Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Society....legendary Shillong band

With a pretty well-deserved reputation for breeding a guitar player in ever home, Shillong is an incredible town for anyone to grow up as a musician, and it's no surprise that 'The Great Society' is still remembered as one of the first bands in India to play only original music ~ no "covers" thankyouverymuch. In fact, the whole region is such a hive of musical activity, that good guitarists go a long-long way.

Lou Majaw
( read blog on Lou) is the founder member of the legendary Shillong band. The Great Society. A superb showman, a man who has music and stage performance in his blood, Lou also possesses the humility and breadth of vision that marks him as a true musician. Lou has peroformed all over the Northeast with The Great Society, playing originals along with covers of traditional rock favourites.

The Great Society was formed in the mid '70's with Lou Majaw (vocals/rhythm guitar), ArjunSen (vocals/guitar) and Bert Cooper (drums) as the founding members. In 1980, Rudy Wallang joined the band as bass player. Soon after, Sam Shullai replaced Bert on drums. When Arjun decided to head out to Delhi, Rudy took up playing guitar and Ferdy Dkhar joined in as the bass player.

Despite a series of impressive lineup changes in the twelve years of it's existence, Keith Wallang on drums, late Babit Jyrwa on drums and bass, Danny Shullai on bass and Bob Lyngdoh on harp, The Great Society is essentially Lou, Arjun, Rudy, Sam and Ferdy. The Great Society disbanded in 1992 but do perform occasionally at reunions such as the Reggae Riddim Festival in February 2001.
True to the name of their band, these men created a society that will live long after they are gone.

Elsewhere in the country, the young sway to songs such as Kaanta lagaa and Dharak dharak. In the Northeast, they swing to live music, as bands belt out old rock classics from Jethro Tull to the Doors, or even their own compositions.

The Northeast may be beset with problems of insurgency and protests but the region has been spawning music bands by the dozens and we hope that Northeast continues to be the hive of musical society inspiring musicians who produce music just for the love of it.

Here is one their memorable compositions 'Sea of sorrow' from the album "BREAKTHROUGH"


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