SOCIAL MEDIA AND MUSIC: THE GOOD, THE EMBARRASSING AND THE LEGENDS IN THEIR OWN LUNCHTIME

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s not death we should fear, it’s wasting the time we have in this particular world. And when one sees the amount of pontificating and self promotion that goes on in one of the most anti social and time wasting mediums to be embraced by so many called “social media”, apart from shaking my head in disbelief at how real life priorities have taken a backseat to a mixed bowl of nuts made outta hot air, it makes me realise where music has gone wrong. Social media amplifies the total absence of what could be called “real music” because of the avalanche of clutter.

Fortunately, many of us travel through YouTube and Facebook hoping to re-discover what has come before when it comes to music- and it’s a minor miracle that so much of it can actually be found. Perhaps some of us were too young to know those early recordings by the Jazz greats, most of which are available now- and not just the sound recordings, but the original videos.

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WHEN SPINAL TAP BECOMES REALITY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

I was speaking to my ex wife last week- yes, it seems a contradiction in terms- about life and how I have outgrown Hong Kong, the people and the kinda stunted lifestyle now led compared to the Wolf Of Wall Street days when living at 1616, four numbers that stood for anything goes and where everything did. Did we care? We were letting the good times rock and roll and doing cartwheels across the floor.

Today, well today, there’s so much out there one needs a filter to remove the crud and clutter. If not, it’s back to taking in strays. Those days are gone forever. So is taking in every event as a predictable show of support when you know what’s going through your head: What am I doing here? Why is what’s going on more Spinal Tap than Spinal Tap, but without the self deprecating sense of humour.

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THE GRAND HYATT HONG KONG NEEDS TO GET ITS MOJO BACK

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Around 10-15 years ago when still in the music industry and having recently split from my long suffering wife, our real offices were The Tiffin Lounge and the Champagne Bar at the Grand Hyatt. Living right next door to the hotel meant convenience if needing some different type of stress release during those Wolf Of Wall Street days when nothing was impossible and The Longest Cocktail Party was meant to continue forever.

These were the Days Of The Long Lunch and where I had “graduated” from the English pub scene of the Dicken’s Bar from my days in advertising to the five star lifestyle of being a senior music executive. And being part of this supposedly brave new world, we became legends in our own lunchtime.

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LET’S JUST REBOOT THIS LIFE, SHALL WE…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It wears you down. Yes, it eventually wears you down because how much is enough? And when you do let it all go, there’s nothing left. U2 is still singing, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For when actually you know you what you had, but you let it go for damaged goods and gypsies, tramps and thieves. Live and learn and move on…

Birthdays are always a time for internalising and hoping that tomorrow brings about some clarity and removes the clutter. And so, this birthday, I shut myself off this “regular” world, switched to my telephone without all the apps and decided to get away from everything and everyone that’s crept up and become part of what passes off as life in Hong Kong- and elsewhere. It was The Big Kiss Off to all this “sharing” where very very few actually give. Don’t they realise how obvious this is? How small it makes them look?

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HONG KONG AND ITS OPEN MIC SESSIONS AND WHEN TO PULL THE PLUG ON THEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It was raining. And these days one has to almost force one’s self to get out as there’s really nothing much happening in Hong Kong that’s worth making the effort to see or looking for new people to meet. It seems like it’s all been said and done and heard before and the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it all and find a new perspective in life. So, with my friend having made a spicy tofu salad with Chinese spinach, we decided to stay home and watch The Voice, something I hadn’t done in over a year.

I gave up on these television karaoke competitions years ago, but my friend, who still holds onto the dream of being a high powered female music executive, wanted to see some of the talent appearing on this particular night and who she knew.

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GIVE YOURSELF UP TO IMAGINATION

A contemporary fairy tale based on the songs of Hans Ebert and Trevor Carter.

He woke up one day and it was like someone had switched the lights off in his head. He knew he was here, but it was hard getting there and beyond. For some reason, all motivation was gone. Inspiration had decided to pack its bags and leave. And with no inspiration, he knew there’s nothing except as Dylan sang, being stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again.

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BRIAN JONES AND GEORGE HARRISON: THE VERY DIFFERENT JOURNEYS OF TWO FAVOURITE POP IDOLS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There were the Beatles and there were the Stones and then there was George Harrison and there was Brian Jones.

If being completely honest with myself, it was seeing George in “A Day’s Night”, especially in that opening scene when they’re running away from the fans and trips, and then playing his solo on “I Should Have Known Better” that made me a Beatlemaniac.

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WOMAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. Stephen Stills wrote that when apparently after breaking up with (singer-songwriter) Judy Collins.

It made sense at the time. But the more one travels and meets those you can pretend to love, it not only gets harder and harder, it becomes pointless- pointless because we only really love one person and the rest are distractions. It’s living a lie and numbing real feelings. It’s about a fear of being alone.

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LOOKING FOR AUDREY HEPBURN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The conversation was about how during, especially the Fifties, so many American actresses somehow adopted very British accents- almost posh. Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn come to mind. I guess it gave them a “class distinction”. But then again, both actresses radiated class.

Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn were different to the all-American goodness of Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day and the more pronounced sexuality of Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and the smoke rings blown out of the mouth of Lauren Bacall. Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford? Well, they were just tough broads, weren’t they?

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THE END OF THE TANG DYNASTY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

We decided to extend our stay in Colombo and explore more of the new nightlife that is slowly opening up here. While wondering who were the successful young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka might be came the news that Sir David Tang had passed away at a very youthful 63.

Though not being great friends, we got to know each other through the Remixes of the original recordings by the Shanghai Divas and the passing idea of a Shanghai Tang recording label. To some, David Tang was a somewhat eccentric Chinese gentleman though this eccentricity seemed part of cultivating a personality needed to suit his needs and lifestyle. He moved in very rarefied circles- with actors, actresses, models, Rock stars, royalty, aristocrats, politicians, and, who knows, probably many who were not what they appeared to be. Maybe he knew and just tolerated them. Maybe they were just a sideshow.

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