Richard Thomas – Musician Profile



Musician Profile:   Richard Thomas

I started playing the drums when I was 10 years old as my brother – George Thomas – was a professional cabaret drummer who played at the Roma Shabana and other popular night clubs in Karachi.   He was in a band and performed at many shows before he left Karachi in the mid 70s.

He taught Anthony D’souza (aka TJ) how to drum.  I used to watch them practice and later when they would finish their session I would get behind the drum set and play.

Filled with enthusiasm, I started playing the drums for the church choir and it was during this period that my interest moved toward the bass guitar.  I used to go to the Legendary Iggy (Egan Fernandes) to learn bass.  Iggy was a cool and quiet person and a genius; not just with the guitar.  I used to pick him up in the evenings and we would  check out other bands that were playing at the time.

I was still quite young when I started playing for talent shows with my age group of friends but eventually started playing with older boys that shared the same passion.


Dad’s Gratitude


My first professional music experience began when I was in the 10th grade with Dad’s Gratitude.  The line up  at the time: Richie D’souza, David Braganza and Rodney Judd and we played at the Midway House.


I then joined the Silver Sticks with Sydney D’souza (Norman’s brother) on drums and Ralph DAranjo on guitar at the Horseshoe Restaurant.  Later, Zia – the owner – brought in a Filipino band and gave them the contract.  The Filipino band wanted me to be their bass player, so they sent their bass player home and I was part of this ensemble for a while.  Their female vocalist Ruby was my girlfriend back then but that kind of fizzled off.  We had great fun at the Horseshoe Restaurant and played all kinds of music but mostly disco, funk and reggae.


Dad’s Gratitude

I must mention that I also played at the 2001 Disco, Beach Luxury and would back up Maxwell Dias when he was with the Keynotes and Blackjacks.


After my stint at Horseshoe, I joined up with Anthony D’souza aka TJ – who was our drummer,  Ronnie Khan – our keyboard player, a good friend Shamim on lead guitar and Gerard Vanderlowen on rhythm guitar.   We were all good friends not just band mates!


Anthony’s (TJ) wedding –  Seated- Vandy, TJ, Lolly, Dr. Shamim and myself. Standing- Gerard Vanderlowen, Gerry Boyle & Khan

After that line-up I moved to the US and continued my music career in Dallas.   I have a band here and we play for many charity events all over the city of Dallas.  I am also a studio musician (self employed), doing session work for many upcoming talented musicians.

I have great appreciation and respect for all our Karachi musicians as I know how much effort and dedication we put into our music.

For the newcomers back home – You guys are doing a great job out there and keep striving for excellence.



© Legendary Musicians of Karachi


Ali Darvesh aka Koukab – Nite People

Musician Profile:  Ali Darvesh aka Koukab

My inspiration for music stemmed from my father – Hamid Hussain Khan – who was a solow sarangi musician that performed in the sub-continent before partition.  He was my guide and ustad and played an instrumental roll in teaching me classical music even though it was for just a very short period of time.

My professional music career began in 1988 with a band called Nite People.  It was an amazing experience as during this time I also worked for Mohammad Ali Sheyaki.  Together with Nite People and Sheyaki, we performed for so many big, high profile concerts all over Pakistan, Dubai and the UK.


Nite People – 1980s

I was with Nite People as their lead vocalist for 12 amazing years and released 3 albums through Shalimar Recording Company.  The musicians in this line-up were:  Saleem Batcha Shaikh, Shamma, myself Koukab – Ali Darvesh and Asif Abdullah 

I would like to add that I also worked on many tv shows in Karachi centre, Quetta centre and Islamabad centre.  I was involved in tv programmes:  Gajar, Apkey Leyey, Yung Tarung, Music 89, Omang, Naey Rung and many more that I can’t recall at the moment.



As a professional musician, I had the opportunity to work with Senior TV Producers like Saera Kazmi, Sultana Siddequi, Marghoob Ahmad, Affifa, Kazim Pasha, Zaheer Ahmad, Iqbal Hayder, Ghzanfar Ali and many more.


Then, I joined Keynotes – Karachi’s top musicians at the time.  This band only performed English music and I learnt so much from Hilary Furtado (RIP) and Maxwell Dias.  We worked together for 8 memorable years.   I had an amazing experience with the live bands of Karachi and miss all of them.


