Sunday, January 27, 2013


I was there. I was sitting a few inches away from the man who helped shaped my generation. He came on stage with a swagger. Strangely, he went directly on the left side of the stage, acknowledging someone special from the audience ─ his dad. Then he stood center-stage right in front of the microphone without his guitar. He waited patiently for the thunderous applause to die down before launching the opening song “Higante,” a heavy guitar-driven rock track which he collaborated with the late Francis M. The audience were instantly captivated of the image that befallen in their midst. Right before our very eyes, we have just witnessed one of the best rock concerts courtesy of OPM virtuoso and erstwhile Eraserheads frontman Mr. Ely Buendia.

I’m glad Ely did perform two of my favourite underrated E-heads songs, one is from the Fruitcake album titled “Lightyears” and of course, the cryptic Beatlesque “Spoliarium.” Ely Buendia sings even better today than before. It’s definitely not the best singing voice we have in the market as critics would like to put it, but it has a distinctive flavour that only Ely Buendia could deliver. Apart from that, Ely is a genius songwriter and that to me is what sets him apart from other rock icons of my time. He also showcased his versatility as a musician by playing his guitar riffs flawlessly. I was set out to watch his fingers closely wondering if I have been playing the exact notes all this time. It was a close call. Being a former lead guitarist myself, I say my fingers did hit the right notes but nothing beats the original.

Ely’s repertoire that night consists of materials that ruled the airwaves during the so-called “band explosion” in the 90s. Only this time, Ely did embellish a few changes with the song arrangements and manage to include a 15-piece orchestra to complement with the new tempos. Among the standout performances was Ely’s crooning rendition of “Magasin.” Who would have thought Ely Buendia could sing a ballad? It was fun. Ely has indeed taken a bit of progressive turn with his music. But being a true-blue Eraserheads fan, a part of me is yearning for raw Eraserheads an “Ultraelectromagneticpop” sort of way. Nawawala sa tyempo, nawawala sa tono, and of course Marcus’ sporadic lousy guitar solos were all part of the Heads’ trademark that catapulted them to stardom. Ironically, those honest imperfections in and out of the spotlight captured pristinely what my generation is all about. Ok, much said. I’m not exactly meaning to make a full commentary on his professional life. I just really want to share these pictures and videos which represent nothing less than memories- a recollection of my past, of my present and future.

Big deeper north of nowhere
Outside the room
Inside my mind
I, look forward to tomorrow
But can I leave yesterday behind
How it feels so strange
To have grown and change
Now it's not the same

Little deeper south of somewhere
It looks much closer than it really is
I held it in my hands
But you're forever out of reach
Far as the eye can see
Nothing is meant to be
Doesn't mean much to me

But oh, if I only had a rocket ship to fly
I'd be right there in a minute
But it doesn't really matter where you are
However near is still so far
It's like you're light years away
You're light years away from me

Dumilim ang paligid
May tumawag sa pangalan ko
Labing isang palapag
Tinanong kung okey lang ako

...At ngayon Di pa rin alam
Kung bat' tayo nandito
Puwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo

Lumiwanag ang buwan
San Juan Di ko na nasasakyan
Ang lahat ng bagay ay
Gumuguhit na lang Sa 'king lalamunan

Ewan mo at ewan natin
Sinong may pakana?
At bakit ba Tumilapon ang
Gintong alak diyan sa paligid mo?

Umiyak ang umaga (hmm)
Anong sinulat ni Enteng at Joey diyan
Sa gintong salamin Di ko na mabasa
Pagkat merong nagbura

Ewan mo at ewan natin
Sinong nagpakana?
At bakit ba tumilapon ang spolarium
Diyan sa paligid mo?

I was relatively young when I was enthralled with Ely Buendia, then with famous Eraserheads. He has become since then one of my life heroes- music wise of course. Now, looking at him, he looked so much younger than before. I for one have gained the weight and “maturity” that comes with the passing of the years.But I do have one which Ely doesn’t have and she was right there sitting beside me just like the old times. Now, my past, my present and future have converged before me. She was there- learning to enjoy the beat of the drums as she silently hummed to Ely’s songs. It has been eight years since that night of January 10 when she barely knew that I am an Ely fanatic. And like Ely, we have had major heart attacks too but we are stable.

Happy anniversary, mama! T'was a great night... We will keep on rocking!