Saturday, May 05, 2012

Fresh Durians, Ice Kacang: RAF Changi Part VII

I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Come:

This nostalgia trip by Allan Thompson will certainly be one he can share with many Singaporeans.  Allan's "spreading the newspaper on the grass" experience is only too common with young Singaporeans who went courting in the 60s.  Allan explains that he is "raking through the embers of my Singapore past and stirring up a few sparks which make me smile."  He has written many poems  when he was in RAF Changi. "Perhaps it was the scent of frangipani on the balmy evening air or, more likely, the searing stench of a freshly sliced durian! I am keeping an interested eye on your marvellous blog."

So if you enjoyed his last 6 episodes about RAF Changi in the 60s and his stint with a guitar group then read on about his social life in Singapore:
"Does the Capitol (image right) still have those sliding seats? I remember my first-ever visit when I leaned back in my seat and thought I was about to be launched over the balcony.  I loved Singapore cinemas: the Capitol, the Lido, the Roxy and so many others, including the Astra at RAF Changi.  I never went to the cinema in Changi village but one of my friends did and he told me he got soaked because it started to rain and the cinema had no roof.  I don't know if that was really true, but I like to think so. 

I also remember the #Wonderland bar and restaurant on the East Coast Road ( image below) which was on the ground floor of a tall building called the Tay Ban Guan.  It was air-conditioned and very dark when you first went inside so that you bumped into tables.  Good fun! 
The old Marine Parade (image below left) was just behind it and I used to take my second girl-friend there for a walk in the dark and buy her an iced kachang from one of the vendors.  The local newsagent used to look very impressed when I bought a Chinese newspaper  because he must have thought I could read the language.  But I actually bought the paper so that she and I could sit on it on the grass near the Katong Convent school (image below right) and watch the lights of ships in the distance. What a fraud I was."

So as the The Platters', Twilight Time, Cliff Richard's When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart and the Reyes Sisters', I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes (image record sleeve above left) were playing from a nearby seaside bungalow, Allan started to count the twinkling lights and stars. And that took a long time...

Do you have stories and songs you wish to share when you took that Tanjong Katong stroll with your girlfriend? 

# which became Fancyland later.
Image: Record Cover from Andy Lim Collection   and Google stable.
Original article: Allan Thompson.  With naughty add-ons by Andy Lim. Copyright Reserved.
[Philips Record: EP The Reyes Sisters: A Ring For My Darling (by Tisana/W.King), I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Come (Pop classic. Great yodelling by sisters), *Valley Of Dreams (Singapore original by Terry Marsden), You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry.]


Dr Tan Wee Kiat: said...

Hi! Andy,

Enjoyed your blog posting.

Also, browsed the posting about Lat's introduction to music on records.


wee kiat

Andy Lim* said...

Thanks Wee Kiat for visiting and the posting about Lat as his cartoons depict Malaysian life that we are all so familiar with.

JOHN CHER said...


James was a great friend. His birthday was on 3rd March. Each year I would call him and have some makan together.

He passed away on 27th MARCH and we had a wedding gig on that day (It was a sunday).

I called him on his mobile but he did not reply. I found out later that he had died after his last gig at the Peranakan Restaurant.

Rest in peace brother James.
John Cher

Andy Lim* said...

Thank you John for the comment about James Choa. He was truly a great friend and musician, so dedicated to his art that he played on his keyboard whenever he could. We will never forget James.

If you could, please provide me your email address by writing again on this Comment page. I shall not publish your letter.



Why are you sending me the same historical songs? What is new now? Please send me your latest hits.



Andy Lim* said...

Thank you Jega for your first visit and strange comment.

Perhaps you're not aware that this blog only feature historical songs or what is known as "classics" and "evergreens". The theme is Singapore 60s music and its pop music influence.

I didn't realise that you are only interested in the latest hits.

I remember your comment about rap music once. You didn't like it. At 76 I appreciate the fact that you like modern hits.

You are a gem.


Ervinna was always...still of my favorite singers. I still have about 30 of her cassette albums from the 1970s,but I am trying to find her albums on CD or MP3 and n o luck. Only things on eBay are records.That's way before even cassettes!!! Where are all the CDs?
Every trip to Indonesia,I bought more Ervinna,in English,Chinese,and Indonesian. But now my cassettes are old. Anyone know where I can buy CDs ?