[The chat below appeared under Comments 13 years ago. Up till today, I still don't know who JOY is. Perhaps she could reveal herself soon...]
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There's no doubt in my mind that this blog is making tremendous progress. Andy is showing admirable perseverance so I hope others will show their support. Though I was not part of the musical scene in the 60s, I find this blog interesting as it helps to fill up many gaps in my knowledge of this aspect of my teenage days.
I wasn't part of the scene but what I'd like to know is... why did it suddenly disappear?
Good question. I've also wondered why. It was a golden age of local musical talent never to be repeated. Perhaps, the pull of economic opportunities in the 70s led to the decline?
Thanks for the reply. It was definitely a vibrant scene during the 60's. Talentime aplenty and bands sprouting out from all corners of this little island. Nope, I wasn't born during that period, but I was lucky enough to be educated about the scene by Dad, albeit his disapproval but till this day I don't know why.
My first taste of The Silver Strings came in the form of a video titled Those Were The Days playing Apache to perfection. From then on, I've developed and affinity for local bands. The list could go on and on. From The Stray Dogs, Siglap 5 to Naomi and The Boys and who could forget Thunderbird's, 'My Lonely Heart' and the success of The Quests?
To say that it was a Golden Age of local musical talent never to be repeated? Well perhaps you're right. The only gripe I had about the bands in the 60s was their need to sound like someone else (foreign?). Maybe I'm wrong but perhaps this was their decline? Or could one of 'the member's statement'  that The Quests had become so big that other bands had to improve their game be true?
By the mid 70's, the world embraced the arrival of Abba and Bee Gees. In a way, music was revolutionized. Disco's were the placed to be and it was the period of technology, the beginning of the space age some called it. By this time, the local scene was already in its dwindling state. Only a handful of local bands survived. Black Dog Bone? Matthew and the Mandarins?
By the 80's, the only thing i remembered was Max Surin's Tokyo Square alongside Linda Elizabeth and of course Dick Lee. It wasn't up until the 90's when there was a so called emergence of the local era, with some bands even citing influence from the 60's local era. They're a different breed of course but no short of talent.
Sadly though, the nation wasn't interested. Perhaps the influence of local radio stations playing songs from foreign artistes led to this demise. One could never fault them though. After all, radio stations are financial institutions.
Late 90's and early 2000, the scene finally gains momentum, that of course, after the government announced that it was going all out to support local arts. Venues and platforms were in placed to showcase their talents. Bands were starting to get recognition and quite a few have gone on to play in other countries and won MTV awards. Are we finally seeing the rebirth of the local scene?
One question remains though, will we ever recapture the spirit of the 60's, where everybody wanted to be part of a band and when practically everyone was looking forward to parties and dancing to a band? Like I said, I wasn't around during that golden era, but my guess is as good as yours :)
Thank you so much for the feedback. Your comment, I hope will encourage others to write to this blog. I have learnt much from you.
Like everyone else the musicians of the 60s had to face the stark reality of making a living for themselves and their families. Perhaps this was one of the principal reasons for its decline.
However, some soldiered on and are making a scraping a living playing at night spots, clubs etc with some being forced to moonlight in a second job in the day.
No really Mr. Andy, please don't say that.
Its pioneers like you that I have a lot to thank for; and that too for many many reasons.
I've always been a firm believer that Singapore's education system should provide more information on our musical heritage. What's the point of just confining it to the museum?
Anyway, will definitely keep a lookout for your shows. Have a rocking great new year and stay *young always!
ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...
Hi Joy & Roger,
Thank you both again. I guess if it's a meeting of minds then I have to be the grateful Chair, nothing much to do except to allow this natural flow of information which our country needs so much. Please don't stop writing.
NB -  Name withheld.
Click 'comments' below to read the essay type replies. Cheers.