The Music plays on....in Bangalore

At the onset, this page is dedicated to all the Musicains of Bangalore, present and past, and those who went before us giving us the joy of a melody from their souls in a true spirit of love for music.The background music is composed by Gussy a musician from Bangalore, dedicated to Bangalore. I also would like to tell all my friends and fellow musicians of a miracle that took place on 30 January 2000. Four musicians (Henry Stevens, Gussy Rikh, Romaine Hayes and Alen Fintzel) from Bangalore put their mites together and gave me a Fender Jazz Bass guitar, and one friend (Joy Chase) visiting India from California brought the guitar down from Delhi. They have dedicated the guitar gift to the late Devil Beats members Ronnie Rikh, Chippy Briggs and Ginger Peck. This really puts me in a spot as I have to really do some playing and get myself an amplifier to match the guitar!!This was all because I had a dream 'I owned a Fender Jazz Bass!!' Miracles and Dreams do happen!! Now I dreaming of a bass amp!! Ha! Ronnie!

CHECK OUT THE SOUL SEEKERS GOSPEL MUSIC FROM BANGALORE!!"

In view of todays tragic loss to the world, I personally along with my family, and the musicians of Bangalore, would like to send our condolences to Paul McCartney (ex - Beatle ) on the loss of his beloved wife Linda McCartney, and to their family. May God be with you through this time of emptiness, but it is always full when you have it in your heart. My home page http://www.reocities.com/Athens/2960/index.html supports the 'Pink Ribbon' for Breast Cancer Awareness.

A music chat on "All That Jazz" ... on one of the Indian Sites was a little confusing ..

Being one of the not too old veterans of the Music scene ... Jazz as I can remember in the days belonged to Big Brass Bands like Fred Hitchcock, Eddie and His Rhythm Stars , Claude Thomas & the Elite Aces (EAces notes ), (as per Alec Alverez, this Band was contracted to the Bowring Institute, and also used to play at different occasions like the Blue & White Ball with Fred Hitchcock's swingophonians, and the A.F.I. Band, courtesy of it's Commandant, Lt. Col. E.D. Davenport, ex-teacher of St. Joseph's E.H. School, as it was then known. Claude's tombstone mentions his leadership of the Elite Aces, and can be found at the Hosur Road R.C. Cemetery, Plot 9 last row. ) ,... and so on ... they played real cool dance music that floors of the Halls of Bowring Institute and Bangalore Club bounced (being wooden floors with springs) ... other maestros were late Dizzy Sal (played with Duke Ellington). the late J.T. Williams (organist of St. Andrew's Church, Choirmaster, Jazz Musical, Bandmaster of a number of Schools, his son Ashley Williams has taken over the mantle. Ashley is Musicmaster at Sophia Girl's School ) ; late Ralph Mitchell, Aubrey Mitchell, David & Tom Fritzgerald are some of the great entertainers. I had a letter from Eric Welsh and he recalls the music scene of the '40's. Will be putting some details a little later. Check out the Richmond Town Park Music Revival Concert, April 30, 2000! Check out the Concerts at the Guru Nayak Bhavan on 1st & 2nd July, 2000 for Richmond Town Park! CLICK for Concert for Dominic Saldhana, "Jazz for a Cause", Sat. 13th May, 2000, at the "Pinch of Jazz", Central Park, Bangalore

