30 July, 2021

Papa Diamond Of Rock

With his passionate commitment, Saigal helped redraw India’s music map

Narendra Bisht
Papa Diamond Of Rock

With the passing away of Amit Saigal on January 5 (aged 46) in a drowning accident in Goa, the rock community has truly lost a friend. Amit used to strum a guitar occasionally, but was better known as an impresario who helped redraw the music map of young India. In the heady ’60s and ’70s there was the Junior Statesman—launched in 1965—from Calcutta which featured musicians and rock fests (both Indian and international) and gave music a push. After it folded up, came the ’80s, when music reached a dead end. Of course, there were some exceptions of musicians bringing out albums of their own compositions. But, in the main, many groups were reduced to playing a handful of college gigs and then calling it quits. So, several enthusiastic men and women gave up their first passion for more conventional jobs. Others played covers of Hotel California and Cocaine in restaurants. It was very few who saw Rock as a viable career option.

It was into this milieu that Amit first plunged in with his Rock...

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