1. What would you like to see TAAQ do in the next 10 years?
2. What are we doing now that doesn’t make sense to you?
3. Which TAAQ song would you like to see on video?
On a cold chilly day we step out of our cumulative jet lag and take main stage at Barfly – Glasgow. Tony’s guitar refused to behave and kept sliding out of tune.
We started cold and ended ‘Hot’ – given the response from the last gig we did on our first UK tour and the 5-star review we got in the Scottish Herald for it.
At the time of writing, my heart goes out to the Great Indian Advertising Machine, which lies in unhappy disarray after a hat trick of tragic catastrophes in the land of the Carib.
The first, of course, the still mysterious death of Bob Woolmer.
The second, the ignominious exit of Inzamam-ul-Haq from the World Cup and one-day cricket.
And the third, the great party thrown last night by my friend of fourteen years, Rajeev Rajagopal, in expectation of an Indian victory. I do hope your bladder did not reject the copious intake of beer.
There is a line that Bruce Lee Mani wrote in ‘Potatoe Junkie’ – yep, the one that starts with ‘turn it on, turn it on, turn it on, mass communication junkie’. It goes ‘veto is your right, you can’.
And that illustrates why, after much deliberation and many arguments with my wife and turning a tone-deaf ear to the rants of my friends, I took the Luddite, quasi-Amish stance of outlawing cable television from my house. All for reclaiming the one thing that television had killed (along with the radio star).
Which is why when a small band of friends gathered at my place this bygone Monday, they found that the only way they could follow India’s fortunes against Bermuda was (for a price) on their mobile phones, or via my broadband connection. If my home were like any other, we’d be sitting huddled before the electronic teat, suckling away at ads with bits of match thrown in between.
Instead, we had a great time. We made plenty of satisfying, aimless conversation. And everyone, even Nishith Singh, enjoyed the Keema Mutter.
So, my dear Rajeev, I hope you slept well last night. Because the men in blue will return, and the men in blue will reappear on television as if nothing ever happened to taint their blushing blueness. And Mahendra Singh Dhoni will still drive around with his hyper-tinted power windows up, and the righteous cops who book him will be transferred or suspended. And between two slices of a match when Sachin is in reality unhooking his gloves and walking back to the accustomed air-conditioned comfort of the pavilion, he is still guzzling the secret of his energy and swiping his Visa power. While someone else is devouring a breakfast of champions. And still someone else is telling you what you always knew: that wherever you go, their network will follow. And Sehwag’s mom is slapping down a spatula of butter to soothe her unbruised gladiator’s breakfast.
But we at Thermal And A Quarter will keep on fighting till the end.
It’s been a mad week (office work, band, band work, home, home work, folks, friends etc.) hence the delay in blog post. Now I will be fined my match fee by TAAQ management for this delay…grrrrr Anyway…
Missed the maiden gig wish I had missed the India Bangladesh match instead. Whaaat’s with these Indians man???… i think we need more mallus in our cricket team…. bleddy pandaram!
I’ve heard this ‘saying’ type thing :- 1 Indian s/w engineer is greater than 10 American s/w engineers put together but 10 Indian s/w engineers put together is worse than 1 American s/w engineer
Point being Indians suck when it comes to working as a team. There is so much potential in the individuals but when you put them together it gets all messed up. On the other side of the border our Paki bros n sisters also have their unity and team work issues but when they get together they can sometimes create magic…but then there’s no stop to that unity and team togetherness etc…it just goes off onto the other extreme and they collectively go nuts..all grow long beards and bring in religion into their sport etc etc its crazy!….then there is match fixing and the death of their coach and then getting the team to play again under such terrible conditions. It’s horrible….
It stops becoming a sport after a while.
I wonder if professionalism is the answer to good team work. I wonder if Professionalism exists in our wonderful Indian culture. We’ve had great individual stars, the Aryabhata’s and Tagor’s and mmm ok Sachin’s etc but very few Indian TEAMS that rocked on a world stage.
Then again professionalism could spoil the natural spirit of the sport… the magic and the uncertainty and unpredictability goes off… guess Professionalism in Sportsmanship and Musicianship kinda works the same way. Professional Musician/Artist….now is that an oxymoron? Should it be one? mmm ill go there some other time..
Coming back to sport these Aussies are great. No matter how professional they are about it they always enjoy their game, they have a blast. And If.. and a big IF they lose, they are the first to congratulate the other team and acknowledge that their opponents played better than them. I think our cricket team is good and if.. and a big IF we beat Sri Lanka on Saturday then its gonna be one hell of a killer ride ahead.
In the music/art scene the best part is that there is no winner or loser. Iron Maiden, another great TEAM that’s been at it together for what 40+ years… super guys.
I think Bruce Dickenson has some mallu blood somewhere in him and Steve Harris chetan is definitely from Kottayam
Oops its 2.00pm appol…lal salaam, rajeev
What a gig this was! I will leave the gig review to the more music-educated.
Cheers to what happened back-stage. First off, a big hats-off to the guys at DNA. It’s getting bigger and better every time. To manage a gig is a Herculean task and to manage a Herculean gig needs that something more. The logistics, the stage set up, the crowd control (except the size of the exit gates & the traffic snarls), the coordination – just fantastic. The lights & stage was brilliant. I think Bangalore is ready for Aerosmith, Mettalica & U2. Even though I was a little worried when Mr. Dickenson climbed up the scaffolding…
Another crib that is going around is that only the older bands are coming here. I will say for sure that only these bands are going to pack the venues. Look at the economical scenario. When India was getting exposed to the rock scene through mass media, we were in high school. These bands were in their prime and making so much noise that we heard it in India with just one international music channel. Now a decade and a half later, the people most influenced by this music, have the moolah to get to these gigs. I personally know more than a dozen people who took flights the night before to get here from far & beyond. Thank budget airlines for that! It’s the economic reforms in India over the last decade that have made these gigs happen. Watching iron maiden from the front row, paying US$ 30 is awesome. And look at how many people were there. So what if the performers are growing old, their audience is getting there too.
