What one remembers or chooses to remember as someone croons As Time Goes By in the background are very personal memories and so, reading today’s Review section and a piece on the Beatles concert in Hong Kong and the local “beat boom” made me walk to the nearest wall in my apartment and quietly bang my head against it. Did I feel better? Kinda.

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(Source: Tumblr)

What threw me for a loop was reading that doyen and guru of Hong Kong radio, Ray Cordeiro, MBE, and still going strong by hosting his late night show at 85 years young, mention that the Princess Theatre in Kowloon where the Beatles performed on June 9, fifty years ago was made up largely of members of-huh?- the British army???

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Ray remembers the concert being a “flop” and the desperate promoter giving free tickets to the army to make up for the loss of real, live, screaming Hong Kong Beatlemaniacs.

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(Source: EIL)

Perhaps, he’s right, but from everything I know, many skipped school to say, ‘ello, luvs to the Fabs at Kai Tak Airport, screamed their heaving lungs out at the concert and camped outside the Hyatt Regency where John, Paul, George and Jimmy Nicol- Ringo was in the UK suffering from tonsilitis- were staying. Perhaps all these people were from the army?

Was the concert, a great one? Nah, but it was the Beatles minus one with opening act- Sounds Incorporated- sounding far better than the boys to many there.

Did the Beatles even really sing?

That’s debatable as the concert was an event and nothing close to the brilliant concert featuring both the Kinks and Manfred Mann where lead singer Paul Jones got everyone’s mojo working.

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(Source: Hello Audience)

Later on in the piece, Ray Cordeiro mentions the person who single-handedly created the local band scene- himself- whereas Teddy Robin, who, with his band called The Playboys, describes them as being “Hong Kong’s Beatles” and himself as a “wild man.” Both could be very correct.

Truth be told, Cordeiro was smart, latched on to the UK Beat Boom and with Lal Dayaram, the opportunist head of Diamond Music which later became PolyGram Music, signed up every Okay and crap local band that came along. Hell, even Ray Cordeiro made a record.

Cordeiro got first dibs on these records from Dayaram despite there being other popular deejays around like Tony Myatt and Darry Patten, below, and newbies Mike Souza, Ashton Farley, Tony Orchez and, later, the very creepy Mike Sebastian, a Singaporean Indian.

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(Source: Jakarta Expat)

As for Ray Cordeiro who was no spring chicken even back then, he became “Uncle” Ray and took a paternal interest in the onslaught of local bands and which were promoted on his request shows like Lucky Dip while hosting concerts at City Hall.

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(Source: Old Cake)

As kids, no one fucked with “Uncle” Ray though the other deejays couldn’t understand his popularity and how he had become the Brian Matthew and Alan Freed of Hong Kong Radio which resulted in many manifestations of the green-eyed monster and various unsubstantiated rumors.

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(Source: MR Sec)

So, did Ray Cordeiro create the local pop scene? Possibly though I would like to think that everyone who picked up a musical instrument and formed a band were part of this short-lived movement out here.

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As for Teddy Robin and the Playboys being “Hong Kong’s Beatles”, that is pure bollocks: “The Cliff Richard and the Shadows”, perhaps. Dim Sum and the Char Siu Baos even more correct. Without guitarist Norman Cheng, they were nothing.

Hong Kong only had one “Beatles” band- and they were D’Hijacks from the Philippines who played at the Bayside Nightclub in Kowloon just as “Hong Kong’s Rolling Stones” were D’Downbeats and also from D’Philippines.

What this piece in the Sunday Post also missed out on is something few talk about.

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(Source: Wikinut)

There was strong school rivalry mixed with some racism and the only bands that could look like real Western pop and rock acts came from two English Secondary Schools- KGV and St George’s and, if an Eurasian, from DBS.

Those in bands from Chinese schools seldom got the horny little girls from these two schools and outwardly virginal girls from Maryknoll Convent.

Musically, too, bands from KGV and St George’s were far and away better- the Beachcombers, the Kontinentals and, best of all when it came to “image” and the Blues- the Rebel Sect.

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But as some of us know very well, with the Handover approaching and long before that, the start of Canto-pop and the manufacturing of Chinese pop idols, big money came flooding in to the local music industry which included the epic concerts with the twenty costume changes.

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(Source: The Freedomnation)

Those who once made sweet fuck-all being in bands but learnt about the music business and played the International bosses for “gweilo” fools and made themselves irreplaceable with the China market being their ace in the hold, became major players in the Hong Kong and later, Greater China music industry.

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(Source: Entertainment Wallpaper)

The savvy ones knew what was coming next in the music business and made billions quietly setting up music cassette and CD plants, being silent partners in ad agencies, printing factories, creating companies with concert promoters, new radio and television executives to gain more control- in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China- and paid off those who could blow the lids off their squeaky clean images which the Independent Commission Against Corruption have been investigating for decades and coming to dead ends.

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(Source: Spiritual Side Kick)

But that’s a story for another day and very different to that Beatles concert fifty years ago and a “band scene” that popped like a zit on a teenager’s face.

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(Source: 1888 Press Relaease)