Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thanks For The Memories, Mr. Manny Amador

Manny Amador, the original guitarist of Pinoy rock band The Breed, passed away yesterday, so for an hour or so last night I listened to their songs on YouTube.

I can't recall now how I first heard of the band, but I do remember that I bought a cassette tape of Alert Level The Album when I was a high school sophomore. It was a seminal compilation album that featured then-unsigned groups Color It Red, The Breed, Tropical Depression, and Rizal Underground, all of whom became respected names in the local rock scene. On the album's "Alert side" The Breed contributed early versions of "Black Mercedes Benz," arguably the song they're best known for, "Apocalype," and "Free."

The Breed was also part of probably the first concert in Ateneo that I ever attended as a college freshman. It was one of those multi-band affairs held at the College Covered Courts, and the group received a big cheer when they told the crowd that it was a homecoming of sorts because Amador and bassist Johnny Besa were Ateneo graduates. I found that bit of trivia especially cool because until then, I didn't know a band that had Ateneo ties whereas some of my favorite bands then like the Eraserheads, Yano, and Datu's Tribe all came from UP.

That same concert was also notable because: a) Wolfgang played a set that included my all-time favorite "Cathedral of Space," b) an English classmate who performed and thus had backstage access had Wolfgang sign my copy of Punks, Poets, Poseurs: Reportage on Pinoy Rock & Roll by Eric Caruncho, as well as the liner notes of my cassette tapes of their Wolfgang and Semenelin albums, c) Jowett was there (we weren't buddies yet then) and he proudly showed me the concert poster a few of the performers autographed for him, and d) I got to "dance" with a college crush to "Asar," a single from the Breed's first solo album Free.

So yeah, I have a few good memories to thank The Breed for.

You may click on the "play" button below to hear "Asar":

And for good measure, here's the music video for the unplugged version of "Black Mercedes Benz":

I'm doing Manny Amador a disservice by referring to him merely as an ex-member of a now-disbanded group (he has had a successful IT career since leaving the band nearly fifteen years ago), but I don't know him from anything else aside from The Breed.

Meanwhile, in its obituary of Amador identifies him primarily as actress Pinky Amador's brother. The original text of article drew flak because it barely mentioned the deceased and talked mainly about Pinky and her involvement in a TV series that's currently airing on ABS-CBN, and even carried her photograph. Good thing the obit has since been edited to include Amador's photo and further biographical information about him.

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