Performing together after 40 years

Last Updated 18 January 2010, 13:37 IST

Those who love the music of the 50s and 60s and were at the Whitefield Club recently for the reunion concert of The Mustangs were treated to a delightful musical evening.

The six-member group had managed to reunite from all over the world after forty years but the members weren’t proclaiming that 60 is the new 20.

Nor were they looking for their music to deliver a message to the new generation of college students.

They  treasured every moment of an adventure launched years ago when “six college boys from Madras met up, jammed, made good music and called themselves The Mustangs.”

The jammers — Kittu and George (guitar and vocals), Derek (saxophone), Padmanabhan (percussion and drums) and Haroon Mohammed, the bassist and the historian of the group had been dreaming of this moment for years and planning it meticulously.

“As students of Madras Christian College, our musical influences included Neil Young, the Who, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones among other well-known country and Western singers. We spent our post-college years launching careers, marrying and having families. Yet music remained a vital part of our lives and lucky for us our wives have been very supportive,” says Haroon.

True enough. As the Mustang's revved up their instruments and crooned into the microphones for their practice sessions they were cheered on by their beaming spouses who were with them every step of the way.

“We are lucky to have such supportive partners. Many musicians stop playing simply because their wives won’t support them.”they aver.

“The first Mustang gig was at the YMCA in Parry’s Corner Madras. After the first round of songs – Runaway; A taste of Honey; Walk Don’t Run/ April in Paris and a mean version of Rimsky Karsakofss’ Flight of the Bumble Bee… The Mustangs were formed,” adds Haroon.
“We started practising every day, wherever we managed to find some space, trying out new songs and playing our hearts out to the current chartbusters. We were on a shoestring budget and played mainly to college crowds as they supported and inspired us. After winning the first two Madras Beat Competitions we got gigs in other cities,” they add.

Having cut two very successful discs in the 60s, their musical odyssey was one
filled with adventure and camaraderie culminating in this reunion that they had been working on and dreaming of for several years now.

On Saturday, they gave their audience ‘some of the classics of the 60s and the
70s but also shared new sounds formed by the musical influences of the last  40 years on them’.

(Published 18 January 2010, 13:37 IST)

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