but the collaboration did not last long. The band included John Cale. They made one record in 1970, entitled ‘Tax Free’.

Artwork: You Are Here
Artist: Martijn Sandberg
Material: concrete
Measurements: (lxwxh) 80cm x 80cm x 40cm
Project: Legacy of the Twentieth Century
Realisation and completion: 2019
Location: Oranje Vrijstaatkade, Oostpoort, Amsterdam
Commissioned by: Amsterdam Municipality, District Oost