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.
"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:
The Park Royal Hotel, Beach Road, The Katz Connection with Brian Richmond doing a couple of songs together with the band.
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.
The Movenpick Hotel, Sentosa as a Strolling Band with Michael and Hamdi on guitars and Stephen De Souza on double bass.
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.
"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.