Travelling with the Guitar

I've been called a groupie, a roadie, a coolie... but all I really am is wife to my guitar-playing husband who travels some. I get to tag along, to take me away from the monotony of obsessive house cleaning. Here, I log our adventures with food, airlines, hotels, food, organisers, fans, food, people, books I read. Did I say 'food' already? Well, someone's got to tell people what life's like on the road, right?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

..did I miss Father's Day?... did I? ... What about the Aussies' Father's Day? ... To Roger Wang, one helluva dad and husband. Sara and I are so blessed!

The Musician's Spouse

Some time ago, someone asked me, "What's it like being a musician's wife?" I'm not sure about musicians anywhere else but here in Sabah, most (and I stress this - MOST) musicians are decent, honest chaps, working to put food on the table. It's no Sex, Drugs and Rock N' Roll, let me tell you that! (My opinion of musicians before I started dating one)

The music industry is darn unique. I come from a family of straight-laced white collar workers so Roger opened my eyes (and that of my family's) to his world. I was so clueless about the industry and its workings, I didn't even know that a blackout affects them (blush), "Guitars run on electricity?!!"

But I'm writing this blog today to list just a few of the pros and cons of marrying/dating a musician. Let's start with the cons, OK? Then you can decide if you want to read on or stop and dump your musician partner.

1. He/she will probably not be around most weekends.
Corporate functions, parties, weddings, ...these usually happen on weekends. Don't forget restaurants and hotels! All weekends. These gigs (help for the un-musician like me, a gig is a performance by musician/s) mean money so saying 'no' means less money. It's like an architect rejecting a project or a doctor not working overtime or a politician supporting the opposition party...

So, he/she'll probably won't be free for Anne's weekend BBQ, or little Jack's children's party or even your dad's birthday (HORRORS!). It can get lonely because when everyone else has his/her partner, you'll be there by yourself. And people will be asking, "Where's what's his/her name?"

And oh, Valentine's Day...! Just celebrate it early.

2. Your family's going to be terribly suspicious of him/her
"What does he do? Musician, ah?!!! to feed his wife??? Can cari makan, meh?"

3. Straying eyes/hands - so much temptation, so many fans
Let's face it. If your partner tends to enjoy little treats outside the sanctity (whoa! I sound like my mom!)of your relationship, he/she will do it, regardless of occupation. Let's see, what's the job that requires least interaction? Lab technician? A mortician? They never cheat?

So it all depends on your partner. And I suppose you got to trust him/her. This one's hard but just give it time. Know your partner better. But then again, who am I to give marital advice, eh? We're just six years into our marriage.

4. Carrying bags
Huh? you wonder. Now, if you are married/dating a guitarist - a finger-style guitarist - you'll find out in due time that his/her nails are very important to him/her. Instead of using a guitar pick, they use their nails. So if they've got a gig coming up, chances are you'll probably be carrying all the grocery bags, the luggage, the shopping bags because he/she can't risk breaking his/her nails.

And it's not just carrying bags, I just simplified the heading. It is opening tin cans, it's closing an umbrella, it's many little things that we take for granted and don't notice until you start dating a finger-style guitarist.

1. You get to go to a lot of concerts - and you don't even have to beg him
He/she's going to want to go to a lot of concerts, plays, etc because he/she truly enjoys them. A lot of girlfriends I know beg and beg and beg their boyfriends to go to one of these but they'd rather be watching football on TV at home instead.

2. Live concert right at home
He/she's going to sing a lot, play (in my case, guitar)a lot at home so it's like being at a live concert most of the time. But then again, I married a guitarist, not a drummer. Maybe a drummer's partner won't be as thrilled with him/her performing at home.

3. Odd day off
He/she will have her day off from work on a weekday. Monday,'s Heaven going grocery shopping/window shopping on weekdays. No crowds, no energetic loud kids. No queues. You can take your time. And restaurants serve you fast because again, there's no crowd!

4. Sometimes, he/she writes a song just for you...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

November - December 2010

When it rains, it just pours!

Roger had so much on his plate the past two weeks, it's all thanks to God he survived without even a sniffle to show.

