Friday, December 31, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Title: Melangkah III
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Model: Johan Ishak
Time/Date: 2:35pm; 31 Dec 2010
Venue: Masjid Sultan Salahuddin


at 6:28 PM

Title: Melangkah II
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Model: Daniel Ariff
Time/Date: 2:30pm; 31 Dec 2010
Venue: Masjid Sultan Salahuddin


Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Title: Melangkah
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Model: Johan Ishak
Time/Date: 10:30am; 19 Dec 2010
Venue: Mid Valley Mega Mall, KL


Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Title: Prince the Cat
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Model: Prince the Cat
Time/Date: 10:00am; 19 Dec 2010
Venue: 24 Jln 13/11C Shah Alam

ATS, I am allergic to. Almost all of my family members are allergic to cats. To make things complicated, I got married to a family that loves cats. To set the record straight, I don't hate cats. I love cats. I am just allergic to them. I do play around with cats,... but not for too long. The fur attacks my nose like an Iraqi scud. Nevertheless, I always have Rinafort to help ease my sinus attacks,.. but, I get drowsy and go to sleep. So, if I play with cats, you can expect me to sleep afterwards,.. and don't even think of asking me to drive.

Lately, somehow, I have a cat that sleeps, dine and shit at my backyard but disappears for adventures outside if he is not doing any of those 3. Although he does spend sometime looking at my fishes in the aquarium and he runs off when my boy, Daniel, goes after him. This cat is probably mix Persian and something else. We call him Prince. Every night when I am back from work, Prince come by and looks at me. Guess what, we exchange brain waves and what was transpired in that exchange is decoded in the below so called 'conversations':

ME: Not quite sure what breed are you. Bengal-Persian I was told though
PRINCE: (Sounds like they'll be making carpets out of me)

ME: Oh man, look at fungal on your eye! I'm bringing you to the Vet
PRINCE: (It's not fungal lah, I had a fight last nite)

ME: Hey! Can you help me with this deferred tax problem?
PRINCE: Miowww
ME: Hey! that's a good idea. Why didn't I think of that?

ME: Whatcha lookin at?!
PRINCE: (Your fat tummy)

ME: Hey you have cockroaches eating your food!
PRINCE: (That's how crappy the things you give me. I want Kurau please)

ME: Go get a girlfriend will yer?
PRINCE: (Blastard, for what? They cut my birdie long time ago)

ME: Why are you so cherpy today?
PRINCE: (My cousin is here Malaysia. His name is Cat Stevens)

ME: Why do you always have to come home late?
PRINCE: (Hmmm... What are you doing up so late?)

ME: Ahah, the maid is back from Indon. I don't have to deal with u now
PRINCE: (I prefer ladies serving me anyway)

ME: Aiyo, how will u survive without me huh?
PRINCE: (No worries, I have 8 more lives at my disposal)

ME: What are you? Persian? Somalian?
PRINCE: (Malaysian you fool! I was born in Bangi)

ME: Hey you fat cat! Come here!
PRINCE: (Look who's talking)

ME: Oooo.... look there, little Daniel is approaching!
PRINCE: (Oh shit! It's the menace! Help! Help me!)

ME: Why the hell did you poo on the floor?
PRINCE: (Last I remembered, the litter was there. Why did you change its location?)

ME: Prince, come inside now!
PRINCE: (Call me King, then I'll go inside)

ME: Prince, your fur is triggering my sinus! Damn!
PRINCE: (Yeah, yeah, blame me for your weaknesses, sucker!)

VET: The fungal turns red. Don't be alarmed. It's the blood vessel bringing medication to the infected areas
PRINCE: (Don't be alarmed??!! I'm half blind you asshole)

WIFEY: Why are you taking so long to lock the gate?
ME: Errrr.. I was talking to Prince
PRINCE: (Take that! Hahahahah)

SEELAN PAUL: Ooo! Patutlah lambat submit presentation, rupa-rupanya you have to present it to your cat first
ME: Errrrr... heh....

" ....... Cats are amazing. They listen to your talks like they know what's happening "
Quotation by Geordjoe


Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM


Title: Lagenda Budak Setan
Type: Movie
Genre: Malay Romantic Comedy or Romantic Drama (depends)
Year: 2010
Length: 1 hour 40++ minutes
Writer: Ahadiat Akashah
Producers: Sharad Sharan, Renu Sharan & Jailani Abd Ghani
Directors: Sharad Sharan, Renu Sharan & Tengku Dato' Anuar Mussaddad
In association with: Nusantara Films & Tarantella Pictures
Main Casts: Farid Kamil, Lisa Surihani, Que Haidar, Nur Fazura & Raja Farah

Y first impression of the movie was, "sweet" but once I start comparing to Ali Setan back in the 80's, a flood of critical comments came to mind. The question is, "Is this a re-live of Ali Setan?" This type of movie can never escape the comparison to or being benchmarked to previous efforts on romantic comedy. Unless viewers choose to ignore the comedy part and concentrate on the melancholy of it all. Actually, that is the problem. What is this movie trying to represent? Romantic comedy or not? The introduction of the romeo Kashah in the college scene, being the nasty boy, similar to that of Ali in Ali Setan, did not quite complete the feel.

The movie started off suggesting to viewers that you will see a lot of nasty habits by the Kashah guy simultaneously giving rise to viewers' expectation of a re-live of Ali Setan. But to my disappointment, I did not get that Ali Setan feel. Perhaps it was meant not to mirror Ali Setan but to only tease viewers of it. If it was meant to mimick Ali Setan, I think, they should have extended the movie to explore more on Kashah's nasty character(s), especially towards women. Nevertheless, Farid Kamil managed to pull off that chicky look despite his lack of experience to look natural in front of the camera (a lot of stiff postures and movements).

..... Lisa, very gentle in her movement, speech, smile and feel. Gone are the days of Azian Irdawaty crying with tears or dramatic emotions of Ogy Ahmad Daud.

Ayu, the sweet child Juliet of the movie, was nicely acted by Lisa Surihani but of course, no where close to Ogy Ahmad Daud in Ali Setan. The good difference between Lisa and Ogy is that, Ogy had too much of a Tom Boyish appeal whereas Lisa, very gentle in her movement, speech, smile and feel. I suppose this is what killed the "comedy" part of the movie and perhaps, ought to be labeled as Romantic Drama instead. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The character Ayu carries heavy load of melancholy with a pinch of happiness sporadically. Lisa managed to carry that character via her facial expression especially the eyes and lips bit. That subtlety yet adequate expression is all that is required to touch the hearts of the viewers. Gone are the days of Azian Irdawaty crying with tears or dramatic emotions of Ogy Ahmad Daud. Well done! (but Lisa has a lot to learn. Somehow she lacks maturity in acting, but a damn good start I would say).

Que Haidar is probably the best actor in this movie. His fierce face and chronic retarded character expression is probably what you'd imagine when you read the original book written by Ahadiat Akashah. Simply superb. He potrayed maturity and flexibility of an actor to diverse it's ability. Reminded me a lot of Nasir Bilal Khan in 'Perempuan, Isteri dan Jalang' where his theatre experiences were transformed into film acting. That psychotic and disturbed feeling that you get from Que Haidar shows that his acting is effective.

