Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ending the World with the Pinoy Classic Rockers: Part II

During the PCR reunion concert, he did not use any songbook in case he forgot the lyrics. He sang from the heart and even swayed his hips and snapped his fingers like a real cool cat.

The marquee act on the first night was of course the Hotdogs. Rene Garcia sang their hits like "Annie Batungbakal" and "Manila" which had even the typically stoic La Union residents toasting and spilling their draft beer.

Markus Adorno, who semi-retired here in surfing haven, can not be found among the crowd. Surf babes in sarong and bikinis were, however, singing along with the Aftermath. The Aftermath was not the Aftermath of the past. Instead, the Iloilo-based band has a younger look (except for original member Charlie Meehlaib) and a different sound. That night, the high tide was particularly high and even nipped at the soles of the audience. How romantic can you get.

The better part of the two-day concert is that it's free. But hardly anyone other than the San Juanitos and San Juanitos, surfers and tourists, the rocker's wives and children knew about this concert. Twenty bands including The 4 Horsemen, Holy Band, Aftermath, Runaways, Kinetic Daze, Chosen Few, Electromaniacs, Cool Blend, Sundowners, St. Charles Band, Halo-Halo, Where's Charlie Band, Punny Earthlings, GGBB, Wally Gonzales, We're Back and Moonstrucks performed and no groupies and media around.

Old American and Brit rockers never die, as they say, they come to the Philippines and perform for big bucks. If they can't make it, they send their Juniors to rake in the pesos.

But here's the real deal, the Pinoy combos your Mamas and Papas and Lolos and Lolas would be screaming and scratching for in their heydays performing for free and no one cared. The world would have ended right there.

"Well, we don't care as long as we're see each other and have a good time," said Cedric "Sonny" Panis, the concert organizer. Panis was a keyboardist of the Houserockets doing covers of Sly and the Family Stone and Santana before joining the 4th Sundowners in 1970 and then went on to play in Japan and Korea. He later migrated to California before deciding to come back in San Juan.

Panis is a member of the PCR, an e-group composed of "comboistas" from the 1950s to the early 1970s. The e-group was launched in January 22, 2002 by Ben Yanto, a comboista in Guam and later in Indiana. The PCR has about 180 members and every January 22, the members make it a point to have a concert reunion.

The first reunion concert was in 2005 in Las Vegas and then the PCR decided to make the next reunions their chance to return to the Philippines. So it was Hard Rock Café Makati in 2006 and Shangri-La Plaza 2007.

"Then I got a call that it would be here," said Panis. He and the other organizers was able to assemble a stellar cast sans fanfare. It also didn't hurt that surfers from Siargao and Baler as well as Japan, Germany, Australia and the US were having their annual competition.

Many of the bands came all the way from the USA and they shouldered their own fare. The PCR partly subsidized the Manila-based bands. Since it was free, the concert was indeed a labor of love.

Emcees Captain Eddie Boy Santos and Mel Orosa had to beg the audience to buy raffle tickets to cover part of the overhead expenses. A Gibson SG Classic and a Dell laptop were among the prizes.

4 Comments:

Anonymous volume-addict said...

I think the reason why Markus didn't make it out to the show may have been because he's been busy lately. Warner Records just finally released his long anticipated Markus Highway project and he may be doing club dates in Manila and elsewhere.

5:56 PM  
Blogger The Nashman said...

I'm sure my club was there (Baguio Boardriders Club).

Sigh, we used to hang out there a lot. Now, middle age has caught up with us and have to juggle work and surf.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Sonny Panis said...

As a result of this great PCR reunion in San Juan, La Union, an event will be held this coming May 2, 2008 at the NBC Tent, the Fort in Metro Manila. Bands playing will be the Sundowners, Electromaniacs, Cobras, Moonstrucks, Deltas, Dynasouls, RJ and the Riots, and Hotdog. This will be the YEBA Festival and everyone is invited. PCR Musicians will be performing again !!!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think la union has ever had so much fun crammed into 2 whole days! thanks for the nice write-up. it's good to remember how good the "good-old-days" really are.

10:29 AM  

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