Letter From Dominic Gonsalves ~ January 4, 2012

Dominic Gonsalves

A letter from Mr. Dominic Gonsalves to Menin Rodrigues.  

Regarding information not being accurately recorded in a few published articles.

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January 4, 2012

Hi Menin! First of all I would like to wish you Happy New Year 2012.  I had great pleasure reading about the Goans in Pakistan and their contribution to the country.  It is indeed an awesome effort on your part to research the vast areas in which Goans have made a contribution and to honour them by making mention of their names on your site.
My email in particular refers to the section music and bands as I have made note of a few discrepancies that I came across. My aim is for you to have the correct information irrespective of whether it gets corrected or not.
Firstly, that my good friend the late Alex Rodrigues a great musician was never associated with either Alamgir or Sheikhi.
I first started playing with Alamgir in the early 70’s and featured regularly on PTV’s Sunday Ke Sunday and Jhankar.  Later on I decided to play for Sheikhi too on a regular basis helping him out with a few compositions.  If you would like to confirm that fact I would be more than happy to provide you with the contact numbers of both those artists.
Secondly, the late Felix Carvalho also a good friend of mine and a brilliant musician was never associated with Alamgir. The fact of the matter is that Felix who also played in my band was not into eastern music.  For your information I was the first Goan to be employed (full time) by Radio Pakistan as Music Director (worked for 35 years) and Pakistan Television as a session musician as I am well versed in both Western and Eastern music.
Dominic Gonsalves
I was also the first Goan to appear in a feature film “Dhamaka” in 1974 (opening scene with band on stage) starring Javed Sheikh. I also had the pleasure of playing along with Paul Gonsalves and The Duke Ellington Orchestra and Dave Brubeck Quartet.  This was also misreported in Kaleem Omar’s article (Nobody in Karachi whistles anymore) published in 2006.
I was employed by Metropole Hotel at the time. I am now 84 years old and my memory is as good as ever. I migrated to Australia in 2005 and was a bit disappointed when I read that article online. I have tried to get the contact details of Kaleem Omar but have been unsuccessful. If by any chance you have his contact details please forward that to me so that I can clarify the matter.
 Dominic Gonsalves
I still play the sax with the U3A (University of the Third Age) in Melbourne and jammed up with Don Burrows in Sydney a few years ago. I hope the information that I have provided you gives you more insight into the musical history of Pakistan.
If I can be of any help and if you need further clarification on the above matters please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook (Don Gonsalves)
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‘Music is All I know’ with Hilary Furtado

Hilary Furtado

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

If you are in the music industry in Pakistan then you will certainly have encountered Anthony Hilary Furtado aka ‘Hilary’ at some point in time.

If you haven’t, then indeed you haven’t been around much because this man is everywhere, from live entertainment to main stream music; he has done and seen it all!

He has played with some of the best musicians in Pakistan and probably all the hotels in town.  This man goes a long way and still continues his regular contract at the Pearl Continental.

 He recently performed with the Ari Roland Jazz Quartet at the American consulate and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation.

Our LMK contributor, Chester Williams recently cornered him for this interview.

 contd. below

Chester Williams interviewing Hilary Furtado

Chester Williams interviewing Hilary Furtado

Hilary how and when did it all begin for you?

 I started playing in 1968.  First I taught myself how to play the guitar and whilst playing for a Thai band in Singapore in 75/76 I picked up the saxophone; again self taught.  Along with both these instruments I took up vocals as well.

 Do you come from a musical family?

No! – nobody in our family was musical.  Somehow it just hit me and my brother,  Nobby Furtado, who btw. is a fantastic bass player.

Which famous musicians have you learnt from or were inspired by?
Tell us about your experiences.

Being in the music field, I have admired most musicians of the yester years but most drawn towards instrumental and sentimental stuff..

My favorites are here in Pakistan with whom I have had the opportunity to perform with i.e. Alamgir, Mohammed Ali Sheikhi, Sadaf Munir, Tehseen Jawed, Faqir & Junoon…  I like Ali Zafar but haven’t performed with him yet.

