Friday, July 22, 2016

Michael Bangar With His Multiple Bands: Part Two

Here's Part Two of the Michael Bangar story, a man so cool that even if all the six strings of his Fender Strats broke, he would still be at the mic singing.

As Michael explained his association with the numerous bands, I was amazed how he could remember the names of each group he played with. 

There was Baby Low and His Hawaiianaires, where the baby hawaiian guitar was played by Tony Chua, and himself on guitars. Edward Chua was on bass with Joe Ahmad on drums and Walter Koh vocals. Walter was dubbed the Pat Boone of Singapore in the 60's.

Michael explained how proud he was when he played with The New Notes band because, at their peak, it became a full time band that performed at large functions.

"Myself and Donald Thaver guitars, Jeffery Pinto bass, Ramon Francis drums. In January 1987 I had a one night gig, but was not with any band. Ramon (or Raymond Francis) suggested I called Donald and Jeffrey. That's how it got started. A short while later, we became a five piece with Jerry Murad (The Dukes) on saxophone and flute."

Smilingly Michael revealed, "The New Notes were also a band with multiple names but on the same line. If it was a contract I acquired, we would call ourselves The New Notes. If it was Donald's gig we were The Country Gentlemen.  If it had been Jeffrey's gig we were Mixed Combination and Jerry Murad's gig, Tropical Katz or Katz Connection. 

The group carried on for twelve years. When Donald Thaver left he was replaced by Ivor Lesslar. Currently for Ivor's gigs, he used the name Transit. Two years after that, Ramon left to be replaced by Patrick Fernando. Whoever received the contract became the band leader for the evening. That was how the group operated. 
Here is a list of Michael Bangar's gigs he was involved in these last two years:

30th March, 2016: 
The Park Royal Hotel, Beach Road, The Katz Connection with Brian Richmond doing a couple of songs together with the band.

31st. December, 2015, New Year's Eve:
The Orchid Country Club Ballroom with Michael on guitar, Hans Solo guitar and keyboards, Hanafi saxophone and flute, Eddie Munir bass and Joe Ahmad Jr. on drums.

24th December, 2015, X'mas Eve.
The Movenpick Hotel, Sentosa as a Strolling Band with Michael and Hamdi on guitars and Stephen De Souza on double bass.

Michael explained that his group had played at private condominiums. They were at the Neptune Court once where he played with one other member - Jerry Murad and at a Bukit Timah condominium with Stephen De Souza. 

Duets, trios, quartet, quintet and a full band. You name it and Michael is as versatile as the way he handles his guitar, with ease and dexterity. He has a large repertoire that comes in handy during request time at dinner and dance functions.

Songs by Elvis, Jim Reeves and other solo singers or The Beatles, Everly Brothers and other vocal groups, his list grows with every request his audience makes. A professional indeed.

And Michael Bangar's last words for this interview?

"After watching you all from afar in the past, it's an honour and a pleasure to be playing with the present members of the Silver Strings."

Actually Michael, with your years of experience and playing style, it is an honour for me to be accompanied by you on the guitar. 

Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. It has been a pleasure.

Today he sings with the SILVER STRINGS: Nick Stravens, Andy Young, Audie Ng, Rickie Chng, John Cher and Michael Bangar.
Original Article (copyrights reserved).

Read Part One of Michael's story. Click connection:
Images: A Personal Collection.


Unknown said...

Hi Andy. First of all let me apologize to you for not doing my assignment on Michael Bangar. Let me explain to your readers, Andy had asked me if I could do the story on Mike some weeks ago and I agreed. However, repeatedly, one thing happened after another, including my going away for a while, and etc. Finally Andy decided to do the write-up himself.

If I had my way, there is no one else I would rather have as rhythm guitarist than Mike. He is enthusiastic, well versed, experienced and the most easy guy to work with. Last week we played at a church event to raise funds for a new church that is under construction. Despite just having a medical operation a few days earlier and still recovering he insisted on joining me for the gig. His excuse was that he is very bored at home. Next week we are again having a social evening for seniors. But, most unfortunately for me, Mike is scheduled for a second medical procedure on the afternoon of our gig date. Despite this he was telling me that perhaps he could still drop by after his hospital appointment. It is simply not right and I cannot accept his offer even though I wish I could.

When it comes to playing music, Michael Bangar, though he has been in music for at least 40 years, is just about as enthusiastic as a teenager going for his first solo date with his girlfriend! Therefore it is always, always a pleasure to work with him.

I would like to wish Mike, good health of mind, body and spirit, in order that he would be able to pursue his love for playing music for as long as he lives!

All the best Mike!

Thanks Andy and have a great weekend!

God bless!

John Cher

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Always the first to respond when asked to do a favour. Always the last to leave after an evening's function. That's John.

Never forget to click the COMMENT link below a posting because the reader will always find another view-point on the topic from John.

Thank you John for making these postings a kaleidoscope happening.

Anonymous said...

Dear Andy,

I acknowledge the note written by John Cher and agree about his comments on Michael Bangar and his passion for local music.Both John and Mike must be having common interests in local music and as such we see them enjoying themselves in numerous gigs and functions. I am sure all of us at this age has found a good hobby and being lovers of the 60's music, we are only too happy to talk about the local music and their talent.

When time permits, we should come together and remember those memories of events and happenings in our younger days.

Happy days and time of our life, Andy.

Fabian Foo