I’m on vocals having a great time with my Karachi live musicians.  I miss these guys. Ashley Clements, Nadeem, my dearest brother Shujaat, Alex, Russell, Tahir and Jason Anthony

It was really tragic when Shujaat passed away.  He was like a brother to me and all of us musicians really loved this guy.

The music in my albums have been written and composed by me and I have always believed that you have to keep working hard in music… always..

Keep pursuing and developing your talents and skills.

My favourite singers are Yasu Dass Ji, Mehdi Hassan, Kishore and Nusrat Fateh Ali.


Was honoured to perform live for Mr. Pervez Musharraf

I am still a professional musician but have since moved and settled in the UK.  Among the many gigs that I have performed here, the most recent one was a live performance with Muni Begum at Cavendish Banqueting on Edgware Road in London.  I have even had the opportunity to perform for many distinguished guests here in the UK.


Mayor of East London


In Karachi, everyone will remember me as Koukab but here in the UK I am known as Ali Darvesh.



Nite People. Saleem B. Shaikh, Shamma, Koukab with the late Mr. Alex Rodrigues


© Legendary Musician of Karachi


From Napier Street to the Land of Milk and Honey – Thaddeus Pinto

Thaddeus Pinto - The Talisman Set

Thaddeus Pinto – The Talisman Set

I was born on 30th January 1951 and lived at No.6 Saeed Manzil, Napier Street (between Duarte Mansion and Duarte Square).   My parents were Dominic and Bridget Pinto – both deceased now after immigrating to Toronto, Canada.

Thaddeus Pinto

First Holy Communion

We were six siblings with sister Celine, brothers; Tony and Ron Pinto – and our angels above; Mary, who died at childbirth, and Conrad at the age of 2 – passed away from a head injury.

My early memories of music takes me back to the late 50’s and early 60’s where the influence of music were my brother Tony (who practiced with his band at our flat in Napier street) and my sister Celine (who had a great voice and loved to sing).  At the age of 7; I became fascinated with the drums.

When they finished with their regular practice, I would sneak in and have a go at some  drum rhythms and try to imitate them.

Tony my brother, was very aware of what I was doing, and introduced me to the great Pascal Fernandes (who played with the renowned Jannu Vaz band).  He showed me the twist beat and some jazz drum grooves.  This was it……the magic of drums drew me in.

If I was to pay tribute to the one person who set this drum stage for me; it was Pascal Fernandes.  After that, everything I ever learnt was self taught and by listening to others – Like many of the biographies of the other drummers;  I too, started practicing on metal coffee tables to mimic a snare drum, and a couch to mimic a deep tom tom. Such was life to make do without a drum set and practice creating drum sounds.


Thaddeus with The Rhythm Quintet (Soares Brothers)

After I learnt some standard rhythms – my brother Tony and The Soares Brothers (Rhythm Quintet) gave me the opportunity to perform in their band.  I enjoyed doing a couple of tracks for them and my favourite was  “Wipe out”.

I would have to attribute this experience and undoubtedly grateful for the exposure that I received here to most standard and classic songs, big band jazz, latin, swing and many other types of music to fully round my understanding and experience with a variety of drum work.

Within a year or so of joining The Rhythm Quintet, I happened to see a white drum set (made in Sialkot) that was on display at a music store close to P.F.Pereira Bakery.  It was impressive looking and I was desperate to have it.  It was uncle Steven D’souza (moms brother) who was generous enough to pay the Rs. 900 for it.  I still remember how utterly excited I was to own my first drum kit – no more tables or couches to practice on!!


Thaddeus with The Abstracts

While purchasing this kit from the store, I happened to be approached by some local musicians who required a drummer.  They kept in touch with me , and lo and behold the forming of The Abstracts took place.  Ashley D’Silva (bass) was one of the musicians. Most gigs we played were at weddings, parties, The Beach Luxury hotel for a concert with a variety of bands, and a big gig at the Qayam Cinema in PECHS; that included The Keynotes, The Bugs, The Blitz from the Karachi American school and finally The Forethoughts (masqalander).