What are your fondest musical memories?

I have always had good memories here in Pakistan and even abroad in countries like UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand & UAE.

contd. below

Chester (L) and Hilary Furtado (R)

Have you recorded any of your music?

I have recorded with various singers and musicians and for those who don’t know I also do loads of jingles aired on the local channels.

 

Do you have some original music that you would like to record through the support of LMK?

Yes, in the near future.

Tell us about errors that occur at live performances.  Have you encountered any and how do you handle them?

With all the experience up my sleeves I manage to cover up mistakes.  With live music you just go with the flow and enjoy the experience. 

 

Do you get nervous before any performance?

No, not really but yes I do remember an instance in the mid 70’s when I went to Singapore and had to audition with the guitar.  I was dreadfully nervous but eventually got through.  I have been in the music business for so long now that nervousness is a thing of the past.

 

Hilary

Do you still practice and how often?

Yes, I practice every day for an hour or two

 

I hear that you used to teach music.  Tell us about it?

I used to give vocal lessons to the kids at the Beacon House but not at present.

 

Are you still performing ‘live’?

I’m performing with  “The Keynotes”!  Yes! We are still keeping the name going.  We perform at the Marco polo in Pearl Continental and twice a week at the Sind Club.  Also had the pleasure of performing live at the French & Russian Consulates.

How do you balance your busy music schedule with other obligations – family/job?

Thank God I have never had a problem!  Made sure I took time out to spend with my family and I am thankful to them for always supporting me and my music.

What words of advice do you have for the young musicians of Karachi?

My advice to all young musicians is that music is like the ocean, a very vast field thus don’t jump ahead too fast!!  Take it one day at a time, enjoy the experience and you will flourish.

Interviewed by ~ Chester Williams
Artwork ~ by ldg 

Dose of ‘Radiation’ with Angelo D’Cruz

Radiation

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

The ‘Radiation’ was a hugely popular ‘live’ band of the 90s.  Probably one of the last few great bands that Karachi had before live entertainment went off the radar.   Much to do I suppose with the in surge of DJs and the decline in venues.

We recently got in touch with Mr. Angelo D’cruz, who is now based in Ontario to tell us more about the band.

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When did  ‘Radiation’ form and who were the original and subsequent members?

The original name was ‘Midnight Liner’.  Sometime during mid ‘87 the name was changed and ‘Radiation’ is what Robert D’cruz came up with.

The original band were Joseph Rodrigues, Robert D’cruz, Bonnie Herbert, Joe Menzes, Rauf and myself Angelo D’cruz.

There were several replacements as time went by however, the final line up prior to windup on February 14, 1996 were: Agnelo Fernandes, Max Dias, Tony D’souza (Tom Jones), Neil Aranjo and myself
The musicians below played with Radiation at some point and then moved on:
Hilary Rodrigues, Melvin Fernandes, Brian Lobo, Glen D’cruz, John Saville, Norman D’souza

 contd. below

Radiation

We here at LMK are promoting the live bands and musicians of the past and therefore want to know more about your initial years with the ‘Radiation’?

How did it all start? Were you playing regularly and where?

We initially started playing for weddings and live shows and the band took off from there.  Next we were asked to play at consulates like the US Embassy, British Embassy and others.  We also performed for corporate clients like ANZ Bank, American Express and others.  In addition to that, we played for private parties at Defence and Clifton; The Rotary Club, Yatch Club, Sindh Club etc.  

We were gigging all over town despite our regular contract at ‘The Village’; which we held for 9 years.  Hilary Furtado also gave us the opportunity to play at a resort in Islamabad.

 contd. below

Radiation

What are your fondest musical memories in Karachi?  Tell us a bit about the atmosphere back then.

We had many good times together as a band and enjoyed every moment.  Yes! we were always on the go and it did get hectic and exhausting as all the musicians had day jobs but that never impacted our performance as a band at any event.  We always gave our best!  

