© Legendary Musicians of Karachi & Sabby Patrick
Category ~ Legendary Musicians of Karachi
The name of the group “BLACKJACKS’ popped up in somewhat an unexpected manner. Bobby Frederick, Tony D’Souza, Michael Rodricks, Ronnie Remedios, Zakir Hussain and Glenn Boyle were the first and original members of the group. While the band boys were still racking their brains to find one suitable name, BLACKJACKS was already being scribbled in psychedelic dimensions on the 3 Aces walls. It was Zakir who got dazed by this illusion and the band was baptized, “BLACKJACKS”…….. It was 1978.
Their first gig was at the newly opened 3 Aces Disco and the band gained a lot of popularity. But soon Bobby left for the Gulf, Trevor D’mello took his place in 1979. The same year Tony also drifted away and joined the Talisman and Roland Trinidad took on the rollin…………..the 3 Aces closed down.
By the end of 1979, the boys were jobless… Michael left for the States and Trevor Davids aka ‘Pious’ gave up his choir duties at Fatima church and took on as their spiritual keyboard player. ‘Keeping their faith’ kept the lads strong and they continued practising at the Hut (a place for jobless musicians). Times were difficult and although the flesh was weak their spirit never gave in and in early 1980 Black Jacks won the contract at “THE KANWAL RESTURANT” in Hotel Mehran.
BLACKJACKS became the first group to introduce the Slide TROMBONE and their brass backing became even stronger when Sabby Patrick, a teenager, took on the trombone/saxophone and vocals. Lead man Trevor D’mello left when his vocal notes found a key………. in the KEYNOTES and Norman D’souza came to the rescue. Not after long, he too packed his suitcase pulling Ronnie Remedios to join TALISMAN. .The year was 1981.
Brown-eyed lover boy Rodney Judd took on the strings from Ronnie and proved his mettle. Peter Felix replaced Norman for a short span but unfortunately lost his vocal chords to Francis Sebastian. It was time for the band’s spiritual leader, Trevor Davids to join another parish in Canada, thus opening the doors of KANWAL wide enough for the hefty Lab Technician, Bosco D’Souza.
Since the BLACKJACKS took to stage, one of their founding members always preferred to remain in the dark. A master in his own trade, bass……..Glenn Boyle has been the man behind the enormous popularity of BLACKJACKS; as one of the most happiest and jovial band. He was gifted in producing the best sound for the band, which eventually led to creating several recordings, which some of us still have and are in circulation. His “one liner” remarks ‘TAALEAN BUCHAY LOAG’ (children clap your hands) put him in the spotlight and eventually made him the front man.
This was the best set up of musicians the Black Jacks ever had with Glen Boyle on Bass, Sabby Patrick on Saxophone/Trombone and Vocals, Rodney Judd on Lead Guitar and Vocals, Francis Sebastian on Percussion and Lead Vocal, Bosco D’souza on Keyboards and Vocals and Roland Trinidad on Drums.
The band played six days a week at The Kanwal Restaurant and with just one day off, they were always booked for private parties. For a short while Alan Vanderlowen joined them and then left for the The KEYNOTES. In 1984 the band lost their contract at KANWAL but soon got a deal at CASABLANCA, a disco at Hotel Plaza.
In December 1984, the BLACK JACKS got their first gig to perform outside Karachi. They played for Christmas and New Year at the Hotel Intercontinental in Pindi. This was the most memorial & the best time the band ever had.
Upon their return in Jan’85, they were jobless. Fr. Francis D’souza from Christ The King Church allowed them to practice at the Parish House, soon after which the band started playing at the Pirates Isle, a poolside restaurant at Hotel Taj Mahal
Sept ’85, Roland Trinidade left on the ship S.S. Matrimony with Vanessa D’Souza (Fr. Robbie’s famous lines at all the Weddings) and Solomon Clements joined them. The following year Francis left for the Gulf and was replaced by Gerard Vanderlowen a.k.a. Bob Dylan. The flexibility at Taj Mahal allowed them to play for many shows, these generally included weddings and private parties. The band was extremely popular in Hyderabad as well performing at Naz Teherani’s estates.
Feb ’87, Glenn Boyle the only original member left for Canada and Alan Dias joined them bringing his HIWATT AMP. The loaders got a shock as it weighed twice as much when compared to Glenn’s BASSMAN. Mar ’88 Bosco left for Canada and the band split. Solly, Alan and Gerard joined Sheraton. Rodney and Sabby joined the Talismen at the HORSE SHOE DISCO.
The Horse Shoe deal did not last long so the boys were practising at the HUT. The name BLACKJACKS was still so popular that the boys decided to take on the name again playing for weddings and parties. The final line up in Karachi was Tony, Sabby, Rodney, Francis, Max Dias, Russell D’souza and Nadeem.
July 2 1990 was the darkest day in BLACKJACKS history when Francis Sebastian passed away after a long illness, 7 days before his 35th birthday. He had an impressive range and could sing in the most difficult keys. With his dark John Lennon glasses and immaculate dressing, he was the best front man any band had ever seen.
Looking back at all the years, no other band had more fun than the BLACKJACKS. They also contributed their time and effort raising funds for notable charitable organizations such as Darul Sukoon, Women’s Guild and various church feasts. Bosco, Alan & Glenn played for Sundays mass at their churches & every year for the Christmas concerts at the Grammar School & St. Joseph’s school under the superb leadership of Mrs. Laura Lobo.
The BLACKJACKS saga continued when in Mar ’94 Sabby Patrick arrived in Canada and the band reunited with Allan Dias, Roland Trinidade, Ronnie Remedios, Bosco D’Souza & Cliffy Pereira. The band was a big hit with the non-Karachiites and were constantly booked for the G.O.A., Bombay Connexion, Indo Chamber of Commerce, Tanzanian nite and Interconnection etc. just to name a few.
On December 9th, 2009, Roland Trinidad lost his battle with cancer & passed away peacefully. He was the best drummer the band ever had.
Most of the musicians affiliated with the Black Jacks are still around here in Canada as well as in Karachi and many of them are working as free lancers.
Sabby & Bosco still continue playing & have kept the Black Jacks name alive by performing as a two piece band whilst DJ’ing’ as well.
Where are they now?
Michael Rodricks~California, USA
Glenn Boyle~Calgary Canada
Tony (TJ)~Brampton, Canada
Trevor D’mello~Sydney, Australia
Ronnie Remedios~Sydney Australia
Sabby Patrick~Mississauga,Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trevor Davids~Pickering, Canada
Roland Trinidad~(RIP) Pickering, Canada
Bosco D’souza~Brampton, Canada (email@example.com)
Rodney Judd~Toronto, Canada
Francis Sebastian (RIP)~Karachi, Pakistan
Gerard Vanderlowen~Karachi, Pakistan.
Alan Vandrlowen~Montréal, Canada
Allan Dias~Pickering, Canada
Solly Clements~Pickering Ontario
Norman D’souza~Karachi, Pakistan
Max Dias~Karachi, Pakistan
Russel D’souza~Karachi, Pakistan
Peter Felix~Karachi, Pakistan
Black Jacks still grooving in Canada. Check them out here