Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beatles of Malaysia: Mike and Herb

A May Gift for Andy and Readers
Thanks, Mike and Herb for the present

When life was simple and the air was pure in Malaysia, two very young boys went on an adventure not many have experienced, perhaps not even today. They did a 240-day pop singing tour of Peninsula Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei.
                                         Yesterday and Today

And don't forget their audiences were rural folks who had hardly any electricity or drinking water, let alone a TV or radio set.  But when the heard that the Malaysian Beatles were in their kampong, they headed to the nearest cinemas on bicycles, in carts and rickety trishaws, buses, vans, and cars, to watch the mop-hair pair in action. Together with this duo, other top Malayan pop artistes were on stage too. The shows were a treat indeed.

Then they came to Singapore and at the National Theatre, the crowd broke loose...

I must thank Mike and Herb, who wrote all the way from Down Under, for sharing their experience with me and my readers. Let's open this gift.
Hi Andy,

After reading your latest blog on the Ipoh Falcons from Malaysia, it brought back memories of our time with them and I just had to write something about them.

The Falcons were our first group when Herb and I started.  We did a solid eight-month tour with them and we performed in every state and town in Malaysia.  
We started in Alor Star then did all the east coast (Kelantan and Terengganu) and also most large towns on the way.  

We were performing almost every night and in most cases two or three shows daily.  The tour took us to many towns like Batu Pahat, Muar, Telok Anson, Seremban, and other towns.
Our eight months’ tour was organized by Cathay Organisation and we performed at all their theatres.

Rocky Teoh was with us and we had a great time with him especially when we were driving in his Sunbeam sports car.  He loved speed and for us, it was thrilling to be visiting many towns this way.  

On one occasion, Rocky drove us to another town for a visit and we got back very late and the show at which we were due to perform had already started. Management was frantic when we turned up late.  
We had to hurry into our stage clothes and quickly got on stage.  The Falcons had already started playing for the show.  Rocky was also late for his performance as Malaysia’s Elvis, but all the drama was soon forgotten once we took to the stage and did our performances.

Our shows also took us to Kuching (Sarawak), Brunei and all of Sabah.  We must have performed in well over 100 towns in Malaysia and the fans were unbelievable everywhere we went.

The Ipoh Falcons (Christopher, Tony, Tommy, and Thomas) were a great bunch of guys and very talented musicians too. We had so many good memories and stories of our eight-month tour and I must say Rocky Teoh turned out to be a really good friend until his untimely death at an early age.
After that, Herb and I went to Singapore where we joined the Silver Strings for the start of the 1960‘s pop scene.

After reading your blog on the Ipoh Falcons I wanted people to know that Herb and I started our music career with them. 

Kind Regards,

Readers might have noticed the billboards were put up along the Malayan roads near the cinemas they were appearing at. These show-posters were colored and hand-painted on canvas and common in the '60s. They were an attraction and could draw passers-by and drivers.
Images and story: A Private Collection. Copyrights Reserved.


Victor said...

Ahh... this post rekindled my memory of Mike & Herb singing Wooly Bully by Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs at the Orchid Country Club about 7 years ago. It was a concert of 1960s music at which I met you for the first time after you sang Diana (popularised by Paul Anka). I searched on YouTube and believe that this was the clip which shows Mike & Herb performing Wooly Bully at the Orchid Country Club:

Thanks for the memory, Andy.

MIKE said...

Hi Andy,
Thanks for the great write up in your blog and you did a great job setting it up nicely. I will get in touch with Herb and he will be pleased when he sees your blog and the great job you did with the write up.

I will keep in touch and in the meantime have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Very refreshing


When Mike n Herb teamed up with the Silver Strings, the group grew from 4+1+1. They were staying at Audie's (band leader) house. I don't remember going out to town with them for fun except for lunch or dinner, before or after band practice.

The way Mike and Herb drank tea is mind blowing to me. I would drink tea when it is warm or lukewarm. But Mike and Herb would pour boiling water from the kettle into their tea and sip it right away. It's incredible that they could drink boiling water without getting burnt. It freaked me out!

Please send my regards to them brother. We may have spent more time together but I cannot recall much now. They are really great guys and singers too.

(Merlin Lim was on tour with them for all of their concerts).


Though they were styled after and influenced by the Beatles, Mike and Herb could easily have passed up as The Everly Brothers of Malaysia with their close-harmony singing.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

The response to this posting is wonderful. Fans still remember Mike and Herb. Thank you all so much for the early response.

They would love to hear from other fans and friends so if you know Mike and Herb and have seen them on stage, do write in.


Thanks Andy for yet another interesting post. I remember watching Mike and Herb perform at the National Theatre. Thanks to both of them too for sharing their stories.


Firstly thank you Mike and Herb for your lovely christmas gift. The songs, LET 'EM COME and I'VE BEEN A FOOL are great songs and well performed. Great accompaniment by The Silver Strings. Great job on vocals by the duo and the playing of he boys in the band; dick, Audie, Merlin and Danny Boy.

A bit ahead of its time, quality wise. I hope it's not too late to say, "Congratulations guys! Job well done."

The 60's music wise - a great bygone era.

madi son said...

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing useful infomation.

FACEBOOK said...

Mike and Herb: One of the sincerest dynamic duo this side of the Pacific. And they sing well too. Will we be able to see and hear them again?

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
I remember them well

Freda Hanum
Wonderful write out, My comments in your blog

Andy Young
Hi JIMMY and others who LIKE this post thanks; and thanks FREDA for the comment on the blog. I always appreciate comments to make the blog all the richer.

Richard Paul M
With all due respect to M&H, I still do not understand why they were known as The Beatles of Msia. They were a singing duo not playing any musical instruments while the fab 4 were a quartet singing and playing the guitars, drums, harmonica, and keyboard. The only similarity was the hairstyle. Nevertheless, my all-time favourite M&H song is "Let 'em Come" which has wonderful guitar works from The Silver Strings.

Andy Young
Thanks for comment Richard. You're right in so many ways. I guess the Beatles title attracted local audiences, although it's a misnomer like you mentioned. Nobody would have noticed Malaysia's 'Everly Brothers' by then. But as you complimented, they have done some memorable songs. Appreciate the feedback. Wish more people like you would write in for a positive chat.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks to these kind folks below who read about Mike and Herb:


FACEBOOK said...

Always thought they were from Singapore...

Andy Young
No, they are not. Perhaps formerly living in Singapore, but now live all over the world. Like this guy I know; well, he lives in CORNWALL, ENGLAND. Man!!! :-)

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Andy Young-ha ha... I am a patriot. Die die, Singaporean.
When I Play, I tell them, I am from Singapore...
I fly our flag and proud of it

Andy Young
Truly wonderful Jimmy. SG all the way brother...