Like most of my peers in the 1980s, I thought of it as nothing seriously wrong. We desired the music, and there were ready suppliers plying the trade, by day and by night. After all, we paid for it.
I would buy a blank 8-track cartridge (later, compact cassettes), and drive down to a record shop in Penang Road, and then made my selections from a variety of LPs in the shop, and the latter would copy all the marked songs onto my tape.
I think it cost about 10 ringgit per cartridge. Everyone was happy (except the folks who produced the songs) – the shopkeeper was thankful and, I was delighted with my new set of “playlist”. I was more concerned with the music pieces being copied right, than with the copyrights.
Those were the days….
Besides the harmonica, this quaint 2-string “Er Hu” was the earliest musical instrument that I encountered in my this earthly life.
Everyday, my only Chinese neighbour in my Butterworth kampong would do his routine solo in the late morning. His pieces often sounded soulful and melancholy. Unsurprisingly, sometimes he was asked to play at funerals.
In more modern times, this ancient two-stringer is riding on a wave of renaissance in the music scene, being placed in the same limelight as western instruments such as the guitar and the violin, and deployed in all genre of music, including rock.
China groups such as the 12-Girl Band have also endowed the Erhu with much needed glamour.
My regret : I never approached this neighbour to ask him to teach me how to play this instrument.
It was the early 1970s that their music came on the airwaves via the good old Rediffusion service that we subscribed. Yes, The STROLLERS – a truly Malaysian pop band that was all the rage among the teenagers of that time.
I recall, on a weekly song dedication program hosted by the very popular DJ, Patrick Teoh, The Strollers’ songs were sizzling hot picks.
I was not particularly into pop songs, but their style of music and their lyrics (their English and diction were very good) exerted a magnetic attraction on me.
So on this occasion, perhaps I reveal a lesser known side of me,Just As I Am, and get myself to “Do What You Gotta Do” for old memories’ sake. Hope it will not be regarded as a Silly Joke.
(recognize the embedded titles? )