He was the boy with gold in his hair.
As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca’s, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music. In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the middle Fast before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar.
What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling King Fun Fighting to the iconic youth anthem of made in India and the numerous hits in between. Biddu’s music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.
In this first public account of all that came his way the people, the events,the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a very sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending, Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.
Made in India and Biddu are synonymous with my teens. The name still invokes a lot of nostalgia when we used to go ga-ga over Alisha Chinai’s stylish version of ‘Made in India’. It was sensual, melodious and a revolution at that time with Milind Soman in the video. That’s when I first heard of Biddu and loved his music subsequently in numerous tracks.
Since music is interesting, the autobiography of a musician must be too. That was my idea when this book came for review and Biddu didn’t disappoint his readers. The story begins where it should, from his childhood in 1940s and ’50s. What struck me the most is humour, at times it veers to satire on various subjects. India, right after independence still allures me and I wanted to read an account from someone who’s lived in a different part of the country (having heard stories from my father who lived in Calcutta during that era). There was unemployment, a new Government ruling the country, lot of British people still serving and living in India, and Bangalore was a serene, cute little city.
I liked Biddu’s recount of Calcutta, his stint at Trinca’s, his friends, the music and his brief stint at my city. Trinca’s was the most happening place then and I loved to read his account of that time and age. Biddu moved to Bombay and tried to make it to his dream city, London. His accounts of travel are very interesting and awe inspiring. With less money and morning jam sessions in Bombay during the 1965 war, he still managed to reach the middle east before London. Basra, Damascus, Beirut – it’s a lovely account and an enjoyable read.
I loved the first half more than the later one and his journey made a very good read. His writing is lucid and easy, with occasional humour and a nice old world charm to it. There are a few errors in the book, which hamper reading, but nonetheless it’s an interesting autobiography. Recommended for everyone – dare yourself to dream and motivate to fulfill your dreams.
My Rating: 4/5
About the Author:
Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing “Kung Fu Fighting” which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy james.
Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult “Aap Jaisa Koi” for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.
Language: English, Genre: Non-Fiction/Autobiography
Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing LLP , Year Published: August 2015
Binding: Paperback, Edition: Second, Pages: 262
ISBN-13: 9788193136003 , ISBN-10: 8193136004
This review is also shared with the First Reads Challenge at b00kr3vi3ws and The Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve.