Monday, May 01, 2017
Bee Gees National Theatre '72 @ $3 Michael Bangar
1st of May, 2017 Dedicated To The Bee Gees:
I wanted to put up Michael Bangar's Part 2 article about local music but here he is with another gem as he describes the Bee Gees Concert in Singapore and the tiket daun area. I thought this story just had to come out first.
Michael, let's dedicate this posting to Barry Gibb, the last of the Bee Gees, who now goes on stage alone to sing their songs.
So Mr Gibb, if you're out there somewhere, reading this piece, it's dedicated to you and your brothers, Maurice and Robin, not forgetting Andy.
Again, thank you Mr Michael Bangar (right):
Hi Bro' Andy,
I just read your write up on The Bee Gees, 1st of May. I would like to mention that they did perform here in Singapore in 1972 in the now defunct National Theatre at Fort Canning Hill.
And they did the show here with their original five piece line-up - the three Gibb Brothers plus lead guitarist Vince Melouney and drummer Colin Peterson. Guest band for both shows was Singapore's very own Western Union Band (image: b/w below).
It was the 24th of March, 1972. They performed two shows side by side that evening. I watched both shows with a then girl friend. We were mesmerised by their performance, i.e. their vocal harmonies and how they duplicated their recorded sound live on stage. Great shows - both. I remember paying three dollars for each ticket. How cheap it used to be!
(In the early 1970's the long hair ban in Singapore was already in place. There was a barber shop at the airport to trim the long hair of anyone entering the country. Despite the ban, the authorities allowed the Bee Gees to perform with that evening but they had to leave the island immediately after the show.)
I don't know how many of you remember the set up at the old National Theatre. I am sure some of you can recall that you could watch all the shows from the back of the Theatre's fencing up on the hill slope.
Some music fans would even climb up the trees that were there to watch the performances. The area was filled up by those who could not afford to buy tickets. The Malay music fans labelled that area, tiket daun (leaf tickets). As I bought tickets for only the first show, we watched the second show at the tiket daun area.
This period was the Bee Gees at their pre-Saturday Night Fever period when their popularity was sliding. After the block buster film, Saturday Night Fever in 1977, they became global mega stars. So during their next tour of the Far East, they by-passed Singapore because of the long-hair ban.
The group had also become a three piece group backed by session musicians. They did it, I think, to follow the trend at the time of the Techno Pop Era when bands were two-piece or three-piece.
For the record, we all have fond memories of the old National Theatre. Acoustics were good. For just a few dollars we got to see the popular bands of the day - The Hollies, Middle of The Road, Christie and even Cliff Richard.
Also concerts by the Singapore bands from the 70's: The October Cherries, X'periment, Fried Ice, The X'quisites, Sweet Charity (image above), The Straydogs, Pest Infested, etc. The theatre also featured shows by artistes of our multi-national country.
Apparently, feed back was that there were complaints about the tiket daun situation as quite a lot of people were watching all these shows from behind the back fence. It could be one of the reasons why they shut the place down. But this is just a personal opinion.
Original article by: Michael Bangar Copyrights Reserved.