Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rock Engine, yeah.

The Philippines are Asia's Rock Engine says Bruce Northam on the Gibson Guitar website. Visiting Malate and Palawan, Northam mentions Arnel Pineda, the Hobbit House, karaoke, and the fact that musicians (and not DJs) rule the music scene.

I love his description of, well, almost any street in Malate:

Manila’s Malate nightlife district alone has dozens of sing-along bars with non-canned music ranging from sitar and bongo duos to American Idol-style contestants. In five bars lining one street, one might find a rock band, a musical comedy, a trio of women singing and dancing accompanied by a keyboardist, a jazz singer/pianist, and an acoustic guitar duo. Serving 50 cent bottles of cold beer, outdoor bargain cafes and traveler’s hangouts abound, and each spins tunes from their massive, classic rock and blues CD inventories.

He features the Blue Rats' Cowboy Santos mainly because (I presume) he plays at the Hobbit House AND has a classic Gibson. He fails to mention, though, that Cowboy is also famous for being the son of the Queen of Pinoy Rock who is rumored to have banged Clapton when he performed here in the 70s.* Guitar skills via osmosis, anyone?

* Of course it can't have been part of the article; Clapton favored Fenders since the late 60s. Plus, the more obvious fact that you don't really talk about your mother's rumored indiscretions with a foreign reporter.

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