Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Music Is Like Food; Each Has Its Own Audience: Matt Tan, Canada

Matt Tan comes on again, strong and clear. "The test of a musician is... to jam spontaneously take a risk." I agree. Lots of us in Singapore play canned music, copied from the tombs of time. Note for note? But is it true?

Matt was the original Fried Ice bassist from Singapore 60's and writes from Canada.  It's time we listen to what he has to say again. Thanks, Matt.

*Old article, but I wasn't around at that time you wrote this. So I will tune in on my opinion. Music is like food... each has its own audience. This one is pure showmanship, nothing musical? No doubt I agree with Dr Tony S (Australia), who says, "Really? This is exhibition drumming and there are loads of them on YouTube."

The test of a musician is not in playing to a record, it's to jam spontaneously take risk, like Ritchie Blackmore also said of Satriani... "No mistakes, no risk, no magic". We, risk takers are just that, like jazz or experimental rock, we live for that momentarily manifestation of magic... Jeff Beck, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, all do that. they don't play the same song the same way twice. 

But on both sides of the spectrum of music, like food, we have audiences to say, "total disaster, all noise", "wow, she nailed it perfectly, note for note". It's cordeau bleu or brand fast food. Like the chef when given a burger from the super serving millions , spat out the burger. Yet, they serve millions like those rote, copy note for note playing to a record, get millions of view.
We live in world of manicured gardens where lots of ppl adore these trees looking like well-coiffed heads and rose bushes like paint by numbers. And we also live in a world where, like me, and Ritchie Blackmore, and Miles, see beauty in trees, flowers, mushrooms, creatures, etc.. all in disarray and seemingly haphazard. But like Wayne Shorter says of Coltrane's music.."it's not in disarray; it's scrambled eggs, only the eggs unscramblers know how to unscramble the music!"

Finally, to quote your favourite, I am sure, Andy... "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." 

Long Live Rock and Roll ... caprice or paint by numbers.. music or repertory! Whatever turns you on, dude!!! Just do it because it's your song, "Take it or leave it!" 
RITCHIE BLACKMORE    SATRIANI                          JEFF BECK           
Mick Jagger, when the Stones were new and fresh-faced, played at the Badminton Stadium, was later interviewed by a magazine or wherever, when critics called Stones music total garbage or something to the effect , to which Mick casually responded, "I am the musician. When I play, it's mine. Take It Or Leave It. "

Actually, Mick said something entirely different and less diplomatic... 😉

Comment anyone?

Written by Matt Tan. (the last sentence, edited).

When he was in Singapore 60's Matt Tan was with Fried Ice and active with performances.

*The article Matt was referring to:

Matt's Music Connection below:

Images: Google and A Personal Collection.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Theme Song 2018 National Day Parade 'We Are Singapore'

The above illustration is just an imaginative composition 
that takes us back when vinyl was used to produce music recordings.
These vinyl are called Singles, Extended Play or Long Play records.
The Singles can play two songs, one on each side of the vinyl, the EP can play 4 or 5 songs and the LP plays 10 to 12 songs.

The NDP 2018 Theme Song is a revival
of the 1987 classic, ‘We are Singapore’!

For Credits check the connection:
Images: Google and NDP Websites.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Royal Wedding Prince Harry Meghan Markle Songs

The sweetest young couple today. Makes for a promising and lovely new world, where a relationship knows no bounds. Congratulations!

A Tongue In Cheek Song Trail:

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday 19 May 2018  @ St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, would encourage BRF (British Royal Family) fans to think of songs the two young lovers would dance to for their first ballroom embrace as a married couple. 

I can only think of three popular songs. They are, The Wedding March by Mendelssohn, the pop hit, The Wedding by Julie Rogers and the everlasting:

Here comes the bride, Here comes the bride
Here comes the bride, With the big backside...
(Or the original: All dressed in white.)

So I was surprised when told that it is customary for western weddings to have a special piece of music for the bride and bridegroom's first dance. Have you heard of this practice? Not in the east.
Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir 
perform Stand By Me (Ben E. King)

When Prince Harry's elder brother William was betrothed to Kate Middleton they chose an Elton John big hit, Your Song. Sir Elton is always around the Royals, once re-composing a Marilyn Monroe number into, Candle In The Wind for Princess Diana.