The Abstracts

At this stage I was with two bands; The Rhythm Quintet and The Abstracts.  Soon after I met up with my school friend; the great Ivan Menezes, lead guitar, singer extraordinaire and we formed a band with his brother Leon called The 3 Dimensions.  This was the start of early rock music in Karachi and we landed quite a few gigs – one was at the Karachi US Boat Club where we entertained the American Navy personnel that docked in our city at the time.   They may have been Navy personnel but many had incredible musical skills and we picked up from them as we started jamming together.  It was a fantastic experience and along with the cash we earned, our delight was to be able to drink countless cans of American made Coca Cola, authentic hot dogs and bacon that we could not get our hands on from any of the local stores in Karachi.


The Three Dimensions – Leon Menezes, Thaddeus Pinto and Ivan Menezes

My drumming career continued by closely listening to others and taking in every experience I could gather to groom my skill set – It was a constant learning process for me to improve and develop.

During my time with these 3 bands, I continued to focus on some key drummers who had very much influenced my drumming style; one who is still with us and the other two have passed on.  My tribute, gratitude and respect goes out to Pascal Fernandez (deceased) who was instrumental in creating the direction for me.  Sidney D’Souza (deceased) brother of Norman D’souza (InCrowd, Karachi) who always gave me the confidence to drum  (including cabaret styles).  The 3rd Karachi drummer – Joe D’Costa from the Keynotes – who is well these days.  I followed these three drummers very closely and went to any dance I could go to just to sit by the stage and watch and process every move, hit, roll and style.


The Talisman Set

After two years (roughly)  a new band was being formed – a great Karachi band – “The InCrowd”. Band members set to go were Ivan Menezes, Lead guitar, vocals,  Norman D’souza, Rhythm guitar lead vocals, Edgar Saville (deceased now) on keyboard, Noel Ferriera, Bass guitar, vocals and a drummer ??? Ivan was enticing me to join up with this band and play the house band permanent gig at “The Metropole disco”.  While this was on the move, another great Karachi Band, “The Talisman set”, was in need of a drummer.  Not sure how it happened, given my love for good hard rock music (InCrowd),  I consented to join “The Talisman” and Sydney D’souza joined the InCrowd to cover the drums.

At this time, 3 great Karachi bands ruled the music scene, The Keynotes, The InCrowd and of-course The Talisman where I finally ended my career with in Karachi, Pakistan (September 1972).

I must also give credence and acknowledgement to the many other bands that formed with great musicians, old and young who gave their talents to the Karachi “Liverpool like” music blitz.

Hours and days of music and drumming and finally I decided to immigrate to Canada once my sister Celine sponsored me. On 6th September, 1972 a final concert was performed; it was the CYC club that organized a jam session at the CYC hall near St. Pats church and all proceeds made from the event would be donated to The Saint Don Bosco orphanage near St. Pats.


The Talisman Set – Colin D’souza & the Japanese cabaret artists – behind Julius and Thaddeus

The InCrowd played and showcased me at this final and last time in Karachi.  I am saddened as I write this and remember the great musicians deceased and alive who played at this gig.  Ivan Menezes, Edgar Saville, Noel Ferriera, Leon Menezes, Norman D’souza.  Jamming with us also were Willie Poe (drums),  Atiq Rehman of Rehmani stores; who willingly lent me his kit and added a second bass drum for me.  Other  drummers included Freddy Barrel – if I recall –  I am sure for those who read this will remember playing as I cannot seem to recall how many others did so at this incredible jam session.  It started during the early hours and ended at 7 pm in the evening.
Traditionally, there was a fight that ‘could possibly’ happen at some of these dances. ….. but this was one event that did not have a single disruption.  I’m sure many Karachiites would fondly remember this.  It was the “Woodstock” of Karachi!  I have attached a copy of the original ticket of the event.


Some things are priceless – I have still kept my ticket

Right after this last session (3 days later) I was on my way to Toronto, Canada to make a new life.

So, who took my place with The Talisman Set?  It was Martin Fernandes who now lives in Nagasaki, Japan. A great drummer who replaced me and whom we found to be the perfect fit with The Talisman.  Other great members in this band included, Colin D’souza: lead, rhythm guitar vocals, Julius Saldanha: keyboards, Nobby Furtado:bass, vocals.

Surprisingly enough, a few months after my departure from Karachi, the owner of Beach Luxury hotel – where The Talisman played (007 club) – landed them a contract to tour Asia.  After ending their tour of music, the band members ended up getting married and now live in various countries.

Colin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Julius in Edison, New Jersey
Nobby in Miami Beach, and
Martin who lives in Nagasaki, Japan.

Such great musicians that I have missed thoroughly and enjoyed my musical years with.

In September 1972, not knowing where my life would end up with my drumming career, I took on a welding night shift job in a skidoo factory working with mig, tig and oxy-acetylene welding.  I had studied this trade while in Karachi at the Pakisan/British Oxygen company at West Wharf.

What is a wild  and crazy rock, soul and jazz drummer doing in a trade like this? Oh well!! Had to make a living out in the east end of the city.


Shadows Jam – with Bruce Welch of The Shadows

MCA Canada, was the closest I came to hopefully make my mark as I landed a job there after a year.  I started working in the recording studio and watched and met many artists who came in; Elton John, Lynnard Skynnard, The Who and others.


A Big screen shot of me at the Shadows Jam

Jammed with many good musicians as I got introduced to them while working there.


Resurrection – Canada

It was 1985 or thereabouts when I began working with a couple of bands.
One of them I will fondly remember was “Resurrection”.  This band played a couple of dances, a big one being the Pioneers dance club and another Goan dance (cant remember).  Band members included, Norman Braganza lead guitar and vocals, Victor D’souza, rhythm guitar and vocals, myself on drums and my apologies I cannot remember the bass player…forgive me!!  Resurrection did not last for too long and disbanded.


Resurrection – Canada

Finally, I met up with the great Dennis David, keyboards (Keyboardist from the Surfer band, Karachi) who formed  The Impact 3, and that included also a great keyboardist and singer, Terry Pinto from East Africa.  This turned out to be a terrific, tight trio. We played a variety of music at weddings, dances and our gigs as the house band at The Albion Steak House in Palgrave Bolton area.


Impact 3 Band - back to front - Dennis David, Terry Pinto & Thaddeus Pinto

Impact 3 Band – back to front – Dennis David, Terry Pinto & Thaddeus Pinto

Friday and Saturday nights were our gigs and we had a great time.  The late great Cesca Domingo (singer from the Keynotes) would come and join us.  What a great voice she had. (famous song included “these boots were made for walking”.)

Impact 3 with Cesca Domingo

2nd Generation Impact 3 with Dennis David, Keyboard and vocals – & Cesca Domingo

Once my first child, Matthew was born on May 15th, 1988 , I had to rethink my music commitments and thus discontinued the frequent playing on weekends other than dances or jam sessions.


I always have time to jam  – at a thousand island picnic – Gananoque

Much of my business/professional life led me from customer service, to Inventory Management to finally another love;  as a Purchasing and Supply Chain Management professional.  This career spanned about 30+  years  as I sought and attained two professional accreditations from The Purchasing Management Association of Canada (SCMAO) and The Institute of Purchasing and Supply Chain , USA (ISM)


Always room for me to jam – Canada

It is now October 2017; I have since retired from Kinectrics Inc. as their Manager of Purchasing & Supply chain.  I still continue to have that urge to drum away stirring in me.  I jam wherever I can, continue to go for my favorite concerts and always think of the good times gone by.
My favourite drummers are:
Keith Moon – The Who
John Bonham – Led Zeppelin
Carl Palmer – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Mitch Mitchell – Jimi Hendrix Experience
Phil Collins – Genesis

My favourite and only drum equipment that consists of:
Vintage 1950 5 piece Premier turquoise sparkle kit
6 original Turkish Zildzian Cymbals made in Turkey.
A Cajun from Lima, Peru
A Darbuka from Turkey (sounds better than tablas)
And lastly a double Tama bass pedal.

I will end my story with the greatest gratitude and love I shall continue to have for all the musicians that I have engaged with in Karachi and Toronto.  I share with you the knowledge that such a great time existed between the 60’s and 70’s which I doubt will  repeat itself.

God bless and remembrance to our great drummers gone…….
Pascal Fernandes
Sidney D’souza
Hilary Fialho
Freddy Barrell
Roland Trinidad
Steve Griffin ( aka budda Griffin)


At my wedding (July 10, 1982) – My first Teacher to the left – Pascal Fernandes.

