A sincere and humble member of pop group Decibels writes from his heart. Thanks very much Jimmy Chng for taking us into your world.
"For each renowned local pop band of the 60's, there must have been at least a dozen or more lesser known ones. Allow me to introduce myself and let you in on one of the lesser known pop bands of that era.
My name is Jimmy and the band I was in was called Decibels. Our 4-member group comprised Steven Lo (lead), Patrick Lian (rhythm), Charles Yip (bassist) and myself on drums. I must mention that my former school and Singapore Polytechnic classmate Douglas Cheng was the catalyst for the formation of a ad-hoc pop band which eventually led to the birth of Decibels.
The organisers for Singapore Polytechnic's 1965 Orientation Night were looking for a band for the occasion but were unable to find one. Now, Douglas could play rhythm guitar whilst another Poly classmate Steven Lo, could play lead. Douglas managed to get a drummer and a bassist friend to help out.
Together with some borrowed guitar amplifiers and only one or two practice sessions, this ad-hoc band was ready for the Orientation Nite gig! Thankfully, there was a last minute guest band - I can't remember the name - that the organisers managed to hire that "saved" the nite. Reason was that the ad-hoc band's repertoire was pretty limited.
All this while, my involvement was like that of a stage-crew - viz. helping out in setting up the guitar amplifiers, microphones, power extensions, etc. This one-off event sparked my interest in forming/joining a pop band. I had never learnt how to play the guitar nor the drums though.
Steven had a friend Patrick, who could play the guitar and I had a neighbour, Charles, who also could play the guitar. My late dad was an electronics engineer and he knew how to build amplifiers. Here we have 3 guys who could play the guitar so if I wanted to be part of the action, then I had to learn to play the drums!
I promptly bought a pair of drumsticks from Swee Lee or was it TMA? With some guidance from Patrick who had some rudimentary drumming skills, I started practising like hell... on table tops or whatever surfaces deemed practical.
Soon enough, my dad bought a set of second-hand drum set and that was the beginning of the band. The band's name Decibels was suggested by my dad. It is an electronic term used in measuring the loudness of sound. It seemed apt for a band's name and sounded nice too. Hence we adopted that name and in mid 1965, Decibels was born."Image/Original article: Jimmy Chng Copyrights Reserved.
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