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

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The Cruz Zone ~ by Robert D’Cruz

It began………

in the mid 70’s when my brothers Michael and Anthony D’Cruz permitted a band to practice at our home for a couple of months.   The only one I remember from that band was Michael Dias and I think a guy by the name of Colin not sure.

I used to dabble with the guitars when they were gone and that’s probably when my brothers noticed my interest in guitar.   My brother Michael asked me to play a three note tune and I did; so  he bought me my first acoustic guitar, a Hofner.

In 1979, I performed at a talent show held by Christ the King Parish at the St. Lawrence’s grounds.  It was me on guitar and vocals, Joan Fernandes vocals, Rodney Schenker on Drums, don’t remember the bassist.

After that for some unknown reason, I was not interested in playing,  just jammed once in a while.   Then my brother Anthony bought me a Yahama Amp and my brother George bought me an electric guitar, and introduced me to ‘Iggy’, Egan Fernandes.    That’s when my music really started and all credit goes to the constant encouragement from my brothers.

Bands

Axe Attack:   In the summer of 1984, I started jamming in the neighborhood (Soldier Bazaar/Garden East, Karachi) with Faisal (Drums), Nadeem (Rhythm Guitar), Samar (Keyboards), later joined by Kevin Francis (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Ronnie James (Vocals) and Tony D’Souza aka TD (Bass) and formed Axe Attack.  

We played for a couple of years at Casablanca (Plaza Hotel).   We would start every day at 2:00 pm until 11:00 pm practicing just one song per day.

Midnight Liner/Radiation:  In 1986  I joined Midnight Liner.   We played at a joint called Food hee Food, the band members then were Joseph (Sax), Frankie and Angelo (vocals), Neil (bass), Allan Smith (Drums) and Ralph (Rhythm Guitar).

After that we were signed up with a construction company in Clifton by Jade Garden restaurant and played on a stage built on a boat (it was truly an awesome experience).

Then we got a contract at village restaurant.   By then we had several musicians leave and were subsequently replaced by new ones.   The band members at the time (1987) were myself (vocals & guitar), Joe Menezes (Drums), Angelo D’Cruz (Vocals), Boney (Bass).

This is when I decided to change the name of the band to “Radiation”.   In 1989 I left the band to work in Dubai and rejoined a year later and left again in 1991.

Fanoos Wanna bees:  Don’t remember the band name, but will call it the Fanoos Wanna bees lol!!   The same year 1991 Joseph Rodrigues (Saxophone/bongos), Boniface Herbert (Bass) and myself got a contract at the Fanoos (Karachi Sheraton).  That didn’t last long cause the kings of that stage were Gerard Vanderlowen and the boys.

Tony D’Souza (TJ), Norman D’Souza, Arif Barocha, Angelo Fernandes and I jammed together for a couple of gigs and then went our separate ways.

Dimensions:  Later that year again (1991), I joined the Albustan (Karachi Sheraton) dining room band i.e. Frank Dias (Keysboards), Richie D’Souza (Drums),  and Rudy Wilson (Rhythm Guitar).   Rudy left shortly and I recommended bassist Tony D’Souza from my Axe Attack days. Tony, Ritchie and I continued there with various musicians until I left for Canada in August 1996.

Carbon Image:   Like all first generation immigrants, I got busy working hard so that my family could settle in well.   In 2000, Tony D’Souza aka TJ (Drums), Steven Gonsalves (Bass), David Joseph (Keyboards) and myself (guitar/vocals) formed Carbon Image a pure bar band.  We rocked until 2003, when the travel distance took its toll on us.

Tony and I still miss that lineup, no band politics etc. just great music and lots of fun and fans.   We were so good together and generated serious business that venues cancelled other gora bands and replaced them with us.

Cruz Zone/The Robert D’Cruz Band:   In 2004 I was booked for a huge gig but did not have a band, that’s when I realized that I had great musicians at home.  So I turned to my 9 year old Phil who was already a good keyboardist (now a shredder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chq1gmsAtoQ), I trained my 7 year old Drayton on drums, and taught my nephew Sherman some basic bass.

