Jap Chong, the Quests rhythm guitarist, has passed away today 2nd of March, 2014. Condolences to his family.
The last time he wrote to me was during the Chinese New Year season last month when he thanked me on SMS for the short write-up on Quests' song, Gallopin' and wished me season's greetings.
It was in January 2011 when Jap and I had lunch with Riem Diamond (Blue Diamonds), Larry Lai (former Rediffusion DJ) and Vernon Cornelius (Quests vocalist). That was the last time I saw him well and healthy.
Way back when in the mid-sixties, I used to meet Jap behind the scene at the National Theatre, the St. John's Ambulance Brigade HQ at Beach Road and a couple of other venues like the Badminton Hall and night spots around Singapore.
Jap had always been an amicable and pleasant gentleman, usually soft spoken and discussed his band with quiet dignity. Most of his music friends respect Jap for his guitar capabilities and his seriousness with his work as a group member and in leading the band time and again.
We love you Jap.
May you rest in peace.
From left: Andy Young (blogger), the late Jap Chong, the late Riem de Wolffe, Vernon Cornelius and Larry Lai.
*One of the best songs Jap Chong recorded:
"What am I supposed to do with a girl like Jesamine,
Though my eyes are open wide,
She's made my life a dream
When Jesamine goes a part of me knows,
I'm not really living,
A butterfly child, so free and so wild
And so full of living.
When Jesamine stays, though time goes fast,
This is my world at last,
Beautiful days lost in her eyes,
But then the whole world dies..."
Jap's solo piece with Quests.
Song: 1968, co-written by Marty Wilde/Ronnie Scott, under the pseudonym Frere Manston and Jack Gellar.