Thursday, March 26, 2009

My life and music in me

I was born in a family that suffered a real struggle for living way back in early 70's, but we're not a broken family for sure. At the age of three, my mother took me and my younger sister travel from Kedah, Malaysia to down south, Singapore with all basic needs to start a new life in Singapore. This was my mother's first ever longest journey with little money to spare. My father working as a care taker in Singapore local construction's site office at that time was earning too little for us to rent a house and you know what?...we lived in a construction area in a wooden long house which has few rooms like motel but 0 star rated with one family for one room. They called it "Kotai"

I did my early kindergarten class at the age of four and that was the first time I've been introduced into music with nursery rhymes with teacher on piano playing the songs. I was so happy and excited and that was the only time for me to enjoy music as my family can't afford to send me to any music classes. Me and my sister started to sing a songs from radio..she'll be the singer and I'll make all the sounds of music vocally and banging the small empty biscuit tin, It was fun though. To earn extra money my mother had to find way to help my father and she made an effort to prepare local hot savoury like curry puff etc.. to be sold at nearby workers canteen, I was the curry puff delivery boy back then.

Age five, we moved to Kuala Lumpur while my father still working in Singapore. We rented a small house attached to owner's main house in suburban area. Time back then was very basic, I can't afford to have new toys like any other kids. So building a kites and to see them fly was so great and sometime we do play combat game with self-made wooden rifle with rubber band along the barrel as a bullet (wild cherry) launcher...quite painful!. I reckon people that have same age with me and living in the suburban area will familiar with those games...Milo tins with full of sand made as a roller (can be multiple stacked), Bola chop and Kara Kondi to name a few.

I still remember when my mother told me that the owner of the house are very nice couple. They sometime peeped through the wall to see what we having for lunch or dinner and she will share her cooked dishes. My mother doesn't know this until she noticed an eye watching over us through a small hole only after few months. We can't thank her enough...she's been very generous.

When I about to start going to school, we moved once again to another suburban area and still renting. Time still bad for our family and we couldn't spend on anything else other than to put food on the table. I didn't remember this but my mother told us about one day that really made her cry. One evening while playing with friends, an ice cream man came as usual. All friends rushed to home to get some money to buy an ice cream. While they are enjoying that, my mother calls us into the house and released back only after they finished the ice cream. She did that because she couldn't look at us looking others enjoying the ice cream as she didn't have any money to buy for us, not even 5 cents and that's really breaks her heart.

After a year our family managed to buy a house in that area and it was not big but cheap & good enough. 1979 my youngest sister was born, the last siblings in family. I was in standard one in primary school and again music lesson is the most favorite one. Mrs Ho was my music teacher and she taught us new song on every lesson and she's really good on piano. There are lots of percussion instruments but the drum (single tom with plastic stick) was always mine!...you can't touch that. Mrs Ho will hand over the drum to me on every time percussionist is needed...am I good at timing and beat?, I don't know. At home I love air drumming and sometime will use my mom's shopping bag sticks to bang the table, pot cover (cymbals) or anything around me.

It's until 1987 when I was in form three and the seniors are looking for a drummer for them to form a band. In a classroom when teachers was not around or in between change of teacher for different subjects, I'll be drumming at my desk and my friend will sing. He thought that I can really play drums and he approached the seniors and gives my name. I take this as an opportunity even though I haven't touch a real drums or even the sticks! and all these while is my imaginations of drumming. The seniors list down a few songs for me to practice for the weekend session. They were from Rusty Blade, Lefthanded, Search (all rock bands) and one to kill time song lambada...ha..ha.

One day, me and seniors (Jeff, Ard & Nizam) went to the jamming studio (Wilayah Complex) I was nervous but cool..I have to, it's do or die mission. From the first until the last songs, I played flawlessly without any glitch and they didn't noticed that was my first time ever on drums. What make me feel good more when another band's drummer (Raja) ask me the beat for the opening song of Rusty Blade. We were jamming few times until they left the school as it was their final year.

Then I started to learn guitar from friend (Vicky) and that was in 1988 when my family lived in Bandar Tun Razak (Sri Kota). After few month I met one guitar genius, his name Lan. We started jamming at staircase area almost everyday after school. We met few friends and formed a band with my friend Rizal as a drummer. We still jamming on rock genre songs as it was the time when new rock bands coming out with new album almost every few weeks. All these happen until mid 1989. In late 1989 I take the drums again and we managed to performed for one night session at Metallica Pub in Pertama Kompleks. Roger, a white American guy was the manager and keen to have us to perform that night right after early evening session from Blues Gang's former band members but Julian Mokhtar was not there...damn what a shame. We were playing songs from Loudness (Japanese rock band) and songs from local rock bands like May, Search, Wings..etc. After the show Gary the Pub cum DJ person in charge told us that we are very good..yeah!!! and he wanted to have us to perform at the pub nightly. Wow, that was hard to refuse but we rejected as few others are still in school.

Mid of 1990 was the time that I met old friends from school (another band members - Charlie & Din) and we hang out occasionally at Central Market..the place for meeting point at that time. They were looking for a drummer and ask me if I interested but with an audition . Yes, why not and few days later we booked the studio and start the audition. "Classmate" the band which already have their new album come to join us as they are Charlie's friends. They accepted me as a drummer and list out the songs for next jamming session. This band are almost Stryper cloned band, a rock band from US which has good heavy metal and weeping ballad songs. This is the peak of my time as a drummer and as a band member. We've been sponsored and coached during jamming from one band manager...and this is a serious shit.

During this time I feel a little bit different than normal people as I sleep in day time and alive & kicking at night time. This couldn't be me, my mother concern about my future and this not going to be my way of life..making money through music. This is the wake up call and since then, I continue my studies and start working few years later. I still enthusiastic about playing music and sometime I did performed during annual dinner of company and that's it, 1996 is the end.

3 years back , my old friends from former company called me for a jamming session, but this time as a bassist. Deep Purple, Bad Co, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Jimmy Hendrix, Sweet Charity, Led Zeppelin are the numbers. Well, for music sake I'm game for it but not as serious as before due to time constraints. Here I go again...whitesnake
Thanks for your time...

Jazz Bass '62 Japan Reissue by myridzwan.
My Very Own Fender Bass Guitar