With love, respect and gratitude to all, especially to my Wife Virginia who was the pillar of strength behind pushing me to continue with my drums and encouragement to go forth with higher studies and to my children Matthew, Julia and Sarah who make up this great family of mine.


From my family with Love..

Mansoor Fatah as the Craziest Musician

Those who have watched the Fatah Brothers perform live in their dhotis, barefoot and bare chested in Karachi know that I’m right when I say that they were an extraordinary breed of musicians.

This is Mansoor Fatah as the Craziest Musician.  He did a one man band stint all over Europe with a huge fan base..

People used to say that from outside the hall it sounded like a full band was performing till they finally walked in… Check this out!


Mansoor Fatah as the Craziest Musician


Arif Bharoocha

~ Coutesy Spittaman Petigara

There are some people that we are truly thankful for and in my case I have to thank Fali Cooper and his family for all the support and help they have given me through the years.

I started my music career in 1967 and can quite honestly say that our first band could not play very well.  I also needed to develop my own skills as a musician and thus dedicated three months of learning with my uncle.  I then got hold of a few guys and started a band called ‘The Abstracts’.


‘The Abstracts’ above L-R we have Mumdu, Arif Obaid, myself and Thaddeus D. Pinto.

The Abstracts

The Abstracts ~ Photographs contributed by Saddiq M. Artwork by ldg


In 1971 I met Fali Cooper and that’s when we started a new band and got quite popular in the entertainment business.  Our biggest supporter was Fali’s father and so we dedicated the name of the band to him and called ourselves ‘Dad’s Gratitude’.   The line-up was Saleem Akhtar, Rizwan Fancy, Fali Cooper, Richie and myself.


In the photograph above L-R we have Saleem Akhtar, Rizwan Fancy, Fali Cooper and myself.

Dad's Gratitude

For more on Dad’s Gratitude click on the following link:


Whilst performing with Dad’s Gratitude and even before that I was playing session music for tv, radio, films and background music.  I also played solo and had a band with Aamir Zaki.  I’ve played with so many musicians, too many to mention.

I also played for a Jazz and a French band.  Spittaman, Farhad and myself also played for quite a while.  A three piece band with Hillary (RIP), Denise and myself.

Apart from all the live music I was also teaching at Yamaha for many years and some of my students are playing professionally abroad.  It makes me so happy to see them all successful.

And Yes indeed Dad’s Gratitude was the best band that I played for!   I also played with Gerard and Malcolm at the Marriott.  It was an all acoustic with no amplification which was a very interesting experience for me.


In the photograph above L-R we have myself, Malcolm Goveas and Gerard Vanderlowen

Finally I have to thank Spittaman for introducing me to a school that I am working at and enjoying every moment of it.


Bang Bang with Malcolm Goveas


© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

An unpretentious human being who is ever so eager to make you laugh with his infectious sense of humour but when he’s behind that drum set…. he transforms into this relentless beast!

He coyly says that he simply makes all the noise in the background but he knows it’s much more than just ‘noise’.

It has been said that drummers are the backbone of a band and Malcolm has always been one outstanding backbone even way back when he was with the Communication.

It took a while to get hold of Malcolm but I am truly thankful to him for doing this interview with us.

Let’s hear more from him.

ldg ~ Your band of the 70sCommunication without doubt was in a league of its own. ‘Communication’ was one of my ‘most’ favourite bands of the 70s. Not that I got to see you perform live but from the tracks that we’ve heard on LMK, the superiority of the musicians is pretty evident.  Tell us how it all started and what drove you guys to produce such high-quality music/sound?

Malcolm ~ We had the effortless Edgar Saville on keys, the versatile Vandy (Alan Vanderlowen), the rave bass player Alan Dias, the hard working and talented Errol D’silva on lead and ‘Saxy’ Franky on sax.  I just made a lot of noise at the back.

We chose to rehearse and play songs from Crosby Stills and Nash, Little Feat, Steely Dan, while also doing other popular songs of the time. This perhaps kept it fresh.  We did ‘Credence Clear Water’ and ‘King Crimson’,

I give Alan Vanderlowen much credit for introducing us to a wide selection of music, from Bob Marley to Jethro Tull, King Crimson to Little Feat and many others.

Click on Communication live  to listen to some of their old recordings or the youtube video above.


