Me: Bob! when u in Blr next men?
Kjo: Yooooo! Yea I have to fix my PSR. Lol
Me: Hahaha gawd
Kjo: How was North Sea jazz bro. I wanna play there bob. its time
Me: epic as always. I’m sure u will play there soon
Kjo: I hope so bob. You know Rishi Shah? Rave magazine. Publisher
Me: ya I knew him. from a long time ago. sure he knows me. why tho?
Kjo: He’s cool? He’s helping me. Wants to manage me n all
Let’s see bobb. I’m lost with the whole media thing bob. I can’t do it anymore
I wanna make money but I just wanna play music. I’m going mad I don’t know how to send content. I wanna play at north sea bob. Yea I just wanna perform
Me: thats awesome. ya u should. i could also help. but in my opinion u shdn’t be stuck to one person or agency .. put a trio together first
Kjo: Yea bob.. Karan Joseph Trio. Branford and Justin Faulkner. No jazz in India bobb
Me: hmm true that
Kjo: True na?
This was earlier this week, and the last i heard of or from him till Floyd called me this morning and said “baba, pls check if this is true. i just heard … “
My head is reeling with the events of today. My phone has been incessantly ringing. I numbly scroll through Facebook and see a million messages, and in my head I’m like this can’t be happening.. again!
I met this child (sadly he continued to be one till this morning – lost in his own almost autistic bubble, oblivious to that big bad bombay) I think in the August of 2004 when I was doing a short cameo in a city play. He was 15 and had the makings of a genius even then ..
We had just started Opus when every night was like a small house party with a couple of guitars and had a lovely upright piano, that was our pride and joy, and i told him to come and tickle it.
So this shy young boy used to drag his father along and come to Opus at every little opportunity he got. When everyone had left (which was all of 8 and a half people at the time) he would open up the lid of the piano and have a go.
Word spread and people started staying back (those were the good old days when driving was not a bad word, and nights stretched elastically way beyond 11.30) to watch this strangely reticent but awfully gifted boy.
Every night became a singalong (we had even printed songbooks), a jam, with more and more musicians and people coming in, singing and playing along. Karan’s incredible gift was that if he heard something once, he could play it on that weapon of mass destruction, (his PSR 2000)
Every Saturday night the 2 of us did a set and he (and in turn, me) developed quite a repertoire and a following.
From Opus he moved on to bigger, better and brighter and more assorted substances. Me, I moved to singing with backing tracks. Told him that he spoilt me, and I couldn’t be damned going for rehearsals or trying to find an accompanist or a backing band that got me the way he could or did.
We still managed to get together every year for an Opus Christmas gig, and always prided (or fooled) ourselves the ‘we still had it’ despite not having a single rehearsal!
The stories I have of this boy are legendary.
I remember a time at a rehearsal when he was shadily handed a mint strip to place under his tongue and he kept coming back for more and telling us ‘bobb, thats good stuff’
Or the time I took him to Bombay when George Duke played at the Gateway of India. Few years later Karan Joseph made it to Berklee and GD played on campus and I get a video clip saying “bobb! can u imagine who I’m watching?”
Then there were the sleepless nights Gina spent tried to teach the boy History and Economics and help him pass his exams .. and I told her “don’t waste your time. He’ll be alright” and more than alright he was (or so I thought). In a couple of months he said to said to hell with the exams and started killing it with the gigs he was getting and having more fun and making more money (he once said speak to my manager bobb .. to which I said f*** you) than anyone twice his age! Sadly, with it though, came the heady concoction of adulation (he was a monster performer on stage) and the promise of making it really big, which I think in hindsight he couldn’t handle.
Then again, traveling and gigging with him was stuff not for the fainthearted.
From oversleeping to losing many boarding cards to missing flights to not having his keyboard pedal or adaptor to even tying and taping a torch to his PSR cos the display broke, to carrying him home, we did it all. He even managed to fall backwards of a 2 and half foot stage mid song, cos his chair was too close to the edge.
But nothing could take away the genius that this boy was! I’ve always believed that “specialization is for insects” and to me I’ve not seen more versatility in anyone till date. He could play anything.. and i mean ANYTHING! From churches to clubs, from classical to commercial crap, from Coltrane to Coldplay.. he ruled. I don’t think i’ll see anyone in this lifetime like that, and I’m glad we shared a few good years and clothes and whiskeys and music together in this one!
Whoaahhh! Yoooo! Godspeed Bobbnoww! Any good chicks up there? Save some!
Yamaha PSR 2000 Masterclass!
由 OPUS 发布于 2014年2月8日