Thursday, July 26, 2018

My Musical Notes - Chilly "Come to LA"

Some more details on the record player times will be added but we now have to move past the radio and the record player into the next big invention that got music into my life firmly. This was a cassette player that my father bought - a single cassette, single speaker box, made by who else, but Phillips. This was a big shift for Dad, who was the great experimeter at home anyway, and I suspect his decision had to do with his younger brother Dr. Ramaswamy, a huge music buff and a wonderful raconteur. Anyway, they came back from a visit and the box was home.

At this moment I can definitely recollect the one cassette that they bought along with the box. It was a collection of the most maudlin songs by Mukesh and am certain my uncle liked those songs. I did not like the sound of those songs because they were sad to say the least. There was great excitement at the homestead at this new toy but we had only one cassette to play. To rectify the situation, my sister Mythily got some money, pocket money or did my parents gift her I don't know, and told me to buy some good cassettes while coming back from school. I went to HMV near Annapurna Hotel on Nampally Road and bought 'Grease' for no reason but the fact that I recognised Olivia Newton John (our Yuva vani connection) and one of those songs from the radio (You're the one that I want!). I picked another cassette too but don't remember which. Many were the days that we spent listening to Grease and the other cassettes but we all knew that it was not the real thing. I realised right then that I never really did a good job of choosing for others - mainly because I cannot seem to think about them and only think of myself.

Sometime in between Abba the movie happened. And then came the trip to Bangalore with the Under 15 team which meant that there would be some money given to me to use as I pleased. I saved up my money ( a feature of all my cricket tours) and waited until we won the tournament and on the last day of the tour, dragged my partner in crime especially in areas of music, Vidyuth, to Brigade Road and spent all my money, minus auto fare on four cassettes. And gave me a high like none other. Four cassettes with about 48 songs to listen to.

I could not wait to get home. ABBA's Greatest, Chilly's - Come to LA, Kraftwerk's - Man Machine, and the Best of Disco with Funky Town by Lipps Inc. ABBA, I still have after all these years (that was in 1982 - 17th May so it must have been during our summer camp).

Chilly, I saved and saved, with its songs 'Come to LA' and some other wonderful numbers (Sunshine of your love, Sacrifice, Springtime - a lovely ballad). It was only five years ago when Sanjay, who came down from USA, saw the tape and borrowed it with promises to return and never did. I think I remember all those who borrowed music and never returned, books I forget but music, I don't. I wasn't too attached to Kraftwerk and questioned my sanity in buying that.

Best of Disco had some fabulous numbers. Funky Town was the most popular. Now to find the tapes from the box. 'Stay the Night' by Billy Ocean, 'Mandolay', 'You're ok' by Ottawan, 'Tom Cat' by Gilla, 'Body to Body' by Gepy and Gepy, 'You know me, I know you' by Dan Perlman. The sheer unimaginativeness of the names is crazy. But that's how life was in 1982. 

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