Showing posts with label Drummers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drummers. Show all posts

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mokhtar Hassan - Percussionist Perfectionist

When original Silver Strings drummer Danny Boy was unable to perform with the band for the Esplanade Concert 2010, Audie Ng (band leader) requested the presence of Neu Faces drummer Mokhtar Hassan (image) to hit the skins that evening.

Without much ado Mokhtar joined us, but only temporarily, to be the latest line-up of the Silver Strings. Mokhtar presently plays with the Neu Faces and was with them even before their first European tour in 1984. The group had toured Europe and covered Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Germany then.

A professional all the way, Mokhtar approached me with his metronome when I told him he was playing too fast while accompanying me with Paul Anka's Diana.

"Let's use this," he said, showing me the gadget, "and get the song properly performed on stage." We got it right the second time.

Mochtar drums with accuracy and panache, peaking his best when he accompanied me hitting, Mean Woman Blues and Singing The Blues. Like his drums, he is tough, solid and perfect. Thanks Mokhtar.

Image/Original article: Andy Lim.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

(E) From Mysterian To New Burns 60s Music

The Mysterians Today:
The various members of the group carried on with their individual careers when the band finally broke up in the late 70s. Most members felt that it was the right decision not to become professional musicians.
Mike passed away a few years ago. He was the only one who stayed in the music scene and even went on to become the manager of one of Malaysia's most popular singers.
A few members were together again and formed a group with another popular 60s band. They played at a place in Changi from 1984 to 1988. Presently, tracing one Mysterian, Victor Lam (drums/image) has joined Ronnie See (vocals, rhythm) and formed the New Burns with George Chew (lead) and Simon Tay (bass).
*It has recently been discovered that a Mandarin version of Forget The Time is available and sung by a lady called Honey.
Image/Original article: Andy Lim Collection.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shadows' Apache/Foot Tapper - The New Burns VICTOR & SIMON - Backstage With Andy

The New Burns, Victor Lam and Simon Tay. Victor was the percussionist for recording artistes, The Mysterians in the 60s. All four Mysterians had masks on and appeared incognito for all their appearances.
Victor (left), is a vinyl enthusiast and has a vast collection of records in his possession. Having seen him during practice sessions and on stage, Victor has not lost his touch. Pretty Woman needs pretty fancy drumming. And he is good!
Simon Tay is a man in the finance industry. Quiet and a serious musician, he also plays the hawaiian guitar extremely well and belongs to another band that plays 50s and 60s jazz pieces.
With their popularity soaring, The Burns will be more in the limelight. They might even be interviewed by prominent writers and experts of Singapore 60s music. All the best to Victor and Simon.
Image/Original article: Andy Lim

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

l'll See You In My Drums 60s Music DANNY BOY

No mystery here! He has been around since the Silver Strings started in the early 60s. Circulating among the best in the South East Asian region, Danny Boy has played with the top musicians including The Thunderbirds for more than 15 years at a well-known local nightspot. And more than 45 years of total commitment has made him the drummer that he is now.
Danny is a gentleman all the way and a professional when it comes to practices and concerts.
His heart and drum-sticks are always with the Strings. Personally? He is the ultimate in local drummers.
Image/Original article: Andy Lim

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Shadows Repertoire - 60s Music Drummer

Who is this mystery man? He is a mean one on the drums and is comparable to the best percussionists on this island.
Can you remember the band he was with during the 60s? Blogger has been advised not to reveal his name. He plays Cliff Richard & The Shadows music with much versatility.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Esquires were men of steel who braved the night to heat the stage up at the VivoCity Concert in November 2008. They were the band that started the rockin' and rollin' that evening. Some of them are more than half a century young but they were in top form.

The concert also featured The Silver Strings, Veronica, Mike & Herb, Andy, Wilson David, Max Surin, Michael Goh and The Trailers. Jerry Fernandez was the MC for the evening and the other Jerry was on the drums (right).
Images: all 3 from Mike & Herb through Steven Farram - Australia.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Deep Purple - Rock Band For Non- Rockers Too!