The rest of the casts, Fazura and Raja Farah, did what had to be done to complement the 3 main actors. The actress that replaced Lisa lack the continuation of Ayu's character. This is probably a difficult one. How do you get the same feel of a character from a different actress? I wouldn't want to spoil your viewing if you haven't watched this movie by saying why I have such expectation. Nevertheless, when you watch the movie, you will understand why I expect the replacement actress to give the viewers the same feel as Lisa Surihani.

I started off my review by comparing to Ali Setan and indirectly concluded that it should not have been so. It is a sad movie. A sad movie that exaggerated bad luck in a sweet lady's life, almost like how Nur Kasih is. In my opinion, this is also a problem. Just now we killed off the character "comedy" in the movie. And now, we are about to kill the character "romantic". Why do I say that? Well, it is a sad sad movie. How can I possibly label it as a Romantic movie? The love scenes and build up of the chemistry between Kashah and Ayu is so lacking that the movie did not even complete its intension to tell a love story. Instead, it tells a sad story. A tragedy, just like Puteri Gunung Ledang.

Why would you name the movie Lagenda Budak Setan when you lack the expression on the term 'Budak Setan' itself?

Now I am compelled to benchmark against Ali Setan again. If you remember, Ali Setan was truly a love story. The happy moments acted by Ogy Ahmad Daud and Azmil Mustafa made it an epitome love story telling. Then of course, you may have the sad moments afterwards. No doubt one can argue that Ali Setan had a happy ending unlike Lagenda Budak Setan, I still feel that had Lagenda Budak Setan extended its happy plots on the love between Kashah and Ayu, it would have given a full meaning to this movie, if it was to be regarded as a 'Love Story'. In addition, as mentioned in my first paragraph, a more extensive plot on the nasty character of Kashah would have also given the appropriate feel to the title of the movie. Why would you name the movie Lagenda Budak Setan when you lack the expression on the term 'Budak Setan' itself?

Overall, for the general mass Malay viewers, I expect them to give two thumbs up, simply because it is a sad movie and the much celebrated Farid Kamil and Lisa Surihani, both whom I think, show potential to go far in the local film industry. Well done!


Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Wedding of

Johari Ishak
Shikin Hairuddin

Kelab Shah Alam
4 December 2010


Bismillah Hirrahman Nirrahim. Assalamualaikum Warahmaruyllahi Wabarakatuh dan Salam Sejahtera.

Yang Mulia, Tengku Tengku. Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri / Puan Sri / Dato’ / Datin / Tuan / Puan / Sanak Saudara sekelian.

Bagi pihak Tuan Rumah, Dato Ishak Ariff, saya ingin merakamkan jutaan terima kasih atas kesudian para hadirin meraikan bersama kami Majlis Perkahwinan Johari dan Shikin. Kehadiran Tuan Tuan dan Puan Puan sememangnya memeriahkan lagi hari yang bermakna ini.

Tuan Tuan dan Puan Puan, izinkan saya meneruskan ucapan saya di dalam Bahasa Inggeris, Terima Kasih.


A wedding is an occasion, a joyous occasion. But for a spokes person like me, it is highly stressful for I have stage fright and this is my first time doing it. By God’s will, when my son get’s married, Johari, you will be forced to be the spokes person. Just remember that!

Normally a spokes person will introduce the Pengantins from the day they were born. In this case, I have a special privilege. I will start from whence Johari was inside our mother’s womb

The Malay race has always been an advocate of “courtesy” as evident in their generosity in giving out Bunga Telurs and their art of negotiations using Pantuns to avoid confrontation but yet deliver their intended messages. In Johari’s case, well, he was courteous since before he was born.

The Malays believe that when twins are born, the one who sees the light of day first is the younger one. This is so because the elder twin will allow his younger sibling to go first as a gesture of courtesy. So I guess, Johari must have been courteous to me. Now, this is Johari’s first mistake in life even before he commenced his life. Why? Well, legally, I became the elder one regardless of what the Malay believes. So Joe, thanks for kicking me out.


So 1975 was the year. Old folks often warn their pregnant daughters to not do or say unnecessary or inappropriate things. In our case, our beloved mother had to watch Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner box each other,.. and when the twins were delivered, you know what happened.

Johari and I, we grew up together, from Minden Heights in Penang, this fantastic city called Shah Alam, as well as in the bording school they call STAR in Ipoh.

Later we went our own ways. I was sent to a land downunder where they send convicts; whereas Johari was sent to the Land of Angels up north where kings and queens dine in castles and palaces. How lucky.

In England, Johari learnt how to value things. I didn’t know that to value things, you need a Bachelors Degree. But apparently you do. So Johari started to learn how to value things in England and later extended his learning in UiTM Shah Alam. So there you go, God created things, and there was Johari to value it. He became a Valuer.

This art of valuing things evolved into the realm of capital markets. Hence Johari now enjoys a good living at CIMB Wealth Advisor where he helps others value their wealth by growing them. A courteous character that is probably an extension of allowing his younger sibling to escape Alcatraz 35 years ago.

Anyways, talking about valuing things, today, or a week ago to be exact, there is a different perspective to it. You (Johari) are now required to value life. What does that mean really? Well it’s simple really. You now have to value your life companion, i.e. Shikin.

When Shikin cooks, you value her by saying “Hmm Sedap”. When Shikin is sick, you value her by making hot soup, not Maggi mee. When it is 27 November, you value her with anniversary dinners (make sure you mark your diary because if you don’t, she will show you what valuation really means). When it is her birthday or 14 February, bring her to British India. And the sweetest of all, you will value Shikin like you never valued her before, is when she gives you babies that will end their names with Bin or Binti Johari. Insya Allah Amin.

There is a saying I learnt from the internet. It goes like this:

Women were not created from Men’s hair nor were they created from Men’s feet. Women were created from Men’s ribs so that they don’t step on Men’s head nor are they meant to be stepped by Men. They are meant to be by Men’s side, to be protected and to be loved


Shikin is the best sister-in-law so far, well she is the only one so far (a hint to the younger brother). Born in Port Dickson Negeri Sembilan, and was brought up in Jelebu. Her schooling days were in King George V in Seremban and later worked in various companies and countries as Public Relations officer. Guess where she is now? Well, you’ve guessed it, CIMB Wealth Advisors. That is where Johari and Shikin learn to value each other, apart from valuing investments for the Malaysian market that rose from GDP of negative 2% to positive 6% over the last 2 years.

What advise can I give you as a brother in-law? Well, here goes:

When Johari is hungry, he is not fuss. Rice with Daging Kicap and Sambal Tumis Tauhu will suffice (Note that Tauhu will be known as TauKua to you from today onwards). When Johari is back from work looking tired and what not, give him a smile. When Johari is sick, well, it’s your turn to do the hot soup, and not Maggi mee. When Johari faces problems, you stand by his side support him. As I mentioned earlier, Shikin, you are his ribs; because, you are entrusted to protect his heart (both emotionally as well as the cholesterol level). And that would put you at a special place by his side. While you are at it, make the ribs well-done because Johari, he does not take medium-rare steaks.


Bapak, Mak, Abang Fauzi, Kak Ita, Kush, Lina and myself (oh sorry I forget, there is also Faiq, Firdaus, Fauzana and Daniel and the entire Ariff and Arshad clan from the Island of Penang); we are honoured to welcome you into the family. It’s a big family but hey, it only means God is being generous to you.