Day #1 - Nov 27, 2010: The American embassy brought the Johnny Rodgers band to Sabah and Roger organised the concerts. The band had been touring Asia for the past month and Sabah was the last lag of their tour. Tonight, they performed their first Sabah set at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah Recital Hall. What a show they gave! The audience were up on their feet and gave the band a standing ovation at the end. How rare is that, huh, Sabahans?

Day #2 - Nov 28, 2010: The band performed at the Centre Atrium at 1Borneo Shopping Mall this afternoon. Right after the show, they flew to Sandakan for their last show of the tour the next night.
Johnny Rodgers is a fun, energetic chap who could get the audience to sing along and dance along and well, have a great time at the shows. So, I think Roger caught of the essence of J.R. in this picture!

While the band flew to Sandakan that evening, Roger, Sara and I flew to Kuala Lumpur...and arrived close to midnight. My brother and his family picked us up and we stayed with them for the next few days. You're Number 1 Bro in my world!

Day #3 - Nov 29, 2010: 2V1G was going to perform for two nights at No Black Tie, Nov 30 and Dec 1, 2010. This morning, after breakfast with family, Roger went off for rehearsals with Winnie and Jeffery and didn't come home till 1AM!

Day #4 and #5: 2V1G concerts are held too late for us to bring Sara along so both Sara and her babysitter (ahem) have never been to a single one of their concerts. Amazing. And to think, they've got a second album out already. Their shows at NBT got rave reviews and packed the house. Rog returned home even later - 2AM!

Day #6 - Dec 2, 2010: We move to a hotel downtown KL, right next to Wisma MCA because the Tommy Emmanuel (scream!) concert was going to back held there the next night. Rog would be performing three songs with Tommy but first, he was one of the judges for the TE guitar competition this afternoon. While he was busy with work, Sara and I were busy exploring the hotel poooooool :)

Day #7 - Dec 3, 2010: If you are a Roger Wang fan - you must be, if you're reading this (otherwise, you're either my dad or my aunt Aeg Luan. Hi!) - you'd know that TE is Roger's inspiration. Watching Tommy perform for the first time in the year 2000 changed Roger's life. For one, Roger realised finger-style was the thing for him. Number two, that was when Roger first met me. (not-so-modest cough)

So performing with Tommy this second time round, after ten years, was a heady experience for him. He was excited and nervous all at once. I guess that's what happens when you meet your idol, huh?

This was the second time I've seen Tommy perform. The first time was at the Johor Arts Festival mid this year. The man is a legend. He commands the stage better than anyone I've ever seen. And at this particular show, the energy was just nuts! The audience was made up for like-minded fans who cheered so crazy loud when Tommy came out on stage. He reciprocated by giving them a helluva show! The vibes were bouncing off the audience and the performer alike, off the walls, the ceiling... Vaam, bam, boom, boom.
And watching him play the guitar... what can I say? If he ever comes to a town near you, drop everything, sell your house, get a ticket and watch him. He left me absolutely breathless. My eyes see him but my brains don't understand how one man can do all that with just one guitar. Mind boggling. Roger is right to look up to this man.
And that's not even the best thing about TE. The best thing about him is how grounded he is. No airs, no pomp. He's just a regular guy, very friendly, humble. Before I met Roger, I thought music and musicians were all about sex, drugs and rock & roll. Turns out, most musicians are just about sax, drums and a little rock & roll. Tommy Emmanuel, Farid Ali, Roger Wang - these musicians are so pure, so dedicated to the art, masters at what they do and they haven't got an arrogant bone on their body. Thoroughly admirable.
The picture above is taken in the Wisma MCA dressing room, just before the night's performance. Standing with Roger is Udo, AER (amplifiers) main man. Both Tommy and Roger endorse Maton guitars and AER amps. See Tommy warming up in the background. And oh, thanks so much for giving Roger the chance to perform with Tommy, Kuah of the Guitar Store.

Day #8 - Dec 4, 2010: We flew into Penang early that morning. Waaaay too early that morning. Checked into Bayview Resort for ...wait for it... the 7th Penang Jazz Fest! Woohoo!
I'm excited about it because - it's Penang! Glorious food. Plus, there's always something fun and festive about the PJF.

