The Indian music scene was changing rapidly. Gone were the days of pitch perfect melodic singing synonymous with Bollywood filmi music. Indian film music was fast grooving to the sounds of hip-hop, rnb and rap. Even the earlier generation were grooving to the masala hip-hop-bhangra sounds. Well, Bollywood music had changed!
However, for non-mainstream, but hugely active, campus scene, Rock was the Religion! Any freshman who did not know his Pink Floyd or Zeppelin would be ragged more harshly. But as students passed out into the real world, they left the wonder years, and the wonderful music, behind to become a part of the herd! Then Abhishek Kapoor made Rock On. Bang! The two worlds fused! Now I had my parents screaming rock on. My 3-year-old son was no different. And so were his toddler friends and wait... did I just hear the headmistress hum rock on as well Rock On had dethroned Singh is Kinng ...
I have been a musician for more than a decade, with a huge part of my career playing for top rock outfits of the country, getting blisters on my fingers practicing.... and one Farhan Akhtar who just about can hit the notes (sometimes!) became the biggest rockstar this country has ever seen! Isnt it amazing! Having said that about his singing skills... the film was brilliant! Bollywood had opened the portal to the rocknroll world!
A lot of protests came from the junta against Pakistani bands making it in the Indian music scene. But did they ever stop to think why they were successful I guess they know the answer now Pakistani bands were playing rock music! But we at home were turning a blind eye to the hugely popular, but neglected, Indian Rock Music Movement.
As rock artists, we struggled on despite record labels ignoring us... we played on till our fingers bled and our throats hurt, entertaining this countrys future citizens. We begged, borrowed or stole to get our hands on that dream guitar. No one supported us not even our families! What kept us going was the pure thrill of the music we worshipped! But I guess Rock On might just change all that now. Mumbais movie folk now want rock music in their films. Trust the producers to hop on to to the new formula n town.
It would not be surprising if we now want our kids to learn the guitar and play rock music, instead of pushing the poor things into the big, bad, humiliating world of reality singing contests. Maybe The Establishment might just wake up and help nurture talent in the campus. For years we worked hard to get some respect as rock artists. A film-maker gave it to us!
The writer is founder member, Mrigya