Ahh 1974 , what happened then?
Probably nothing much.

Yes, I did watch that Deodato concert but all I remember was John Tropea taking the helm at the start of the show because Deodato was late.

Eumir Deodato

He arrived onstage about 20 min after with a can of San Mig pilsen in hand, may tama na ng konti. 😉 But good show, nonetheless.

Martial Law banned foreign acts from performing on our shores. Was Madam still having a hangover from that supposedly Beatles’ snub? Who knows?

But 1974 saw a ceasefire from this ban and we were grabbing concert tickets like crazy. Tom Scott also came (in ’79, I think) but for me it was Steve Gadd who stole that show. Also watched Sergio Mendes Brasil 77 as we were just knocked off our seats just watching Bonnie Bowden’s “twin knockers”. 😉

1974 was the homestretch of my high school days when shoulder length locks gave way to the standard 3X4 haircut required by ROTC. A real bummer which made  your coolness points drop by a factor of 50. When we’d crash those Assumption parties, our stupid haircuts made us stick out like sore thumbs. Maski naka Levi’s French jeans ka, baduy pa rin ang buhok mo. 

A few months after, Amparo Munoz (Sad, what happened to her but that’s another story) would go out to win the Miss Universe beauty pageant held here in Manila. Although my choice was our very own Guada Sanchez.

Amparo Munoz                     Guada Sanchez

Other favorites were Maureen Avaviera of Aruba and a blondie from Finland yata.
More “crushes ng bayan” then were young Rustan’s VIP models.

Some of the guys would drool over the new 2-door 74 Galant but I still preferred the earlier 73 Dodge Colt model which I inherited from my dad.

1973 Dodge Colt

“Breakfast of Champions “ ang pinaka “Da Vinci Code” then  . . . making me an instant fan of Kurt Vonnegut.


No net, cable TV, or mobile phones back then, so together with my sisters and brother, evenings were spent with a bunch of Jingle mags strumming the night away. Pilar, at my insistence, had to memorize David Gates’ Never Let Her Go. I would frustratingly do lead as Pilar handled the rhythm on America’s Riverside . Paolo was just starting to polish up his singing skills as he would master Kenny Loggins’ I Believe in Love a few years after.

As a grad gift, my parents gave me my first stereo system which consisted of a 35watt Pioneer sx650 receiver, Pioneer CS something speakers, Technic SL 1500 direct drive turntable and Teac open reel.
Before that, my music source was an all-in-one record player cum receiver cum alarm clock with 3 inch speakers. That grad gift was HighEnd for me.

Stereo Review’s Julian Hirsch

Being an avid follower of Julian Hirsh then, akalo ko audiophile na ako. With the SX650’s THD at 0.001, I promised myself never to upgrade my stereo.

. . . or so I thought

Lest this sound like a personal diary, let’s go to the music.
Disco was starting to rear its “ugly “ head. Ugly since this was bad news for us guys with two left feet.

The Hues Corporation


the disco revolution started in 1974 with The Hues Corporation’s “Rock the Boat”.  All of a sudden, the likes of  The Hustle, LA walk, Sanfo hustle, and 12 steps started flooding the dance floor a while after. It was only the Archie Lacsons and Poncie Quirinos who got all the girls because of their dancing prowess.
Me, I just had to rely on my good looks 😉

If rock albums gave us free posters to hang on our bedroom walls, disco albums took it 12 steps (pun intended) further. Some disco albums came with those big sheets of  illustrated footsteps as dance instructions. You lay out the sheet on the floor, follow the footsteps and Voila!,  – pang Penthouse 7 ka na!

. . . or so I thought.

Wanting a piece of the action, I decided to try those instructions out. Late one night, alone in my room, I pulled out one of those sheets from a Blackbuster album. Laid it out on the floor and started going over the “footsteps”. Unknown to me, my dad was watching me pala for quite some time before I noticed him behind me. I must have looked like a dork because you should have seen the look on my dad’s face.
Needless to say, our relationship was never the same again.  😉

In 1974, Red Fox started to shed its “Rolling Stones” image and reincarnated itself as Hotdog. Because of the popularity of the Ms Universe beauty pageant then, they came out with their gigantic hit “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko” –  a tune to usher in the Manila Sound and would later be the basis of OPM as we know it now.
Pinoy Rock was given that needed shot in the arm with the release of JDLC band’s “Himig Natin”, the local rock anthem that filled the airwaves. And sometime thereafter Howlin’ Dave’s Pinoy Rock n Rhythm started to air.

It was about that same time that jazz, in its sub genre as jazz fusion, was making a comeback. In between the Zeps and the Sabbaths, we started listening to Quincy Jones (Smackwater Jack), Harvey Mandell (Baby Batter), Chuck Mangione (Live with Rochester Phil. Orch.), and of course, Deodato. This baptism into pop jazz led us further to search the likes of Les McCann/Eddie Harris (Swiss Movement) and the CTI stable.

Swiss Movement – Les McCann/Eddie Harris

Baby Batter – Harvey Mandell

This search is probably accountable for my present appreciation of Miles, Baker and company.
I had long talks with my late dad regarding these artists, him being a fan of Miller, Dorsey, Sinatra etc. Because of these talks, I think I was able to redeem myself in his eyes from that “Blackbuster dancing fiasco” . . . or so, I hope it did.  🙂

And then of course, there was Bossa.
We’d go all the way to UP Los Banos to watch an obscure band introduce us to Bossa Nova. A very young and soft spoken Bong Penera would oblige us with Jobim numbers. But it was his original compositions that really paved the way for his popularity prompting the release of his first album A Samba Song.

A Samba Song – Bong Penera

A record which I bought back then and still have with me up to now.
Seemed like an ordinary record then.

. . . or so I thought

But in a weird sort of way, I sometimes get to miss listening to those records on my old SX650 when soundstage, imaging and other high end audio pursuits really didn’t matter.

Pioneer SX650

Just plop a record on the platter, wam bang and your off – just like the raging hormones of young guys growing up – when all that mattered was dreaming of cars, girls, records, and more girls, and much more records.

So what happened in 1974?
Probably nothing much. . .
. . . or so I thought. 😉


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