I look forward to watching “’90s Live,” the concert of my dear friends, Cooky Chua (of Color It Red), Wency Cornejo (of AfterImage) and Medwin Marfil (of True Faith), along with the lead vocalists of other similarly iconic bands from “Dekada Nobenta.” It will be held on July 22 at The Theatre at Solaire (call 8919999).
I fondly call Cooky the country’s Norah Jones and Wency, Mr. Malone (because his fave perfume is Joe Malone). The “bonding of the best bands” features soulful OPM music that has endured the test of time.
Here’s my chat with Cooky and Wency:
What can bands of this era learn from the ’90s? Cooky (C): Craft before “porma” (posturing).
Wency (W): It all boils down to the quality of songwriting.
What are your “dos and don’ts” before a concert? C: The dos include mental, physical and spiritual preparedness. A shot of brandy to calm myself. Don’ts? No cold water during and after the show.
W: I don’t eat two hours before the show. I drink water to hydrate, but not too much that I might pee during the performance. I don’t strain my voice by vocalizing too much. I do light exercises to get myself limbered up, and take a shot of brandy to loosen my vocal chords.
What was your most embarrassing moment onstage? C: In my spiel thanking the parents of our former drummer Minco, I said, “Thank you, Mr. ‘Nemesis’ Fabregas,” instead of Mr. and Mrs. Fabregas.
W: When I sang off-key.
If you could sing only one song, what would it be? C: “What A Wonderful World” reminds us that despite our troubles, we’re blessed to be alive.
W: “Bad” by U2, because it helped me through troubled times. A close second would be “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel because I think it’s the most beautiful pop song ever written.
Do you still get stage fright? C: Always. I take shots of brandy to relax and talk to my bandmates to distract myself. I forget lyrics when I get paranoid. I avoid overthinking.
W: Every single time. I remind myself that I’ve done it thousands of times in the past and have gotten through it in one piece.
What changes would you like to see on the OPM scene? C: Government incentives for artists, and more radio airplay for OPM tunes. Abolish the Optical Media Board (OMB) because the agency is making it harder for indie artists to release albums because of various charges that struggling musicians can’t afford.
Alvin, Cindy in a party mood
What a blast I had with my good friends, Alvin and Cindy Patrimonio, at Guilly’s on Tomas Morato in Quezon City. (Thanks to Ed Totanes and Bill Azhar for making us feel instantly at home.)
Alvin and I have been friends since his Mapua days. Fame has not changed him a bit. Alvin’s “loyalists” partied with us, too. Out of their devotion to the “gentle giant” ever since his rookie year in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), they never got married.
Cindy told the feisty spinsters in jest: “Magsipag-asawa na kayo. May nanalo na. Ako ’yun!” (You all better get married because there’s already a winner—and it’s me.)
In between our “vodkanizing rounds,” The Captain (Alvin’s PBA moniker) took sips of Enagic Kangen (EK) alkaline water. He, along with other PBA legends Allan Caidic and Noli Locsin, was tapped by EK to be its brand ambassador.
It was amusing to watch Alvin and Cindy rib each other about their fave NBA teams. Alvin roots for the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Cindy cheers for the Golden State Warriors.
The highlight of the night was the beer pong match of the fun couple. Cindy teased Alvin, “You’re a four-time Most Valuable Player, but you’re having a hard time shooting a ping-pong ball into my glass!” Together, the duo is also an MVP—Most Vivacious Pair.
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