Thursday, April 29, 2021

Singapore 60's Dukes Band Leader Daniel Abidin Behind-The-Scene


Chatting with Daniel [formerly Zainal] Abidin is like playing facial hide and seek. With his very serious demeanor, since he was a Captain in our local army, the listener will never know if the man is joking or otherwise. 

Yes, we wanna hear behind-the-scene stories.

Here he is, providing unknown insights about his days with his very famous Dukes, one of the 10 top bands from our Singapore 60's music scene. Don't miss reading them. Gems, they are.

Story 1 - Electrocuted On Electric Guitar
''During one of The Dukes music practices at my home in Paya Lebar, every member was clapping and cheering me for showing some fantastic movements with my bass guitar. All of them thought I was imitating Elvis the Pelvis. It went on for a while until my brother Jerry Murad realised that I was actually in the process of being electrocuted. Our guitar cables were probably faulty or not properly earthed.

He rushed to the main switch to turn off the electricity. Thank God for his quick action. Otherwise I would have suffered like what John Rostill experienced; the late bass player of The Shadows was electrocuted when he was alone with his bass guitar while in the process of writing a new tune. Luckily, like Rostill, I wasn't hurt. 

During the incident, The Dukes had a line-up where Richard Young was on drums, Safdar Hussein on rhythm and my brother Jerry Murad on lead. Richard's brother Fernando Young was our singer. Later he became the band manager when Bobby Lambert joined the band doing vocals.''

[John Rostill -it is uncertain what he died of.]

First Bend in the River 
The Dukes with Bobby Lambert  
One of the best recordings, personally.
Video YouTube - weng 2c channel

Story 2 - Messing in the Mess - Band  Banned

''In the 70's, there was gig in the British Officers Mess at Fort Canning Centre when The Dukes arrived late as the van transporting the musical instruments broke down during the journey to the Mess. 

They 'punished' the band for arriving late by suspending all of us for three months from playing there. But Fernando Young managed to get the band to play at the same Mess the following week. What did he do?

He changed our band name for that particular gig. So we were not known as The Dukes that evening. And since we had a few sets of different coloured outfits, we did not used the same clothes as we did the previous week. We managed to do the gig without any problem and the evening went well.

Up till today, we never knew if the patrons realised we were actually the same band. Fernando was a clever manager.''

Chatting With Daniel Abidin.
It will continue for some time. 
Watch out for others.

Images/Articles - Copyrights Reserved - Daniel Abidin.



Sounds like an amazing guy...
wonder what he thinks about the music and original Singapore songs of recent years.
Would be interesting to hear his thoughts.


Known The Dukes way back in 1966 while still in sec 3 SJI. Reason we ( J&D'Peddlers) played guest band for their T Dance sessions at Hotel Prince Garni . This was handled by my Jimmy Eric who knew their manager Fernando Young...

Very much later in 2014 , I meet Zainal Abidin (Daniel Abidin) and requested if he could get the band together for our Church fundraising dinner concert. Well Zainal got the group together once again after long long break.

Yes they played together for the first time 4th July 2014 @ The Meritus Mandarin Orchard - ballroom. Thereafter they continued to perform &2013 had them at Esplanade concert Hall& 2017 at Kallang Theatre. The rest is history.


He was a Muslim who became a christian.
I have met him many years back and he gave me one of the Dukes CD.

WEN HING said...

As I was watching the documentary about local musicians, a name cropped up a few times - Jimmy Wee.. he took a chance on the local acts when he was told again and again that there’s no profit in it...

I think the cost of such endeavours have gone way down, as technology has closed the gap on the process.. what is needed is a moral Jimmy Wee, no need deep pockets but need deep appreciation of the Singapore music scene.. of course contact and enterprise is a must...!

Many musicians are turning to home studios.. affordable and accessible gear, technology and know-how (YouTube) has sprouted tons of “artiste”.. so we would need a Jimmy Wee to sieve out those that have potential and out weigh behind it to support it as far as it can go..

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the interesting comments and memories this post has taken us to. Thanks JERRY. Yes, local music has gone a long way since THE CRESCENDOS recorded their first SG made vinyl.

You see Daniel, your story about being electrocuted brought in a suggestion by WEN HING about today's ITs advancement in the electronic field, and now the digital field. No problem about doing home recordings, etc. at its best.


Thanks Mike.
What are the chances of being electrocuted while playing a solid guitar.

Ivor Lesslar
Andy Young When a guitar has grounding issues.

Andy Young
Thanks Ivor.

Andy Young
Thanks Gracie for thumbs up.

Rasiah K Sabai
In the sixties the Dukes were one of the top bands around.

Freda Hanum
So interesting hehehe😁

Andy Young
Thanks Rasiah and Freda.

Stephen Han
I had seen Jerry Murad at the Esplanade and found that he had a good voice'

FACEBOOK said...

Hiroshi Deguchi
Alphonso Soosay
Freda Hanum
Yip Dick
Rasiah K Sabai
Rose Khoo
Raymond Cho
Francis Anthony Rozells
Charlie Yap Locomotion
Gracie Teo
Michael Lee
Davy Chan
Frank Tan
Chow Wen Hing
Ser Kiong Tan
Patrick Teng

Bernard Mah said...

Captain Zainal Abidin was my CO, at SBMT TAMPINES CAMP in 1970, he was a good Commander as we work together to win the intercompany combat competition. Our comrades at that time came closure to get to know him better. I last met him in Batamindo industrial Park, he was where our Company is located. When I heard he was unwell, I wanted to visit him, but was not able to locate. Then I hear from Col Lee Chong Kiat. He had just passed away. Eternal rest grant unto Zainal and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul n the souls of the faithful rest in peace. Amen