After practicing together for a couple of months, we did not have a band name and therefore had to go with what was listed in the news paper schedule “The Robert D’Cruz Band”, and we hit the stage with songs like Crazy Train, Paranoid, Baba O’reily etc.

That was the greatest gig of my life.  I cannot express the excitement, joy, thrill I felt whilst rocking with my 9 and 7 year old sons on 10,000 watts, and the crowd getting aboard the crazy train was amazing!  My wife Anita played drums on a couple of tunes as well.

And here are my boys doing their thing ~ contd. below

At the end of the gig I was packing up while my sons were signing autographs. We were also approached by a famous Rock radio station asking us for a CD to air, and a record company wanted us to do some original stuff, but I didn’t want to put my little boys through that at such an early age.  We evolved into the Cruz Zone and played for a number of gigs, battle of the bands and also had the opportunity to open for The Paul James band;  played with Melgum Road and made an appearance of Rogers TV as well.  I don’t do as many gigs anymore because I’m trying to push the boys to do their own thing.

My influences:  Iggy, Gilmore, Blackmore, Steve Vai, VH, In short all the great guitar players from the late 60s to date!

Musicians I played with:

  1. Faisal
  2. Nadeem
  3. Samar
  4. Trevor D’Cruz (my best cousin/bro Love u buddy)
  5. Kevin Francis
  6. Ronnie James
  7. Tony D’Souza (TD)
  8. Allan Smith
  9. Russell D’Souza
  10. Joe Rodrigues
  11. Frank Dias
  12. Glen D’Cruze
  13. Gerard Vaderlowen
  14. Alan Vanderlowen
  15. Neil Aroujo
  16. Angelo D’Cruz
  17. Jonson
  18. Louis D’Souza
  19. Joe Menezes
  20. Gumby
  21. Ritchie D’Souza
  22. Rudy Wilson
  23. Dominic Gonsalves
  24. Boni Herbert
  25. Hilary Rodrigues
  26. Norman D’Souza
  27. Tony D’Souza (TJ)
  28. Angelo Fernandes
  29. Arif Baroucha
  30. Steven Gonsalves
  31. David Joseph
  32. Gerard Vanderlowen
  33. Daryl Leachey
  34. Bosco De Souza
  35. Bosco D’Souza
  36. Sylvester D’Souza
  37. Alan Dias
  38. Sabby Patrick
  39. Roland Trinidade
  40. Colin Couthinho
  41. Glenn Tindale
  42. Brian Lobo
  43. Solomon Clements
  44. Carl Miranda

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Comments:

Lynette Dias Gouveia Robert D’Cruz – Are you referring to the Michael Dias the drummer that had polio? Kindly confirm.

Iqbal Kamdar Interesting history of the band, I appreciate. thank you very much.

Maxwell Dias Very interesting!~!:)

Robert D’Cruz Yes, Max’s brother!

Lynette Dias Gouveia Robert thanks so much for sharing here.  Was lovely reading about your experience and especially your encouragement and support towards your kids…

No wonder they are such fantastic young musicians..

Maxwell Dias I am really happy!!! There are people who remember Michael as a good drummer. Thanks Robert!

Lynette Dias Gouveia Robert D’Cruz – I was so happy to read that too!!  Michael Dias was my uncle who passed away in his early 20s.  He had polio but that didn’t stop him from playing the drums. Thanks so much for sharing..

Mary-Lou Vanderlowen Your family always encouraged the kids, I can remember when we were just little kids coming over for Carol Singing practice at your place. You were even younger than us, so maybe you would not remember that, but we always had fun where ever George was.

Alan Vanderlowen robert u r my baby brother and a damn good guitar player good fortune always!

