'Richie Backfireplein' in the Sphinxkwartier

The courtyard of the Muziekgieterij on the Boschstraat is now called ‘Richie Backfireplein’. The city council of Maastricht has decided to name the square after the renowned drummer of the Maastricht hardcore band Backfire!, in daily life known as Richard Bruinen.

Driving force behind M-town

Richie Backfire (1972-1999) was the great driving force behind Maastricht hardcore punk, which brought Maastricht – known in the hardcore world as M-Town- world fame within that music scene. Even after his death there was a constant interest in the drummer. In 2001 BNN broadcasted a documentary about him, and paid various media coverage of his life. On 25 March 2019 a well-attended memorial in honour of Richard was held in the Muziekgieterij.  Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake, who deals with the allocation of street names: “We had a discussion in the municipal college about whether the Richard Bruinenplein should be named Richie Backfireplein, and it has become the latter. That also fits in better with the Sphinxkwartier, and with the whole international development that this part of Maastricht is going through. With this tribute we honour someone who may not be very well known to the average Maastricht native, but who has been of great importance in his musical spectrum.

Heroes never die!

Dave Reumers, bosom friend of Richard thinks it is a great tribute. “We started our first band in 1989. Richard was a year and a half younger than I was, but I looked up to him like a big brother. I never forget that when he was 16 years old he said to me in the schoolyard: ‘I’m going to be 100 years old’. Unfortunately, he was not given that age. But the fact that he will now have a square named after him where in 100 years’ time people will wonder who ‘Richie Backfire’ was, is the greatest honour my buddy can have. Lange, the höbs ‘t geflik! Heroes never die!”

Watch the BNN documentary on Richie Backfire's life (in Dutch)