Roger's slot was for the next night, 6:30pm. When he got there, Peter Lau and Simon Lau were already there. They were performing with Jonathan Tse for three fringe events. Peter and Simon perform a lot with Rog. Pete plays drums and his younger brother, Simon, bass. Before the show, it was rehearsal time. (left to right: Peter, Jonathan, Simon and Roger)

Day #10 - Dec 5, 2010: Roger Wang Trio kicked off the second and last night of the Penang Jazz Fest main stage show at 6:30 - ish. Heavy dark clouds loomed above us, I swore I felt some drizzle, I was armed with hats, umbrella and raincoats but it never rained. Not that night.

The crowd tonight was bigger, the atmosphere electric. The trio did their 'thang', wowed the crowd, cameras flashed, big smiles all around, cheering, encore. That's the summary. You get the picture?

Day #11 - Dec 6, 2010: After all the performers have done their bit and have gone off to celebrate with an after-festival party, after the audience have gone home, concert organisers run the last lag of the race, working through the night to settle a lot of administrative stuff so that they can send artistes home with paychecks (from CD, book and DVD sales during festival). So my hats off to Capricorn Connection and all the festival volunteers who made this happen again - for making sure everything and everyone sound right, for airport transfers, for the food, for ensuring all events happened when they were supposed to. And hey, this time, I didn't leave my I/C in the hotel and make you drive like maniacs from one end of Penang island to the other so that I can board the plane, eh? Yay me!

This day marks the end of the travelling. We flew home in the evening. Only to face an unavoidable reality of travel - the aftermath: the unpacking, the nine-day laundry pile... shivers.

And oh, did I forget to mention this all-important bit of info? Sometime during these travels, Roger launched his new album, Milestones. It's a compilation of the previous six albums he's done and it's got three bonus tracks. You know what that means, don't you? FREE tracks!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Story of How Roger Got His Perfect Birthday Present

It was March 2010. Roger was in his studio, working, when he got a telephone call from David Chin. David introduced himself as a Sabah-born Australian, a retired engineer who has been pursuing his hobby of making guitars for several years now. In his research, David stumbled upon Roger's site on the Internet. David was back in Sabah for a holiday and decided to contact Roger for a chat.

The luthier and the guitarist met, spoke and exchanged notes. Two days later, David called Roger and asked if he could make him a guitar. For the record, Roger already has nine guitars: one harp, two Matons, one Fender Strat, one Yamaha arch top, one Admira classical guitar, two Yamaha acoustic guitars, one Yamaha silent guitar and a Kapok. Hahahaa...Just kidding. No, no Kapok.

David wanted to make Roger a steel-stringed guitar because he knew that is what Roger uses most now. But Roger said he is starting to experiment with new sounds and that he'd like a nylon-stringed one instead. Turns out that suited David just fine because nylon-strings were his specialty.

A slew of emails followed after David returned home to Melbourne. Roger sent him several specifications and told him some preferences he had for this new guitar. David made a prototype that he had several people test out. Armed with their feedback, he started work on two similar guitars: one with a cedar top and one with a spruce top.

In June, Roger got an email from David, "I just bought my ticket to Sabah and I'm bringing your guitar back with me!" (you readers realize that I'm dramatizing this part for the blog,right?)

Days passed. Weeks rolled on. Months went by.... and finally, one day in October, David came home. And he brought with him, a cedar top nylon-stringed guitar, which he prompted gave to Roger to test. That very night, Roger Wang came home with his new friend. And as usual, whether it's a new guitar or a new phone or gadget, it's a late night as they got acquainted.
On October 31, 2010, I finally meet this mystical luthier. Roger, Sara and I brought David, his 84-year-old mom, his sister, brother-in-law and niece out for dinner. After dinner, all of us drove up to Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort and Spa where Roger's friends from the band, Elixir (see picture), were performing at the lounge. Roger joined them and played (in public) for the first time ever, his brand new crossover guitar, watched by David and his family.
Made of eight different types of wood, this nylon-stringed guitar is a daring variation of the classical guitar. It's smaller. But it sounds big. It's based on a traditional classical design but has features of a steel string acoustic guitar. That's why it's called a crossover guitar. Roger thinks David may have stumbled over a (musical) goldmine here - starting with this guitar.

Roger absolutely loves how this crossover guitar sounds! It arrived a week before his birthday. So, between this guitar and our new 42"LCD TV (our old one went into a coma a few days before his birthday), Roger had one helluva 36th birthday.

