Posts filed under Music

Fried Rice Paradise at 5 in the morning

Filed in Memories, Music

It’s one thing to get into a routine – in this case, taking my weekly Fosamax dose every Wednesday morning, and having done so without fail for the past 15 weeks – and another to miss one and then to forget to take it the next morning.

I’d woken with a pounding pain behind my left eye on Wednesday morning and it was a choice of gritting my teeth and taking the Fosamax tablet (and probably throwing it up almost immediately) or foregoing the Fosamax tablet in favour of two Ponstans for the pounding pain. After looking up the instructions (“If you miss a dose, just take one FOSAMAX PLUS™ on the morning after you remember.”), I decided to do as instructed and downed two Ponstans.

Almost 40 hours later, I’m in the kitchen and opening my meds drawer for my lupus meds. As the drawer slides open, I see the Fosamax box. Oh shoot, I forgot to take the Fosamax dose this morning.

The instructions didn’t say anything about taking the tablet two mornings after I’m supposed to take it, but I decided to do so anyway. After all, it’s another five days to the next dose, so I should be alright. It’s better than not taking the tablet at all. Anyway, that’s my reasoning.

I found myself wide awake at 4:30 this morning, and decided to get up and take the dose, just in case I went back to sleep and forget later on.

After taking the dose, I’m supposed to sit or stand for 30 minutes, and of course, I’m sitting in front of my computer. For some reason, a song from my long-ago teenaged years started to play in my head and wouldn’t stop playing. So, now I have a craving for “Fried Rice Paradise” – not to eat but to listen to, and not just in my head.

Hey, maybe it’s on YouTube. And yes, it is! A 2007 version from a stage musical that Dick Lee wrote around the song in the early 1990s. The original version was first featured in his debut album, Life Story, released in 1974. The version here is from the “President Star Charity 2007″.

Dick Lee is a Singaporean who started his musical career in 1971 at the age of 15. These days, he’s better known as a Singapore Idol judge, but in his hey day, he played the piano, produced his own albums and wore make-up. And yes, I have a vinyl copy of Life Story.

The day the music died

Filed in Memories, Music

This line is from the Don McLean song “American Pie” and refers to the death of Buddy Holly in the 50s.

In 1980, the same line came to mind when I first heard that John Lennon had been shot dead.

This morning, it came to mind again when I read that Michael Jackson had died. This time, the line is more personal as Michael and I are the same age and I first started listening to him at the start of his career with the Jackson 5. So for me, and the other music lovers around my age, 25 June 2009 is the day the music died for us.

I went through my vinyl record collection and found a Jackson 5 EP, probably their very first as it’s titled “Diana Ross presents The Jackson 5″, the same title as their first album released in 1969.

This EP features four songs – “I Want You Back” and “Can You Remember” on Side 1 and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “ABC” on Side 2.

Earlier today, I went out and managed to get a copy of the 25th Anniversary edition of the Thriller CD. It was the second last copy at Movie Magic, a shop at the 1 Utama shopping complex; an elderly couple bought the last copy. I overhead the old lady saying something about all his songs so I suggested they get the Essential Michael Jackson but actually, they wanted his music videos, so the Thriller CD was the right choice as it includes a special DVD featuring “Thriller”, “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”, as well as his performance of “Billie Jean” for the Motown 25th anniversary celebration.

I also bought a Jackson 5 compilation and at the last moment, decided to get the Essential Michael Jackson, too. I played the latter on the drive home, and was unprepared for the tears that came when I heard “Got to be There”, his first solo single, although not his first #1 hit (that honour went to “Ben”). I’d completely forgotten about this song, and when I heard it after more than 30 years, I was struck by what an angelic voice he had. I cried for the boy that Michael Jackson was.

All through today, the CNN website’s front page has been showing a revolving Michael Jackon memorial banner with different pictures. This is the one I like best. This is the Michael Jackson I remember best.

25 June 2009 – the day the music died for many in my generation. Farewell, Michael Jackson.

Friday Night Nostalgia

Filed in Memories, Music

BBC Entertainment (Astro 26)

10:50 p.m. Walk on By: The Story of Popular Music
11:40 p.m. Sounds of the Sixties

I’d discovered the second programme first, a wonderful trip down memory lane every Friday night for me, in all its black and white psychelic glory. Those around my age will understand what I mean.

Some Friday nights, I would tune in earlier and notice a similar programme, also in black and white, but featuring musical eras earlier than what I grew up in. Then, this evening, it all changed.

As usual, I’d tuned into Astro 26 earlier than 11:40 p.m. The programme was in colour this time, and taking centrestage was a familiar long-haired singer with guitar and harmonica … Neil Young! Singing what is probably his biggest hit, “Heart of Gold” . Gotta watch, gotta watch …

As if Neil Young was not enough, other singers featured on the programme included America ( “A Horse with No Name” , “Ventura Highway” ), Bill Withers ( “Ain’t No Sunshine” , “Lean on Me” ), Joni Mitchell ( “California” ), The Flying Burrito Brothers ( “Sin City” ), The Eagles ( “Take It Easy” ), and The Band ( “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” ). Wheeeeeeeeee … looks like this story of popular music has entered the 60s, which makes it a must-watch from now on.

Onto the next programme, Sounds of the Sixties. The first singer to appear tonight, Sandie Shaw, gave me an inkling of who else to expect in the rest of the show. And I wasn’t wrong – the artistes included the late Dusty Springfield, Long John Baldry, Tom Jones, Cilla Black, and a very bouncy Cliff Richard (before he was “Sir” ) singing Britain’s entry to the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest, “Congratulations”. But it was the last singer and his song that really floored me and had me in tears even after all these years.

After the show, I came online to search for the song on YouTube, and found a version from a German show, Beat Club. Now that’s another stop along my memory lane. During the May 13 curfews in 1969, RTM had put on an interesting line-up of shows to keep everyone happy in the safety of their homes. One such show was Beat Club, featuring a popular UK radio deejay, Dave Lee Travis, and a German girl, Valerie. This was where we saw a lot of our favourite British pop stars – even the likes of Crazy World of Arthur Brown (I am the god of hellfire and I bring you … ), and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (“Legenf of Xanadu”, complete with whip – anyone remember them?). This was where my sister first saw Cliff Richard, and screamed when she did, which prompted a scolding from my uncle (“Do you want the soldiers in here?” ), but I digress.

So here is Peter Sarstedt singing “Where Do You Go To, My Lovely” , and introduced by the German host of Beat Club, Valerie. The last couple of verses was what brought the tears.

(Video courtesy of OzDrDj on YouTube)

Video: Come Dancing (The Kinks)

Filed in Music

Awesome music video. Finally found it on YouTube. I remember crying when I first watched it. Even my sister stopped to watch – must have reminded her something of her youth, and what she missed because our father was so strict. Haha …

Another concert

Filed in Music

This time, it was to Hong Kong, to see Hong Kong mega-star Paula Tsui in concert.

There was more to the trip than just the concert – I was there to personally hand to her the various items Janis had signed for her at the UK LRC in April this year. Reposting below what I’ve already posted at the Janis Ian message board.
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