Another interesting thing – Tee Shirts! 96% wore black, 78% had a HeavyMetal band’s name on it and 56% were branded “Iron Maiden”. Here is what takes the cake – 88% of Tee’s were Made-in India.
The early days of struggle…we had one and a half guitars. No Stage amps. One mic.
A drum kit held together mostly by will power and some bits of string (in the pre-digital/photoshop era a black marker direct on to the picture added aspiration – TAMA and an extra tom!). That didn’t stop us from getting tie-dye shirts and a rock star attitude!
Aje, insisted that the only way to play bass was left-hand (since Paul McCartney did it that way) – no matter that it was a battered six-string with only the last 2 strings remaining!). To make matters worse we didn’t have a sound check – and were plugged directly into an Ahuja PA – complete with foghorns and daisy-chained speaker boxes.
And then some one decided to twiddle with the tuning keys of my guitar just before we got on!! – digital tuner? never even dream’t of such a thing!
Varkey (the drummer) moved on to St.Stephen’s Delhi to do eco (hons), but passed away tragically in an accident in ’89. Aje, (now a Commander in the Indian Navy) can still play left hand bass, but only the two songs that we did that day – Lyin eyes by the Eagles and Sound of Silence by S&G – provided the guitar has only 2 strings!
All this, at a place called Ambalamugal, the back of beyond, in God’s own Kerala, some 22 odd years ago!
We have come some way, since. Not quite there yet…but Getting there!
That would be me on the drum kit – 1982 would be the year (I think).
Rohan on Guitars is a hot shot investment banker somewhere.
Christy, on the other guitar is a Full-time employee of Christ (not the college – the God!)
I, still like to give the drums a good whack once in a while (when Rajeev’s not looking!)
Back in the day, I’ve played a few songs from the Iron Maiden catalogue – Run to the Hills, Can I Play With Madness, and more. Circa 1997 I think it was, and playing with a Prog/Metal band was the best way I could think of, at the time, to improve my chops. Lucid Dreams was a good band, a very tight band, very technically accomplished. Shred city, basically. Brought back a good deal in terms of chops to TAAQ – someday we’ll let you all listen to some of the intense prog shit we were doing then. Quite a trip.
I don’t really know why, but Heavy Metal did a sneaky bypass as far as my musical trips are concerned. Sure I’ve played Pantera, Testament, Megadeth, Metallica, (and of course Maiden) with a couple of bands (Lucid Dreams and another one-show wonder; a very forgettable gig in Mysore) and I’ve learnt a good bit from playing those songs, but there was always some essential connect with the music that I could never find. We even once worked out Metaillica’s Sad but True for a TAAQ gig (believe it! ended up NOT playing it, but well…).
I guess it’s a Harley-type thing – If you have to ask, you don’t need to know.
I’m definitely going to be there for the Maiden gig.
It is important to blog and I haven’t been doing it, purposely. My first and most important fear has to be poor spelling and grammar skills. TAAQ is quite an intimidating place to be when it comes to mass communication, journalism, content writing, copy writing, lyrics, vocabulary, reading habits, pronunciation, diction, studies, etc. I suck big time at all of the above..yet I embark on this “dig-baby-dig your own grave in public” type initiative. So here goes:
“Dream Girls, Metallica and bands that stuck together”
On Sunday I saw a Metallica rocumentary on VHI called “When Metallica ruled the world” and later on that evening i went to see the movie Dream Girls. As you can see I need to keep my musical schizophrenia in check at all times:) In any case the villain in both was the same, people id like to call the “band breakers”. Just like there are few individual believers of a band who ultimately are the key contributors to the success of a band there always are key players who break bands up. Metallica surely had a few of these people around them. To see the greatest force in heavy metal break down and destroy everything they were about and get into legal battles with fans and then lose key long term band members was really sad. The program was a documentary style thing with real footage of band meetings etc. It hurt to see a great band go through such a dive from being loved and worshipped to being bitterly hated.
I sometimes wonder why people HATE bands. They are just musicians out to entertain you, if you don’t like it that’s cool but the HATE is scary. And the hatred towards Heavy Metal music by the non-metal heads is a lot more potent that the reciprocal hatred towards Pop n Disco from the metal freaks. The number of pricks who were up against Metallica for the Napster shit was crazy, people who in any case knew nothing about their music just got a great juicy opportunity to screw the band more….F’ing B*#^hes!!
Anyways in Dream Girls, despite its melodrama that could have put Bollywood to shame, it very theatrically shows how commercial sense in replacing a band member and carrying on can remove the soul from a group. The movie goes on to prove how the longevity and success that comes along with such commercial moves is pretty fake musically.
Guys like RHCP, Aerosmith and U2 who for the most part at least stuck to their original line-ups are truly kick-ass. Im sure they met a few ‘band breakers’ in their life span and probably had burnt their fingers once or twice.
And if you notice, suddenly its becoming all hip to be in a long standing band..i mean what was Sting thinking when he quit the Police and now why get back, Similarly RATM why get back after shagging alone or being part of some other scene. Pretty sucky me thinks.
AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, U2, RHCP, Led Zep, Nirvana, Beatles these are the boys who stuck together through everything without breaking up. That’s the tough part.. not making the music or marketing it etc…
OOOK I better stop now, but lots more gyan coming.. so waatchout! waatchout! for the mean mean mean mean … chowmeen