12 May, 2021

With Our First Stratocaster

For all who are interested in pop culture, remember JS fondly and especially all independent musicians

With Our First Stratocaster
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

I bought my first bass guitar in 1979 for Rs 125, a beat-up Indian guitar with old strings and a very high action. At that time, bad as the instrument was, it was a dream come true. I used to practise with my school band in the music room almost every day after school.

These memories are over three decades old. Thus, it was with great pleasure that I read Sidharth Bhatia’s India Psychede­lic, since it brought about a flood of recollections about my early musician days. This book, however, speaks of the generation before mine, who started playing when I was in my infancy.

Bhatia skilfully identifies the break between the early ‘beat groups’ and the many dance and jazz bands that were around in the early ’60s. He has meticulously tracked down and interviewed hundreds of people who were active in the ‘scene’ back then. I hadn’t even heard of the first bands (Jets, Mustangs, Trojans, Great Bear), let alone heard them perform; so it was all very exciting! JS (Junior Statesman) was very much a part of my...

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