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A Chap Goh Meh Posting 2018
A Chap Goh Meh Treat 16 February 1965
I must thank Audie Ng, leader and bass guitarist of the Silver Strings for penning his experience when he appeared with one of the most exciting bands in the world.
An illustration of The Rolling Stones on stage which mostly result in healthy chaos and noise.
In 1965, The Silver Strings was invited to be the introductory band for the hugely successful and well-publicised Rolling Stones performance at the Singapore Badminton Hall on February 16.
It was Chap Goh Meh and you can imagine the crowd, noise and fanfare the whole show created. It was chaos night with fire-crackers on the streets outside at Guillemard Road and twanging guitars with screaming Mick Jagger at the microphone and his troupe on stage.
The Badminton Hall during its hey-day when it was used daily for a different purpose.
The second line up of the Silver Strings during the Stones concert at the Stadium.
Kingsley Morando was the show manager and assisted by Wilson David (Singapore's Elvis Presley impersonator in the 1960's) the Rolling Stones were contracted to perform in Singapore by Singstar's Freddy Eu (Eu Tong Sen Street was named after this family.)
The Silver Strings line-up included Audie Ng (bass), David Chan (lead), Merlin Lim (rhythm), Danny Boy (drums) and Veronica (vocals). Apparently, the instruments used that evening were supplied by the event company and amplifiers belonged to The Dukes but this information was unconfirmed.
|A Rolling Stones $2.00 ticket stub from the website The Lion Raw.|
It was the last night of Chinese New Year and the community was celebrating it with vigour and the unbelievably loud explosions of firecrackers. The whole of Guillemard Road, from Geylang Road and the Kallang area, was overflowing with merry-makers. Since the Badminton Stadium was easy to access from most parts of Singapore - they converged there - you can imagine the pandemonium it caused.
"I doubt this phenomenon can ever be repeated in Singapore!" remarked Audie when I interviewed him for this story.
Nobody really sat on the wooden chairs that night. From the jumping and screaming British servicemen and their families to the sensible Singaporean fan, there was no time to relax. Some of the younger Caucasian girls sobbed on bended knees and broke down hysterically. Even our local teenagers were screaming throughout the concert, enjoying live rock music that was a rarity those years.
The Straits Times report about the show that evening attracted many newspaper readers.
An incident mentioned was the gatecrashers who tried to come in and a gate collapsed as the police (or mata-mata) were called in to help with the milieu that resulted. I understand the Black Marias and Ang Chia (Red Vehicles) were outside the stadium too. These were huge vans that would transport rioters and put them in lock-ups.
Now those were the days of rock and roll in Singapore in 1965 when our tiny island left Malaya to become an independent city-state and boys were still roaming the streets with long hair. What a way to go.
The more expensive $8.00 ticket with row and seat number. It was a lot of money those years.
The performance described was only part of the whole story. Many people saw this show and it was an unforgettable double happiness, Chap Goh Meh evening and the Stones presence.
|Audie Ng Today|
Thanks to Dr Steve Farram (Darwin U.) for the inspiration, after enticing me with the video and ticket as bait, to write this article.😉
Article: All Rights Reserved.
Images: The Straits Times and Google.