Kevin Mendonca If I remember well Max you sister Mitzy used to sing also I remember her during the talent show days

Robert D’Cruz I just happened to read all these awesome comments almost a year later;  boy am i slow….  Max I definitely remember him although I was around 6 or 7 years old, and I can proudly claim I was his mic holder at one point when there was no mic stand and I was proud to do the job.  He sang a Santana song don’t know the name but i definitely remember the song!

Robert D’Cruz Lynette your uncle was an amazing drummer and singer and I was one of the lucky ones who watched him do his magic…

Robert D’Cruz Mary-Lou I’ve always watched your entire family from a distance as unapproachable stars… I never expected u to know me or of me, thank you so much I’m honored 🙂

Robert D’Cruz Alan my Guru all I can say to u is I love you my big bro and you know it!!

Angelo D’cruz Hey Robert it was a pleasure singing with you for so many years.  I remember how everyone use to think we were brothers. We even had the same last names. I remember the night when you came up with the new name for the band RADIATION man that was a lucky name that stayed.  Till the end which was 1996. You are doing a good job with your kids and are sounding very good keep it up brother .

Joseph Fernandes Your boyz are excellent man. They r piece of inspiration for young musicians. Good job.

Robert D’Cruz Thanks Angelo and Joseph, I appreciate your comments!

Note:   Robert and his sons recently performed at Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto

The Good Ole Days in Karachi ~ by Iqbal Kamdar

Iqbal Kamdar

I am a permanent resident of Karachi and come from a Memon/Gujrati family.  My father emigrated from Bombay during the partition and I was the first Memon who learnt the guitar from one of the most brilliant, coperative, cool, master minded guitarist Mr. Egan (Iggy) Fernandes (RIP).  ~ contd. below

Our band performing ‘live’ for the children of Darul Sukoon

However after completion, I could not join any musical band due to the shift duties at the airline where I was working, but the love for music has been with me throughout.

During the time of live entertainment I simply loved watching  the Black Jacks and can distinctly remember the following:

Vocalist Mr. Frances Sebastian RIP was a great singer, having a clean and powerful voice, great singing talent which you could tell came from regular practice, dedication and enthusiasm.  His songs TAKE THE RIBBON FROM MY HAIR, MORE THAN I CAN SAY, WONDERFUL TONIGHT, DOWN UNDER and MY ENDLESS LOVE were marvelously done and I must confess even better than the original tracks.

How beautifully he came down from high to low pitch in MY ENDLESS LOVE, his emotional song SAVE YOUR LOVE MY DARLING and using some extra words (his own original improvisation) in the middle of the song FOOT LOOSE were unbelievable.

Mr. Bosco D’Souza is a brilliant key board player,  I remember he used to play so well in WONDERFUL TONIGHT, MY ENDLESS LOVE, GRAND MARCH and beginning and last portion of the song ABRA CADABRA (Does anyone remember that song!)  

Lead Guitarist played so well in the beginning and last portion of the song MORE THAN I CAN SAY, similarly in the beginning portion of the song FRANKIE with the drummer who used ‘one’ piece of drum only for that piece.

Mr. Roland Trinidad (late) was qualified, talented and a very cooperative drummer.   He played so well in RED RED WINE specially at the end of the song he played with one piece of drum I believe is called snare was absolutely marvelous.  Such amazing talent, dedication and love for music was at the heart of each musician.

Saxophonist Mr. Sabby Patrick played so well in THE HEAT IS ON, SINGING IN THE DARK but IN DON BUSTLE ( I AM AFRAID FROM GHOST ) he played in a different style and came in competition with the drummer three times in the middle of the song and fourth time went back to the original track.  Amazing improvisation!

Bass Guitarist Mr. Glenn Boyle played so well in ILLUSION (which was a big hit in those days) and his back ground singing to support the vocalist in GRAND MARCH and IN MY ENDLESS LOVE are found very interesting.

For me a simple Memon boy growing up in Karachi at that time surrounded by music, live entertainment was such a memorable experience.  I have played with some fine musicians and  thought I’d share my memories with Legendary Musicians of Karachi.