The Christmas season was the busiest and we never had a day free.  We also had an advantage playing at the Village Restaurant as the management there were extremely good to us and gave us time off during the busy season.

What kind of music were the ‘Radiation’ most drawn towards? The music that you as a band enjoyed playing?

We played all kinds of music from rock and roll to country to classic to hip hop.  We played what the people enjoyed and tried to keep up with the new music coming in and always catered to our audience’s request.

 contd. below

Radiation

As one of the best live bands of the 90s.  Why did the ‘Radiation’ decide to disband?

Radiation was well known  and were playing for almost all occasions in Karachi.  The band was at its highest peak of fame when we decided to disband.  It was the perfect time to do so as we had reached our pinnacle and were known and loved.   

We wanted the name of the band to stay at that level when it all came to a close as we were losing members/musicians that wanted to pursue other opportunities.

Max was going to join a three piece band, Tony and I were heading to Canada.  The rest of the members did not want to carry on so it was a mutual decision to end at the KGA Valentine Dance.   Only upon request by some to-be-wed couples did we form up to play at their weddings.

Something for the upcoming musicians…  A thought, a slogan

Enjoy every moment of your musical career.  

And even though it all seems very entertaining, never lose sight of your dedication and give every performance more than your best.

 

interviewed by ~ ldg

‘Neon’ by the Leachays

If you are a jazz lover then you are definitely going to dig this original track ‘Neon’ by the talented ‘Leachay’ brothers; Rick and Darryl and the youngest upcoming musician in the family; Keanu.

Rick and Darryl were actively part of the live music entertainment, circa 80s~90s.   Rick (lead guitarist) was trained by the legend himself Egan Fernandes (Iggy) and is an accomplished musician in his own right and his brother Darryl (bass guitarist) has certainly followed suit.

Most delighted to share ‘Neon’ here on lmkonline and even more pleased to see them experimenting and doing their own thing.   And Folks! that is certainly what music is all about…  digging deep and allowing the talent to explore and unfurl.

Reckon we are definitely going to hear more from these guys!!

Lead and Keys ~ Rick Leachay

Bass ~ Darryl Leachay

Drums~ Keanu Leachay

Mixed by Farhan Shaikh at Saazmantra Studios, CA, US.

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Let’s Talk About ‘The Milestones’ ~ with Ali Tim ’90s

Hippie/happy, free spirited, vagabond, gypsy, green peace activist and a recycle artist.  ‘Some More Unknown stuff’! and also a doctor, writer, painter, musician, photographer and a gardener by choice!’  That’s the way Mr. Ali Tim describes himself and that is exactly what he is and more!

Creativity oozes out of his very core and there is so much in there that it flows into everything he lays his hands on.   However, this description does not encapsulate everything..  Jang Group has obviously captured that creativity aspect by making him GM of Marketing Content & Interactive Media but besides all of the above he is a simple guy that loves music and has promoted many upcoming musicians through http://www.aag.tv/ AAG.tv.   He also directed the first ever Christmas show ‘Jingle Bells‘ on tv that focused on the talented Christian musicians of Pakistan.

Therefore thank you Mr. AT for doing this interview of your old band ‘The Milestones’ for LMK. ~ldg

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So let’s talk about ‘The Milestones’!  http://www.themilestonesband.com/

I was doing my house job at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in 1990 when I met Ziyyad through some friends.  He was a college student and already a musician.  I had gone to his place with some mutual friends and discovered that he had a basement with a drum kit, keyboards, guitars and amps.

His friends were jamming and all of that sounded cool to me. I looked at the list of songs his band played.  The Beatles, Hendrix, U2  and at the end was CCR.  I asked Ziyyad if he liked CCR?  He asked me for my phone number.  I had to go back to the hospital where I worked and gave him my digits and left.