Deep Purple is one of very few heavy metal bands I appreciate and Smoke On The Water, Space Trucking and Highway Star are three of the very few rock songs I love. Formed in 1968, this magnificent English band is from Hertford, Hertfordshire.

Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members have tried not to categorize themselves as any one genre. The band also incorporated classical music, blues-rock, pop and progressive rock elements.
They were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Deep Purple was ranked number 22 on VHI's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock program.
Ian Paice, Deep Purple drummer, was featured in another posting on February 22nd 2009. Check it out.
Article from: Wikipedia
Image: Deep Purple Website
There are too many websites. Just key in: deep purple.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Manhunt: Albert Louis - Drumming For Health

Mr Albert Louis (image: stage front with drums), former percussionist for Culture Vulture, is now teaching participants in his various courses how "Drumming For Health" will help them live a more fulfilled and healthy life.

It is fun therapy because the belief that when one hits a drum the person triggers the alpha brain waves associated with the feeling of well-being and euphoria. It's positive ageing with a beat. Cool!

For more advice check out Albert's website and to watch the video go to the top right corner of this post.

YouTube: Key in: fun therapy & exercise

Also check out December, 19th and 21st blogs.
(Albert has gone one step further with his career as a percussionist.) Thanks Albert! It's defintely my kind of music.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tony Zee (image) on the drums during recordings at Cosdel, Singapore in the 60s.
Albert Louis explains that it is difficult to ascertain who is the best as the drummer must feel the music and would use different strokes when playing. For example in rock and jazz drumming, the person needs to understand and feel the rhythm. Technique is necessary but without that particular *groove (pop music with a good beat) all the strokes in the world would not help. According to Albert, drumming must be "in the blood."
*groovy = a word used in the 60s to mean exciting, modern, fashionable.
(Final extract from Albert's perspective about drumming.)

(Image: Audie Ng's Collection)


The Trailers (above image) has drummer TONY ZEE (on green seat) whom ALBERT LOUIS has highlighted when I asked him about local percussionists he admires.

Albert wrote: "Locally Tony Zee comes to mind. He was the pioneer of studio drumming in the 60's, 70's and 80's, which requires precision in timing and technique and he used to rule in this area and being a first class sight reader he was quick to pick up what is latest in drumming from books and worked very hard to improve and keep up with the times.

He can be seen in the band in the programme called, "DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS," hosted by Gurmit Singh and currently on Channel Five."
Thank you Albert ('Drumming For Health' concept: Read previous blog) for your insight on drummers you admire both local and foreign.


The Trailers 「特丽乐队」 was one of the most versatile and talented bands to emerge from Singapore in the 1960s。 Formed sometime in 1964 by Victor Woo (lead guitar) and Eric Tan (bass),the band had a number of line-up changes in mid 1966 with Benny Koh (vocals),Edmund Tan (rhythm guitar),Tony Zee (drums) and Michael Teo (keyboards)。

That first single contained the group's original composition「Do It Right」backed with the instrumental 「Thunderball」。The single went on to be a number one seller in Singapore。Later in 1966 ,the Trailers had another hit with their second single,another original, the excellent 「Don't Laugh (You'll Cry)」,backed with a great version of Little Richard's Lucille。

This was followed in early 1967 by an all instrumental EP (vinyl record),with new keyboardist Jimmy Chan who had replaced Michael,that yielded one of their most evergreen tunes,「Phoenix's Theme (贺新年)」,which apparently is still a feature of many Singaporean Chinese New Year celebrations。The joyous instrumental rendition of a popular Chinese New Year's song,,Phoenix's Theme」 in western Chinese tune became a standard。This reminds of Chinese New Year in Singapore in the 60's,the family dinners and visits,the red packets,the red fire crackers,the smell of the blackpowder,school holidays。 The melody for the Spring festival injected the spirit of splendour and goodness for each New Year。