Thank you so much,

Iqbal Kamdar

At the same performance in Darul Sukoon ~ singing to the children

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Comments: 

Bosco D’souza ~ Thanks for bringing back old memories!!!!

Kevin Mendonca Iqbal that is a good discreption of the band members

Lynette Dias Gouveia Having received so many wonderful emails from Mr. Iqbal Kamdar.   He is really special and does have a great recollection of the live bands/musicians of Karachi.   Iqbal also played briefly with Kevin Sebastian, Cajetan Lobo and Gerald, the musicians from the band ‘Black Rose’.

Kevin Mendonca Yes Now that you mentioned it Lyn, I remember Iqbal used to play on and off with the guys, wow that jogs my memory, any news about Arif Barocha, Eric Balo who were musicians of their time, mid 70-80’s

Rozario Fernandes wow

Visions with ‘live’ recordings ~ by Darryl Leachay

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Photographs contributed by Sabby Patrick and ldg
Artwork ~ by ldg

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The VISIONS were formed in 1984-85 by Eric Lucas, Ricky Leachay, Trevor D’cruz, Clifford Lucas and myself Darryl Leachay.  We immediately struck a contract at the famous Village restaurant.

Track 1 of 3  ~ an old ‘live’ recording done over 2 decades ago.
Musicians
Eric Lucas ~ vocals
Richard Coelho ~ saxophone
Rick Leachay ~ lead
Cliffy Lucas ~ keys
Allan Smith ~ on drums
Darryl Leachay ~ bass

During the initial years the band went through many changes.  Ronnie James from the AXE ATTACK joined us.  Trevor DCruz RIP was replaced by Glen DCruz.

Ronnie then went back to his old band AXE ATTACK.

Visions L-R ~ Clifford Lucas (keys), Richard Coelho (front sax), Rick Leachay (lead),
Ronnie James (vocals), Allan Smith (drums), Sabby Patrick (front sax) and Darryl Leachay (bass)

The live music industry was doing pretty well during the late 80s and we had several good bands playing at all the hotels and other locations, always looking for musicians.  Kevin Francis joined us for a short period before he moved to X-PERIMENTS.  He was replaced by Gerard Vandelowen, who eventually quit the VISIONS to join the BLACK JACKS.

Track 2 of 3  ~ an old ‘live’ recording done over 2 decades ago.
Musicians
Ronnie James ~ vocals
Richard Coelho and Sabby Patrick ~ saxophone
Rick Leachay ~ lead
Cliffy Lucas ~ keys
Allan Smith ~ on drums
Darryl Leachay ~ bass

The venue subsequently moved from the Village restaurant to the Plaza hotel Casablanca.  Ronnie James joined us once again and along came an additional musician, Richard Coelho on the saxophone.

Visions L-R ~ Clifford Lucas, Rick Leachay, Richard Coelho, Allan Smith,
Ronnie James, Eric Lucas and Darryl Leachay

The Visions became extremely popular with the younger crowd as we were not just doing commercial music but added some rock tunes which made us uniquely different at the time.

In addition, we performed at exclusive shows, parties, dances, wedding till about the ’90s. We also played at the WOOD AND CAVE, KEWAL and all the five star hotels in Karachi.

Visions ~ Jason Dsouza, Rick Leachay, Sabby Patrick, Richard Coelho

Glen DCruz our drummer quit Visions and joined the Radiations and Allan Smith moved from Keynotes to Visions.

Eric Lucas left us and headed out to the US and Sabby Patrick stepped in.

Visions L – R ~ Richard Coelho, Rick Leachay
and Allan Smith

Next Ronnie James left for Australia and then Clifford Lucas decided to leave and tag up with Kevin Francis at the AVARI TOWERS.

In came Christopher Rangel.

