Sunday, June 21, 2009

I need a time machine

“The show must go on”, said Freddy mercury. Little did he realize where the music was heading off to?

Years before that, in the late fifties, end of World War II, probably the bloodiest era in history. End of the world for many, beginning of a new life, onset of a new sunrise for others. A lot had changed, most importantly, the way we perceived life. Tyranny, bloodshed, hatred, unemployment, poverty all at their peaks, little did people realize what was to come. Music is a great healer, a companion in loneliness, or a way to express sadness, sorrow or joy. On this backdrop started the musical revolution, the one known to us as the hippie era.

This was the era when some of the best music was made. It was the age of innocence, the age of self discovery. Making music was a way of life and not a way to make money. The music, the lyrics had a deeper meaning attached to it. Music was more than money and fame; it was a way of self expression. The greatest boon to the musical scene was the lack of technological innovations. It was an era when Internet didn’t exist. You could not download any music, could not get free videos from you-tube or for that matter read reviews on some blogs. Forget the Internet, even CDs didn’t exist. Radio, LP and a live show were the only sources for listening to your music. This era witnessed artists like Led Zepplin, Queen, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, just to name a few.

Every person has a rebel inside him. The 70’s probably made the young, rebels in practice, rather than rebels at heart. They no longer wanted to fight a fake war just because their father said so. It was a time when the youth started voicing their opinions and inspired others to do so; taking music as the channel to express the thought. Probably this rebellion drove millions of people towards rock n roll. It was not music, but a lifestyle. You didn’t listen to it, you lived it.

Rock and roll was considered as the music of the rebels, the hippies or the rotting teens. Things could not get crazier. If I look back at all the events, man it feels that it was the craziest era ever. Ozzy Osbourne; drinking the blood of a bat flying over his stage, or Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morisson having an orgasm while performing on stage; people were crazy. Be it the performances at Woodstock; a holy pilgrimage for the unholy rock fan. Thirty-two of the best-known musicians of the day appeared during the sometimes rainy weekend in front of nearly half a million concertgoers. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll. It’s not a coincidence that a similar movement in India (Independence Rock) followed the same schedule as Woodstock (15th Aug – 17th Aug). Imagine a show where Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Credence Clearwater Revival, Pt Ravishankar etc performed live. A collection of artists never witnessed before prior to that day.

What do we have now? Buffoons; (Judges on popular talent hunt shows) calling the head buffoon Himesh Reshammiya a rock star. Nowadays music scene is dominated by R & B. R & B for me means Rub and bang, don’t agree with me? Just watch the videos; all they feature is guys with six packs rubbing themselves against a teenager with 36D containers waiting to bang her at the first chance. I think rap music, should actually be called rape music. Invariably all the rap videos feature a black guy, covered in gold (more gold than clothing), either driving a car or standing besides it, talking about how he wants to do or how he did his girl, or sometimes how he did the rival gangsters girl. It’s only about sex or crime. The high speed lyrics definitely make you feel as if someone raped your ears with fast meaningless sound. Is this what is in store for us? What happened to the good old music with a meaning and a cause? Where have all the artists disappeared? “Imagine” and “Give peace a chance” by John Lennon, inspired thousands to make peace not war. The guitar solos of Jimmy Hendrix continue to inspire young guitarists till date. It was this era that has given us anthems like Stairway to heaven, behind blue eyes, imagine, sweet home Alabama, Purple haze, I want to break free etc. Sadly I cant recall a single song produced after the year 2000 that can even remotely be considered as an anthem.

