The image is of Amber Mansions, at the entrance of Orchard Road (left), where guitar groups played in the mid 1960s during Tea Dances at The Celestial Room on the floor above. Art galleries, quaint decor outlets, coffee houses and restaurants are terraced on the floors below. It was a place where the young nineteen sixties crowd would want to be seen at.
The Silver Strings was the guest band for many months at the Celestial and we had a taste of what tea dances were like when we performed there. It was a baptism of fire because it was the first time when the band had a regular weekend stint. We started off as a band that took over the resident one in between sets of 45 minute sessions. Sometimes there were as many as five sets per night.
I first introduced a song that was popular in the living room at home. It became a hit when the TV series Fireball XL5, a sci-fi marionette-based show, became popular with Singaporeans. The title song became our calling card for some time and fans were asking for "Fireball" when we came on stage.
|The lead guitar was DAVE CHAN and not Dickie Tan (above).|
The person in charge of Celestial Room was Mr Quek Sin Bock, a rather robust business man, frank and full of good cheer. He loved the band and I remember we turned resident and acquired more and more gigs from other nightspots. We were known as "Andy and The Silver Strings" and performed at the venue in the mid 60s, way before other bands did.
The building has since been replaced by Dhoby Ghaut MRT.
Images: From The National Heritage Board Archives and Personal Collection.
Do not copy my posting.
Follow this Singapore 60's music trail.