Another standout tune is 「Alisan (阿里山)」,based on a Taiwanese folk-song that praises the beauty of the Taiwanese maidens from the island's highest peak。 「Ding Ding Song」is also based on a Chinese tune and 「Lara's Theme」,from the film Dr Zhivago,is the odd one out. All the Trailers recordings appeared on the Cosdel label,but starting in early 1968,a number of Cosdel artists received international release through an arrangement with RCA。

Article On You Tube By: fhlew8:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BILLY COBHAM - Fastest & Most Explosive!!!

BILLY COBHAM - "a world class master of his instrument", recorded with MILES DAVIS in the late 60s, and is "a total consummate percussionist." (From:


IAN PAICE - My Fav Drummer says Albert Louis

Below is the lst part of an essay about Ian Paice ('Deep Purple' drummer), Tony Zee and drumming in general, written by Albert Louis a Singapore percussionist, ('Drumming For Health' creator and former Culture Vulture member):
I grew up during the rock era and my favourite drummer is Ian Paice of Deep Purple whose technique was so advanced for a rock drummer that no one came close. I saw him live at the National Stadium when he was 58 years old and even at that age he had not slackened in his power and played like he did in his albums.
 It is easy for drummers of the present generation to bring drumming to another level as videos, drum teachers and pioneers like Ian Paice help to set the tone.
Another drummer, Billy Cobham comes to mind too and it was in the later part of the seventies that he was doing what the present set is doing now because these people are simply "the animals of drumming". Albert concludes by naming David Wackle whom he places in the same category.

 (The 2nd and 3rd part of this essay are on separate posts.)

Albert Louis Writes About Drummers Galore!

More about Ian Paice (image above) and Louis Albert ('Drumming For Health', former Culture Vulture member) who writes about his favourite drummers and local boy Tony Zee.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

----------This Album Is Before Our Time-----------

Gene Krupa - Rim Shot - Syncopater - Drum Kit

I listened to Gene Krupa in the late 50s when he was with Benny Goodman and their recording of the hit, 'Sing, Sing, Sing' (1937)*. It is legend that this piece gave birth to swing and it remains my favourite to this day. He also appeared as himself in a movie, 'The Glen Miller Story' (1954), played beside Louis Armstrong and 'Basin Street Blues' became cult classic.
Krupa was the man behind the drum kit setup as it became standard equipment for most drummers after him. Zildjian, the drum company, learnt a lot from Krupa.
His compositions include, 'Some Like It Hot', 'Drummin' Man', 'Drum Boogie' the enthusiast's ultimate drum dream.
He has a movie to his name, 'The Gene Krupa Story' starring Sal Mineo (who recorded, 'Mack The Knife'), a street after his name in New York and was the first drummer to be in the corridors of the Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame.
He shaped my love for drums. Danny Boy (Silver Strings drummer) reveres Krupa. Was Krupa better than Brian Bennett, Tony Meehan, Howie Johnson and Mel Taylor of guitar groups fame?
Gene Krupa was their biggest influence. Oh yes, and Buddy Rich...
Video: key in: gene krupa sing sing sing

Gene Krupa: 1909 -1973

*100 most important American musical works of the 20th Century.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

****Drumming Culture With A Difference****

Vibrating like the drums he beats, I met Albert (seated, bottom left) within the corridors of a recording studio while we were practising for the 60s Reunion Concert.
Albert, who started off with the October Cherries in 1968, was in his last band Culture Vulture in the 90s. The group has recordings and one song, "Merry Christmas, Singapore," is still being played over the local radio stations.
Besides his ethnic-fusion sounds and international exposure Albert uses drums to help patients in the most natural and imaginative way. Read Albert's own website as he explains what it all means in an interview with CNAs Susan Jung at

Mine is another successful venture to find out what former band members are doing.

Image: Louis Albert Collection