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Lou Majaw to rock Manipur after four decades

Friday, September 2, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate

IMPHAL: For Lou Majaw, rock 'n' roll has always been a way of life and he believes that good music comes out from the heart of a performer. It's with this conviction, and of course his acoustic magic, that the guitar guru from Shillong wants to join hands with the people of Manipur and combat HIV/AIDS and drug abuse together.

Lou, who has been celebrating Dylan's birth anniversary every year since 1972 and has also earned the sobriquet of 'India's Bob Dylan', will study Manipuri folk music, share his vast knowledge on chords and notes with the people of the state and fight the two menaces together.

The 64-year-old legendary singer-song writer-composer from Shillong will perform at Gandhi Memorial Hall, popularly known as GM Hall or 'Town Hall' in the heart of Imphal, on September 7 after about four decades.

"On September 5, I'll perform in the Churachandpur district headquarters and at GM Hall Imphal on September 7," Lou said minutes after landing at the Imphal airport on Thursday afternoon. "I still remember the day I had performed at this Imphal auditorium when I was with the 'Blood and Thunder' and 'The Great Society'. That was in the early Seventies. After 40 years I will be performing again at GM Hall, a place that is close to my heart and also the best performing venue for yesteryear rock bands of Manipur," he said.

Along with the key members of Churachandpur's popular rock band 'Friends', Lou will interact with budding poets, song writers, musicians and singers on the trend of rock and blues in the region.

"We will spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse through music in Churachandpur. Manipur, as all know, is one of the six states of the country which has a high HIV/AIDS prevalence. We have to combat the disease," Lou said, expressing his gratitude to the Manipur Aids Control Society (Macs) for sponsoring his 'Manipur Journey Trip'.

Friends' frontman Ricky Chakchuak, who is promoting music among youngsters, including inmates of various drug rehabilitation centres in Churachandpur, said Lou's new mission in the tribal-dominated district would definitely bear fruit.

On his love for Manipur folk music, Lou said he was mesmerized by a powerful performance by a Manipuri musician, Bhagirat, in Shillong early this year. "I felt he was singing from his heart. I reaaly love to study the components of Manipuri folk music.During my stay in Manipur, I'll try to understand this beautiful fom of music. I will also try to find out if I can use these elements in my music," Lou said.

During both the Churachandpur and Imphal concerts, Lou will cover Dylan and Bob Marley's numbers. The added attraction would be his numbers, though. "I love Dylan's powerful lyrics. Unlike the past events, we will organize Dylan's 71'st birthday on May 24 next year in a fabulous and meaningful manner in five acres of land near Shillong," Lou said.

~K Sarojkumar Sharma(TOI)

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