© Legendary Musicians of Karachi
Category ~ Legendary Musician of Karachi
Music for me started when I was about 11 years old way back in March 1960; at the time I was living in Saddar. My Dad planned a family vacation to Goa and Bombay. It was in Goa at Mapusa, where I picked up my first instrument a “PUCK HAMONICA”. As time passed I could play a few songs and slowly realized I had a natural talent, what I like to call a gift from God to play by ear.
I would play the “DRUMS” by sitting on the bed and kicking my heels against a “‘TRUNK” under the bed and beside me was a small cardboard suitcase (which I use to carry my books to school) I used for a “SNARE DRUM” and for a cymbal I used a STAINLESS STEEL PLATE (in which I still eat from).
The drum was played with my right hand, while in my left hand was the harmonica which when played together, would sound like a “ONE MAN BAND” from afar. At times, I would put rubber bands around a book, strum on it and that was my ‘make believe’ guitar and sing-along.
In 1964, when our family moved to Our Lady of Fatima parish; I met Roland D’Souza and George Green who played the piano and guitar respectively. We formed a small pass-time band.
We asked our (then) parish priest, Rev. Fr. Kieran Smith to help us form a band, which he willingly encouraged and supported by obtaining donations and instruments from America. Soon the first parish band was formed by the name of “THE YOUNG ONE” with Desmond Saldanha on the Rhythm Guitar, George Green on the Bass Drums, David on the Drums/Piano, Gabriel Rodrigues on the Accordion, Julius Saldanha on the Piano, Alex D’Souza on the Drums and Tambourine, Roland D’Souza on the Piano/Guitar and myself on the Harmonica/Drums. We performed at many private functions; weddings, concerts, Midway House Hotel and twice a week for our parish tombola and also for the Fatima senior choir for Sunday and special masses.
Musicians like Alan D’Souza, Bosco D’Souza and Michael Pascal were very hard working young lads and would volunteer just for anything and at any time. These three young men became the shinning lights that would light a blaze in the hearts of many and many generations to come, that’s when I decided to teach our kids music who showed interest and formed the 1st Girl Band of Fatima Parish “THE BUTTERFLIES” consisting of Marian Pereira, Ludy D’Lima, Ela Lewis, Margaret de Andrade, Cryslan Fernandez and Betty Paulius.
At parallel was a younger group of girls that formed a junior band called ‘The Noise Makers’ and for the boys a band group called “THE FABS”. The Butterflies performed for Christmas at Radio Pakistan, Parsi Weddings and Naujot Parties at Hotel Metropole.
For the kids I was just a simple Gardener who sowed the seeds on a fertile ground and allowed the seeds to bloom. My advise to the kids was always to “DO YOUR BEST, AND GOD WILL DO THE REST”I have passed on my music to my three sons, Ferdinand, Gratiano and Giles who not only play at Church for the services, but also for informal gatherings, weddings, banquets, five star hotels and some of the top bands in the music industry of Pakistan.