GEORGE MICHAEL LEAVES US FOR THAT DIFFERENT CORNER

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s been said before and it’s been said many times this year: Life’s too short. And today, the day after Christmas, came the news that George Michael had his Last Christmas and decided to leave us at the age of 53, and join Prince, Bowie, Glenn Frey, Rick Parfitt from Status Quo, who left this world yesterday, and so many other musical heroes for so many of us to wherever it is that they’d meet up.

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NEW LESSONS TO BE LEARNT FROM PAST LESSONS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“Women they get weary/Young girls they do get weary/Wearing that same shabby old dress…” The late great Otis Redding sang that while dispersing the advice that when it comes to showing women affection, how there’s nothing more effective than trying a little tenderness.

“Romance me,” “Woo me”, “Hold my hand”, “Cuddle me” are words every man has heard at some stage in their lives by the woman they’re with. And though there are those times when a sense of machismo takes over and you flip these requests as being somewhat icky and childish, gawd knows it’s needed if a relationship is going to last. Be bloody romantic- even if it’s a lie.

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KEEF TURNS 73 YEARS YOUNG

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need, and to keep Rock and Roll and the Blues and that renegade lifestyle that we all want and lead vicariously, we’ve always wanted Keef. And today, on his 73rd birthday, we need him more than ever. Why? Because many of us grew up with The Human Riff that gave the kiss of life to some of the greatest pop rock songs ever recorded, and which still sound as fresh and relevant as when they first brought down the walls of Jericho.

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HONG KONG: TIME TO STOP IT FROM GOING TO THE PUPPY DOGS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s getting harder and harder to understand the prolonged “winter of discontent” that some are going through about the present and future of Hong Kong. It’s almost as if they have way too much time on their hands with in-fighting to embrace misguided cause célèbres. Remember how Occupy Central suddenly morphed into the Umbrella Movement with the those in charge of the former suddenly disappearing into the background?

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THE BEST MUSIC EXECUTIVE TODAY: IS THERE SUCH AN ANIMAL?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

A friend recently asked who is the best music company executive. The “best” in any industry is tough to name these days as so much is hidden from view with smoke and mirrors creating illusions (and delusion) of success, whereas in the music industry, the impression, rightly or wrongly, is that it’s still controlled by The Old Boys Club with their self-serving agendas.

Of course, this doesn’t answer the question as to who’s “best music executive”- it’s most definitely not anyone in the Asia Pacific region- but this depends on what actually goes into making someone “the best”. There’s also the role of management versus that of a music company executive which makes things even more grey. One has to trump the other and the winner who always takes it all is management.

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HOW PHARRELL WILLIAMS AND MAGGIE ROGERS SAVED ME FROM BOREDOM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

I was watching a recent show where Jimmy Fallon was interviewing Robert DeNiro. At least, he was trying to. Fallon was his usual jovial self, but DeNiro didn’t look so much awkward, but actually bored by it all. It took a while for him to thaw and promote his latest project, but the overall tedium of this actor who’s done it all having to still do the talk show circuit just screamed out to me.

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MUSIC AND MAKING CONTENT KING AGAIN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

I forget where we were, but “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” was playing in the background- an odd choice for the lounge of a five-star hotel- and someone with us reminisced and mentioned how Joe Cocker had a great voice. He did, but that was Gary Brooker singing on the track, and soon we were onto what happened to each member of Procol Harum before returning to why very few can write and record music like this anymore and Old School Baby Boomers versus new school hipsters. There’s a slight snobbery on both sides of the fence- a pity if it’s to keep the love of music floating only on territorial waters. “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and all the back stories behind it should be heard today and tomorrow and the tomorrow which nobody ever knows and where you turn off your mind and float downstream.


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JANE ZHANG AND A LESSON IN YUNARISM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

A group of us were talking about why Hong Kong can’t produce anything even remotely creative to this track and accompanying video by Mainland China artist Jane Zhang, below with producer Timbaland.

Zhang first appeared onto the Greater China mainstream consciousness as Zhang Liangying after placing third in 2005 on a programme called Super Girl. This was one of the first in a spate of television singing competitions that were to suddenly invade television screens throughout Mainland China. Monkey see, monkey do.


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THINKING YOUNG AND GROWING OLDER IS NO SIN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“Thinking young and growing older is no sin/And I can play the game of life to win.” That’s a line from one of my favourite songs- “Going Back” written by Carole King and then-husband Gerry Goffin, and which I just heard as a demo Freddie Mercury recorded almost as a favour before the release of the first Queen album. The article that contains this recording is a fascinating insight into the man, and one of the most definitive articles on Queen. It’s an amazing read.


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