Visions L – R ~ Darryl Leachay, Rick Leachay, Allan Smith, Sabby Patrick, Clifford Lucas, Ronnie James and Richard Coelho

Eventually the VISIONS line up looked something like this; Allan Smith on Drums, Christopher Rangel on Keyboards, Ricky Leachay on lead, Richard Coelho and Sabby Patrick on saxophone and myself Darryl Leachay on bass.  The above line up were together till 1993.

Then Alan Smith joined the Milestones and Gumby joined the Visions.  That line up lasted till 1994.

Track 3 of 3  ~ a ‘Visions‘ original  also recorded 20 years ago.
Musicians
Eric Lucas ~ vocals
Richard Coelho and Hilary Furtado on this track ~ saxophone
Rick Leachay ~ lead
Cliffy Lucas ~ keys
Allan Smith ~ on drums
Darryl Leachay ~ bass

Ricky Leachay left for WHAT’S HAPPENING at the SHERATON,  Sabby left for Canada, Richard quit because of work and Gumby started free lancing with other musicians.

Visions L – R ~ Eric Lucas and Rick Leachay

Christopher and myself (Darryl) continued to keep the Visions going and added new members; Lawrence Soares on drums, Jason on vocals Hillary Rodrigues on saxophone and my good friend Bonny Herbert on lead.  We finally disbanded around 1998 when I finally moved to Canada.

 

Correction Noted

Christopher Rangel ~ hmm i think the drummer’s name is Peter – well at least that is what we called him lolz

Sylvester D’souza ~ That’s Peter Charles on the drums!

 

Some great musicians played with us for short periods whom I would certainly like to mention:


Solomon Clements

Joe Menezes

Tino Pinto

Robert Dsouza

Ashley Clements

Johnny Dsouza

George Paulose

David Joseph 

Brian Lobo

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Comments:

Darryl Leachay ~ good times………

Allan Smith ~ Right there bro.
Emily Dias ~ Allan u look cute … good old days
Adrian Fletcher Hehehe … It looks like Cliffie got punched in the eye 🙂 (referring to one of the photographs above)
Colin DeSouza ~ Where is Eric Lucas.  Is he on Facebook?

With Robin John there is no end ~ by ZeeJay

Robin John

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Like many upcoming musicians of his time, my father started his music career in a popular band called “The End of the Road”.

The band consisted of three musicians who are no short of introduction; Mario Rebello (drums), Terrence Simpson (bass), and Patrick Callaghan – R.I.P (rhythm).

~ contd. below

Mario Rebello (drums), Terrence Simpson (bass), Patrick Callaghan – R.I.P (rhythm)
and Robin John (keys)
Artwork ~ by ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

It was in 1976 when the band recruited a 19 year old organist, who had no prior professional experience what-so-ever; All he brought with him was 6 years of dedicated practice, his skill with a church organ and his overwhelming love for music.  Robin John was introduced as the official organist for “The End of the Road”.

“The End of the Road” came to an end for Robin John in 1979 when he decided to move on and further pursue his career in music.  He switched to recordings and worked as an independent keyboard player and a music arranger in the Pakistan Film Industry.

At age 21 Robin John (as we say in NY) was “running the town”! He was working with top vocalists like Alamgir and Muhammad Ali Shehki as a back-up musician and top-notch composers like Karim Shahabuddin, Sohail Rana and Nisar Bazmi.

~ contd. below

Pakistan Day Parade 1989 New York
Mr. Robin John accompanied Mr.Sohail Rana & Team

Robin John represented Pakistan internationally and was the first Christian musician to be awarded the Presidential Award by the former president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf in the year 2000.

Now, for the past nine years he has been living in the US and there is still no end to his musical journey.  He is producing music in the US and is currently working with celebrated Indian vocalists.

And there’s still more to come, because when you’re talking about Robin John, there is no END!

By ZeeJay

~ contd. below

‘With Robin John there is no end! ‘ ~ by ZeeJay

*Note by ldg ~  Robin John is the son of the legendary singer S. B. John who was awarded the ‘Pride of Performance’ award by the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari on August 14, 2010.

