Over a decade ago, probably closer to 15 years, we were all at the Fergusson College grounds watching a Rock Show. The mostly college-going crowd hooted and cheered at intervals as the bands belted out their usual cover versions.

I remember, Deep Purple’s Highway Star and Smoke on the water were the favourites then and only if you got the opening notes of Smoke right were you considered classy enough to get up on stage and do your thing. Otherwise you were hooted and hissed out.

So as all the assembled bands went through their stuff, mostly mediocre, a lot of the crowd was planning to move away, quite disappointed.

At the fag end of the show, four guys came on stage and the kids began their catcalls. “Hey, uncle, this is a rock show not a New Year eve party” and other such derisive comments were heard. Most of the crowd began to disperse, not too keen to listen to the oldies.

They must have gone to the end of the ground when these four guys began to play. Suddenly those leaving stopped and turned around. This music was different. I remember these kids next to me going “f@#! Who are these guys? Awesome!”

Most of the kids who were on their way out were by now running to call their friends back. This wasn’t like anything they’d heard in a long, long time. Pune used to have the occasional rock shows; some defunct Brit bands also played here but this was a different sound after what they had been hearing that evening.

Suddenly the ground was packed to capacity and everyone was rocking! It was the first time these kids had heard Ehsaan Noorani (now of Shankar Ehsaan, Loy), Roger Dragonette, Derek Julien and Ranjit Barot!

If you guys are reading this…you still ROCK!!


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