Sunday, September 7, 2008

29) Loggers Wine & Dine

Me performing at Loggers
Performing at Loggers
At the keyboards in Loggers

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After the contract with Green Fern ended, I was offered a contract with Loggers Wine & Dine, a pub and grill at Fair Park. It was a new establishment and was owned by four partners one of whom was KK Chan. Kg Simee Road where Loggers was situated was then the most hip and happening area of Ipoh. It commanded capacity crowd nearly every night. My contract was renewed so many times, that finally they decided to leave it open for me to choose whether I wanted to leave or stay. I was happy to stay as the terms they offered me was really attractive.
Green Fern was still doing well as there were several other extablishments in the same building. Latin Quarter a cabaret, Basement Lounge which was a pub and of course the bowling alley attracted a crowd daily. Green Fern offered me a lucrative contract to return as their resident entertainer. It was something too good to pass up, so I finally left Loggers and returned to Green Fern. At around this time in my life, I met up with Christopher again.

28) 10 Years after The Fabulous Falcons.......Music rekindled in my life at Green Fern Coffee House

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Joe at Green Fern coffee house

My first gig on my return to music as a solo artiste was in 1977 at Green Fern Coffee house. At that time, Green Fern was a real happening coffee house and I was glad to be able to earn an extra income to feed my family. As I was out of touch with music for nearly 10 years, my nephews Nicky and Kevin who were teenagers at that time, helped me to compile my repertoire by supplying me with cassette tapes of more up to date songs. Liz was home typing out lyrics for me every day and night.
Life got better for my wife and two sons as financially, we were much better off now with the second income. This was the beginning of many more gigs at different establishments. Things were looking rosy and good for my music career as I became more known again as a solo artiste playing the keyboards and singing. I was sad that I never got to play the lead guitar again as I couldn’t get a suitable keyboardist to team up with. On my return to music, I was pleasantly surprised that many people still remembered that I was the lead guitarist with The Fabulous Falcons. There was a tinge of nostalgic sadness as this brought back memories of the good times we shared as band-mates a decade ago.

27) My Life after The Fabulous Falcons

The rest of the guys, decided to leave it all behind. They headed to Singapore where they formed another band The Brain. In the boring town of Grik, I somehow lost touch with the world of music and the exciting life I used to lead. I was stuck in Grik working in a mediocre job that I really didn’t like. My band-mates and I have taken completely different routes in our young lives and soon I lost contact with them too.

Since I left the band, I completely lost touch with music and I left the happy band days behind. In Grik it was just work and then off to the club for a game of cards with colleagues and sleep. It was the same routine day in day out till the weekend came and I travelled back to Ipoh and returned to Grik on Sunday. Life was really lousy and I felt I was wasting away in Grik. Then after three and half years in Grik, the good news finally came. I was being transferred back to Ipoh, my hometown. It was already April 1971 and I was glad to leave the village kind of life I led in Grik to at least a more civilized life in Ipoh. I was glad to be home with family and Liz.

On December 23rd 1972, Liz and I were married and the following year in October, our son Donovan was born. I was happy once more with a family of my own and I never thought much about music anymore. We had our own little nest and were doing ok until Liz had to give up her job to stay home with our firstborn, Don. Times were difficult with only one income now and we had little help from family. In April 1977 our younger son Jason was born. My young family was now complete. My wife, Liz took care of all the household chores besides taking care of our two young sons and I had to bring home the bread, so to speak. With my civil servant’s salary, I found it really difficult to make ends meet with a very young family to feed. This same year too, Liz’s mother passed away and my brother-in-law Andrew stayed with us briefly. Knowing of our situation, he suggested that I get back to music as a way of a second income. So that was how I bought an acoustic guitar from Andrew and started playing the guitar again hoping to get a gig to restart my music career.

26) Albums by The Fabulous Falcons

25) More pictures...more memories

The Fab. Falcons at the fountain in Ipoh
The Fab. Falcons performing at a show.
Relaxing time for us
Posing at the fountain
With the late Les Lee performing at a show.
Me at the fountain

24) Pictorial Memories of The Fabulous Falcons

The Fab. Falcons performing at a show in St. John's Ambulance Hall, Ipoh
Belting out a number at the show
With the late Rocky Teoh
With the late Les Lee

23) The Sad End to The Fabulous Falcons

Early 1967 we had a busy year with practices and performances lined up for us. It was the pinnacle of our fame and life was really exciting and we thought that nothing can ever go wrong. The first blow that brought us back down to earth was that Romy had to leave us. He was having some personal problems and left Ipoh, so we were left hanging without a manager. Tommy’s father stepped in to help out with the band. Things went on great for awhile but not for me, as I was having some problems at home as my parents were unhappy that I still haven’t settled down to a full-time job with a steady monthly income. Although Tommy’s dad called for many meetings with the band and our families, my parents were adamant and insisted that I had to leave music and the band completely to concentrate on getting a job.

I knew that the time was near when I had to leave the group due to parental pressure. Towards the end of the year, my sister got me a job in the civil service. I tried to delay taking up the posting to Grik, a small town north of Perak as this would mean that I would have to leave the band for good. Grik was a good three and half hours away from Ipoh and transport home to Ipoh was going to be a problem as I didn’t even own a car or a driver’s license at that time. To make matters worse for me, was that I had to leave my sweetheart behind in Ipoh. It was a truly difficult time in all our lives, a group of young people who were caught up in a situation that we found no solution to. It left me with a heavy heart having to leave the band in the lurch. I was trying to figure a way out but found no alternatives. So it was finally agreed by my parents and sisters that I would have to leave the band and accept the posting in Grik. There was no happy ending for any of us. Nobody was happy but I didn’t want to upset my parents and family anymore.

On 1st December 1967, with a heavy heart I travelled by taxi to Grik and took my posting in the little town of Grik. So that was the end of The Fabulous Falcons and for me the music died.