Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And the lights all went out

“And the lights all went out in _________”.  

I believe that readers of my generation should have no difficulty filling in the blank. Yes, Massachusetts is one song we won’t “forget to remember”.

The year was probably 1967 or 1968; and my brothers and I spent a week of our year-end school holidays visiting my 9th Uncle in Johore Bahru. My uncle worked as a male nurse in the general hospital and they lived in the staff quarters which were within walking distance of the hospital. We had a swell time that year playing with our cousins every day.  One activity we enjoyed tremendously was swimming and fishing at the nearby Lido Beach. The Straits of Johore at that time was very clean and teeming with fishes; and we caught many fishes.

Our uncle had a box-shape gramophone which was quite interesting. It had a wooden horizontal ‘cover’ on top which opened upwards, pretty much like a grand piano. Our cousins had some pop records and the two songs that I remember listening to over and over again during our stay were the Bee Gees’ Massachusetts and Engelbert Humperdinck’s The Last Waltz.

Another Bee Gees song that I liked was In the Morning. What I like most about this song was the strumming of the guitar at the beginning of the song. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I used to learn the guitar. Can’t remember the year, but at that time we had a family car – I think it was a Ford Taunus - and this car had a Cartridge Player. Remember the music cartridge of the 1960s? This was before audio cassettes became widespread. Anyway, we had a cartridge with In The Morning, and I used to seat in the car just to listen to this song. In the confines of the vehicle, the music was much clearer.

So sad to learn of the passing of Robin Gibb this week. Another part of our childhood “having flown”.

PS – My favourite Bee Gees song is this one. What’s yours?


peter said...

I like "S.W.A.L.K"
c 1971 or 1972

Tim said...

I enjoyed the Bee Gees in their early days. Songs like Massachusetts, Words, Gotta Get A Message To You, New York Mining Disaster - all part of growing up.

When they morphed into a Disco group I wasn't so keen, but they were immensely successful, so you can't knock it.