Next day Ziyyad called me “Do you want to play in my band”.   I wasn’t sure, to be honest.  I had just acquired my first bass and was trying to figure my way around the instrument.  I asked him if his band really knew how to play Suzie Q by CCR.  He said “Hell yeah”! Ok, then I will come.  

Same evening I was in Ziyyad’s basement playing Suzie Q.  I kinda loved that.  Line up was Ziyyad (Lead), Rizwan (Rhythm/vocals), Carl Miranda (drums), Samar Saleem (Keyboards).  Ok so now we have a band …..with no name.

I did not know how to play bass but then gradually the guys in the band taught me basslines taking help from keyboards and guitars.  Rest I figured out on my own.  It all sounded great.  In 2 weeks we had rehearsed over a dozen songs and also acquired fan following of Ziyyad’s friends.  Awesome! I said to myself! 

Few months later we played a gig at Anthonian Blessings, Karachi.  This band line up had no name. At the end of the gig Ziyyad told me that this girl sitting in the front row wants to sing in our band. Her name is Candy. I said, okay!  Call her over.

Next day Candy walked in with an electric guitar.  She plugged in and started to play Black Velvet. I looked at her and then Ziyyad shook his head.  1990 had begun.   I told “Ziyyad , we are gonna make it big”!   Candy found the band she wanted to sing with.  The band with no name found her.  

A friend christened the anonymous band with a name …. and ‘The Milestones’ began rolling……. 90-95 we had recorded 2 albums and played almost every arena.

1994, we three are crossing this road in front of the Empire State Building in New York at 4 am.  We are singing, laughing after playing for almost 2 months in USA.  I let Candy cross the road alone.  Ziyyad smiled.   I  asked him “now do you remember I said, we are gonna make it big one day?’ He said, Yes and you were right!

The Milestones performing Jan e Jaan (live)

Candy Pereira (Vocals/rhythm Guitar)
Ziyyad Gulzar ( Lead Guitar)
Ali Tim (Bass/backing Vocals)
Allan Smith (Drums/backing vocals)
Ishtiaq Ahmed ( Sound Engineer)

All Milestones music available here  http://www.themilestonesband.com/

contd. below

As you know we here at LMK are promoting all the live bands and musicians of the past.  Tell us about your initial years with ‘The Milestones’.
Were you playing live music regularly?

With ‘The Milestones’ we played 365 days a year 7-11 pm every day.  It was a rigorous training we went through learning chords, harmonies and preparing sets for shows and recordings.  We had offers to play at restaurants and hotels but I had a different idea.   I wanted to make albums and travel the world.   Ziyyad agreed.  Candy did not say anything!

I had melodies and words in my head.  Ziyyad knew how to sequence on keyboards.  I wrote the first song and then 2nd and 3rd.  It took me and Ziyyad a while to complete the first batch of songs.  I went and approached EMI Pakistan with a demo.  Syed Mansur Bukhari, head of EMI, liked it and signed the band.  We had set the first Milestone of our career! All three of us knew that now we will have an album. 

For those new to The Milestones; Who played what instrument?

Ziyyad ~ all instruments; guitar, bass, keyboards, drums , sequencing and vocals 

Candy ~ almost every instrument too; guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals

Ali Tim ~ Bass, rhythm guitar, compositions, melodies, lyrics and vocals

Carl MirandaGumby (Louis Pinto)Allan SmithSamar Saleem played drums

Allan Smith was also a part of compositions for MS 3rd album which couldn’t be recorded with Candy at that point in time.  

Samar Saleem and Asad Khan played keyboards 

 

The best part about MS songs was that in both its albums there was not a single complete song.  Structure wise they were never complete with intro, verses, bridge, high part, chorus etc. 

 

Your front lady, Candy is an incredible vocalist and we hear she’s now living somewhere in downtown Toronto. There are so many people that keep asking about her and we have received many emails requesting us to locate her.   But you and I know that she prefers to keep a low profile? Is there any chance of us ever hearing from her again?