To both Johari and Shikin, I have introduced the two of you to the floor and I have also given you motivational advices. What you have to do in return is to cherish the marriage. Our family has grown bigger and merrier thanks to the two of you. We look forward to interesting contributions that you can offer to this family. Whilst the other 2 in-laws contributed Ikan Patin from Sungai Pahang and Ayam Kampong from Bangi, we expect you to deliver nothing less than Masak lemak Chili Api from Negeri Sembilan.


I think I have been mumbling too long here. When body language from the floor suggests that my speech is like a politician who don’t mean what they say and don’t say what they mean, it means that I should stop. However, please do allow me a short poem. Here goes:

Itik Serating Ayam Belanda
Masak Kari Nasi Kandar
Johari dan Shikin Segak Belaka
Mengakhiri Zaman Teruna dan Dara

Dato Ishak, Datin Latifah
Lega Melihat Dua Mempelai
Tapi Ingat Bila Balik Rumah
Ada Si Bongsu Belum Selesai

Secangkir Kopi Semanis Puan
Segelas Sarbath dari Tanjung
Terima Kasih Puan dan Tuan
Budi Dikenang Jasa Dijunjung

Sebelum saya mengundur diri, ingin saya menyusun sepuluh jari meminta maaf sekiranya terdapat apa apa kekurangan pada majlis yang tidak sebarapa ini.

Saya sudahi ucapan saya dengan kalimah suci Wabilllahi Taufik Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh dan Selamat Sejahtera.

Terima Kasih

Johan Ishak


Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 9:07 PM

HIS compilation of Tweets is dedicated to my son Daniel Ariff Johan (DANIEL). These Tweets, as appeared in Twitter, were labelled as ||daddyhood|| initially but changed to #danielboy subsequently. The ones compiled here are those from the first Tweet on 21 July 2010 all the way up to today, 2 October 2010, comprising of 75 Tweets. It was compiled and published in this blog out of guilt for not being around that much at home. DADDY is sorry. Work took too much of DADDY's time for the past 4 years of your existence in this world. Now DADDY is trying to repair the damage, if it is repairable. Hopefully when DADDY is no longer in existence, DANIEL can remember DADDY by reading these records of conversations and events surrounding DANIEL and DADDY. DANIEL and DADDY was 5 years old and 35 years old respectively in 2010 when these Tweets took place. DANIEL is DADDY's only child (current status when these Tweets were made). Naturally, DADDY's fatherly love was 100% dedicated to DANIEL.

The decision to compile these Tweets was inspired by a TV commercial where a daddy asked his grown up son "Tu burung apa tu Nak?" numerous times and the son answered "Burung Murai Bapak" numerous times as well,... until the son got fed up and showed irritation and sort of yelled at his daddy "Kenapa Bapak tanya banyak kali ni?". The dad then passed to his son a journal of his late wife's that contain records of events, for which, one of it was an incident whereby the son asked the dad "Tu Burung apa tu Bapak?". Yup you've guessed it. It was asked numerous times as well and the dad kept on answering "Burung Murai" everytime the question was repeated without a hint of irritation or anger. It went on and on until the son fell asleep. After reading the journal, the son's eyes were in tears. Tears of love that can only appear out of realisation - a realisation of the bond a father has with his son.

Have a good read:


DANIEL: Daddy, why are you praying? Is it bcoz u r saying thank you to Allah? for what?
DADDY: yes, for the Slash tickets

DADDY: Daniel, how's the chips?
DANIEL: Good like a bird
DADDY: huh? Why like a bird?
DANIEL: Bird!.. Chip! Chip! Chip! Chip!

DANIEL: Daddy can I have this?
DANIEL: What about that?

DADDY: Daniel, what is your favourite rock band?
DANIEL: Metallica and Queen

MUMMY: If u're naughty, u'll go to hell
DANIEL: Are there Aliens there?
MUMMY: Yes but I won't be there
DANIEL: Huuaaa (cries)

(a car almost hit DANIEL)
DADDY: What happens if the car hits u?
DADDY: Will I cry?
DADDY: What if I die? u'll cry?
DANIEL: If I die, Mummy's tummy will become bigger and a baby will come out and u can name him Daniel
DADDY: :( {with tears}

DANIEL: Daddy, can u buy pool table?
DADDY: Too expensive I don't have the money
DANIEL: U can work late for the money right?

DADDY: Daniel, what is that noisy sound you are playing on the DVD?
DANIEL: It's Guuuuuns nnnnnnnnn rosesssssssssssss!

DANIEL: Daddy, teacher asked me to cut my hair bcoz it looks like a girl.
DADDY: Tell teacher u r a rock star.

DANIEL: Daddy, I am Optimus Prime and Mummy is Bumble Bee
DADDY: So then who am I?
DANIEL: Megatron hahahhaha

DADDY: Boy, go to sleep. Daddy wants to watch dvd.
DANIEL: ....but I want to watch Dora the Explorer
DADDY: Go to sleep now!!!

DANIEL: Daddy, why did u go? It's a red light!
DADDY: Oh! The traffic light is spoilt. Someone will fix it later (lying)

DANIEL: Ok I have to spend time with Mummy today.
DADDY: What about Daddy?
DANIEL: Today no need ok. U go to work

DADDY: ZZzzz ZZzzz
DANIEL: Daddy, why are u sleeping? You're supposed to spend time with me!

DADDY: Daniel, how much do you love me?
DANIEL: errrr, 100.
DADDY: What about Mummy?
DANIEL: I love Mummy 1000

DADDY: Daniel, do you like guitars or drums?
DANIEL: Drums!
DADDY: Ok, we wait till ur bigger before we start drum classes ok?

DANIEL: Daddy why am I not in d wedding photo?
DADDY: Coz ur not born yet
DANIEL: Huaa (cries)
DADDY: (err, what do I do now?)

DADDY: Daniel, Daddy is running for Rat Race
DANIEL: Ohh u mean like Tom & Jerry
DADDY: Yeahh u be Tom chasing after Daddy

DADDY: Daniel, look at what guitar Slash is playing with
DANIEL: ahhhhh it looks like Daddy's guitar

DADDY: Hi Daniel, Daddy just came back from work
DANIEL: ya but its 7am

DANIEL: Daddy can I cut my hair?
DADDY: If you cut, you're not Slash

(on phone Singapore-KL)
DADDY: Hi Daniel, did u miss Daddy & Mummy?
DANIEL: Ok I love you. Have to go bye. Tom&Jerry now on TV

DADDY: Ok Daniel, Daddy is going to watch Pink Floyd concert DVD. Which one do you want to watch?
DANIEL: Queen please

DANIEL: Daddy, can I wear the kongsok?
DADDY: It's a Songkok Daniel

DANIEL: Daddy, why do u pray to Allah?
DADDY: So that I am healthy 2 work 4 money 2 buy u fish n chips
DANIEL: But I hate fish

DADDY: Daniel let's go to sleep
DANIEL: Cannot, I am waiting for Chowder, and then Mr Bean, and then Upin Ipin, and then.....

DANIEL: Hey, u didn't tell me u wanted to pray coz I wanted to follow
DADDY: It's ok Daniel, next time u follow me

DADDY: Daniel, spell your name
DANIEL: Deh Aei Neh Eei Eah Leh (phonetical sound as learnt at montessori)

DADDY: What are u going to do with all these coins Daniel?
DANIEL: I want to buy a garbage truck

DANIEL: Daddy I already put on DVD for Dora the Explorer
DADDY: It's 11pm Daniel, switch it off and go to bed now!