Later down the line came the Pop scene of Biddu, Ignatius, Loy Machado.. Biddu did have a group called the Trojans that played at Trinkas in Calcutta.. they took the Beatles styles very down to tights and hair... of course the trail back at Bangalore the home of most of the contemporary musicians. Groups like the Devil Beats (Late Ronnie Rikh, Late Chippy Briggs, Romain Hayes, Allen Fintzel, Late Ginger Peck, Gussy Rikh. Allen named the group, I just contacted him after 34 yrs!!), Ivan Peres remarks 'I was also associated with the Devil beats. I did a few gigs with them when they played at the Bus Club and the Moodys Queen Ball and ITC dances. I played piano accordion which was a sort of substitute for Organ which was way beyond the reach of ordinary beat groups', The Pacesetters, Missing Links, Dinosaurs, Tramp, Axis, Void ( Gussy Rikh orMahajit Rikh - the most famous guitarist of Bangalore, Fiaz Ahmed, Ravi (Ravi Born 15 July 52, met with an accident on 30 July 2003 at Dubai, cremated on 2 Aug 03 at Kalpali, Bangalore) & Sudhir Rao), Konarak ( Gerry D'moss - drums, Ramani Krishnan - bass - now in Germany or Israel and Cookie on guitar. Konorak, an experimental rock group, today a jaz-rock-fusion group that was around in the '70's and made different music. Cookie is a good guitarist who experiments with all types of rythyms, I remember is famous VOX100 Bass amp that they used to move around on a cart like a coffin (understand that this amp has finally been buried!!). , Silencers (from Malaysia, a group of students with their VOX Amps and Fenders!!), Heartbreakers (Paul (drums), David(lead guitar) & Marianne Santiago(vocals) with Jude Gonsalves(bass guitar), all are in Australia), Late Tony Fonseco and the local BS&T's, and so the line goes on... there used to be a lot of sharing of kits as the City did not have enough to go around ... can you imagine that.. there used to be the Simla Beat Competitions, andm jam sessions almost every weekend... so the musicians were full time on the road!! .. of course for 99% of them .. it was a second job or a break from college.. other musicians were Carl Peters (Bass), Prem Naidu (Drums), Podgey (Drums), Bundu (Bass) ...Late Peter Neuman (on Drums, and being Santa at the Catholic Club, and other places).... another great group that used to specialize in 'Stepphenwolf music' was the Dinosaurs who were led by Roy from Malaysia (lead vocals), John Iype (lead guitar), Christie (bass guitar), Derek Sequeira ( Drums) and their manager was Chubby the Blond! later Robert Stacey joined the group on guitar. Another group was the Apaches - Conrad & Glen Domingo (guitars), Lance O'Guedes (guitar; e-mail: lccrafts@globalserve.net ), and their cousin on drums. Lance had his own band in Canada called "Man Alive"! Raymond D'silva of Whitefield remembers Lance playing with Desmond Atkins. I met Babu Khan (M.A. Khan)(Pacesetters, singer and bass guitar) and had a talk with Romaine Hayes's son in Bangalore, one recalled his music days the other listened about his father's ways! Another musician not to forget is Peter Issac, who I understand is with the Chronic Blues Band, and will be performing at the Richmond Town Park!

Some serious musicians moved to Bombay (Mumbai as the City is now called) and reformed like Sky with Xerses & Gussy (Human Bondage & Void / Devil Beats), groups also came down to Bangalore to support the local trade like Atomic Forest, People, etc... that was some of the heavy stuff with Madhukar Chandradas.

What is confusing about the account of the Human Bondage on the referred to data, is that I remember that their singer was Babu (Henry Joseph, who also played steel flute, has a band Out of the Blues in Spain, recently had a concert at Bal Bhavan in Cubbon Park and also at the Tamirind Tree!), Suresh Shottam on Guitar (understand from Dr. Tommy Chandy, that Suresh has his own Music Studio in the States, and writes Music Scores), his brother Ramesh on Drums (now he plays with Embryo in Germany. Ramesh visited Bangalore on 11 Jan 1999 with a Jazz music troupe called 'Madras Special' to perform at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. Ramesh is presently based in Cilogne, and was commissioned by Westdeutscher Rundfunk - West German Radio to perform in South India and make a 50-minute recording in interaction with Brahaddwani Research Centre in Madras, and the Karnataka College of Percussion in Bangalore. He had returned in the mid-seventies to study the tavil, a traditional temple music drum. Madras Special also features Norbert Scholly on the Guitar, Zoltan Lantos on the Violin, Jorgos Psirakis on Saxophone, and Carl-Ludwig Hubsch on the Tuba. Ramesh looks a lot different when I last saw him, and theres quite a lot of top-turf missing.), Xerses on Bass, Hammie Gabriel jammed in with Keyboards, Radha did join them later, their hangouts in Bangalore were " The Only Place " (What is now Motha Arcade), "3-Aces"(was burnt down years ago?), " High Gates Hotel " (still going strong on Church Street), Bamboo Grove ... these were the Cool Sites!! of those days!!

