It wouldn’t be wrong to say that one’s taste in music is a reflection of one’s maturity. As I listen to Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers, my mind drifts to a sombre conversation I recently had with my actor/singer friend from the cast of ‘JCS’-The Musical. His name is Rahul Dutta. It was 2 am and we were at a coffee shop. We spoke about art, music, theatre, and everything in between. We discussed the battles between transient trends and timeless classics... between glitter and gold essentially. Nothing stood out more than our mutual love for music of the classic rock and retro kind. Here’s what Rahul said.
“While the sixties and seventies introduced Sympathy For The Devil, Tambourine Man, and Comfortably Numb to an ongoing strife on American soil, the eighties revelled in songs like Back In Black, Big City Nights, Paradise City, You Give Love A Bad Name, With Or Without You, Walk This Way, and so on. I have evolved ever since I experienced the sound and lyrics of bands like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones for the first time. All through I realised but one thing: MUSIC IS LIFE! I used to save every penny of my pocket money just to buy an audio cassette. I used to have sleepless nights just waiting for that one album to release in India. But these are tales for another occasion. At the risk of sounding dogmatic, I must admit that I am certainly not equipped to enjoy a genre of music that prides itself on using the Macintosh as the primary instrument. To appeal to my senses, the music needs to come from a place of purity. That’s where the genres of classic rock and retro come from. They have been given those names for a reason.”
The conversation continued. Our gratitude for the smaller joys of life was expressed. Then I asked Rahul where he would be on New Year’s Eve. He said, “The scene has witnessed a huge populace migrating to the suburbs to let their hair loose till the party clock stops.” So as a resident of Malad West, he isn’t really complaining. Rahul will be either at Boveda or Big Bang dressed in his finest. So if you are at any of the aforementioned party spots on NYE, and if you see a tattooed man with long brown hair and an infectious smile, wave out. It just might be him. Oh wait, there’s a photograph here to help the ladies [2Blue laughs].
I also spoke to my restaurateur friend and retro music enthusiast Zameer Vahanvaty. Here’s what he said.
“There’s too much cacophony everywhere. I would therefore have a house party where I would invite likeminded friends over for drinks, dinner, and dance. The playlist would comprise a mix of classic rock (Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and the like) and retro (Modern Talking, Madonna, Wang Chung, Baltimora, Nick Kershaw, Duran Duran, Billy Joel, Billy Ocean, Blondie, Bros, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan, Irene Cara, , Julian Lennon, Jermaine Stewart, Karl Douglas, Laura Branigan, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Men At Work, Kool & The Gang, and Maxi Priest). New fads like EDM come and go, while retro is evergreen. Hence the choice.”
Finally I spoke to my good friend and the frontman of The Other People, Zarir Warden. Zarir was in the midst of prepping for his NYE show at the CCI. I asked him what their set list would feature. He said, “Everything from Kenny Loggins to Madonna on one hand, and Tina Turner to The Proclaimers on the other.” Why retro, I asked and he said, “Some people still like the old fashioned way of doing things.”
“The old fashioned way of doing things?” Let’s take a moment to think about that. We live in a day and age where mobile apps have ruined conversations. Computer games have replaced their real world counterparts. Skype has replaced face-to-face meetings. Matrimonial sites have replaced the dance at the high school prom. Should we really allow a computer to replace a musician? Thank you. I knew readers of this blog wouldn’t be that heartless. On that note, here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you celebrate it the retro way to relive your best memories. I’ll leave you now with ‘Christmas Is Here’ by The Other People. The Other People are Zarir Warden (Vocals), Gavin Cason (Lead Guitar) Samuel Berlie (Rhythm Guitar), Loy Hendricks (Bass), Garth D’Mello (Keyboards), and Joshua Vaz (Drums). Also spotted in the choir sequences is Jude Kenric Dsouza from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Watch. Ear-to-ear smiles guaranteed. May be some moist eyes too [2Blue smiles].
Article & Images By: 2Blue
2Blue (a.k.a Tirthankar Poddar) forayed into the Mumbai rock circuit in 2000. Having gained notoriety for his powerful high-pitched singing and on-stage charisma, he was soon invited to sing for Vayu. After 5 years in Vayu and countless monumental shows, 2Blue formed the hard rock band Zedde (pronounced z?d). Always a man for his heroes, the self-taught singer attributes his vocal prowess to his childhood heroes: David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, and Bruce Dickinson. For him, if a thing was good once, it always is.
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