TOK: Why don't you speak Malay
DANIEL: Because I'm English

DANIEL: Daddy I'm saving chocolates for the baby
DADDY: What baby?
DANIEL: The one that should come out of mummy
DADDY: hmm (wifey is not pregnant)

DADDY: Daniel, what do you like to eat?
DANIEL: Durian, Olives, Cheese, Tomatoes and Figs
DADDY: Are u sure u r 5 yrs old?

DADDY: Come sleep now, Daddy is sleepy already
DANIEL: u go to sleep, I wanna watch Upin Ipin

DADDY: Woo hoo, Daniel scored a very very nice goal today!

DADDY: Who do you like better? Led Zeppelin or Guns n Roses?
DANIEL: Guns n Roses

DADDY: Who do you like better? Guns n Roses or Metallica?
DANIEL: Metallica

DADDY: Who do you like better? Metallica or Queen?

DADDY: Who do you like better? Queen or Michael Jackson?
DANIEL: Michael Jackson

DADDY: Daniel, who is your favourite footballer?

DADDY: What song are u singing?
DANIEL: Saminamina eh eh Waka Waka eh eh Saminamina Zanggalewa Its time for Africa

DANIEL: Daddy, can we play the game "Step on Daddy's back"?
DADDY: Cool, let's play. I'm craving for massage anyway

DADDY: OMG, my boy can reach the power switch for the lights up on the wall. He has grown. Did I miss him growing up?

DADDY: Daniel, do you want to go to the big blue mosque today?
DANIEL: yeahhh yay

DADDY: Daniel, today I have something special for u. It is the cousin of Roti Canai and it's called Roti Naan.

DANIEL: Happy birthday Daddy
DADDY: Thank u, how old do u think Daddy is?
DANIEL: Don't worry Daddy is still "New"

DADDY: Daniel, if you don't eat the chicken, your hair will be white like Tok's.
DANIEL: (silence while staring at Tok)

DADDY: Why don't u want the green one?
DANIEL: I want the blue one coz it looks like Argentina football team

DADDY: Why do you like Michael Jackson?
DANIEL: Bcoz there's ghost in Thriller and Michael Jackson can turn into a robot

DANIEL: Daddy, can you teach me the prayers "Koolah Koolah"
DADDY: Oh you mean "Kulhuwallahu Ahad"?
DANIEL: Ya that one

DADDY: What is this violence u r watching?
DANIEL: I like Chowder, pls don't change the channel.
DADDY: Chow what?

@mzulkifli: It's 1.30am. Do u know where your children are?
@JohanIshak: Next to me sleeping
@mzulkifli: Good daddy

DADDY: Daniel, how much do you love Daddy and Mummy?
DANIEL: Like the stars in the sky

DADDY: Daniel, u haven't hug me for today
DANIEL: errrr next time ok, I want to play computer games

(on the phone)
DANIEL: Daddy where are u?
DANIEL: ok nevermind that, can u buy me Ribena?

DANIEL: Gimme the racun, gimme the racun
DADDY: It's'Mercun boy
DANIEL: Oh ya Merschaun Merschaun (ala french slang)

DANIEL: Mummy, lets play awesome.
MUMMY: Daniel, its not awesome. Its O'som. It's'bird, water n rock.
DANIEL: I'll use bomb

DANIEL: Daddy, is tomorrow still holiday?
DANIEL: So u cannot go to work tomorrow
DADDY: Don't worry, I'll be home

DADDY: Daniel, how did Chowder fly?
DANIEL: He farted fire
DADDY: Huh? (What cartoon is this? the South Park type?)

DADDY: yay Daniel scored 2 goals but Daddy was too busy with budget & consolidation to attend d game :(

DADDY: Ok Daniel I'm going to work
DANIEL: Huh? But u slept all day?

DADDY: Put on your seat belt!
DANIEL: Daddy you just go ok I can do it myself

DANIEL: Daddy r u going to see your husband at work?
DADDY: Huh? No, I don't have a husband. I hav a wife and she is Mummy

DANIEL: Daddy, Tok and Opah are old people but you are not so old. You are a little bit young
DADDY: Is that what they say?

DADDY: Daniel, enough with Michael Jackson video clips! Daddy wants to watch other DVDs now!

DANIEL: I like it when you shampoo my hair
DADDY: Why? DANIEL: Bcoz it feels like massaging heh

DADDY: Hei look at what Daddy got you
DANIEL: What? What?
DADDY: A garbage truck!

DANIEL: Saminamina eh eh waka waka eh eh
DADDY: Sorry what? U want Kakak Saminah to get u water?

DADDY: yayy! Daniel scored the goals. These boys are getting better at football planning on the field!

DANIEL: Daddy I want to join the Thriller dance at Dataran Shah Alam
DADDY: You go with Mummy coz I have to do some work ok?

DANIEL: When I grow up, I want to be like Michael Jackson
DADDY: Hey, u stole my tweet wordings

DADDY: You must eat some meat Daniel. Choose chicken, beef or fish.
DANIEL: I don't like meat, but I will eat Fish

DADDY: Daniel u didn't score any goals today
DANIEL: It's ok we can go eat roti canai now

DADDY: Don't kill the ants! What if u were the ant and somebody squashes u?
DANIEL: But Daddy, that won't happen in my world

DANIEL: Daddy, next time buy a car with Michael Jackson CD in it
DADDY: Errr... Ok

To be continued at COMPILATION OF #danielboy TWEETS PART 2



Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 7:12 PM

This is my first review of a motion picture, particularly on TV series. Often I do have comments on movies that I've watched but mostly verbally and never written anywhere. After watching Nur Kasih, I felt the urge to share my thoughts with the public. It is different. It is a paradigm shift from the usual Malay dramas that you have seen in the past decades. It is, for lack of better words, a fantastic TV Series highly recommended to all Mass Malaysia, be it urban or mainstream Malaysia, teenagers, mid-ages or oldies..... Muslim or Non-Muslim, Malay or Non-Malay (Although its target audience is Mass Malay).

Simply fantastic. However, I must warn, it is slow and you'll need to go through all 26 episodes to get the intended full effects emotionally, artistically and morally. After all, it's no surprise why it is draggy when it is a drama, a Malay drama, a Malay drama that covers tradition, moral values, religion and the struggle of live itself. I present my review:



Title: Nur Kasih
Type: TV Series
Genre: Mass Malay Drama
Year: 2009/2010
Length: 40 minutes X 26 episodes
Writers: Mira Mustaffa, Maizurah Ederis & Marina Hashim
Producers: Francis Foo, Kabir Bhatia & Mira Mustaffa
Directors: Kabir Bhatia & Faisal Ishak
In association with: TV3, Harian Metro, Alt Media & Juita Viden
Main Casts: Remy Ishak, Fizz Fairuz, Tiz Zaqyah, Dato' Jalaludin Hassan, Ayu Raudhah, Lisa Othman, Sharifah Sofea & Umi Nazeera

"... each and every character created has bold appearences in the series almost owning specific human characters in a metaphoric way... jealousy, sacrifices, traditionalist and of course, the highlight of the series, an epitome wife!"

