The days of yore…

Posted: August 22, 2009 in Pune
Tags: , , , ,

Over a decade ago, probably closer to 15 years, we were all at the Fergusson College grounds watching a Rock Show. The mostly college-going crowd hooted and cheered at intervals as the bands belted out their usual cover versions.

I remember, Deep Purple’s Highway Star and Smoke on the water were the favourites then and only if you got the opening notes of Smoke right were you considered classy enough to get up on stage and do your thing. Otherwise you were hooted and hissed out.

So as all the assembled bands went through their stuff, mostly mediocre, a lot of the crowd was planning to move away, quite disappointed.

At the fag end of the show, four old guys came on stage and the kids began their catcalls. “Hey, uncle, this is a rock show not a New Year eve party” and other such derisive comments were heard. Most of the crowd began to disperse, not too keen to listen to the oldies.

They must have gone to the end of the ground when these four guys began to play. Suddenly those leaving stopped and turned around. This music was different. I remember these kids next to me going “f@#! Who are these guys? Awesome!”

Most of the kids who were on their way out were by now running to call their friends back. This wasn’t like anything they’d heard in a long, long time. Pune used to have the occasional rock shows; some defunct Brit bands also played here but this was a different sound after what they had been hearing that evening.

Suddenly the ground was packed to capacity and everyone was rocking! It was the first time these kids had heard Ehsaan Noorani (now of Shankar Ehsaan, Loy), Roger Dragonette, Derek Julien and Ranjit Barot!

To end on a personal note… when I got married, Roger, Sudheer Gaikwad and Darren Pillai (two very talented musicians who along with Roger had a band called Airwaves in the 1980s) told me they wanted to play at the reception. The four of us worked together at the Maharashtra Herald for over a decade, and I was touched and honoured that these awesomely talented trio, wanted to do so.

Today, Sudheer, whose voice held us spellbound at our office parties and shows, is the Deputy Editor of Overdrive magazine, but still plays his music. Darren, a phenomenal drummer, died very young in tragic circumstances, and Roger just revived the music of Waterfront and played at the ABC Farms on Friday.

If you guys are reading this…you still ROCK!!

  1. Zubin Kabraji says:

    The modern generations idea of music is to throw cutlery and crockery into the wash basin and then make gargling sounds with an out of tune guitar in the background !

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