Candy never announced a formal departure from the band.  She was a low profile person during the MS days too.  Her immigration case was pending for decades before she joined the band and once her visa came through she left.  Seriously doubt if we would hear from her again but never know.  A well known Tv channel and media group approached the band for a reunion album and series of concerts in 2008.   That could not happen because Candy could not be tracked in Toronto but Allan Smith and Ziyyad were game to the big idea . 

Tim-Candy-Ziyyad ~ Tulane, New Orleans USA
Backstage fun -circa 1994

 

AT, if I’m not mistaken you write most of the lyrics. What inspires you?

Yes, i wrote all the songs …………….. I do not think they were songs ….. They were theorems still unresolved in my mind. 

Tell us about your public appearances? Dances, Concerts, radio, TV? Places?

We appeared on Miami Tv station as first ever artist from Pakistan in 1994.  We were the favourite band of the US Consulate General back in the days.  We played for a number of charity balls for the consulate.  We were the first band from Asia to be a part of Amnesty International for raising awareness for the prisoners of war.

We played fund raisers for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and also for Pakistan Medical Association.  Most of our live concerts were  fundraisers for different causes.  That was the idea too. We made music to please ourselves but we raised funds to help others.  

We played to contribute to the building of Emergency ward in Civil hospital for PMDC.

 

Probably our best show was in Cyprus where in a club we landed on stage via a capsule lift and Cypriots and Turks went wild to the first note of Sweet Child O mine. They had no idea that Milestones was a band from Pakistan.  They were all pleasantly surprised! 

What kind of music was ‘The Milestones’ most drawn towards?

You name it and we played it.   Everything under the sun.  Probably the only band in PK that played everything from BB king, CCR, Hendrix to Alam Lohar.   We all had our diverse influences. Candy was into Whitney, Joan Jett, U2, Heart..  Ziyyad followed Clapton, GnR, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and I was into Allan Fakir,  Ustad Wilayat Ali Khan, Elvis………………the result was an amalgam of all our influences. 

It was a strange brew we played at live concerts but to keep the matters simple what we recorded on albums was plain pop.  No company would have agreed to sign us if we recorded what we actually played on stage.  

It may be a lil difficult to understand but Ziyyad during live performance would start out with his wah and flange sounds.  Allan did his drum solos,  Asad did his synth, Candy improvised and I often played bass making it sound like a table by muting and striking strings on the higher frets. 

 

You are a pretty insightful chap and therefore putting this question to you considering you have been in the media, music business for a long time.  Tell me what is your stance on how to get the public to support ‘live music’.   Any ideas?

Only if the security issues are resolved somehow in this country the music scene is going to turn into a million dollar,  money making business.  The biggest spenders on music do want to contribute to live events but then such events are never open to general public because of the security hazards.  The only way possible is via internet but that too with its limited services and audience is difficult to grasp.   Events in schools and colleges can help a great deal before we move to stadiums.  

But keeping it all open for all classes of people is the key.  Easy access is the key.   More they see it – more they like it and more they will want.   No live band will stay alive too long if it is not live in front of an audience playing and getting instant feedback. 

Have you ever had to deal with ‘negative publicity’ or ‘pushy media’ people? If so, how did you handle it?

The Milestones were not allowed on PTV and STN in the initial years.  The reason stated was “we do not promote music from Minority bands on tv”.   It has been 20 yrs and this continues.   We fought our part of the issue with PTV and STN via writing against the nonsensical media policy in the press.  We fought! We won!  PTV had to give in and put us on Tv.

STN categorically asked me to apologize for writing against the channel.   I refused that.  Music could come from Christians, Muslims, Parsees, Hindus….. We never made music to make money or to become famous…….  We could not care less if some part of the electronic or print media was against us.   We continued doing our work and in the end even STN had to put us on.  

Why did ‘The Milestones’ decide to disband?

