JENNIFER PALOR AND THAT ADRENALINE RUSH

By Hans Ebert
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One can’t categorise Jennifer Palor. She sings songs. All types of songs. But what makes her special is that she interprets them in her own style. And what’s her style? It cannot be defined. It’s what makes her unique and the most in-demand songstress in Hong Kong. She’s also no pushover.

There’s the onstage Jennifer Palor. And there’s the extremely professional singer who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She can easily handle not just being a female in an often male dominated industry, but taking control and winning the respect of everyone. She’s no one’s fool. She’s her person. She also knows how to have fun. And win.

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SIMON FULLER AND THE SAME OLD STORY OF NOW UNITED

By Hans Ebert
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My daughter Taryn was fortunate enough to work for Simon Fuller. It was for what was then his fledgling artist management company called 19. This was when the company was busy trying to break the very poppy UK group SClub7.

Actually, the pop group had made it. Kinda. They had their own television series. Rachel Stevens especially looked like making it as a solo artist. She had the looks. Something like a young Victoria Beckham.

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LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN…

By Hans Ebert
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It’s stating the obvious to say that the Beatles were special. But to someone who decided to drop a tab of acid in his early teens for the first time not knowing what to expect, they took me on a Magical Mystery Tour.

It was a twelve hour trip to Camelot, the Wild West, where I was shot in the back during a poker game while holding a “dead man’s hand” and developed what’s known as a Wild Bill Hickock Complex. Even today, I cannot sit anywhere without my back to the wall. Hey, Bungalow Bill, indeed.

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THE BIG MONEY IN TELEVISION SINGING COMPETITIONS IN MAINLAND CHINA AND HOW JESSIE J SUCCEEDED WHERE MANY HAVE FAILED

By Hans Ebert
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It’s been mentioned enough, especially over the last couple of years: In music, the really big money up for grabs is by appearing in the tsunami of television singing competitions that have again suddenly swept across Mainland China. This big dosh is in being a celebrity judge or being a contestant who has a certain track record.

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REMEMBERING ROCK RECORDS IN HONG KONG, ROBERT FREEMAN AND BEATLES BOOTLEGS

By Hans Ebert
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It was a hole in the wall in the basement of a shopping arcade in Johnson Road down Wanchai. It’s where us record collectors went to find the unusual- mainly vinyls and obscure exports during the time of the CD.

For myself, Rock Gallery was THE place for bootlegs, especially Beatles bootlegs. Us hardcore Beatles fans visited one particular shop whenever in Tokyo for memorabilia and the occasional bootleg by the Fabs. But for over two years, Rock Gallery was the only dumping ground for thousands of obscure Beatles bootlegs. These were mainly from Italy. And for just HK$120 each and HK$380 for a box set.

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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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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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LETTING GO

By Hans Ebert
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For some strange reason, McCartney singing the line, “And I feel like letting go” has been playing in my head for about a week.

One can take this line positively or negatively and it takes a few rounds of mental ping pong to figure it out. There’s the need to go through a process. Perhaps it’s some form of cleansing and not holding onto things because that’s how it’s always been and Change can be difficult. And a little scary. Rather the devil you know and all that. But who wants to dance with the devil? Where’s he taking you? Or maybe he’s a she?

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