Rzhude (or Rudy, or Rudolph David as you may know him) has announced that he wishes to move on and pursue an independent career outside of Thermal And A Quarter. Best known among the music community for the last ten years as TAAQ’s bass player and singer, he has been a vital part of our on-stage and off-stage presence since 1999 and has contributed to the four studio albums that we have released during our career.
We acknowledge that Rzhude is currently at a stage of his career where he must make tough choices and we respect his decision to devote more time to his independent pursuits and his family. In all sincerity, we wish him well for the future.
Do look forward to a farewell concert for Rzhude, the date of which we shall announce shortly. Of course, in true TAAQ tradition, farewells don’t mean the end of the road. Rajeev and Bruce shall continue to drive Thermal And A Quarter forward and honor the promise that we have made to ourselves: to be present in the future. We have finalized discussions with a talented and experienced bass player and we shall in due course unveil our exciting new lineup.
Here’s a message that Rzhude wants to share with you:
KARMANYEVADHIKARASTE MAA PHALESHU KADACHANA
Quick translation for those of us out of touch with mother of all tongues: Just do your thing baby, don’t count on the reward…You only get what you deserve!
On April 5, I had the great pleasure of hearing Grandmaster Wooten articulate it so finely to answer (yet) another ex-Taaqer (one Rajesh Mehar) on the question of plateau-ing out musically. According to Victor, for those who missed his ‘workshop’ in Bangalore, such a plateau is a good place to be: a time to take a breather, recharge and take a moment to look back at the distance covered.
Looking back at my professional music career I can sigh quite contentedly at the long strange trip its been: Getting paid a princely Rs.200 back in ‘82 to play drums for my brother’s “pro” band (come to think of it, even then I didn’t actually get to see the money!). Gigging my way through the rest of school, college and through various day jobs that brought me to 1999, Bangalore and that fateful night at the farewell party of a common musician friend (Arnie of the then newly defunct Gangamma’s Pleasure) where I met Rajeev, and Bruce Lee Mani thereafter. How I subsequently took on the offer to stand in as sessions bass player, little knowing how that choice was going to affect the next ten long years of my life. It’s been fun and completely self-indulgent, being in charge of the low-end at TAAQ and a good part of the business-end as well, I should add.
Some 28 years later, it looks like it’s time to move on again. While I remain an undeletable part of the band’s history, it is with a blend of sad relief and gladness that I respond to the call to hang up my bass and give the little limelight I shared this far with this band a rest. Announcing my retirement as bass player, singer and co-producer of the 80-odd songs we’ve written together and performed in such far-flung locales as Scotland, Jakarta and Itanagar, has been a long and not-easy decision. But I do believe it is in the best interest of the band and myself as well – as always, a choice that made me and not the other way round.
Going forward, I will continue to be involved in creating and producing music out of the space I’ve set up here in Bangalore called Acoustic Garden (where TAAQ’s ‘One Small Love’ and ‘Shut Up And Vote’ and the ‘Parachute XVI’ debut album was produced). I look forward to several side projects long shelved and patiently awaiting revival from under the dust covers – my own acoustic project in particular. I will session with TAAQ as and when the right time and place collide in the hectic separate futures I foresee ahead.
Meanwhile, for any one who wishes to get in touch: email@example.com is where I’ll be. Adieu. Over and Out.
Rudolph Antonio David.
They call him ‘JT’ in balmy Madras, Rzhude everywhere else. Zen-powered, far-seeing and quiet on the inside, Rzu has stood up and blown into the TAAQ sail for over ten years now, pushing our little ruby yacht up the salmon river of Indian rock n’roll. “Let the music play you” was something we learned from him.
He moves on to better and greater things away from TAAQ… and we continue moving the only way we know how.
It’s been a great decade with you, Rzu.
Bring on the next!
There is this funny musical term called “FEEL” that’s really difficult to teach or learn, but if there’s one guy… just one guy… who knows all about it… its probably Mr Rzoo.
“Take your time…but don’t break the chain” — lines from Rudy’s song ‘Closer to Heaven’ written many, many decades ago.
May the FEEL be with you, cat Rudy.