Monday, February 04, 2008

Ending the World with the Pinoy Classic Rockers: Part I

It may be moot but last weekend, Asteroid 2007 TU24 was threatening to approach Earth at 1.4 lunar distances or about 537,521 kilometers. In astronomy, that's as close as Ahit Ruby. The next time a huge and potentially destructive asteroid approaching this close would be in 2007. So if you are a sci-fi flick addict last weekend, anything can happen.

One sign that nothing will happen was when Sonny Panis sent an SMS that all the inns in San Juan, La Union, the surfing capital of the North, had been filled. The 10th Philippine International Long Board Surfing Competition would be held that weekend. But the bigger kahuna would be the 6th Reunion of the Philippine Classic Rock also in ole San Juan.

The PCR are not your usual Modern Talking-ABBA-Journey-Bonnie Tyler clones practicing their esophagi before they leave for Saipan or Dubai. These are the real McCoys, the pioneers, the shindig crashers of the '50s, '60s and early '70s.

The Friday gig started as early as 5 in the afternoon with the Kinetic Daze, Runaways, Electromaniacs and Chosen Few singing the popualr songs of those era..

Oh man, but nothing prepared the crowd about Gene Generoso. He was wearing an Elv1s T-shirt while the rest of the Deltans were wearing Hawaiian shirts. Generoso is 76-year-old and should be on a rockin' chair but he is still rockin! The surfers were like whirling Dervishes below while Generoso was singing "Shotdown Boogie" and "I Saw Her Standing There."

Gene is not only part of the history of Pinoy rock-and-roll history. He is the history. He started his first band, the G-Ners Trio, in 1955 and next year formed Sampaguita's houseband, the Homerockers which features the late great Ike Lozada. Had Ike followed Gene, he would now be known as the Chubby Checkers of the Philippines and not a comedian who just happens to have a nice voice.

Gene later formed the Cool Cats and Electromaniacs in 1960 and three years later, formed the Deltas. Gene was guitar maker, session artist, keyboardist, guitarist, composer and the singing voice behind Jose Mari Gonzales and Romeo Vasquez.


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