Malcolm with the Communication

ldg ~ Malcolm when did you start playing the drums and what led you to it?

Malcolm ~ My first bass drum was the wooden crate that housed the fridge that my dad bought from overseas.  That bass drum worked a little differently.  I had to bang my heel real hard on the crate to get a bass sound (ouch!) and a stainless thali! was my snare.  That’s how simple it was and the best sound ever (at least to me).

I was in Year 6 when I joined the ‘St Patrick’s School Band’ (marching band) as a drummer and played alongside Lawrence Andrade and Godfrey Mendes.

Back then we used to march down the streets of Saddar playing for processions, sports day events etc.  I vividly remember enjoying the Channa Puri from Joseph’s canteen at St. Pats that Monty (our band master) would treat us after performing.

I used to live at FCCHS opposite Edgar Saville’s apartment on the ground floor.  In those days the ‘In Crowd’ was considered the best live band in Karachi.  The In Crowd would practice at Edgar’s apartment and we kids would climb on the windows to try and get a peak at them (they would not let us in and rightly so!).

Edgar, Ivan, Sydney and can’t remember the bassist at the time.  Perhaps it was Noel and they jammed some mean tunes.  The sound of the snare drum just killed me…  I was so inspired and knew it was time that I got hold of a drum set.  My “Stainless Thali” would not cut it anymore.  After a few weeks of relentlessly bugging my parents, off we went to ‘Saeed Music Palace’ and came back with my first drum kit.  Bright shinny tinsel blue, all with shiny silver looking cymbals and rims and camel skins, little did I know that camel skins don’t work in the winter LOL!  We had to light bulbs to heat the skins to get any sound from them in the colder months.

Excitement soon turned to frustration!  Those shinny silver looking cymbals never did sound anywhere close to the sound coming out from Edgars house!

A bit of a deviation from the question but I remember playing on a Pakistani drum set with Errol, Alan, Cookie and Busheen at someone’s house in Defence and we called ourselves the ‘HAMMER HEADS’ …. Yeah

Anyway, my first kit was just a starter kit and I started bugging my parents again.  My dad was working on a ship that regularly docked in Singapore.  At first he said No, and that I should concentrate on my education but I was persistent and kept bugging him till he finally gave in.  Two months later he returned with a Red and Black Pearl kit with Zildgian cymbals. I was over ecstatic.

A big shout out to Pawan Rawat from India for sharing these videos with LMK!

ldg ~ Who inspired you at the time?

 Malcolm ~ Thaddeus Pinto was by far the best drummer and his playing technique really inspired me.

ldg ~  Your favourite ‘live’ band/bands of Karachi?

Malcolm ~ The Talismen and Incrowd were really good bands.  If I am not mistaken both Talismen and Incrowd played at the CYC hall for a jam session.  Solid sound.  Still remember Norman singing ‘Child in Time’ and ‘Evil Ways’ and so many others.  The In Crowd also played a very well.

But as far as innovation goes, my vote goes to “Hello Why are You”, with Mansoor Fatah, Farooq Fatah and Atiq Rehman performing songs from Zepplin (Ocean, Rock and Roll), Stevie Wonder.  They were way ahead of their time.  Super intense sound.

They also wrote a song called “Freedom” and were on National TV.  Great rock song but Pakistan was not ready for them.  I remember filling in for Atiq for one day at the Horseshoe Restaurant.  I felt like a total misfit.

Coming back to my Red and Black Pearl drum set.  Hey whoever’s got that drum set it is now worth at least $100,000.  It had been through two “water world” scenarios and has a lot of history.

Once the Jamiat guys after firing on us at a Karachi University show, threw it in the pool (of course we all ran for our lives before it got that bad) and the other time is was submerged in water was when I played for Underground 4 at the Horseshoe Restaurant.

God bless “Brave Heart” Mansoor Fatah for diving into the water, tying the rope to the drum set and then swimming back up to help us pull the set up. He did that for all our equipment. Thank you Mansoor!

Did you know that Mansoor performed bare-chested and wore a “dothi” at many concerts.  Wow! How incredibly bold.  He could have easily passed off as a hippie in Goa.  LOL.  Farooq was always experimenting with sounds for example putting a speaker on a ” mudca” and playing bass through it.