Before Human Bondage was formed, there was the group called The Spartans* .. Suresh (lead guitar) & Ramesh Shottam (drums) and Adolph (Bass) & Malcom Fernandes (guitar).. this group were brilliant on harmony vocals like Everly Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.., name the harmony they fell in to the category...after the Bondage was formed, the Fernandes brothers were joined by their younger brother, Kenny Francis and (Dr.)Tommy Chandy and carried on the Spartans for a few more years.. later we find other groups like the HydroCarbons (late Peter Neuman played drums), Missing Links, Beatlets (Babu Joseph, Malcom Fernandes, Aldolf Fernandes, Tommy Chandy, Kenny Francis .. this input I get from Dr. Tommy Chandy), Barbershop Harmony to name a few.... I remember our first gig as Axis .. Vincent Lobo (guitar) Tommy Alexander (drums) Late Loy Machado (guitar) Ronnie Johnson (bass) all on vocals ... we performed with the Spartans at Galaxy Cinema foyer ... Suresh, Ramesh, Madhukar (Atomic Forest) all studied at Loyola Madras, there were some great groups at college... I should know, Suresh was my classmate at Loyola! (*) There is an update on the Spartans expected from Dr. Tommy Chandy, original member!!!
When Woodstock the Movie first came to India in 1970 at Galaxy, it ran full house all shows, and the afternoon show and evening shows had a live rock band performing on the Cinema Hall stage before the movie, and when the crowd was really turned on (one only had to enter the theater and take a breath of air and become high!), they would "sleep" their speakers and amps on the stage and the movie began ... all groups played free and it was real fantastic ... it lasted for about two weeks ...of this.. till they ran out of groups ... that was a real Bangalore experience of Woodstock... now that way back into time .. three of the most outstanding guitarists that influenced Bangalore was Suresh Shottam, "Gussy" Mahajit Rikh ( Devil Beats/ Void/ Sky, now with JNU Delhi (with his wife Angili) in the Music Department and plays at night in one of the top 5-star joints)... later to Bangalore came the more affluent musicians, and electronic music was introduced... that killed talent ... further to add to the musicians woe was the banning if live bands in restaurants in Bangalore.. which was the coupe-de-grace.. guess this change in music all over is changing .. Chicago whose trademark along with Blood Sweat & Tears was a Brass section, today it's a Keyboard section!! Some of the early sponsors to the music scene were the Chandavakars and Hari Nettkalappa ( the present Deccan Herald, Chairman & MD), and a whole gang from Central College. The first few Discos in the '70's came up in Bangalore at Hotel Bangalore International, Shilton's Guest House (demolished opposite Cotton Girl's School), Princes to name a few... apart from all that Rock stuff, there were some noteworthy Choirs that would come together at the Basel Mission program , like Bangalore Musical Association , Cecilian Choir , Glorious, St. Mark's Cathedral Choir, Holy Ghost Church Choir, Bangalore Musical Association , New Life Voices, Praise Singers, Bangalore Music Academy, The Gospel Train, Richmond Town Methodist Choir, Basel Mission Choir, St. John's Church Choir, Bangalore Amateur Choral, ... some of these Choirs have been disbanded, and also share their resources of voices ... as for the Rock Groups .."Millennium" which had "Star TV" and "MTV" fame have lost their Bassist Malcolm who has left for Australia in September.
 