According to website articles, They Say It's Wonderful by Irving Berlin, I've Got You Under My Skin by Ole Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) and Stand By Me by Ben King had been chosen by other royalties as their first dance song. 

And with a song in mind, the couple glided to the floor. Maybe they rock and roll or shimmy in their wedding finery.  There are websites after websites of these songs available so I'll just provide my personal ones because Singaporeans are not familiar with this custom.
Elton John's hit, Your Song, sung by Lady Gaga, a hot favourite for many weddings.

Think lyrics when you read the titles:

Genuinely Sweet Ones

All of Me - Frank Sinatra
Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams 
You're The Right One - Dean Martin

Young and Beautiful - Elvis Presley
Sweetheart Tree - Johnny Mathis
Your Song - Elton John
The big car runaway for Harry and Meg

Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
You Are My Theme For A Dream - Cliff Richard
Sway - Michael Buble

Fascination - Nat King Cole
Teach Me Tonight - Nat King Cole
Only You - The Platters

That's my lot, short indeed.

So what's their song gonna be my dear readers? Make a guess?
Here's a Classic by Dean Martin, You're The Right One. Great for dancing too.

Now for this other lot. If you want your life partner to stay away from the dance floor because you don't know the difference between a waltz and a fox-trot, then play one of the following. Perhaps you realise you've made a mistake and wish to back out asap.😛

Genuinely Sour Ones:

How Can I Tell Her - Lobo
Your Cheating Heart - Ray Charles
Mean Woman Blues - Elvis Presley

A Place In The Sun - Engelbert Humperdinck
Please Release Me - Engelbert Humperdinck
Another One Bites The Dust - Queen

You've Lost That Loving Feeling - Righteous Brothers
Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John
Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me - Culture Club
Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers sing: I Hate Myself For Loving You. Not a choice for sure, unless you want to run away from the wedding.

Mrs Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel
I Hate Myself For Loving You - Joan Jet/Blackhearts.
A Dear John Letter - Skeeter Davis/Bobby Bear

Here's one which should never ever be played for dance music. Somebody Bad Stole The Wedding Bell. Sent by Stephen Han, this song is a disaster!

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, England, UK. where Prince Harry will wed Ms Markle.

Seriously though, let's wish the royal couple, Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle the happiest wedding ever and may they be blessed with many beautiful children.

Comment ladies and gents?

Images: Google.
Videos: YouTube.
Thanking all video contributors. Names shall be installed later. Thanks.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Whitney Houston. Was this the dance song for the couple?
             ⇊ Who's coming to the wedding? Photos all the way. 

Mr and Mrs George Clooney

Mr and Mrs David Beckham

Elton John

Oprah Winfrey


The Wedding Couple

Musicians, Singers and Choir in the Chapel

Conductor Christopher Warren-Green 

Cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason

Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir 
perform Stand By Me (Ben E. King)

Love and Marriage Go Together Like 
A Horse and Carriage' 
by Frank Sinatra. The couple's wedding ride.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Australian Pop 60's Influence: New World, Col Joye Part 5

The New World

I remember hearing the song ‘Try To Remember’ by this vocal trio on the radio, and it was quite a hit in Australia in 1969 (or at least Sydney, where I lived back then). Apart from that, I know virtually nothing about the group.

From what I have read they formed in Brisbane in 1967 and moved to the UK after ‘Try To Remember’ was a hit in Australia. They released several records there with some early success, especially ‘Tom Tom Turnaround’, but after 1974 they seem to have just disappeared.

That wasn’t true, of course, and you can find plenty of videos on YouTube of the group still performing up to fairly recent times. At The Wheeltappers, Sister Jane, Living Next Door To Alice, Cowboy Convention and The Honey Wind Blows are some of the songs they have performed on stage.

The New World Trio

🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷 🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷

Col Joye and the Joy Boys

Col Joye was one of the early rock ’n’ rollers of Australia, along with legendary artists like Johnny O’Keefe. The song ‘(Rockin’ Rollin’) Clementine’ dates from 1959 and is a variation of the old California gold rush song, updated to make Clementine a-rockin' rollin’ chick (as it says in the lyrics).