Live performances of Malcolm Goveas with Junoon.  Video courtesy Pawan Rawat

ldg ~ Concerts you played that brought the best in your music? Or your most memorable experience as a musician.

Malcolm ~ I remember we (Junoon) played in New Delhi for the MTV awards and our Tabla Player Ashiq Ali was practicing in the camp (tent) before the show and the Def Leppard drummer came in to see us.  He was blown away with the intricate rhythm Ashiq was playing.

Right after we played ‘Sting’ came on stage and we got to meet him.

I have played with many singers and performers but Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, was one singer that simply blew me away.  It was an honour to perform with him.  The power in his voice, vocal range was so incredibly alluring.  I played with Nusrat on 4 occasions ~ ‘Dum Must’ rendition.

I remember playing at ‘the Luvin’ at Hotel de France near the Karachi airport, and our then lead guitarist Huma Azad was leaving for Jeddah.  I went to Iggy Fernandes’ house and asked him if he would like to audition for Tears Silence and Laughter (Glen Boyle, Bobby and David Fredrick aka Daoud Rafik, myself and Huma Azad).  So Iggy went with me and blew us all away playing songs from Santana and Deep Purple etc.  Huma was speechless.  Iggy joined the band.  One exceptional guitar player! Amir Zaki is another in that league. I played with Amir Zaki for two concerts before Junnoon.

Other than that I’ve enjoyed performing live in Dubai, Maritius, Central Park and a few others.

Video courtesy Pawan Rawat

ldg ~ What styles of music do you prefer?

Malcolm ~ Classic and slow rock. However, when we did covers, I never wanted to play it exactly the same way…  nice excuse 🙂   I always wanted to add my own two cents.

ldg ~ Something you really try and try with the drums and could not get yet or are not satisfied with the results?

Malcolm ~ I   could never play double bass.  My son Sheldon Goveas can play double bass with ease. (Damn how the hell does he do it!) There are many things I cannot do yet…… you always keep learning.

ldg ~ Favourite drummers?

Malcolm ~ Right now Avery Molek is my favourite drummer.  Check him out!

When you see 7 and 8 year old drummers play like that, trust me I don’t want to do any interviews LOL.

Back in the day, Ian Paice (Deep Purple) was my favourite drummer.  His rock style, intricate rolls, technique, fluency just blew me away and he is still playing.

Billy Cobham ~ I was fortunate to see him perform live in New York at a small club when Paulina and I went on our honeymoon many moons ago.  Great inspiration and terrific performance. Jazz rock and rock.

Neil Peart from Rush.  Smooth and intricate timing. complex rolls.

Current drummers, just so many.  One is Mike Mangini

Tribute to Ivan Bawa ~ by Peter Bawa

Ivan Bijoy Bawa

My father was born Ivan Bijoy Bawa on October 4, 1942 in Belgaum, India.  His family moved to Pakistan in 1947, where his father Ebenezer Kohinoor Bawa worked as an engineer and his children attended school.

My father loved music his entire life and began singing at home and at school.  He received a lot of positive attention at school especially for his beautiful voice.  He had a cousin named Lata who also loved to sing, and as youngsters the two of them used to sing duets together, usually songs from Indian movies from the 40s and 50s.   His interest in western music began with Elvis Presley; he often said that the first English song that he learned was “Young Dreams” from the Elvis movie “King Creole”.   That movie and that song led him to learn guitar (he bought a used acoustic guitar and made his own pickups by winding copper wire around magnets).

He formed a band with friends and relatives and began to perform at parties and functions at locations such as the Catholic Club in Rawalpindi.  A couple of people who were in his early bands were his first cousin Faith Derrick (now Faith Slocum), currently living in North Carolina, and Naseem Nasir, now residing in Canada. Both played drums.

In 1966 at the age of 24 after gaining attention around Rawalpindi he was hired to perform at the Flashman’s Hotel.  It was there that he first formed the band Ivan’s Aces. The initial members were his first cousin Alan Derrick (El Paso TX, now deceased) on guitar, Melvin Orr on bass, Alan Albuqurque, and Nigel Pushong on drums.  Over the next 5 years the band went on to perform at the Scheherazade Hotel in Islamabad, the Intercontinental Hotels in Lahore and Rawalpindi, and the Palace Hotel in Karachi.

