Sunday 13 May 2007

It Was Just Not Meant To Be

I've wanted to blog about this for quite sometime now but had always put it off for some other topics. Ever since in form 1, I had been interested to learn music seriously. We couldn't afford a piano and neither could my father afford to send me for music classes. Even my eldest brother, the one who is suffering from cancer, could not persuade my father to send him for music classes. In fact it was my brother who indirectly brought out the interest in music in me.

One day my brother brought home a box guitar, a Suzuki, which he bought second hand for about 15 bucks. This was when I was in std 6. Whenever he was away, I would take the guitar and strum away. I tried to remember the chords he would play but it was not that easy. My brother had this habit of turning the other way whenever he knew that I was watching him play. That drove me even more to learn. I remember the first song that I could play was House of the Rising Sun.

As I played, I started to sing and began to like singing. I remember winning 3 talentimes in form 1 singing Yesterday, Patches and Bangawan Solo. Then in form 5 I took part in another talentime opened for all schools and I got third. This time the song was Small Town Woman. Next I got an offer to sing on Rediffusion Penang. I remember singing Small Town Woman and Help Me Make It Through The Night.

When I got to college, after coming in 2nd in the college talentime I began to develope a deeper interest in music. I said to myself that once I graduated and started work, I would enroll myself in a music school and study music seriously. Meantime, I was a member of the college band and we used to play whenever we had shows. I would rather give up the dancing and groping to play in the band. I would sometime play lead and sometimes bass and I would also sing. Then one day I was invited to sing on RTM Ipoh. I thought my music and singing career was about to take off.

Take off was abandoned, I was posted to Kelantan. Its not that I could not sing in Kelantan but I found it difficult to find the time to travel to KB and study music seriously. I did sing but it was mainly in the teacher's band. I got a big break one day when I was judging a local talentime. It was the qualification round. While waiting for the results to be announced, I asked the band from RTM Kota Bahru to play Too Late. After singing, on my way out, the band leader offered me to sing in some of their gigs. I was only too pleased to accept. I was first offered to sing on RTM Kota Bahru and after that they asked me to practice with them every thursday evenings. I had to decline coz I was in the afternoon session. At the end of my 3rd year in Kelantan I got married and that effectively killed any hope of making music another career.

After being posted back to Penang, I did go out with boys once in a while to pubs and clubs and sing a few numbers here and a few numbers there. Then the outings began to decline in frequency and I completely stopped singing. I did play the guitar at home when I was free and that too stopped. It died a natural death.

Now I don't even have a guitar at home. Yesterday at my brother's place, I saw my brother's fender. I was tempted to pick it up, but with my brother's condition not actually getting any better I decided against it.

I guess that is why, I never stopped my son from getting involved in the music industry. I had to make certain decisions in my life and those decisions did not have any place in them for music. I don't have the time, or rather do not want to have the time to regret my actions. What is passed is passed but I am not going to stop my son from doing what I never had the opportunity to do. I figure it is just not meant to be for me.


tokasid said...

Salam Che'gu:

Boleh tahan juga che'gu masa muda-muda dulu noo..nak tanya sikit la..lagu Widuri takkan tak pernah bawak dulu kot?lagu tu aku kira standard song bila ada apa-apa persembahan kan?

Aku nyanyi pok amai-amai buleh la

Unknown said...

Ya betoi, Widuri tu kira macam anthem la di pub dan club dan juga di karaoke lani. Bukan saja orang melayu yang suka, orang bukan melayu jugak banyak mintak lagu tu dulu2. Ya saya biasa nyanyi lagi tu tapi saya suka nyain gitar sendiri baru buleh slowkan skit dan jazzkan skit baru terangkat.

Anonymous said...

assalamualaikum kata tak nak,
kadang memang rasa terpanggilled nak tulis on this too, tapi may be not yet.
don't worry che gu, you did not miss much. main muzik ni bila dah jadi mata pencarian, dia dah tak sama, believe me. in fact, i feel relax now when listening to music. kalau tidak, i can go like paranoid thinking of the chords in a song, the change of key, the change of rhythm and what makes M. Nasir want to go that way in Kepada mu Kekasih!
It's the other way round for me and husband, we feel lucky our kids kata tak nak to music!
sampaikan ucap selamat hari ibu to your wife please. TQ!

Unknown said...

