All my childhood memory came back flashing to me last night.
With such a star studded show, it was well worth of the price of the ticket. But it also left me with an exasperation and an incomplete sense of satisfaction - if I can put it that way. How else can one describes it when you have singers of legendary status, who would be able to hold court on stage and and wow audience in a solo concert anywhere in Malaysia or their home country, were only allowed to sing two songs when collectively they may well have over 200 recorded song - at the very least, from the 60s to the 90s!
Anyway, I was not the organizer, so I should not be complaining to much, nonetheless I was thankful to them that I would be able to meet and hear these legends sing right in front of me. I was lucky to be seating in the first row and have an unimpeded view of the stage and hence I was reasonably pleased with the photo I took last night.
All photos were taken by this blogger.
Take for example, the first singer of the night. Ernie Djohan (above). I am reasonably sure I used to listen to her when the next door neighbour would have their radio loud, belting songs like Teluk Bayur and Kau Selalu dihatiku when I was a pre-schooler in the late 60s in this remote town of Lenggong. That house on top of a small hill in front of the JKR would always remind me of Ernie Djohan.
Or when we were staying at a government bungalow at the edge of Lenggong town in the early 70s, Mak would at times played Teti Kadi's (above) Tarikan Nafas Terakhir, a song which would almost always make me longing for those years again, if it didn't bring me tears to my eyes. Of course her other notable song is Siapa Pernah Jatuh Cinta, a very popular song in 1976 at MRSMKB as two of our batch singers chose this song for the school competition back then (I think Zul Golok and Liza did this song that year).
Endang S Taurina has enough (hit) songs under her belt to be able to conduct solo concerts. She is perhaps the most fantastic singer with her quality high pitch voice, and would give any singer during her time and even now, a run for their money. Honestly, we were 'melayang-melayang' when she was singing her song Apa yang ku cari. The audience was practically feeding out of her hands, singing along whole-heartedly.
I do wish though that she would sing that song on stage instead of amongst the audience at the back before she moved to the front. We missed a good part of the songs as we can't see her at the back.
But to many, including this blogger I think, the surprise of the night was Ria Resty Fauzi. During the days before the proliferation of the internet, it would be difficult for us to know the singers beyond what we could hear from the cassette player.
(Not sure what's a cassette player? Please visit your nearest museum!)
Yes, during those years - the early years of my working life in Taiping, she was reasonably popular with Cintaku sampai ke Ethiopia. A lovely love song, if it is a bit cliche (with lyric including Fujiyama, Himalaya, Kemboja, Ethiopia etc. What were the writer thinking when he/she wrote those words?) especially great for the youngsters and the singles of course, which was what yours truly was then.
But she was one of those faceless singer in a far as I was concerned then (except for whatever pic you can see on the cassette cover). No appearance on Malaysian TV or that she was popular enough to be on local telly.
But like the playful comp-ere said, Ria Resty Fauzy (above) is one hot lady. Hehehe, I would think she is one foxy singer onstage last night, and I would say despite the fact that she probably has the least catalogue of songs compared to other singer, the loudest cheers (from the guys I guess) were reserved to her.
How did I not notice her during those days? Her transformation is nothing but amazing to be honest.
Backstage later, I personally told her that I was waiting for the song Ethiopia ("Mbak Ria, saya nunggu Ethiopia! Kenapa tiada Ethiopia?"), and she apologetically told me that she would do that song in her next concert. Oh, and she made me promise her that I would attend her next concert too, and hey, what would a guy said to such a hot lady?
I meekly told her I would definitely come if she would do another.
I now have a soft spot for her for being so friendly to this blogger, and for making me feel so important. But before that gets over my head, she was friendly to everyone else too!
Actually in the beginning I was quite upset with the organizer since at the entrance I saw the notice that says No Camera, while the website only indicated that no video recording was allowed. But with practically everyone taking pic from their cell phone and mini camera, that gave me enough courage to bring my Nikon D-90 with an 105 mm lense, that my next seat neighbour at the concert was asking if I work for a newspaper.
Yeah, the RahmanHariri newspaper, I told him in jest!
In the end, I was glad I brought the Nikon for the occasion even if I had to carry it while taking the monorail to the concert hall.
Halil Chik and Othman Hamzah (above) looked as though they were still living in the 70s with their youthful look. I told Othman Hamzah, my favourite song of his was Rintihan Hati. He laughed noting that that song memang jiwang habih, or something to that effect. Yalah, in the 70s while living in a boarding school, what can you expect, I told him back.
I also asked Halil Chik if his compilation is coming out anytime soon. He said next month. I told him my fav song was Cinta Berakhir, another lovely melancholic song of the 70s. I love the piano intro of this song/
Mak was there during the concert with my sis Aishah, and I guess in many ways were in awe of Endang, and Ernie Djohan and Teti Kadi. You could see her smiling from ear to ear, and I thought it was such a lovely night for her. (All these pics will be uploaded later)
Oh I forgot Tommy J Pisa (below) with the wonderful song Biarkan Aku Menangis, song from 1985. But when I returned home in 1986, my bro was so much into this song, so I chose to ignore it a bit. May be I was not in that phase at that moment, if you know what I mean (I think I was over that phase by then!) But what a song it was back then, and what a song it is even today.
Please check bottom of this blog for more pics.)
I am again being petty here. The concert hall - KL Life Hall (Centre) was not up to the mark to hold such concert. Poor sound system mar the concert, and I think it degraded the such prominent singers on stage.
Honestly, I would give the band, even if it included Hamid BDB, a thumb down.
These three items were my sore points to be honest.
As I have said, I value good sophisticated music, and to be honest, even if these were lacking in the 70s, good quality songs and arrangement then made these songs memorable to my ears.
Oh yes, many singers deserve their own solo concert. Ernie, Endang for sure. Others like Othman Hamzah, and Halil Chik can perhaps share the stage for a duet concert.
The only I would leave the concert hall with a smirk on my face. Smirk on being totally satisfied with what was served on stage.
(BTW, I did leave many things on purpose. Otherwise this entry would be a tad too long. A little bit more stuff in the next entry or so)