Thanks, David (below), for making Roger so happy.

p.s. Late one night (late = after midnight) recently, Roger woke me up with Tommy Emmanuel's "Stay Close To Me", played with this new guitar. I was absolutely mesmerized! I've heard this song many times before but it'd never sounded so wonderful. It's like the guitar was made to ... sing this song. I told Roger and he said it's because this guitar has soul. Wow!

p.p.s. For a more in-depth coverage of The Making Of...The Crossover Guitar, read Joanna Funk's blog.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

July 2010

July 2010 was a crazy busy month for Roger. He was working every single weekend. OK, not so unusual but all were out-of-town work.

First weekend - Tip of Borneo
Roger and his friends had a gig, opening for the Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra, at the concert on the tip of Borneo. It's three to four hours drive from where we live and a year or two ago, we agreed that I will be the driver for Roger's out-of-town, in-the-state concerts. That's because (1) Roger likes to sleep in the car, (2) I can't sleep in the car, (3) I get terrible motion sickness so I can't look at maps while the car is moving, (5) I enjoy driving and (5) Roger gets very tired from driving long distance.

We went up to the pioneer town of Kudat in a convoy of two cars: the other belonging to Roger's old friends: drummer Peter Lau and his brother, Simon, the bassist. Set off from Kota Kinabalu at 1pm and we arrived at the tip around 5:30pm, with a brief stop for lunch at Tuaran.

By the time we got to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, the orchestra had already started their soundcheck so we just hung around and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. That was a lotta waiting. We got back to the hotel after 9pm that night and had dinner just before 10pm. And yes, even Sara. She was eating a lot of biscuits, cheese slices, raisins during the soundcheck... She's a good traveller, that one.

The next day, Roger and his friends went to the site early for soundcheck. But when it's by the sea and it's afternoon, the heat can get pretty unbearable! (Good thing Sara and I stayed back and enjoyed the pool instead :) .... )

By the time Sara and I got there at 5pm, the setting sun was still nasty hot, staring right at us. Squint, squint, squint. Out came my portable, foldable umbrella (my handbag's got a lot of stuff in there). But the wind proved too strong for my foldable umbrella which - well, folded in the wind. So we had our sunnies on, we had our hats on, we had a cooler full of beer (and a can of Milo for Sara), we had chips, we were set!

And it was a truly wonderful experience. If you are in Sabah this time next year, do think about driving up to Kudat for the festival. Driving in pitch dark, miraculously finding our way back to the hotel from the tip of Borneo, the three-hour car ride, the heat - it was worth it. The view is magnificient and the experience, unique.

Second weekend - Beijing
Roger's exciting debut in China almost never happened. It started good. His flight from Kota Kinabalu to Hong Kong was uneventful. Read, good.

But that Hong Kong - Beijing flight! Wowzer. That was interesting. He sent me several "I think they are calling for my flight now" text messages but the 4pm flight kept getting delayed because weather in Beijing was bad, heavy rain. At 10pm, they made an announcement for all passengers to board the plane and this time, they did!

But two hours later, they were still on the runway. Finally, the plane made its way back to the airport and the passengers were told they would not be flying afterall. Way too tired to complain, they stumbled out of the plane, walked to the airport hotel, waited in line to check into their rooms. When he finally got into the room, poor Rog was so tired. And as if that's not enough, they had to wake up early the next morning to catch the 9am flight the next morning. THAT, thankfully, flew and landed safely in Beijing.

He got there just in time to judge a competition, to perform and later, to enjoy other master guitarists play. You know what? In true Roger Wang fashion, he never lost his cool throughout this "adventure". He got there, performed flawlessly, smiled, took pictures with fans, signed autographs... Brave, Roger, bravo!

Third weekend - Johor and Kuala Lumpur
What can I say about 2V1G... really, what? I've never seen them perform before and I'm writing this in November 2010! Craziest thing! But I think it might have to do with how late the gigs are, too late to bring a 3-year-old along, I suppose. Next gig in November, Roger said Sara and I can go to the rehearsals so at least, I can finally say I've seen 2V1G perform live.

This weekend, Rog brought me and Sara to Kuala Lumpur because this was going to be a week-long trip that included two performances by 2V1G at Johor and Bandar Utama.

