Van Dik Hout was founded in 1985 in the Nieuwediep school community in Den Helder, where school friends Martin Buitenhuis, Dave Rensmaag, Sandro Assorgia and Benjamin Kribben formed a band that operated under changing names. Louis de Wit, who played in a different Helderse band, was brought to the band in 1989. The repertoire initially consisted of covers from The Rolling Stones, the Eagles and a series of then popular songs. Around 1990 the band switched from English to Dutch music and took the name Van Dik Hout, thereby testing the first compositions of their own during live performances. The band members fanned out due to studies on the Netherlands, but continued to meet regularly for rehearsals to take Haarlem and later Amsterdam as their base around 1992.