V3 recently saw a hike in viewership for its air time slots for Nur Kasih. A brand new TV series for its Malay drama schedules. They have always excelled in Malay dramas for which, Astro has always envied. Naturally, like many others, I got curious and wallah!, a 26 episodes DVD landed on my desk (as requested via my secretary). Nur Kasih! was now in my possession. I am not a big fan of Malay dramas but somehow, after watching a few series of Samarinda back in 2004 featuring Rosyam Nor, a little bit of interest sparked. Hence 2010, 6 years after, would be a good time to re-evaluate how a local Malay drama would impress urbanised Malaysian, like myself, who often declare that they are not Mass Malaysia! And so I watched all 26 episodes. Fantastic.

Credit must be given from all aspects. Firstly, the cinematography is of world class standard involving brilliant camera positioning, shot angles, space usage, colour coordination, focus shifting, lighting, sunlight & shadow capitalisation, countryside panorama & landscape and breathtaking foreign vista and sceneries in Mekkah and Australia. 2 thumbs up for the directing by Kabir Bhatia and Faisal Ishak for that refreshing look for a local production.

Secondly, the direction by the 2 directors brough up characters from the actors/actresses to fulfil what was intended by Mira Mustaffa, Maizurah Ederis and Marina Hashim. It is simply magnificent piece of script writing for building the characters in the series. Each and every character created has bold appearences in the series almost owning specific human characters in a metaphoric way. Remy Ishak for example, displayed a magnificent representation of a rebelious son that went against all traditions and family values. Fizz Fairuz on the flip side, potrayed perfect example of a God-fearing, law abiding and respectful patient man who upholds sacred and good virtues. Same with the other characters that depict amongst others, behaviours such as jealousy, sacrifices, traditionalist and of course, the highlight of the series, an epitome wife! by Tiz Zaqyah.

Thirdly, a truly appropriate and relevant storyline for the modern day Malaysia that still exercise certain fusion of traditional values. The writers were obviously inspired by real life scenarios in the modern day Malay life be it urban or in the kampongs (villagers). At some point, viewers may feel a certain degree of exaggeration but if you reflect upon it, those various scenarios do actually exist in the real life of the mainstream Malaysians particularly the Malays.

You do find kampong teenagers who flies abroad to study and loses traditional values and at the same time embracing western culture. You do find folks in the kampongs who are still primitive it their idea of what a marriage is. And of course, such struggle do exist and it creates other unnecessary pain in life like unavoidable polygamy. The only problem with Nur Kasih is, the writers are trying to force all these struggles in a series. This makes the series rich in moral values but less realistic than what a normal typical Malay life would be.

Back to the scripts, the storyline gave quite a condusive platform for good script writting. You will notice a departure from the usual "all Malay language script" to a more realistic combination of Malay-English and at times, Arabic as well. A truly realistic approach to match the storyline that involves traditional beginnings that undergo urbanisation locally and overseas and a peaceful ending involving religion, in this case Islam, in the Arab speaking region of Saudi Arabia. Apart from that, what is relevant in the modern contemporary life has been made relevant in the series. One good example is e-mail communication. Gone are the days where Malay drama has bits and pieces of a girl crying when reading a hand written letter. We now have people reading emails on laptops even in the kampongs.

So far I've touched the generic elements of a TV production such as storyline, scripts, cinematography, directing, casting and characters. No doubt Nur Kasih scored highly on those elements but what matters most is what does it all mean to its primary target segment, the Mass Malay Market! One need to understand the audience before offering anything at all to them. The Mass Malay Market is of course the mainstream Malaysians, mostly Malays in the sub-urban and kampong environment. This is automatically linked to traditional values, religious up bringing, political inclination and their struggle to co-exist with the urbanised sections of the country. Therefore, will it not be appropriate to analyse Nur Kasih from its underlying message to the viewers?

Having gone through all 26 episodes, I think, on the surface, Nur Kasih offers these broad observations of which some are meant to be moral values, some are merely reminders of the struggle in life, particularly in the Malay society of Malaysia and of course, at the end of the day, it is up to individuals to reflect and influence their own lives as they feel fit:

1. Progressive God Fearing vs Progressive Modern Atheist: The main characters, the two Malay brothers, Adam and Aidil, a ying and yang, a balance of good and evil, both embarking on their own journey of opposite directions. The former, drifted away from religious teachings, embarked on an adventure of colourful journey in Australia as an architect, ended up with a westernised life of alcohol, night clubs and an Australian wife. The latter, studied Islam in Cairo, returning to the homeland with ideas of how Islam should be viewed in the modern day Malaysia only to realise that his respect for parents and old traditions restrained him from implementing such ideas. The two later came back to each other's arms after going through a series of sacrifices, heartaches, confusion, misunderstandings, hatred and an eventual forgiveness.

2. Marriage of Own Choice vs Marriage Arranged by Parents: This is a struggle many Malaysians face, not necessarily Malays but also some Indians. To the non-Malaysians this idea of "arranged marriage" should have been abolished long time ago. However, in Malaysia, there exist a generation of traditionalist who strongly adhere to such ways. Of course tradition itself is insufficient to justify, hence other moral values come to play. In Nur Kasih, the parents' persuasion of a marriage with potential In-Laws of their choice is based on the need to rescue a son back to the religious and traditional path. The son accepts but only not to disappoint the parents. This is a perfect example of how many Malays in particular, have married companions not of their choice for the sake of respect for their parents. What happens when the parents are no longer alive? How do you live as husband and wife when you don't love each other? How does it all end? Divorce? Reunited with the old flame? All this are practical matters that do happen in the real live,... and Nur kasih is a tale of it.

3. Single Marriage vs Polygamy: Islam allows man to marry up to 4 but only if you are able to be fair to all wives. In Nur Kasih, the polygamy was only to the extent of 2 wives. There is polygamy and there is also persuasion for polygamy. Both scenarios happened at a diffirent time of a particular character's life and both happened unnecessarily as well. Why? Well, my observation on "arranged marriage" above is one of the reason why polygamy happened in Nur Kasih. In the other scenario of "persuasion" for polygamy, it involves parent's traditional view that a man should take his brother's wife when she is widowed. Now all this is very confusing when you are trying to fit into the modern environment but it does happen even now. Nur Kasih goes on further to show the evolution of how two wives in a polygamy just can't accept such arrangement, later, ended up loving each other only because of a common reliance, a love of a husband.

4. Selfishness vs Sacrifices: Aidil, the elder brother that studied Islam, has been a protector to his little brother, Adam, since birth. He protected Adam from being beaten by gangsters. He protected Adam from being beaten by his dad. He protected Adam from almost everything to the expense of him suffering in every manner. A brotherly sacrifice. Of course some of us, elder brothers, we do want to take credit for protecting our younger brothers but will you sacrifice the love of your life only to be given to your younger brother as a wife? Hah! I got your there! No you wouldn't! But believe me, there are such things happening in the real life. Again, all this at the back of respect for the parent's wish. In Nur Kasih, it was also to save Adam from being lost as an Atheist. It seems that the lady is able to do this. In Nur Kasih, she sort of did it although she was not the primary reason why Adam had repent. Adam was also the opposite of Aidil. He was selfish only to consider his own needs. This changed when realisation hits.