Col Joye and the Joy Boys continued to have pop-hits into the early 1960s. Although he continued to perform on TV and on the road, the hits dried up for Col and his band, although he had a comeback in 1973 with the country-style song ‘Heaven Is My Woman’s Love’.

Youngsters of my generation would sing along to that song with the altered lyrics ‘Devon Is My Woman’s Lunch’. Well, Devon was a pretty common sandwich filling in those days.
Col’s brother Kevin had started the original band and they later formed a successful entertainment management, publishing and recording company that continued into the 2000s, but the brothers then had a falling out over money. Very sad. Col was still performing until a few years ago, but I can’t find any notice of what he has been up to in the last few years.

There are many websites that can give you more information about 1960s Australian singers and bands. One good one is Milesago

Another one I like is Pop Archives. Sources of Australian Pop Records from the 50s, 60s and 70s

Also, you can find songs by all of the artists featured here on youtube.
Col Joye and The Joye Boys
Article by: Dr Steven Farram (image right).
Images: Google.

This article is the last in the series. We hope these write-ups have provided some interest to Singaporeans and other readers about Australian pop music.

Although the two countries are so close, many of us are unaware of the musical talents of Australians, except of course knowing a folk song like Waltzing Matilda.

In fact, many top international pop singers come from Australia. Do you know who they are? (Andy Young).

The 60's music get-together with (below clockwise): Little Ong, Zainal Abidin, Michael Bangar, Pete Hakonen (Helsinki), Jerry Fernandez, Steven Farram (Darwin, Aus.) John Cher, Horace Wee, Andy Young.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Donald Trump n Kim Jong Un Summit Singapore 12 June 2018

A *tongue-in-cheek composite picture of the Great Leaders meeting @ Peace Centre Singapore.

Mr Donald Trump is coming to Singapore on 12 June to meet up with North Korea's Mr Kim Jong Un for a first get together and, as the newspapers say, it would be a historical summit moment.

There's a suggestion by many observers and WhatsApp enthusiasts that the two Great Leaders could meet at Peace Centre (image above) in Singapore that memorable day. Of course, it's *tongue in cheek.
A *tongue in cheek composite of Mr Kim and Mr Trump being served in an SIA plane. Pix by #UNTRUMP2SG

But it's one big tick for our small dot since we even have a Peace Centre in place many years ago for such occasions.

So here's welcoming them to this sunny, peace-loving and properly secured island and hoping negotiations will go well for a more peaceful and stable world.
A *tongue in cheek composite picture of Mr Trump and Kim in the pool. Pix by #UNTRUMP2SG

  *😉Tongue in cheek: Peace Centre is a small retail mall and is unlikely to hold an international conference of such magnitude. The two will meet in one of the exquisitely beautiful hotels or corporate buildings, all well-equipped for such an occasion.

This post discusses the music favourites of both Mr Trump and Mr Kim.
Mr Kim:
I shall dwell on Mr Kim's music interest.  He has some pop favourites but there is not much information about them. One particular choice of his is Brother Louie (image) by Germany's electro-pop stars Modern Talking

It was a 1986 January hit song in the country and Sweden. Re-released in 1998, it became tops in France and Austria too.  Way back when in 1973, Hot Chocolate made this song famous and had been covered by Code Red and megastar Bon Jovi.

According to a few websites, he is keen on art rock records, Euro-pops and North Korean Girl Bands? Certainly uncertain. Of course, everyone knows he has a deep understanding of  Dennis Rodman, a retired American professional basketball player.  
Brother Louie by Germany's electro-pop stars Modern Talking

Lately, USA Today, in its news report about Mr Kim (3 April 2018), stated that he adores K-Pop music and was "deeply moved" after watching a two-hour South Korean concert at Pyongyang. 

He showed much interest in the performance and asked questions about the songs and lyrics.  For action films, Mr Kim loves James Bond movies and kung-fu flick Hong Kong star Jackie Chan.