Fourth weekend - Bangkok
Roger's never been to Bangkok either so this was another first for him. We've heard about the protests and street demonstrations so we were rather anxious about this trip but this turned out to be a lot less eventful than the Beijing trip because everything went smoothly. No delayed flights.
Roger was going to perform with Gina Panizales (from their album "Love's Tapestry") at the Audiophile Fair in Bangkok that weekend so Roger, being the techie that he is, was excited about going to Bangkok.
When he got back home, I asked him, "Was Bangkok nice? Were there protestors? Was it dangerous? Was the food nice?"
"Yes, no, no, and yes" was his reply.
I think a family holiday in the near future is in order here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Hopes, New Dreams
Uuhhh...Happy New Year?... I should be crucified! Fast forward to present time. Happy Mother's Day, all moms and grannies. And great grandgrannies.

Last year was *beep*.... It was baaaaad. I just KNEW wearing red on New Year's day would screw things up. 2009 started bad, ended worse. Worst year in my life. Yet.

But 2010 is different. For one, we wore blue on New Year's Day. But this year seems packed with hope. And I'm actually looking forward to a wonderful year.

And wonderful, exciting year means new albums for Roger. Not that it was planned. Not that we sat down one day and decided, hey, let's have loads of new albums in 2010.

Private Corner
I'm listing this first because it's already released. January 29, 2010. "Private Corner", Hong Kong artiste Jacky Cheung's first album in years. What has Roger Wang got to do with it? you ask. Well, not much. Except he wrote one of the songs for that album!!!!! Woohoo!

It's true, it's true! It's like a dream come true. Jacky Cheung! I don't read nor write Chinese. I don't understand most of the conversations on Chinese TV channels but I was introduced to JC almost 20 years ago and he remains the one and only Chinese artiste I know and lurve. So when Roger came home with news that JC's doing one of his songs for his new album, I needed to be resuscitated.

Long story short, "Love Scale" is Song #4 in "Private Corner". And what's even more exciting about JC doing Roger's song is that Roger got to play too! Really, really, truly! Isn't that crazy?!! There's JC singing, there's Roger playing guitar. Someone dial 911 please.

Roger ran out of stock of the older albums like Journey Home, Double Take, Platinum. So he's decided to release a compilation album that includes favourites from previous albums. He's calling this one "Milestones" because believe it or not, the old boy's been in the industry for ten years already! Imagine that. He released his first album, Double Take, a decade ago.

When the idea for "Milestones" hit him, Roger spoke to renowned international photographer Louis Pang and the latter said, hey, lemme take the pictures for that album. And Rog agreed immediately because when Louis took our family portrait in 2008, it turned out to be the most painless photographic experience we've ever had. Both of us are usually so uncomfortable in front of the camera. And Sara was too young to understand it all then.

So while most people were still enjoying extended Chinese New Year holidays this year, Roger, Louis, Jasmine (Louis' better half) and I trudged off to Tanjung Aru for the photo shoot for "Milestones". Rog told me about the concept, the plan for the day but all I heard was "...then we'll go to the beach..." Beach?! YAY!

We shot in two locations. While the professional was shooting pictures of Roger, I was shooting pictures of the professional. I've concluded that a photographer's job can get pretty dangerous.

So watch for this album, ya? It'll probably be release quite soon.

Two voices, one guitar. As I am writing this, Roger is in KL for the recording of the last two songs for 2V1G's latest album and its photo shoot. I spoke with him this morning and Roger seems very excited about this one. He really likes it, he said, the quality, the songs.

Wait.... he just sent me a picture of himself, made up for the photo shoot........(smile).... (broader smile).....(can't hold it...much longer....) ...... MUUAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Yet unnamed album
Last time Roger released a solo album was in 2003. Since then, he's gotten married, became a daddy, become a better musician, become a more experienced entrepreneur, survived a room full of screaming toddlers at his daughter's playgroup...

With these experiences under his belt, Roger is ready to release another solo album. He's already written several songs for it, he's working on the concept. But when you're a musician, song writer, music producer, arranger, financial controller, layout artist, manager, daddy, husband, getting around to finishing your own creative work takes a little longer....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Missed Double Take's Final 2009 concert
(excerpt from email to my friends) Just got back from KL. It was a horrific trip.

