First, I wish all the visitors to my blog a very happy and prosperous 2011.
Second, I just made a leveraged buy-out deal; MTV is my property now and I am ready to launch my own satellite into space.
Third, I just made this up; in reality I have only launched my own video channel, TTV, on YouTube.
Since the world’s dumb fingers are too busy punching ‘smart’ Black Berry and I-Phone buttons these days, allow me to tell you something about the kind of work that I have done in the past. Now please do not get any ideas that might be funnier than my own.
Way back in the early 1990s, I was commissioned to write and compose for, arrange, record, mix and produce an upcoming band from Lahore called Wet Metal. The boys never played metal music but rather excelled at doing pop cover tunes at weddings and concerts.
I will spare you the details that will look better in a book I am contemplating writing and which is tentatively titled ‘The Missing Pages Of Pakistani Pop History’.
The title of the Urdu song Pyar Ki Piyas means 'Thirst For Love’; it was written in an era when men had stopped thirsting for knowledge. Najam Shiraz was then the lead singer for Wet Metal, with Shehryar as the guitarist, Ali at the keyboards and Saeed Hasan Turk on the drums (in the video you see Tariq Tafu pounding away at the drum-kit).
The song’s video was aimed to give the public a taste of Wet Metal’s upcoming debut album for which I was hired to do everything except appear as a regular band member. The song was slated for release as a debut single.
To this day, I retain the ownership rights to the lyrics, composition and the arrangement. It was also stipulated in the original contract that I had the ‘right to later release the same song with an altered arrangement under my own name’. Who knows, I just might decide to release a Pyar Ki Piyas video under the right launch conditions. It will not be difficult to get people from Bollywood interested in a re-make of the song but then who wants to see scantily-clad women dancing to my song?—not I. As it is, Munni’s notoriety (Munni badnaam huwee) and Sheila’s (Sheila ki jawani) youth has been rather over-exposed in public.
Mismanagement claimed the life of Wet Metal; it split shortly after the release of this video. Najam Shiraz later released Pyar Ki Piyas in his debut audio album, Khazana, in 1996. Although not fully acknowledged for my work, my name was misspelled in the album’s liner notes as Tahir Hassan Gul. You will not see my name on pirated CD versions released later because the album was originally released in cassette format.
I wrote Piyar Ki Pyas in 1991, composed and played all electronic instruments (sequencing) and single-handedly recorded and mixed the analogue audio tracks at my own studios (Sound On Sound, Karachi). Najam Shiraz only recorded the lead and backup vocals. Because since childhood I have been quite comfortable with oohs and aahs, you can actually hear me do the same in the song’s backup vocal track.
Shehryar played the guitar solo whose melody I hummed to him as we recorded the take. Ali is pretending to play the keyboards and Tariq Tafu is doing the same with the drums; such make belief happens in film and music all the time. What was certainly not my idea was Najam getting caught with his pants down, wearing just the shorts, when he sings meray yeh haalaat hein (meaning: this is my condition).
Fast forward nineteen years.
Najam Shiraz is now an internationally known Pakistani pop singer. We still see each other every few years. He says he announces my name whenever he sings this song on stage; I have no reason to doubt that. Not many these days admit in public what ladders and shoulders they rented to get to such dizzying heights. Indeed Najam's success is his own doing.
All the meticulous track-sheets, master mix-down track and contractual paperwork are still in my possession. This is proof of the pudding I made years ago and which—despite the passage of so many years—I enjoy consuming in my memory’s dessert plate once in a while.
By today’s standards, the song might sound a bit dated but listen to it with ears from the 90s. If I manage to salvage the original digital audio tape (DAT), you will be able to listen to a high quality audio version of Pyar Ki Piyas. I also intend to post the original Urdu lyrics and their translation here on my blog.
Stay tuned and God bless you all for the hugs and kisses you will now despatch in my direction.
Read Pyar Ki Piyas (پیارکی پیاس): Urdu Lyrics With English Translation
For crazy Bollywood song parodies, please visit:
Bollywood Song Parodies by Tahir Gul Hasan