5. Separation vs Union: A marriage without love can cause tragedy. Divorce is definitive but separation is not. In Islam, a woman cannot remarry if she has not been divorced. In Nur kasih, this happened to both wives in the polygamy. One was left by the husband because he simply did not love her (arranged marriage) and on the other hand, the other wife left the husband as a protest to polygamy. So everybody got separated for years and years and of course, like many dramas, they all reunited again with love and affection to each other. The funny thing is, the husband never even wanted to marry two. He was content with only the one love of his life but as mentioned earlier, an arranged marriage that was persuaded made polygamy unavoidable in the name of respect and tradition.

6. Hatred vs Forgiveness: There was a lot of hatred in this series. Everywhere there are reasons to hate each other. The two brothers of course had reasons to argue over the wishes of their parents as well as over a lady that is to be wed not on the account of love. There are sins committed between son and father for difference of opinion in life styles. There is hatred betweeen wives that belong to a polygamy. There is also hatred between wives and husband for the separation, for the grief, for lost of child and for insensitivity. Too much hatred can and should only end with forgiveness. Whilst that is a fantasy in most lives, it is the moral values that one ought to embrace and cherish. All these sufferings at one point, with a weak human mind, can cause hatred to God, but by God's will, forgiveness can eventuate, only if you ask God for it. This is where Nur Kasih introduces the beauty of Islam in the whole scheme of things. It makes it more effective (to the audience) when such message is backed up by scenes in the Muslim Middle East Mekkah.

7. Myopia vs Open Mind: There are elements of myopia for which, the characters in the series were shaped to battle and to have an open mind. Aidil, an Islamic scholar, had to battle with traditional Islamic practices and struggles to introduce modern Islamic thinking. Backed with Islamic teachings, he opposed the idea of arranged marriage, the idea of Muslim women not being able to claim divorce and to the idea of polygamy without certainty of fairness by the husband. Nevertheless, no matter how strong his Islamic education is/was, he lost some of his battles. In the end, it all happened for a reason. A reason only God knew at the dawn of the tragedy that was only being revealed to the rest later at dusk.

8. Melancholy vs Happiness: What a dramatic drama this is. Full of pain. Full of sadness. Full of sufferings. A melancholic life that everyone (the characters) went through, but over passage of time, through realisation, through forgiveness, through repent, through sacrifices, through patience, through regrets, through love and through will, happiness awaits, in death or life. The brothers, the husbands, the wives, the parents, in the end, achieved happiness not just from their own efforts for better lives, but also by God's will.

9. Earthly Love vs Godly Love: Nur Kasih, in a nut shell, is a story of love. A story of how love goes onto a journey of life causing sufferings but in the end, it is all worth it because, love, brings happiness. Love between man and woman, love between husband and wife/wives, love between siblings, love between parents and children, love of knowledge and justice, love of tradition, love of dignity, love of independence, love for reasons, love for religion, love of life itself and of course, the divine love for God.

"... Nur Kasih offers moral values and reminders of the struggle in life, particularly in the Malay society of Malaysia and of course, at the end of the day, it is up to individuals to reflect and influence their own lives as they feel fit... "

Nur Kasih is relevant to Malaysia!


Friday, August 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM

only started running last year. It started with 1km per day for 3 times a day. I know,.. pathetic right? I was a runner for 4 X 400 in school for my sports house and won gold medals and shit and now all I could do was 1km? Realisation kicks in.... so I started running. First it was around Section 13 Shah Alam where my house is. Then in the Gym at Kelab Shah Alam, now combination of both with occasional visits to TTDI park with work colleagues. I have also started doing weights just to balance the cardio.

My aim was really to improve stamina and to reduce weight. I started running around July 2009 and 6 months afterwards (Jan 2010), I must have lost about 10kg bringing down 85kg to 75kg. For my height 170cm, the ideal weight should be 69kg. Getting there,.. getting there. Today I am at 73kg with Ramadhan helping the effort. So yeah,.. 4kg to go before I am officially in the perfect ratio of height vs weight. Of course I did control carbo intake, especially rice and sweet drinks, and increased on protein for a diet.

I don't intend to be a health freak but it does feel good to have a leaner body and better stamina. I sleep better, work better, improved sinus problems, no more back pains and shoulder tense and happier mood.... and of course, I look better (for my wife to appreciate). However, I struggle on 1 thing,.. smoking. Tried to quit recently but it only lasted 23 days. On the 23rd day, it was STAROBA weekend,.. so yeahh,.. that did not help. Nevertheless, efforts to quit smoking is still on-going. I am no longer a chain-smoker but a social-smoker, if that makes any sense at all,....

So back to running. I had targets that seemd to increase in expectations everytime. It started with 1km non-stop medium speed. At first it was impossible but as time goes by I could do it. That target moved from 1km to 1.5km, to 2km, 3km, 4km and finally, today, I can run for 5km non-stop. My speed is rather medium. 5km would probably take me about 42 minutes. To some that is slow, but for me, a smoker, a 35 year old who left physical exercise, sports and what not, 17 years ago, I think I deserve the celebration. My next aim is to be able to finish 7km non-stop and then 10km. The target can grow but given my age, I suspect I won't reach anything above 10km for a non-stop run.

I don't really play sports nowadays. Used to play cricket and football when I was working and studying in Australia and rugby at school but now, nothing really. So running is my only outlet for being healthy. How do I make it interesting since I have abandoned sports in my life? Well,.. what I did was, I bought new jogging shoes, some Adidas or Nike sports attire and watch, i-Pod!! and Power*Balance wrist band hologram thing that is supposed to produce some frequencies to regulate blood circulation........ All these in preparation for social runs.

Yup,... make it a social event. Go run with the lot. There were a few that I missed due to other commitment but I managed to get myself involved in some in 2009 and this year. Some photos and info of those runs as below:


- Date: 6 December 2009
- Distance: 4km
- My time: 60 minutes
- Main Organisers/Sponsors: Salomon, World of Sports
- Friends who ran: My wife, Riza, Suzana


- Date: 19 June 2010
- Distance: 5km
- My time: 50 minutes
- Main Organisers/Sponsors: Kelab Shah Alam
- Friends who ran: My wife


- Date: 27 June 2010
- Distance: 5km (Marathon = 42.5km. Anything less is called Fun Run)
- My time: 40 minutes
- Main Organisers/Sponsors: Standard Chartered, New Balance, 100Plus
- Friends who ran: Riza, Suzana, Farnida, Avian, Siew Fern, Lola, Farha


- Date: 3 August 2010
- Distance: 4.5km
- My time: 35 minutes
- Main Organisers/Sponsors: Bursa Malaysia, The Edge, EON Bank
- Friends who ran: Dato' Seri Farid, Farisha, Seelan, Airin, Sofwan, Shareen, Fos, MJ, Addy

[Blogger's Caveat: This blog is meant to be for arty farty type content. However, I wish to share with All, all my experience in running. It is unfortunate that I do not have a blog for my activities other than arts (buanaseni) and music (jam the eadgbe). I do have another secret blog which I don't reveal my name but that is more political and current affairs type content. Usually if it's not arts, music or politics/current affairs, my activities will appear in this blog as Photography work. Running however, does not have much photography involved. So, do accept this post as artistic coz sports, is somehow, a form of arts as well]

Some of the photos:


at 10:51 AM

Left to right: Johan, Ahmad Izham Omar, Dato' Johan Jaaffar, Eddy, M. Zulkifli, Azhar Borhan

'KECHEWAS was an idea toyed by Ahmad Izham Omar ("Izham"), a musician who thinks he can run 5km run alongside DJ Seelan Paul. Izham had an idea of forming a band of musicians who did not end up becoming musicians in life but still holds the passion for music - hence "D'Kechewas" which means "The Disappointed". It's a "dream finally reached" kind of feel, well, short of being perceived as "midlife crisis". No, no, don't be negative - It is a "dream finally reached" for me at least.