Rog had a concert at the Petronas Philharmonic Centre with Mia (Palencia). It was a sold-out concert, Rog was excited. I was excited. We flew to KL Sat night, Sara was feverish at the airport. So we gave her med. When we got to my brother's place that night, her fever shot up high! 39.1 degrees Celsius. Gave her more liquid med, sponged her down because she felt soooo feverish. Poor child was whimpering and was breathing very heavily. Then she started shaking.

I went nuts because I thought she was having a fit. But it turned out she was just shivering. Getting night chills. Her arms and legs, hands and feet were so cold but her forehead, her chest and her back were burning hot. /Sara and I didn't sleep the whole night...went to see the doctor the next morning. Doc said her tonsil infection.

...Come Monday, concert day. Rog got us a day-use room in a hotel nearby. We left the house at in the morning, headed straight to the centre where Rog and Mia had rehearsals, sound checks while Sara and I hung out at the dressing room. Sara was alright then, we continued the liquid med for her fever.... But when we went to the hotel at about 2pm, her fever shot up again. Very high.... Fever went down after the suppository...

In the evening, we went back to the centre. At 8pm, Rog stayed backstage while Sara and I went out for dinner. After that, we went up to the hall. We were walking into the concert hall to watch the show at about 9pm, warden tore our tickets when Sara started shivering again. Felt feverish. Tried to give her liquid med, she puked it all out. So I decided not go into hall, and to go backstage instead, to that dressing room we were in earlier that day.

But the security guards wouldn't let us in, even though I had the pass. They said once the show starts, noone can go in and out of the place. So I carried Sara around, finally found a place to sit at Burger King. Poor child crawled onto the couch and promptly fell asleep. At 10, she started burning up! Concert wouldn't end till 10:30pm but I realised I had to give Sara her supp immediately. So I rushed up back to the hall and asked the guards to let me in because "my daughter is very sick, please let me in to get the medicine".

You would think they'd do it without much bother but noooo. I had to BEG ... about ten people, repeat the whole, "my daughter is sick, i need to go in the room backstage where the bag with her medicine is in right now. Touch her forehead if you don't believe me, she was very sick. I HAVE to go in NOW. If you are worried about security, just send someone in with me, let me get her med and we'll come out right away" all ten times!

It's crazy. I was on the verge of tears because Sara was shivering and feverish all the same time and I was panicking.


In the end, after what seemed like a long, long time of negotiation, they finally agreed to let me in just to go get the med with a guard accompanying me. Made me promise to come out straight away.

We went in, I found the supp and I was trembling by then: partly because I was so upset that I had to beg for something like getting med for my sick kid, partly from being so worried about Sara and partly because I had to insert the supp into Sara for the first time in my life!

Sara got up just as I was going to put the supp in. Covered her butt and started to whine, "No, mommy, it's painful. Noooo."

I can't even describe how I felt right then, except that I was real close to tears. Then the guard came up to me and apologised, said he was just doing his job just now, told me not to worry, that I can stay there, take my time, but just make sure we are quiet because the management is strict about noise level, blah, blah, blah. He shut the door and left us alone. Managed to insert the supp into Sara, held her and rocked her while she whined some more.

Just then, Mia and R came bursting into the dressing room, all happy and exuberant because it was a great show. They saw sick Sara and froze. Ten minutes later, the kid is up and walking around, a little tired but looking so much better!

The supps are wonderful!...

(Update: Sara's fever is gone, she's tired a lot now but at least she's energetic. We missed a great concert.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Waiting for daddy
I've had to change the dynamics of this blog because let's face it, I can't go to all the concerts with Roger anymore. Not when some of them end past midnight. So I can't write about being his roadie anymore, I'm more like the 2-yr-old's roadie.

Traveling with a guitar is easier than with a kid. A lot less luggage. A few times, we had to bring along the slow cooker and make Sara's meals in hotel rooms. Now that she can eat out with us, we've got a little more freedom but then again, she's fussy about her food.

But traveling with a guitar and a kid is definitely do-able. Next trip, Singapore and KL in October. (picture: Sara sitting on the amp, waiting for daddy to come around with the car. After gig at a Junior Chamber's dinner)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History In The Making

In less than an hour, an African American man will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. I didn't think I'd live to see this. Or at least I thought I'd be a lot older. Like when I'm in my 70s or so. It feels strange, unreal. No doubt, it's a wonderful thing though. This change.