Saya bukan ralat tak leh jadi pemuzik or penyanyi pro, far from it. I just ralat tak leh belajaq baca note and belajaq main pinano. Yes I tau main gitar, dan dulu masa muda I serenade my wife to some instrumentals but I prefer pinano. Tak apa lah, like I said what is passed is passed and thanks I'll sampaikan the ucapan to her. Happy mother's day to you.

aN_archi said...

Yeah dude, I remember you can play the guitar. If one was outside the house,and couldnt see inside,you sounded like TWO people playing. Serious, thats how you sounded to me anyway. Of course one of the hits was Feelingggssss... yeah man, those were the days back in Kelate..

Unknown said...

Oh yes feelings, how could I forget, another anthem. Is that you Bob Dylan lover?

aN_archi said...

Yeah, thats me dude. Bobbi-D was the anthem of the sixties, but I was born too late. Anybody who can play a guitar alone and make it sound like two guys were playing cant be bad. Cheers and here is waiting for June 4th.

Unknown said...

I must be missing out on something, Whats on June 4th?

Anonymous said...

Saya angkat tangan surrender lah pasal nyanyi2 ni. Kadang2 tu bila berkumpul dengan keluarga sebelah isteri, yang semuanya ada bakat nak jadi bintang karaoke, saya kena jauhkan diri, takut diminta tunjukkan bakat pula.

Unknown said...

You rap la, senang saja, hip pulak tu.

zorro said...

Those songs you mentioned were also my time. In the mid-50 I was in the St. Joseph's Juniorate, Pulau Tikus preparing to fnish secondary education and then prepare for the religious life as a Chrisian Brother (like the bros. in St.Xaviers.) Thats a posting for another day. However, singing secular songs was considered "worldly". But around 1954, I was amongst 20 sopranos in Penang selected to sing Handel's Alleluia chorus. Dang, I always liked to play the guitar, but never got down to it. A teacher with the guitar bonds easier with his students. As a teacher in Singapore I organised inter-band contest amongst St. Patrick's Katong. We had some 20 odd bands....the famous Crescendos being one (if you remember...mid to late 60s. One day I want to hear you write that you are strumming this Reberta Flacks number:
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him to listen for a while.
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes.

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

enough for today, chegu.How's big brother?

Unknown said...

Yes I have played that Roberta Flack's song. Liked it very much. Nowadays organising these all is too expensive. I myself do not have much time to listen to music. I wonder where have time gone to?

buayaputih said...

My darling mine..

Sometimes it tenders me with "More Than Words", "Yesterday", "Blackbirds", "Tears in Heaven" and so..

Sometimes it comforts me with "Now & Forever", "'Till I Hear It From You", "Burnt Jamb", and so..

Sometimes it rocks me with "Suicidal Dream", "Everlong", "Interstate Love Song", "Plush" and so..

She is my darling, my acoustic F-210..

Unknown said...

Well you have an acoustic F-210. I don't even have a kapok. Its not that I don't want to buy one, but to strat all over again, the painfull finger tips. I can't sing no more though, the 2 packs a day has taken its toll on both my breathing and pitching. The moment I go a little bit high I cough violently. Damn, shit happens man.

Mat Salo said...

Nak tumpang lalu, Chegu...

Re: your last comment. ''s not that I don't want to buy one, but to start all over again, the painful finger tips...'

Please Chegu, I felt the same thing. But it's easier than you think, macam naik beskal. One hardly forgets. I'm 46, and recently I took the plunge back and got the F-210. Cheap, RM200 lebih jer Chegu. Ada pulak member nak, then I got myself a nonama Taiwan with a pick-up. Nice tones and easy to play. Bukan macam kapok kat hostel dulu chegu, but if can play kapok, you can play anything!

The only thing different is the songbook dah mahal. My eyes almost popped-out when I went to Popular to buy that 1000 Hits songbook. 60-70 RM ke apa. But to able to play the songs we used to love so much? Priceless!

Unknown said...

Mat Salo,
Memang ada minat nak beli a real good acoustic guitar dan satu electric guitar. I am so out of touch I don't know jenis apa yang baguih. Masih buleh tune guitar guna hearing lagi tak payah pitch pipe. Just too much to do in 24 hours. maybe during the hols kot. What the 1000 song book cost that much now? kena cari dalam net la macam tu yang lengkap dengan chords dia.

Apandi said...

Beautifully told chikgu. I believe each and every one of us have this sort of quashed desire. I especially like the bit about giving the opportunities that we lost or never had to our sons and daughters...


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