Izham is a musician but most of the time, he is (was) a CEO of 8TV. So if you want to say that he is not a musician per se, you can,... but then again, he just won the best album of the year 2009 under Anugerah Industri Muzik for Faizal Tahir's Adrenalin. Let's just assume that he spends 90% of his time as a CEO rather than a music composer - so ya, Izham in not a musician - I must be stupid to say this when he was the founder of Positive Tone.

Azhar Borhan is an Otai. Very experienced in the entertainment industry involving music but not quite a musician by profession himself. He is the GM for Content Development in Malaysia's largest TV content creation company, Primeworks Studios. He may have been one of the main man behind introducing Sheila Majid to the world but yah, "per se", again, let's just assume he is not a musician coz I see him in his office most of the time browsing thru his Mac.

M. Zulkifli has one confused career path history. This dude started of as a magistrate kicking asses into jails and what not and suddenly, like Moses after the burning fire of bushes, changes everything. He became editor for FHM, Malay Mail and some other publication, and later appears at 7am on TV as the host for Malaysia Hari Ini ("MHI"). MHI is just a cover up,.. actually, he is a nerd in the office doing whatever it is he does as the GM for Content for and,..... and the soon to come,

Eddy is an arty farty guy... never heard him fart before but yeahh, he is an arts guy. As the Director of Arts, he produces images, adverts, whatever it is that you may call artistic or aesthetic (or at least in his mind) for clients of TV3, TV9, 8TV and ntv7. I heard a rumour that he does have a blues band performing in some bar but all I can remember about him is "the guy who creates TV advertisements". He even decided to advertise some products on his skin in a tatoo format. Cool guy.

Then there is me, Johan. As briefly described earlier, Izham, M. Zul, Azhar and Eddy do have some significant touch in their life that relates to music,.. but me, hmmmm, what can I say? I'm a bloody accountant for the past 14 years and will continue to be so for the next 14 years before someone manages to convince me to earn money via Network 21 of Amway. The one proud thing I can say is, as the GM of Finance Media Prima, I look after the money from the businesses that Izham, Azhar, M. Zul and Eddy manages.

There is another person, Iesta. A guest member who proved himself worthy of being called musician when he started to yell to the top of his lungs at Hard Rock Cafe Penang gig. This dude is the GM of Corporate Affairs for Primework Studios. Not sure whether he manages the "affairs" in the office but he is (well he thinks it's a "was" rather than "is") a bloody accountant as well.

So Izham had all these dudes, including him, to start jamming at various studios, mostly being Black Brown Blue Studio (not sure the arrangement of which colour comes first or next but it's BBB basically) in Hartamas and Akarkarya Studio (Acis-Sheila's) at Uptown Damansara. We were destined to perform at a Media Appreciation Night attended by all sorts of media people (Media "characters" more like it) as well as for an internal function for Media Prima at Hard Rock Cafe Penang. To date, I have not managed to get the video for the Media Appreciation Night but I did get some shots for the Hard Rock Cafe Penang gig as documented in my blog post D'Kechewas mustanged the night at Hard Rock Cafe

Yeahh, so that is D'Kechewas with the latest line up as below (This line up is not the original, there were some dudes who left earlier):

Keyboards: Izham (Captain)
Vocals and Guitar: M. Zul
Guest Vocals: Iesta
Lead Guitar: Azhar
Drums: Eddy
Bass: Johan

For a while we were quite frequent in these jamming sessions but it has since slowed down. I had a quick chat with Izham last night after buka puasa and we will, soon, re-commence, this "finally reached dream" - for a start, we can always do the usuals first before trying new songs - just to kick start the engines - our usuals are as listed below:

When I Come Around - Greenday
21 Guns - Greenday
Kiss - Prince
Rozana - Search
I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
Every Breath You Take - The Police
With or Without You - U2
Mustang Sally - Wilson Picket

It is quite an experience to be back in jamming mood and mode. The last time I really had a jam streak was probably 14 years ago when I was in a Malaysian student band performing for the Malam Merdekas type functions in Melbourne Australia. So now, I have also started to jam with my long lost Australian band members as listed in my blog post Prelude. D'Kechewas is not meant to be a recording band but it allows people like me to live (or re-live) my passion in life. As a result, I have enrolled myself for guitar solo classes that I go every Sunday morning under the guidance of the #20 ranking guitar teacher in Malaysia, Saudara Rockers Hasnol (not sure which band he comes from).

I must thank my fellow D'Kechewas for having the trust in me playing the bass guitar although I am the most inexperienced of the lot. Somehow Izham felt that I am worthy of it - Thanks Boss. Also special thanks to Seelan Paul for promoting us at Hard Rock Cafe Penang and also to Datuk Kamal and Eliza who were the backup vocals at Hard Rock Cafe. To close this post, I would also like to thank The Edge for covering D'Kechewas,... well they didn't really covered D'Kechewas,.. it was actually covering Ahmad Izham Omar but Izham decided to revolve the interview around D'Kechewas given that the title of the article is "after hours" as extracted below:


Friday, August 13, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Title: Saul Hudson
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Time/Date: 7:00pm - 11:00pm; 5 August 2010
Venue: Sunway

For full write up on Slash's visit to Sunway, see:
Slashed the Night with Slash


Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:47 PM

OCK is my favourite musical genre. Recently I read a blogpost of a friend entitled My Top 10 Favourite Hard Rock Songs Of The 80s. Whilst some of his choice earned my concurrence, I'd rather spread the list to cover 70's and 90's as well coz the spectrum of Rock really progressed over those 3 decades covering many cool bands whose names remain as iconic idols for the modern day rockers. Hence, my list of Top 10, of course may not be to your liking but worthy of being shared nonetheless:



Dr Mark Knofler is simply a music genius. No wonder why the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne conferred him an honorary doctorate for his contribution to human civilisation via his soothing easy listening rock and roll and melodious tunes that captures the hearts of many. His was a more wide spread acceptable rock style which had its appeal to non rockers as well. As the lead guitarist and the vocalist of Dire Straits, really, he has put the band on par with many others, some of which listed below. Whilst my music inclination was somewhat influenced by Dire Straits, it wasn't hard enough to my liking, although I must admit, those late night drives back home from work was maintained within an acceptable level of sanity by this song.


The late Freddie Mercury and his band Queen is simply superb. He transends all Glamorous Rockers. No one have I seen has managed to potray glam rock to that level yet still managed to hold the attention of rockers of all time. Whilst rockers are often homophobic, they'll probably still accept Mercury. Me and my band tried to jam this song once - yup, you've guessed it - total disaster. The song is full of weird arrangements with variety of riffs and licks and timed at weird intervals and what not. You name it. Mercury made this song into a jigsaw puzzle for jammers. And of course, the lyrics caught everyone's attention with its imfamous "Mama Mia" and the ever controversial "Bismillah We Will Not Let You Go"


Well, well , well. I grew up in the mid to late eighties when rock and roll was progressively transforming into heavy metal. There were many off shoots of heavy metal such as black metal, thrash etc but one subset caught my attention, ie. speed metal. These dudes in Halloween was super fast. This song in particular carried a unique attractiveness as it is alien in its content - a song on some sort of Frankenstein saga coupled with the speed metal riffs that set a higher benchmark for followers of speed metal. When I was abroad, I roamed all over the world to look for the particular CD that made this song famous, ie Halloween Live in UK. I looked for it for 10 bloody years in Australia, US, Malaysia and UK but finally managed to get hold of it in eBay, an old CD but the sound is still of good quality.


