Where and when the Hong Kong music scene lost its way…

By Hans Ebert
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Hong Kong has been Canto Popped and Jazzified. When it comes to music and something remotely approaching a music scene, there’s no middle ground. One is in one camp or the other. Rock was forced to roll over and disappear. There’s a sad story to why that happened.

As for where music in this city is today, and though loathe to bring ageism into this subject, what comes out in the wash is a very tired ‘look’ with the usual suspects going round and round in circles.

Let’s stop with the Lack Of Venues mantra. Why not think about the lack of musicians? Especially very good musicians. How many are there in Hong Kong? Twenty? Ten? Less? And musicians playing what?

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WHY THE HONG KONG MUSIC SCENE REMAINS STUNTED

By Hans Ebert
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

“We’re not pushing the envelope. We’re licking the envelope.” I said that to a musician friend of mine recently who shan’t be named as he has to work in Hong Kong and do what he has to do to make a living.

As for myself, I’ve now come to a point where I really don’t care what anyone thinks and am spending more and more time away from the usual chatter that doesn’t seem to have an Off switch. It’s boring as none of it leads anywhere except maybe to a Facebook page that has no relevance to where I’m heading.

Forget the tiresome excuses about there being a lack of venues. There have been venues and they closed because they went bust. The Morrison Cafe comes to mind. So does the doomed-from-the start Orange Peel. There’ve been more.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 7)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Married life with Trina was more than good. It was everything and more. As a young couple, our combined salaries were around HK$5,000, and this was fine. We were still in our little Japanese style apartment in Park Road and were even able to save money. Living together there was like a Graham Nash song: Perfect.

This was a very different Hong Kong to what we have today where people talk in millions and billions while those who can’t live detached lives on social media where fantasy and reality often come together to create emotional clutter.

As for Trina and myself, she was busy working for an arts magazine called Orientations whereas apart from working as Creative Director with the same local ad agency, I was making a little extra money writing an entertainment column for the SCMP and reviewing records for the TV and E Times.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 6)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The accidental drug overdose death of my best friend since school Steve (Tebbutt), below right, had me reeling down inside and it was only now having Trina (Dingler) in my life that gave me the emotional support needed. We weren’t living together, but spent as much time together as possible.

I was still sharing an apartment with local radio disc jockey Mike Souza in Arts Mansion, below, which was like some big crash pad and waterbed for many in Hong Kong just starting out adult life or trying to figure out where we belonged and what was in store next. Kitty, my much-loved cat was as always there for company.

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CANTO POP AND WHY HONG KONG NEEDS THE NEXT SAM HUI

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Believe me, we’re trying to change things around. The question is whether we’ve left it all a little too late and are happy to just coast, because it pays the rent. And as no one’s getting any younger, to many, that’s life’s main priority. Maybe we don’t want to change the world. That’s not our job. Maybe we just want to survive in our own little corner of the world and put on that happy face everyday and try to kid ourselves and everyone else that all is cool.

I might be writing about Hong Kong, but I could be writing about anywhere. I might be writing about music, but I could be writing about any of the arts or any business or even life itself. And music is entertainment and much about life, but it’s also a business. Those days of playing for free for “exposure” should have ended when playing with one’s first school band and performing at tea parties.

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GET REAL, HONG KONG! PLEASE!

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

I’ve been telling as many people in Hong Kong as possible recently how I wish I could bottle the city and take it to places like Tokyo, Amsterdam, perhaps Taipei, Copenhagen, certain parts of Melbourne, but away from the usual suspects in horse racing, and if one can stand the pollution, Beijing and Shanghai. Why? To try and bring Hong Kong’s mojo back- that is if it ever had a mojo. To see where and why it’s lost the plot and needs to start all over again with a new mindset. Seriously now…

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