Special mention needs to be made about the "Fabulous Bartleys" , as they were known and who sang their way through their education. Mr. "Ted" Bernard Bartley, with his wife Maureen and children Carlisle, Lorraine, Marilyn, Sharon, Corrina, Denise and Rodney had been putting up the "Fabulous Bartley Shows" for more than ten years during the late sixties through the seventies. Popularly known as India's Von Trapp Family (Sound of Music), this Anglo-Indian family spread their musical talents in various parts of India. They gave many 3-hour performances of song and dance. Maureen choreographed the entire show, played piano, designed and tailored the various costumes ranging from Broadway gowns, hats, umbrellas, Hawaiian grass skirts, Cowboy outfits, Sailor outfits, etc. All their shows were for charity purposes. The Idea of forming a "Family Group" grew over the years. The children would gather around their mother, Maureen, who used to sit at the piano. They would mark the notes on the keys and Maureen would guide them. All the children learnt to play the piano. Carlisle, Lorraine, Marilyn and Rodney learnt to play the guitar. Ted was the popular humorous compere of the Shows and also supervised the Sound and Lighting ... referred himself as "Producer" of the Fabulous Bartleys. Maureen always refers to the Stage as her first home, for when she was seven years old, her mother gifted her a piano, and it's been in the family always after. All the children have a go at it, but it's been well seasoned over the years with good old foot - stomping - table - thumping - beer - spilling - rock - an' - roll - country - music ( II should know, I was their neighbour when they stayed on King's Street in Bangalore!!- Ron.). At sixteen, Maureen sang for Fred Hitchcock's Band (always considered as one of Asia's leading Bands). She also sang at Clubs and Concerts. Carlisle was also the pianist for Raymond Carr and his Quintet who played at Hotel Ashok. He had done his course as a Clinical Lab Tech and was earlier working at St. Martha's Hospital. Because of his work timings Carlisle had to give up his musical career. Today Carlisle worked in the Gulf and became a Snooker Champion there. He played keyboards and sang in a Band with his wife Judy (Carlisle passed away at Muscat on 5th March 1999, and will be burried in Bangalore on 10th March 1999 at the R.C. Cemetery on Hosur Road). Lorraine played a vital role in the Show with her versatile voice, and also had sung at the Ashok and West End Hotels. The sportswoman of the family was Marilyn . She was the captain of Karnataka State Women's Hockey Team. She was sent to attend special a coaching camp in Patiala in 1978 for the World Cup selections and was selected for the Indian Team. Marilyn still plays competitive women's hockey in District Tournaments in N.S.W., Australia. Sharon had great showmanship. A good dancer, she would always steal the show in their Hawaiian dance number. Corrina followed the tradition set by her mother and sisters when she was at school by becoming the Head Girl of Sacred Hearts Girl's High School. She represented the school in debates, dramatics, singing and hockey. She composed a lot of Ballads. Denise had a lot of early singing, starting when she was three!! She sings with her brother Rodney's Jazz/Funk Band in Sydney. She had done many stage shows in Bangalore. Rodney , the youngest, won several prizes in school competitions. He studied in St., Joseph's Boys' High School, Bangalore. He plays keyboards and sings in his own Band, does a lot of solo gigs and plays with various Jazz Bands in Sydney. He has developed a unique style of his own down the years. Most of the Family are now settled in Australia, perhaps soon the next generation would take up the mantle!! Hats off to Maureen and Ted, a rare breed of dedicated God-fearing parents one could come across. "Goodonyou Mate, Have a Great Dai" to you Ted & Maureen, and all the rest of the Gang Down Under, and also to other Friends from Bangalore, - Ron.
More on the Music Scene ... Dr. Thomas Chandy (son of Mr. Kora Chandy) of Hosmat has a famous collection of musical instruments from around the world, and also plays a few of them very well. We cannot pass by without mentioning the Boys' from our Block ... the Stylus (Peter Faria - Keyboards, Nicholas "Nikki" Furtado - Lead Guitar, Micheal Furtado - Drums, Kenneth "Kenny" Beale - Bass Guitar).
 

Talking to Barbara Thomas, she pointed out that there was something missing from the music of Bangalore, the Classical Music of Bangalore, the musicians, the concerts, the Exams and so many things about it. This is a Section of Music that needs to be treated with more finesse and by experts in the field - Classical Music .
There is another area of music that today is very effective, that is the Ministry of Music. One of the regular Groups that come to Bangalore to share the Word of God through their music are the Celebrant Singers , who have visited India 17 times and Bangalore 14 times!!.


It dont mean a thing if it aint got that SWING!
Updates from some of the Bangalore Wallas!
From: " Alfie Roberts " Date: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 23:08:40 +0800
Recently I was introduced to your Home Page by a friend of mine. I read with interest the above article and it brought back a lot of memories. I kept in close touch with Eddie D’Silva here in Perth ( Eddie and His Rhythm Stars) until he passed away in 1987. . I studied at Baldwin Boy’s High School along with my brothers Alan, Christopher and Edward.

I feel the need to remind you of a few more musicians/entertainers that did not get a mention in your article.

At this time of updating this page, we lost two of Bangalore's good musicians on the 5th March 1999, the great pianist Mother Good Shepherd, of Sacred Heart's Girls' High School, Bangalore who was interred on 6th March at the Convent, and Carlisle Bartley passed away at Muscat on 5th March 1999, and will be buried in Bangalore on 10th March 1999 at the R.C. Cemetery on Hosur Road .... Ron, 9th March, '99.


CARNATIC MUSIC & INDIAN MUSIC

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