The Rising Force is a name that many may not have heard. Who was in this band? Well, the greatest guitarist of all time after the death of Hendrix, Mr Yngwie Johann Malmsteen, who, by the way, adores Hendrix like mad and even uses a Fender Stratocaster like Hendrix, ie cream and white and shit. This song was "the" song that introduced Malmsteen to the eyes of the world. This swedish bastard reinvented classical music in a hard rock presentation with his speechless arpeggio of notes. I started learning how to play the guitar because I was in love with many rock songs but I started to "really" play guitar solo after listening to Malmsteen's inferno charge of rush from his heartfelt guitar solos. Not to mention me and him, yea,.. me AND HIM, share the same name except that his has an extra "N" - Bloody Swedes!


Sure Mark Knofler was academically superb and Malmsteen was a pioneer of classical arpeggio hard rock and Hendrix was a class of his own,.. but Saul Hudson (aka Slash) has an aura to him that made teenagers of his time go crazy over rock and roll. When I was old enough to appreciate music, there were only 3 surviving rock and roll bands - Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Guns'n'Roses - although Deep Purple was still around but they were not that active. Naturally, the youngest and the coolest of the 3, ie G'N'R, won my heart. Slash, the lead guitarist of the band, was the reason why I did not follow the foot steps of Hendrix and Malmsteen in appreciating Fenders. Slash, in his own revelationised and revolutionised introductory solo lick for Sweet Child O' Mine opened my heart to Gibson Les Paul. I've tried that piece on many guitars but never can you get that fantastic sound by Slash other than on a Les Paul. So I bought a Gibson Les Paul to be my 3rd wife after my 1st human wife and my Ibanez RG Series. By the way, got tickets for Slash concert this 5th August 2010,.. yeeehaaaaaa!


I started listening to rock by the newer bands and only realised how significant the old timers are much later in my life. So I started listening to the grandfathers of hard rock. These granfathers, well, they really know how to create riffs that sticks in your head forever. Who can ever forget the introductory riffs to Smoke on the Water? That riff is the elementary piece for guitar beginners who are exploring rock chords rhythm (ie, the two or three string progression of chords in forming songs) - Simply superb arrangement by Deep Purple's lead guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore. I once went to Deep Purple's concert in Genting and blimmey, I realised that how Guns'n'Roses is to me, Deep Purple is to some old timer such as the CEOs of leading plcs in Malaysia. You see all these high profile Malaysian corporate figures listening to Deep Purple! So indeed, the era of 70's hippie rock was the main stream of that time.


Malmsteen made me want to learn solo. Slash made me buy Gibson Les Paul. Deep Purple made me appreciate rock chords rhythm progression. Guess what Led Zeppelin did to me? Well, guitar plucking has never been manifested thoroughly as effective as the plucking for Stairway to Heaven. Until today, whenever I tune my guitars, I will always test the plucking of the verses in Stairway to Heaven - superb way of expressing A minor with the progression of bass-like running notes on the 4th string coupled with an epitome ending of alternative notes at 1st string to complete the plucking of the chord - not an expert in describing how it is played but that is my interpretation - I am sure it's not A minor all the way but it has to be variations of the A minor family. Anyways, yeahh, Stairway to Heaven, a classic example of a song that starts with a calm composition, inviting bridges and ends with chaotic distortioned rock-jumping riffs coupled with the superb solo by Jimmy Page, the band's lead guitarist.


Hendrix was in his own class. No one was ever in his category and none after him ever fit into it either. His was a unique one. He calls it "Freakish Blues". Whilst he has many freakish blues songs, Little Wing's blues has an attractiveness to it that mesmerised many guitarists. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai and many more did their versions of Little Wing but hey, Hendrix delivered the best. His was not too hard not too mellow. A soothing song with a twist of freakish blues and a feel that came from his heart suitably played from his infamous Fender Stratocaster. Today, jammers still do this song from various instruments, mainly guitars and the keyboards. Musicians of today have somewhat accepted Hendrix approach in guitar expression to be the prophesized revelation of blues. The modern hard rock and rock and roll evolved from blues anyway - so why not appreciate the roots?


I have loads of CD collections ranging from the old rockers such as Black Sabbath to the new ones like Pearl Jam, from the pop rock styled U2 to the hard core thrash of Sepultura,.. and what not. But if I was ever asked a question "If you are given a choice to only choose 1 CD not to be taken away from you or destroyed, which CD will that be?" The answer is Pink Floyd - Pulse. This is a recording of their concert and mind you, Another Brick in the Wall never failed to entertain me whenever we (my band) jam this song in the studio. Simply superb. I play the bass so this song, naturally, is close to my heart coz the bass, drives this song. I love this song and the chorus "We don't need no education...." is the epitome rebelious statement you can ever think of back in the 70's. I am also proud to announce that I heard this song being played last ever, live by Pink Floyd, on TV from Hyde Park, during the Live8 concert arranged by Bob Geldolf (Is that how you spell his name?). Pink Floyd never did appear in public after that - that was the last - unless they appear again after this blog post.


Ok. drum roll........ The number 1 rock song of all time, in accordance with my assessment, is the crunchy hard heavy metal dampened rhythms and macho screamings of Hetfield, the magical and melancholic solo of Hammett, the Black Sabbath influenced drumming by Ulrich and bold bass lines by the lagendary Burton.... Master.... of.... Puppetsssssssssssss............... I have to tell you. Metallica's music arrangement is superb. The crunchy riffs have the speed of Helloween and the melody of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin's heavy expressions. The complication of song arrangement has the sophistication of Bohemian Rhapsody. The middle bit instrumental mellow bridge has the melancholy feel that of Mark Knofler and Pink Floyd. The guitar solos have a dark character to it like the classical arpeggio of Malmsteen and the freakish Hendrix. And of course, if G'N'R has a stage presence for being a glam rock band, Metallica storms the stage like no other heavy metal bands have done - which makes them worthy of carrying the name "METAL"lica to represent the heavy metal population. If you've noticed for No. 10 to No.2 above, I have somewhat revealed how those songs (and bands) influenced my music inclination. How did Metallica influenced me? Well, in short, Metallica is the pandora box of rock to me. Without Metallica, I'd probably end up being a fan of some un'cool' types of music like those by Pet Shop Fuckin Boys or that geek Rick Astley. Thank God God opened my eyes to rock tunes!


There are other cool songs for which if mentioned, you may not be familiar (the likes of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin or even Child in Time by Deep Purple),.. and there are also other bands and musicians who do produce fantastic rock songs but when limited to Top 10, they are not mentioned (such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Carlos Santana, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Pearl Jam, Kromok, Sepultura, Ozzy Osborne and Black Sabbath, Tesla, Eric Clapton and the Cream, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Scorpion, The Police, Live, Eagles, Van Hallen, Def Leppard, Montley Crue, Loudness, AC~DC, Rainbow, Black Crows, ... and the list goes on forever).

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