THOSE CRAZY RICH ASIANS…AND CHINESE…AND SINGAPOREAN CHINESE

By Hans Ebert
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It really should be called “Crazy Rich Singaporean Chinese”, but “Crazy Rich Asians” is what it is, and the movie based on 2013 book of the same name by Singaporean American author Kevin Kwan has extremely quickly crept up on the world. It’s box office boffo in America. But how well will it travel in this region?

One has to also wonder if the Orange Julius in the White House will ever watch it? Wonder if its success and interest in the success of the movie by talk show hosts has to do with everything going on in America today? The xenophobia that shows no signs of subsiding.

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Why he’s (Greg) Miles ahead of the rest

By Hans Ebert
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Listening to many in the land Down Under given the task of interviewing trainers and jockeys about the chances of their rides and runners often fills some of us with a combination of embarrassment and terminal cringing.

This has to do with that very loud sound of desperation- slobbering, salivating and basic sucking up. Add begging into the mix.

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HIGH TIME MISS VANDETTA TAKES HER BROKEN WINGS AND FLY

By Hans Ebert
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My longtime friend Munir (Alsagoff) in Singapore shared some music videos with me last week of another friend from the fairly old days: Vanessa Fernandez.

What stopped me in my tracks was seeing a very familiar name on one of them: Leland Sklar, one of my musical heroes and a bass guitarist who’s played with everyone who’s anybody. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Toto, Carole King, Phil Collins, and part of The Section with Russ Kunkel, Craig Doerge, and Danny Kortchmar.

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BACK IN THE DAY THERE WAS A JEW AND TWO TURKS WHO CHANGED THE FACE OF MUSIC FOREVER…

By Hans Ebert
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It seems to have all happened back in the day. It probably did. And because “back in the day” was a much more simple time, we seem to keep needing to go back there often to understand how so much happened to change the world and educate ourselves on those game changers.

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Respecting the music and where it all came from

By Hans Ebert
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The song “Respect” is such an amazing history lesson. Written in 1965 by Otis Redding for Speedo Sims, what first drew me into the song was the guitar playing of Steve Cropper. I bought any recording that featured him. Was he white or black? Black, I thought when things like this mattered. Times change. Maybe. We grow up. We embrace the music. We go back and learn where it all came from. It’s a rainbow connection.

Those were the days when some of us bought records because of the session guys involved. Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Booker T Jones. Jones was one of the first musicians I interviewed as a young journalist. It was at a dinner at the Aberdeen Floating Restaurant. He had been married to Priscilla Coolridge, and here I was sitting next to the man who had given the world the instrumental “Green Onions” and released as Booker T and the MGs- drummer Al Jackson, Dunn and Steve Cropper. I was with greatness.

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HORSE RACING AND TWITTER TROLLS: TIME TO CLIP THEIR WINGS

By Hans Ebert
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There should be a law against it. Seriously. A law against hiding behind pseudonyms and abusing people online. It’s high time to come down hard on those, and let’s here focus on horse racing, who take to Twitter and hide behind freedom of speech to tweet through their pockets with vile attacks. They should be named and shamed and banned by racing clubs.

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THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

By Hans Ebert
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Many more will leave us. Friends, some more famous than others, musical heroes, music icons, political heroes, sporting legends and everyone in between. It’s the inevitability of life. Death catches up with everyone so it really comes down to what one does in the Now and in the Living. Without wishing to sound like a Hallmark greeting card…

Looking back isn’t the answer as it always means coming up against a wall of regrets. But there’s no time for regretting. The past has packed up and walked out the door. It’s now all about what can be done today which segues into tomorrow and knowing that something positive- no matter how small and insignificant- has been achieved.

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NICK COLUMB AND THE END OF AN ERA. AND NOW WHAT?

By Hans Ebert
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The recent passing of a friend to many of us- Nick Columb, below with friend and HKJC colleague Mark Richards- was a very loud wake up call to the horse racing industry. It signalled the end of an era.

Nick and I came from wildly different backgrounds. We became friends fairly recently and very immediately. Only now am I learning exactly what he meant to especially horse racing in Australia when Nick was flying high and changing the racing landscape forever.

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THE TIMES THEY ARE-A-CHANGING. THIS TIME, FOR REAL.

By Hans Ebert
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It’s signalling the end of an era. It’s heralding something new about to happen. Some of us are wondering what’s in store next.

Some of us are facing our own mortality. And though trying to live life to the full in the allocated time given and move forward, there’s the nagging feeling that the race has been run and it’s time to coast. And so you wait for things to happen. The answer is on Netflix because it’s hipper than Facebook. Really?

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