Simple! Candy had to immigrate to Canada with her family and i had one more year before i could also move to Toronto.  We left almost at the same time.  I tried to locate her there and found out that she is singing with Black Jacks in Toronto.  I was moving to America for a year.  I left for Kansas …

 

You are now working with 19 year old Alycia Dias.   She’s another fantastic upcoming vocalist. We see her clips on ‘The Milestones’ website.   Are you by any chance reviving ‘The Milestones’ with her in mind?

Nopes!  Not at all! It was just one track that I did with Ziyyad in 97.  I  used it to check Alycia’s vocal range, litmus test.  I have done other songs with her too.  She is a very good singer, will go places!

What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 – 3 years)

None.  I do not plan anything.  Music is just a hobby, has always been.  For everything else that I do, I have the same answer. 

What would you like to impart to the young musicians of Karachi? A thought, a slogan

Live your dreams ……Get an education and always have an alternate career to fall back on! 

======================================

Some Additional Information:

The Milestones went through many changes in its line up since its inception.  Initially it was Candy, Zoren, Zelina (all singers), Carl, Ziyyad, Tim and Samar.

The band was gigging in the local circuit but then plan was to first record original music and then tour.

Zoren and Zelina left. Carl also had to move on because of his studies.  Gumby was an instant and solid replacement.  He did the first two years and then Allan Smith replaced him with his stunning stick work.  Samar Saleem shifted to keyboards and was later replaced by John Saville.  After JS, Asad Khan was recruited as the keyboardist.

Other session players included Youseef Begg, Adil and Nadeem!

Ziyyad, Candy, Ali Tim despite their day jobs and routine life kept making original music.  After the album was complete and finally recorded at EMI;  the band acquired a manager Sajjad Panjawani (late) who bought the MS album from EMI under his management and released it through his label Visible Changes.

Jadu – album 1

Milestones 2 – Album 2

The three Milestones officially stuck it out for 5 years. They kept their day jobs.  Ziyyad (banker) Candy (shipping company) and Ali Tim (advertising) but they made time for music ….. and made music.


Interviewed by ~ldg 

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Photographs/artwork ~ Ali Tim

‘Bass’man ~ Russell Owen Dsouza

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi 

Category ~ Musician Profile

Russell Owen you are certainly a talented and notably hard working bass guitarist in Karachi these days.  You have been around for a while therefore let’s begin with your experience of the nightlife in Karachi?

I started music somewhere in the mid ’80s and by then the night life was on a fade out…   But there were a couple of joints catering to live music; places like Village, Woods n Cave, Horse shoe of which comes to mind.   I played at the Horseshoe before it was closed down in 1987.


Who inspired you back then?

I was definitely inspired by Neil Araujo.

 

Do you remember the first tunes you played?

The first few tunes I learned were ‘Evil Ways’ by Santana and ‘By the rivers of Babylon’ Boney M.   When I started learning how to play bass there was no internet where we could upload tutorials from and all these fine gadgets you have nowadays.   I learned directly from my senior mentors; Mr. Nobby Furtado, Mr. Glen Boyle, Mr. Allan Dias and Mr Neil Araujo.

 

What are your fondest musical memories? in Karachi?

So many great memories!  but my best ones as sentimental as it sounds were when we played for weddings and dances.  The happy occasions that we, as musicians shared with the folks of Karachi.   My time with the band ‘Experiments’ and then ‘Black jacks’. 

The best experience was definitely when I first joined the Village band.  It was a great atmosphere back then.  It just felt good playing live regularly.  My best local concert was at the

St. Patrick’s grounds in aid of Darul Sakoon.

What are you currently working on?

As you know I am a session musician and I have worked with an endless number of musicians and bands.  However, at present I am session-‘ing’ with Mr. Shafqat Amanant Ali Khan, and still jamming whenever and wherever I can.

 

What would you like to impart to the young musicians of Karachi?

Love what you do! Love your music! Enjoy it! And if you do it with dedication, it will get you respect and love…  Thank You!!

 

Artwork ~ by ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Razzmatazz! From Headbanging to Rock ~ by Adrian Fletcher

Razzmatazz ~ 80s – 90s
Artwork ~ by ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

The first instrument I picked up was the bass guitar.   I was 8 or 9 years old and desperately wanted to join a choir as a musician.

