Saw ‘Rock On’ yesterday. Great movie. All about the power of dreams. Great music too.
Took me back to the days at SPC when we were young and wild and free. We had a band too. Every kid worth his/her snotty nose was a part of it.
If you could play a musical instrument, you were in the limelight.
If you could sing, or even make those sounds some call singing but actually resembles toads in heat, you were in. Bugger the world, men.
My brother Gerry was guitarist – the world’s best coz he can play anything, and can raise baby-tomato-sized goosepimples when he plays.
We had a guy who played flute and harmonica too. And the comb was essential. You took one of those plastic thingies, which usually hang out of any oily haired Hero-bhai’s bum pocket (methinks it’s welded to their arses – don’t leave home without it). Then the silver foil from an old fag packet was smoothened, placed over the comb and blown on. It was an art (I never mastered), and sounded like a wet blast of flatulence.
OK, who’s missing?
Me! Me! The DRUMMER! Times were hard (no, that’s not the reason they picked me). Talking about the kit. Zildjian is still rotating in his grave. One plastic Dalda can (these buggers were all over the damn place) for the toms sound. One metal tin for the snare. Bass tom was a plastic bucket. And the thali my mum used for kneading the chapatti dough (make sure she’s not at home when you ‘acquire’ it, or she’d bat your butt with the rolling pin). Turn it over, put a small steel scissors on it – et voila! A genuine Tama cymbal going “Tish” at key points (or whever you pleased)! The scissors kept drifting off to explore the world, so you had to be quick to put it back, or well, you did have a clanging gong.
And how we jammed! All dem “oldies”, belted out with heart and soul, making a bleddi racket! Jailhouse Rock (my cuz and me knew the words to ALL the verses), Abba, Boney M, Beatles, Carpenters, Osibisa, Caribbean medley, Waltz medley, Saints-go-marchin’… tons more.
Send up burnt offerings for the Green and Orange Pop Hits books. The Holy Bible for all Katlic picnickers and sing-songers. Which gave us CHORDS! too. And the saddest song in the world ever – Nobody’s Child.
We handpicked gems from Saturday date. Yep, Saturday night – when every Mac and his mudder sat around the radio, listening to the top of the pops (with seventy-eight thousand requests from the folk in Orlem, Byculla, Dhobi Talao, et al - play the damn song already!).
Grew up, started on air guitar to the sounds of The Police, Deep Purple, and my favourite bands ever – the 80s lot: Duran, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Kajagoogoo, Status Quo, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Men At Work, A-ha, Howard Jones, Depeche Mode, Imagination… I could go on all day! Google or YouTube for the golden period of music (fine, according to me), miles ahead of today’s expletive-filled, “uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh” rappers.
So here’s the message: Don’t let the music die. Your kid got some eentsy-weensty aptitude or liking for an instrument, indulge the little one. Buy that cheap Reynolds or Givson or Casio, till you’re sure s/he really wants to play it every waking hour. (Gerry taught me – and I remember playing an ancient Reynolds till my fingers bled. And yeah, my Granny loved to hear me play the Anniversary Waltz played again and again!)
Save up for the lessons from a good tutor, or there’s truckloads of lessons to download from the Net. Today, there’s millions more opportunities to create and showcase all kinds of music, even Bollywood. You may be whacking the little arse of the next Rahman or Bach or Metheny or Morrisette or Satriani or Winehouse or even (gawd!) Timbaland, right when you finish reading this.
Maybe I’m talking about you too. Who’s got an old box guitar in the loft, which you stopped playing ever since you started ‘Working’. Make a date this Saturday, to pull it out, dude. Change those rusted strings. Tune up. So what if its warped neck resembles a rusting coita (coconut-breaking sickle, Einstein!).
A one a two a three a four!
“The warden threw a party in the county jail…”