Ivan's Aces Band

Ivan’s Aces Band

Nigel Pushong was replaced by Alam (last name unknown) on drums, and Jerry Lovett joined the band when Alan Derrick left.  A female singer named Yvette Fyve performed with the band occasionally at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lahore.   The Ivan’s Aces Band also made several appearances on the Pakistan Television variety show “The Zia Mohyeddin Show” around 1970 and 1971.

Also during this time Ivan Bawa was noticed by the famous Pakistani actor and director Syed Kamal, who heard him playing with the band and invited him to sing for a movie he was making. That movie, titled “Roop Behroop”, was released in 1971.  Ivan sang two duets with the famous Mrs. Runa Laila for the movie.  Kamal, feeling that Ivan’s voice was a combination of the singers Talat Mahmood and Mohammad Rafi, billed Ivan in the movie credits as “Mahmood Rafi”.  The movie was a commercial flop but many scenes and all of the songs can now be found on; the soundtrack of this movie was released on Columbia Records in Pakistan and is now out of print.

Sometime shortly afterward Ivan and his family left Pakistan, first for Afghanistan, where he performed solo in the M&M Club in Kabul; and then to Tehran, Iran, where he performed for years at the Maharaja Restaurant (with a pair of Iranian brothers named Sarooj and Varooj on bass, drums, and backing vocals) and also on the American Air Base in the Officer’s and NCO Lounges.  Returning briefly to Pakistan after Iran, he then moved on to the UAE in 1977, where he continued to perform solo in such places as the Hostess  in Abu Dhabi, in Dubai, The Bangkok Cellar in Sharjah, and the legendary Oceanic Hotel in Khor Fakkan.

Ivan and his family moved to the United States in 1981.  First landing in Mississippi and then moving to Houston Texas, he performed at a long string of piano bars, hotels, nightclubs, lounges, and country clubs all across these and other states, also including Oklahoma, Wyoming, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

In 1985/1986 Ivan released a country album of all-original songs on the Country Echo Records label.  This album, titled “Here I Am” and released on cassette and 45 RPM, is out of print.  For a short time during these years Ivan was also co-owner of his own establishment named “Ivan’s Club”.  Ivan also befriended Mr. Udayan Parikh, the well-known singer, and played guitar on his album “Guldasta Ghazals” (out of print).

In the years overseas Ivan played a combination of Hindi and western songs, but when he moved to the US, his repertoire of western songs greatly increased.  His first love was always hindi songs and he sang them at home or at parties, whenever possible.  He often performed at Indian and Pakistani private parties and also at such notable Indian establishments in Houston at Ashiana, Nirvana, and Bombay Palace, allowing him to sing the indian songs in public once again.  He held a long-standing entertainment position at the Pine Forest Country Club in Houston where he performed on a weekly basis and at parties and special engagements.

Ivan had always suffered from precarious ailments through his life but had always made it through them and kept performing.  However, in the 1990’s he began to have continuous heart problems which required several surgical procedures, and in 1997 he was diagnosed with emphysema.  This greatly limited his singing, and the addition of arthritis in his hands and bursitis in his shoulders made it difficult to play long shows.  Around 2005 or so he was forced to retire from performing.  He continued to play guitar at home whenever he was able to, and he recorded instrumental songs on guitar, all of which he published to the youtube website.  In 2013, living in Richmond TX, he was diagnosed with Advanced Stage Lung Cancer that had spread to his brain.  He underwent chemotherapy for his lungs and radiation therapy for the brain.  He passed away at home peacefully in the early morning hours of February 14, 2014.

Ivan Bawa

Ivan Bawa

You can visit his online obituary on the Houston Chronicle website here:

In addition to Elvis Presley as noted earlier, Ivan loved Neil Diamond’s music and he sang many of his songs.  Among many, his notable favorites were the songs “I Am I Said” and “Play Me”. He had also been a fan of the British guitarist Hank Marvin of the group The Shadows, and often played many of their songs, including “Apache”, “Frightened City”, and “Cosy”.  In Indian music he loved to listen to Runa Laila, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, and Talat Mahmood, among many others.

If you go on and search for Ivan Bawa you will find many hindi and western songs that he recorded and uploaded.  Attempts are currently being made to reprint some of his recordings, and some video live clips will be upload to the youtube website in the near future.