He went about honing his skills on the portable six-string instrument learning much from playing at clubs and events. Then when he was ready, "I went full time as a musician in October, 1984."
There was a change of bands and Michael made his mark by teaming up with The Strollers 3 0 or Trio. Ali Hamzah was on guitars and Abdul Hais playing the upright bass (double-bass). Sophisticated and pleasantly a gentleman in his ways, I asked about his unique surname.
Raised in the East Coast area Michael grew up in Katong and went to Telok Kurau Primary School and St. Patrick's Secondary School. He told me how he was traumatised in primary school by a nasty teacher.
(We were entertaining sports participants rather than 60's music enthusiasts.)
As a young teen he learnt guitar intricacies from his father, coaxing the instrument in an unassuming way. Playing and singing with ease, enjoyment and in a relaxed manner, his body language tells that he is an experienced musician. A six-footer, he looks the suave, pop figure anyone would look up to.
As of late, Michael is the only Silver Strings member to don shades during a gig. With his Ray-Ban glasses, he seems shrouded in mystery as he strums the solid guitar.
As he tells his story, he remembers the famous 60's recording artiste Maurice Patton and The Maui Chimes who invited him to play. Patton was on both electric and Hawaiian guitar with Marwan on bass. Hassan Panjang played the drums.
Before joining 60's pop stars The Moonglows, a drummer Maurice Limoco got a six months' booking at the old Queen's Hotel and invited Michael, Maurice Patton and Marwan to perform together.
Climbing the stairway to fame, both as singer and guitarist, it was only natural for Michael to join recording artistes, the late Sunny Bala and His Moonglows. Sunny and Michael both played the guitars, Randall Morales was on bass and Cedric Cock on drums.
Michael rattles off band names without pausing. He remembers every detail, time, dates and places. Each name or venue he mentions has a personal history in his book. And he says in all seriousness, "My father taught me the tricks and trade of playing the guitar. It's easy if you know how."
*Video was taken @ 9 am. when participants were preparing for the run. But the band had encores from the spectator crowd present.