The Telegraph:
USA Today:
Mr Trump:
I read recently that he likes a song by Elvis Presley's favourite composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (e.g. Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock). It was a Peggy Lee big 1969 hit, Is That All There Is? (Video above). The question seems to fit Mr Trump's profile?

Through the years I have posted a number of articles about Mr Trump's music preferences and the international music makers that he likes. 

Please check these postings. Just click the connections below each picture. Don't forget to come back to this post. Enjoy:

Images from Google.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Silver Strings Reunion Sunday 6 May 2018

The Silver Strings 6 May 2018 Ceylon Sports Club Singapore

The biggest gig happened this May 2018. It was a full house, hot, hot, hot, including the venue itself. Sweltering like a steam bath, Ceylon Sports Club with its quaint and colourful facade and age-old decor, was the ultimate venue for the Silver Strings Reunion gig.  

This club was set amidst buildings like the Khalsa House, the Civil Service Club and a huge football field along Balestier Road, with old pre-war houses scattered around the vicinity. 

On Sunday 6 May, time stood still when Rickie Chng's Fender Strat screamed, Savage, The Silver Strings opening number.

It was like going back through the ages and into the 50's. With songs like Babyface, Pretty Blue Eyes, Hippy Hippy Shake, The Young Ones and Kiss Me Quick, the evening was transformed into mid-20th Century intoxication. 
Recycled teenagers shouted and clapped in unison, as the human jukebox serenade provided by Michael Bangar, John Cher, Nick Stravens and Audie Ng burnt more music fuel into the already hot house Hall above the Club's retro-bar.

No silver steel strings from the Fenders were spared that evening as the five boys strummed and drummed their music playing 50's, 60's and 70's music.
Andy Young and Veronica Young with Jerry Fernandez and his Neu Faces were around to lend their voices to the already frantic crowd.

No more words. Here are lots of pictures to prove it. And yes, plenty of comments too. 

All images were stolen from the FB Posts of John Cher, Richard Toh, 
Stephen Han and Angela Leow. Thank you.
                                             With Angela Leow (left) who supplied 
some pictures on this page.

With Richard Toh who supplied 
the photographs on this page.

With Stephen Han whom I met 
and who supplied photographs on this page.

Birthday Boy Nicholas Stravens and Veronica Young 
celebrate their birthdays.
Silver Strings with the Neu Faces

Comments from Facebook. Please check their original postings for the full story:

Michael Lee:
Hi, Andy good show. I returned from Singapore to Sydney on 6 May. I have told Rickie (lead guitarist), "That is a very good Fender Stratocaster you are having." This is my humble advice. Hang on to it all you can. Money doesn't always buy you a good guitar of any kind. Cheerio to one and all. Keep on rocking and rolling. Cheerio from Sydney.

Stephen Han:
Getting up close with some memorable photos of Veronica Young, the Millie Small Of Singapore, Andy Young, the Paul Anka of Singapore and Audie Ng the leader of Silver Strings. 

The Reunion started with “Savage” a Shadow’s song by The Silver Strings. Michael did an R N R number entitled “Kiss Me Quick”, while his friend, Dick sang “Runaway”. Then came Andy with his wonderful story of Paul Anka and his rocking rendition of “Mean Woman Blues.”

Fabian Foo:
Rarely hear John singing but when he does, it must be good. Cheers to you and more to come next.

Mr Hong:
Really admire the energy and talent of all of you including Veronica and Andy (who btw sounded really good last evening.)

Angela Leow:
Fantastic concert tonight featuring Veronica Young and the Silver Strings. Non- stop retro hits.2 hours ain't enough. I want more!!!!!!

For more comments please click end of this posting. Thanks.

Check this one below:


Read the older posting before the 6 May 2018 show:

                           AUDIE NG and RICKIE CHNG

4 May 2018

Yes, we're meeting again for another reunion this Sunday. Veronica Young will be singing too. So check out this blog for pictures and a few videos after Sunday 6 May 2018.

So it's a full house. To all fans, see you on Sunday evening. The next show is in September if all goes well. Cheers.






Rickie, Audie, Andy, John, Nick, Mike 
with Veronica 

Images: A Personal Collection