At the time, Christ the King parish needed a bassist so I jumped at the opportunity and taught myself as much as I could and joined the choir.

This did not last long as my mum sent me off to Quetta in the mid 70’s, where I attended St. Francis’ Grammer school and lived at the hostel.   I couldn’t continue playing bass but  did join the school band where I picked up the side drum and that’s how my interest in drumming started.

I played in the school band for about three years and then returned to Karachi.  I joined St. Patrick’s Technical School and stopped my music for a while but always had this urge to form my own band.

In those days I was into hard core heavy metal, following bands like Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, Mega Death,  AC/DC, Accept, Doken, Aero Smith,  Athrax,  Boston, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Ronnie James Dio, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, KISS, Quiet Riot, Ratt, Rush, Scorpions, Slayer, Ted Nugent, Tesla & Van Halen.

I idolized drummers like Ian Pace (Deep Purple), Alex Van Halen (Van Halen) & Nikko (Iron Maiden) and picked up a lot from their performances.  As time passed, I mellowed down.  Started listening to Rock and other genres.

It was sometime in the early 90’s when we moved to Mehmoodabad (FUNKY TOWN) and our neighbours were Darryl and Ricky Leachay.  Ricky was playing for ‘Visions’ and Darryl and I would go to Village and hang out with the musicians.

We used to play sessions with them and the drummer in me returned followed by this desire to form a band.

All credit goes to Ricky and Darryl;  these guys really encouraged me.  At first, I was pretty uncertain as Karachi had seasoned musicians/bands like Visions, Black Jacks, Keynotes, Experiments etc performing all over town.   But when Stephen Gonsalves joined the same company that I was working for, us wanna-be musicians decided to give it a shot and formed RAZZMATAZZ (1).

RAZZMATAZZ started off with Stephan on bass, Me on drums and we pulled in Atif Mujahid (Ricky’s student) on Lead ‘n’ Rhythm.   The three of us jammed at my place for a couple of months.   Lined up 10 songs and then pulled in Ashley Clements (vocals) and Thomas “TIM” D’souza on keyboards.

There was something missing in our band and it wasn’t sounding as “BIG” as I wanted it too and after we did a session at the Village, I felt we needed more musicians.  So in came Tahir Khan (guitars) to support Atif and Jason D’costa (sax/vocals) to back up Ashley.

At that time the only guys with professional equipment were Atif & TahirStephen had a Chinese bass guitar ‘n’ local amp.  I had a local drum set (Made in Sialkot).   Ashley sang thru mono mic and we used a stereo deck as a PA, Timmy had a small Yamaha key board and plugged it into Stephen’s amp but we jammed continuously, 6 days a week, happily for a year on these instruments before we actually came out of our cocoon and started hitting the main stage.

Again, it was Visions that gave us our first break on the main stage when they invited us for a full session at Hotel Metropole and after that Razzmatazz took off.  We started getting gigs from all over; weddings, corporate shows, private shows.

This line up lasted a good five years after which Stephen and Ashley decided to part ways and formed a three piece band at the Pearl ContinentalAtif left for higher studies and everything kind of drifted apart.

RAZZMATAZZ 1 ~ Performing at Metropole
Adrian Fletcher (drums), Ashley Clements (vocals), Jason D’Costa (Vocals / Sax) Thomas “Tim” D’souza (keyboards), Atif Mujahid (lead), Tahir Khan (rhythm / lead) and Stephen Gonsalvas (bass)

During those 5 years I started upgrading my kit. I went from a local set to a DIXON and then I heard that big gun Malcolm was selling his Fibre Glass/ transparent kit, I jumped to that and bought it off him and had it for the longest time when I finally got myself a TAMAROCKSTAR when I went to Singapore.

