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2011-06-12

The Lost Pop Music Of South East Asia

A large portion of Asian pop music from the 1960s and 1970s has been lost.
Asking the locals about Asian pop music from the past is a bit like asking about ancient archeological treasures..... not easy to find. Nontheless it did not stop me from trying to hunt down some of these lost treasures. My travels have taken me to little Indonesian backstreet shops and markets.
Due to the extreme rarity of early 60s/70s rock'n'roll music from SE Asia, I would not dare to hope that any true collector would ever sell me any good condition tapes or vinyl records. As for the original master tapes, if they still exist, they would be beyond my poor man's bank account. But I would be very happy to have a transfer to CD of the original recordings. A good home computer can make a relatively nice transfer from old records to the CD format.
Hmmm...... then again, if any of you folks out there should come across a groovy looking record in a second-hand shop....... let me know, OK.
Even though it isn't Indonesian, I'll tell you this little music snippet.
In Australia I tracked down the obscure folk/rock duo Fred Dyer and Terry Fielding, who in the late 60s/early 70s, had recorded some psych/fuzz Carnaby Street-ish stuff, as well as music with a folk or country sound, including their ode to Moby Dick. The song was simply called "The Whale". This song tribute to the great whale and author Herman Melville, was something I had wanted as badly as Captain Ahab wanted revenge upon the whale that took his leg. I was obsessed with the search for this song. I remembered hearing it as a kid on the old car radio, sort of like a theme song for our dawn patrol surfaris, as my father drove into the darkness, on our way to the surf beaches. With the doom laden chorus echoing in my head, I would ponder the enigmatic ocean, as I lay on my surfboard.
Many years later I tried to find this song, but no CD shop had any information about it, and they had never heard of the musicians Fielding & Dyer. Even a long search on the internet, over many years, revealed nothing. Vanished like a ghost.
By pure chance I came across the lyrics and guitar tabs in the Mudcat Folk Music Forum. Best thing - it was posted by Fred Dyer himself and included his email. From there on it was easy. Mr Dyer was surprised that someone still remembered his obscure independent release from 38 years ago, and more than happy to transfer his old record to CD on his home computer and send me several copies, autographed by himself and his old music mate Terry Fielding.

So my point is that the old Indonesian and other SE Asian pop music is definitely still out there........ somewhere.
It is just a matter of finding the right person to ask.

2 comments:

Denith said...

This is interesting. I also wonder about what happened to our pop music during the 60s, 70s... specially the singers. We love to have the record back, I do really remember the melody during my young days.

julie nguyễn said...

I hope late is better than never. This American company puts out currently obscure but once prominent music from SEAsia, Middle East, NW Africa. You can listen on Youtube.
http://www.sublimefrequencies.com/