I just wonder what is in store for my little girl. What kind of world will Sara grow up in? What about Malaysia? What kind of Malaysia will Sara grow up in?

Ah, the future. People always ask Roger, when are you going to teach her the guitar? He always answers, I'll let her learn in her own time. Wise man, that. With a father like that, Sara's probably going to make it alright.

(21-month-old Sara at home. See? She still looks a lot like daddy, right?)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 - Starting Out On A Good Note

...until I saw this blog. Until I saw how my last post was in August 2008. Yikes.

Sara turned a year old in March 2008 and after that, both of us tagged along to Roger's out-of-town trips more often. Sometimes, we make "special appearances" at his concerts. OK, OK, so we only did that twice. Once at Equatorial Hotel's Summer Jazz Series. Sara and I popped in to peek at the concert, waved to Roger and hurried off. Sara's not a big fan of second hand smoke.

Later that year, we dropped in on another Double Take concert at Equatorial. The Beatles gig. This time, we went in before the concert began. Sara walked around Flo Lounge, looked darn interested in the stage, was making her way there when her daddy stopped her, "This is not your stage - yet."

Touring with a toddler is quite interesting. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, we have to pack more stuff. Like diapers, baby clothes, slow cooker (we try to cook her food as much as we can. Versus buying ready-made food), her toys, her blankie, her Barney and Hi-5 DVDs. We usually max out AirAsia's baggage allowance.

Luckily for us, Sara's a pretty good traveller so we usually end up enjoying all the time we get to spend with each other during the tour. Back home, we don't see Roger for half the day because he has to go work at the studio. Someone has to bring home the bacon, he says. And God knows I LURVE bacon.

Now that Sara's almost two years old and she's sleeping better at night (read "I'm sleeping more at night"), I feel I can move mountains again. Heck! Look at Roger's website. We got it updated with New Year message on the FIFTH day of the brand new year. Isn't that impressive?!! I'm so darn proud of myself! I think last year, we only managed to get a new year message up ... several weeks later.

That's why I said 2009 started on a good note. The kid's sleeping well at night, her daddy is getting his well-deserved rest too, her mommy's not that blur anymore. In fact, right now, I'm already preparing for Chinese New Year: updating our angpow list, trying to figure out how much loot we have to give away this year. Sent off festive cards. Aaaah... the old me is back and I feel wonderful! So looking forward to the new year.

(picture shows Sara watching Roger's full dress rehearsal with re:mix at Esplanade Singapore in December 2008. Children under six years old aren't allowed in the concert halls during performances but the organiser was so kind to arrange for us to watch the rehearsal. It's been soooooo long since I last sat through one of Roger's performances. I forget what a brilliant guitarist he is.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

2V1G launched

So they've finally got around to launch this much-awaited album. Unlike the other albums that Roger has worked on before, this album was produced and mastered in KL and Hong Kong (away from Rog's recording studio in Kota Kinabalu) so we've not heard it since the recording.
A few days before the launch, Leslie (Loh, one of the two album's producers) sent a copy to Roger who was mighty pleased because he said this is a "virgin press" and is deemed to be most valuable because of its alleged superior sound quality. (I'm thinking, uh? Me no audiophiley)
Anyway, Roger's really happy with the album; he played it at home, in the car, in the office, at his in-law's...

When the album was launched on July 18, I thought they picked a very suitable location for it. Somewhere in Central Market, is where I'm told it was launched. Check out the backdrop at the press conference held to launch the album. Plus pwetty chandelier... Nice. See picture with everyone seated at table? From left to right: Leslie, Roger, Winnie, Regine & Chow Kam Leong.
This album shows Roger in a whole new light. Even to me. I mean, have you seen the promo shots they made for the album?! It's Roger dancing! I kid you not. Actually, it's all three artistes jumping around before the lens but the pictures are refreshing. To say the least.

And then, Roger sent out an email in June about 1 million words long - ok, so it was less than a million but it's longer than any of the past emails he's sent out to his mailing list! - announcing the album's release. For a man of a few words (Roger's not the chatty kind of person), that SHORE was a long, looooong email.
Definitely get a copy of this album if you're an audiophile. If you're a Roger Wang fan,... I say, how come you've not got a copy yet? Tell people about it.