When Razzmatazz split, I was disappointed but determined to recruit some more musicians and form up again.  After a couple of months I met Alan D’cruz and threw the idea at him.  We hooked up with Kevin “Bobby” Fernandez and pulled in more guys and the line up for RAZZMATAZZ was REBORN with: Kevin “BOBBY” Fernandes  (Vocals), Alex Manuel (keyboard), Titus Periera (rhythm / lead), Charles Suares (rhythm guitar and vocals), Alan D’cruz (bass and vocals) ‘n’ me (drums and back up vocals).

Razzmatazz 1 ~ Adrian Fletcher (drums), Ashley Clements (vocals), Jason D’Costa (Vocals / Sax) Thomas “Tim” D’souza (keyboards), Atif Mujahid (lead), Tahir Khan (rhythm / lead) and Stephen Gonsalvas (bass)

This new line up hit the stages again and spent another good 5 years together after which we called it quits and I put my sticks away.

I kept up with the music and after about 6 years, Kevin “Bobby” Fernandez, approached me about forming a Rock band where we would concentrate on our own compositions and music and go main stream.

It was a great idea and I had been away from live music for a long time so I was quite eager to get back into shape and behind a kit.  Kevin introduced me to Omar Khalil who played the guitars and we pulled in Blaise “Carlos” Pereira on bass and started jamming covers.

After a few months I felt the need of pulling in another guitarist to support Omar, so I met Sean at St. Anthony’s Mela and we spoke about music and I asked him to come and jam with us and he certainly impressed us so Sean Arnaz got a spot on rhythm ‘n’ lead and the line up was complete.

Razzmatazz II ~ Adrian Fletcher (drums) Kevin Fernandes (Vocals) Alex Manuel (Keyboard), Titus Periera (Rhythm / Lead) Charles Suares (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals), Alan D’cruz (bass and vocals)

We named the band Phoenix which was later renamed HALF AN EYE.   We started off with covers from Creed, Nickelback, Metallica, REM, Chris Daughtery, Chris Cornel etc as well as our own original compositions.

During the 6 years that I was outta the live music scene I wrote several lyrics/songs, so Sean, Kevin and myself started working on those compositions.  Sean came up with some real good melodies and with input from Kevin and myself, we recorded some amazing tracks which are available on:

http://www.reverbnation.com/main/global_search?q=half%20an%20eye&commit=GO#!/halfaneye

HALF AN EYE: Winners of GBOB Pakistan:

One of my colleagues from Indonesia told me about GBOB (GLOBAL BATTLE OF THE BANDS /http://www.gbob.com ) where bands from over 30 countries take part and when I checked the website, I saw that Pakistan was also on that list so I contacted the organizers and signed up ‘Half An Eye’ for this competition.

It was tough and only bands with original compositions could join.  We got in and found out that bands from all over Pakistan were participating.  On the day of the performance, which took place in Karachi, there were about 10-12 bands but we performed with full confidence and put up a good show and won the GBOB and were ready to go to the UK for the world finals.  But unfortunately having green passports, the British Embassy declined our visas so we couldn’t go.

‘Half An Eye’ split after a couple of years when I moved to the US and Kevin got a job in Dubai.  But we left behind great memories.

And God willing… will not die out in the Underground Music World of Pakistan.

MY IDOL DRUMMERS:

Ian Pace (Deep Purple)

Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)

Nikko (Iron Maiden)

Neil Peart (Rush)

Carter Beauford (Dave Mathews Band)

LOCAL DRUMMERS THAT INSPIRED ME:

Malcom

Ainsley Hifield

KITS THAT I OWNED:

Paki Made Kit

DIXON

LUDWIG FIBER GLASS / TRANSPARENT KIT

TAMA ROCK STAR

TAMA SWING STAR

TAMA SUPER STAR

TAMA SUPER STAR HYPER DRIVE

KITS THAT I’VE JAMMED ON:

ALL THE ABOVE AND

MAXTON

YAHAMA

SONOR

PEARL

DW

MY DREAM KIT:

TAMA STARCLASSIC BUBINGA OMNI-TUNE