Looking back I feel, I need a time machine to go back to the time when, all it mattered was music. The music video didn’t matter; the cunning marketing company didn’t lure you by putting 10 bikini clad hotties in their videos. Go back to an era when the shows were not sponsored by large corporations, trying to sell you stuff that you did not need. I want to go back to the pure sound of the guitar. Go back to perform in front of the half million strong crowd that didn’t care what you wore or how you looked but purely followed your music. Go back in time and get fans who would listen to radio patiently, waiting for their favorite song to be played. Can somebody make a time machine available to me, so that I can go back?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Call Gaurav - When Hunger Strikes

I am a sales professional, needless to say that I travel a lot. So far I’ve had the pleasure of visiting around 30-40 odd different places in India. As a single guy on an official tour what do you do once your daily work is done? Sit back in the hotel? Watch a movie on your laptop? Naaah , as far as I am concerned, my hobby is to find out the coolest places to eat, drink in whichever city I visit. Normal people eat to live, whereas I live to eat. The slight difference being that I also enjoy the small drink before I eat. What is life without some chilled draught beer (KINGFISHER ONLY) and some nice rock music to make matters more pleasant and enjoyable? I guess beer, rock music and some good chicken are more precious to us engineers than a fat pay check. So if you are interested in finding out more about the best places that offer all the above, please keep reading. If you want to know about places that do not serve beer or exotic non veg food and do not play any music please get a life or read some tasteless reviews on


Blues at Connaught Place,+Connaught+Place+,+New+Delhi&fb=1&split=1&cid=5743752610693564783&li=lmd&ll=28.637191,77.219124&spn=0.033974,0.077076&z=14&iwloc=A

This place plays very good music. You can expect to hear all your favorite tracks right from Rolling Stones, Metallica to pink Floyd to all the latest nu-metal numbers. They usually play rock music on all weekdays but on weekends it is mostly house/R & B music. The ambiance is pretty good, the lighting is bright enough for you to spot your drink, but not bright enough to spot the small pieces of chillies in your food. The crowd is quite decent on all days. You should definitely try the grilled chicken or the barbeque chicken for snacks. The food portions are quite filling. A pitcher of beer would cost you approx Rs. 250-300 and same rates for a cocktail. The place usually gets crowded at around 9 PM, so make sure that you reach there before 9 and enjoy a good night with drinks, tasty food and great music.

Special Note: The Sardarji DJ does not usually entertain any song requests. Be careful when requesting for songs, if he is not on the mood

he will turn the request down in the rudest manner possible. If you happen to be a girl, then he will probably ask your phone number for playing your request.

Cafe Morrison, South EX Delhi,77.171144&spn=0.033844,0.077076&z=14&iwloc=A

This is one of my favourite pubs in Delhi. Situated in one of the most posh areas of New Delhi, this is a pub you must visit if you are a Jim Morrison fan. The ambience is simply great. Each wall has been carefully decorated with paintings, photographs of Jim Morrison, notably amongst them is the middle wall which has a collage of some of the finest photographs of Jim. The biggest highlight still remains the wall; yes a full wall with just one painting of Jim. The decor is so eye catching that you will find yourselves staring at most of the walls and the artwork. I have been to many pubs in India, and I would rate the ambience of Cafe Morison amongst the top 5 in India.

Along with the ambience, the place also serves some really great food and drinks. I am a loyal kingfisher and beer, fan myself and do not prefer any other when I am in the mood to rock. But during one visit to the cafe I noticed the bar tender mixing a cocktail, a flamingo. He managed to juggle the burning drinks between 2 glasses. The sight if fire being poured from one glass to the other, from sideways to over the head etc was entertaining. If you are there make it a point to order the flamingo, apart from the great taste, it’s really fun to watch the bartender play with flames. The ambience and the drinks are well supported by some of the best music you can listen to. During my last visit, the DJ had worked out a theme. He started with the 60’s music, playing all the classics and then gradually shifting to the 90’s music. The gig had 30 minutes dedicated to each decade. Wow what a transition. Imagine starting your drinks listening to the rolling stones, Zepplin, then moving towards Van Halen, Metallica and finally ending with Pearl Jam, Green Day,... Nostalgic is all I can say. The decor, the drinks and the transition of the music contributed to one of the best experiences I have had so far. I would strongly recommend that if y oar in Delhi do make it a point to visit Cafe Morrison, it’s really worth all the money. Be sure that you have at least two hours to spend, any shorter time and you will end up cursing yourselves for the lack of time.