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Special Thanks to Glen Boyle ~ by Darryl Leachay

Glen Boyle
Artwork ~ by ldg © Legendary Musicians of Karachi

© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Photograph contributed by Sabby Patrick

I grew up playing bass during the post martial law era, so did not get to hear some of these legendary musicians, but do recall GLEN BOYLE of the ‘Blackjacks’ as one of the most encouraging musician for young up coming musicians.

As an up coming musician at the time, I recall visiting Kewal and Glen would let me play a couple of songs on stage.   He also gave me my first guitar.

Later on, when I started playing for the VISIONS, He encouraged my band by letting us share the stage with his band the BLACK JACK’S.

Full props to Glen Boyle!!

A Posthumous Award to a truly bona fide legendary musician ‘Trevor D’cruze’ ~ by Darryl Leachay

A wise man once said that when it comes to life, there are no guarantees, sometimes less could mean more; more could mean less; something could mean anything; and everything could mean nothing.

Now as I look back, connect the dots and make sense of it, all those timeless perennial questions cascade my thoughts – at this very tragic loss and the more I reflect, I always end up where I started.

I grew up in Block 2, PECHS (Society) and need I say we had a number of really talented musicians out of that area, not sure if it was the air, the water or just the balance of things but it seemed to work and we did have the cream of the crop.

My dear departed friend, lived a couple of blocks from us and we had befriended him at a cricket game,  but the thing that glued us together was the music.  We had cumulatively built a taste for the music of 60’s and 70’s  especially the heavier bands and spent a lot of time listening to these artists.

Trevor was a big Bonham fan, and if you take one listen to Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times’ you’ll understand why he was so inspired by Bonham.  Another drummer he would try to emulate was Ian Paice of Deep Purple fame.

I remember during summer he did attend a music camp at the Christ the King Parish house, where Ronnie D’Souza would teach drums and guitars.  He would try and get there early so that he could get some extra time on the kit and would become extremely hyped when it was his turn to play on the drums and do his thing.

He would then come home and simulate a drum set and practice what he had learned.  At a very young age he could pick up things easily, for some reason it just came to him naturally.  It’s amazing that many of the guys who would eventually turn drummers did not own a kit and yet it did not deter them from learning to play.

Trevor was a free spirit, spoke his mind; had a knack for making friends and for some reason always seemed to come across as the leader of the pack.  By the mid 1980’s when we started getting our feet wet in the music circuit, I can honestly say that from the drummers that came out in that window of time, this guy was definitely “Ready to go”.

When we finally hooked up in the ‘Visions’ after stints with different bands, I got to see how well rounded he really was.  Trevor was probably one of few very talented drummer’s I had the privilege to play with in Karachi.   His drumming skill was just as good as some of Karachi’s current players; he had excellent time and a solid sound.   His kick drum was tight and punchy, had a very steady meter and was equally proficient while improvising but what I liked most was his ability to keep his drums always well-tuned.

His working with cover songs was also unique, while most drummers would work songs section by section, Trevor would listen to the songs and count the bars, once he had figured out the beat, he would mentally try to organize the rolls and breaks to close the spaces in each section of the song.  From what I observed he played each song on its merit and would never overkill a song.   He loved rock and reggae and was in his elements when we covered those genres but was very comfortable with other genres too.

Many people have a preconceived notion that the life of musician is all wine, women & song but reality can bite because when the lights go down and the crowd goes home; that’s when Mr. Reality checks in and many times our demons won’t set us free, and make no mistake we all have skeletons in our closets.

 

As a friend I found him generous and for some reason had a special respect and regard for Rick and myself.  His parents, brothers and sisters are excellent people, who always made us feel welcomed.   Trevor’s father is an accomplished table player, who played for Radio Pakistan.   His dad is a great resource if you want to understand the deeper music concepts like breaking time/ rhythms.

To a dear friend, an exceptional musician and to all the memories, I hope you find some peace – RIP.

~ Darryl Leachay

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