Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

Ayub Bachchu, who popularised rock music in Bangladesh, dies

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Ayub Bachchu : Belovedmusician Ayub Bachchu, who popularised rock music in Bangladesh alongside hisband LRB, has passed away.

Bachchu was brought in anunconscious state to Dhaka’s Square Hospital around 9:15am on Thursday, saidEmergency Division nurse Habibur Rahman.

The singer, guitarist, lyricist andcomposer was a founding member of the band LRB (Love Runs Blind). He was 56years old.

Fans, musicians and cultural figuresrushed to the hospital after news of his death spread.

President Md Abdul Hamid and PrimeMinister Sheikh Hasina, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, have expressed theirgrief over the death of the singer.

Cultural personalities as well asfans pour their hearts out online over the news of Bachchu’s death.

“Ayub Bachchu! No!! Why?? Who willnow play the blues with you throwing us into the blues? This is NOT fair! Therewas so much to be done, to be heard, to be seen, to be composed, to be sung, tobe loved, to be jammed, to be toured, to be released, to be hummed, to bestrummed...” wrote ABC Radio host Naveed Mahbub in his Facebook post.

“A star of our teenage and youthleft us leaving his silver guitar behind. I have spent thousand emotionalnights with your songs; those memories will now be tagged with your songs. Yourmusic will remain in my heart as long as I live. You were not just a singer buta chapter in my life,” wrote fan Tanvir Ahmed.

LRB bandmate Shamim that Bachchu had been ill for some time. His condition suddenlyworsened on Thursday morning and he was taken to Square Hospital.

“He had a heart attack thismorning,” Square Hospital Medical Service Director Mirza Nazimuddin told themedia. “The driver brought him to the hospital around 9:15pm. He died before hearrived.”

Ayub Bachchu, also known as AB tohis fans, carved out a legendary position in the history of Bangladesh’s bandmusic.

In addition to his extraordinaryrole in rock music as a singer and composer, Bachchu was one of the leadingguitarists in the country. He was also well-known for his distinctive style andthe flamboyant look of his guitars, which captivated audiences for over fourdecades.

On Aug 16, his birthday, Bachchutold that his greatest achievement was being able to make his fanshappy and earn their love. He also said he was planning to write a memoir.

“I’ll begin the work after the Eid.I’ll go somewhere outside Dhaka, where there are no phones and no internet. Iwill go where I can eat fish freshly caught in the river, eat rice and drinkwater. I’ll come back to Dhaka after the work is finished.”

There is still a long way to go,Bachchu had told that day.

Bachchu will be taken to the CentralShaheed Minar at 10:00 am on Friday so that people can pay their respects,cultural organiser Nasir Uddin Yusuf told His funeral prayerswill be held at National Eidgah premises.

The legendary singer will be laid torest beside his mother in Chattogram on Saturday following another funeralservice after his children return from abroad.  

Ayub Bachchu was born in Chattogramin 1962. In an interview Bachchu said he always loved music and became a singerthrough ‘trial and error’ during his early years. He fell in love with thewestern music and began to play guitar. He drew inspiration from the guitaristslike Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani and Steve Moore. While in college he formed aband in college named ‘Ugly Boys’. They performed at neighbourhood programmes.

As a professional, he joined theband Feelings in 1978 and then the band Souls In 1980. After playing with themfor 10 years, he formed LRB or Love Runs Blind from “the deepest of hisimpulses” in 1991.

LRB started playing live gigs in thefollowing years and ushered in a new chapter in the history of music inBangladesh. With its eagerness to create something revolutionary, LRB debutedwith a double album in 1992.

Bachchu’s band performed more than500 open-air and about 2,000 indoor concerts at home and abroad, according toits website.

His first show outside Bangladeshwas held in India in 1997. LRB is the only Bangla rock band to perform at theMadison Square Garden in New York. Bachchu performed in seven states during histour of the United States in 1998, according to the LRB website.

His songs ‘Cholo Bodle Jai’, ‘FerariEi Monta Amar’, ‘Ami Koshto Pete Bhalobashi’, ‘Ekdin Ghumbhanga Shohore’,‘Ekhon Onek Raat’, ‘Hashte Dekho Gaite Dekho’, and many others – will linger inthe hearts of his fans.

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