Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thanks For The Memories, Karl Roy

[Photo credit: darylljann on Flickr.]

By now almost everyone knows that Pinoy rock great Karl Roy has passed away. I wanted to write a proper blog entry, but I couldn't organize my thoughts enough. After a few aborted attempts I gave up and just dumped them here in bullet points.
  • True story: My chest tightened up as I read the statement from Roy's sister confirming his passing. I'd like to think that meant I was indeed a fan. After all, I wasn't that affected when I heard about what happened to Whitney Houston, or to Bodjie Dasig of Bodjie's Law of Gravity fame.
  • I missed seeing all of Roy's bands play live.

    Advent Call came to Naga City when I was still a high school student there. They played a multi-band concert at the Plaza Quezon during one PeƱafrancia Festival. I didn't go. Rock concerts then could be dangerous to your health; a fight or two almost always broke out.

    P.O.T. and Kapatid, meanwhile, I saw many times from the late '90s to the early '00s.
  • P.O.T.'s self-titled debut album only came out during the summer before my sophomore year in college. But from that point on, P.O.T. was part of the soundtrack of my college years.

    My boardmate L beat me and bought the album first when it was released. Still, I think I played that cassette tape(!) more than he ever did.
  • Whenever I sing (sing daw, o) along to "Panaginip" I always replace "yakap" with "singit." I also add a "f******" to the pre-chorus of "F.Y.B." It's because A) I'm juvenile and B) that's how Roy used to sing those songs live.
  • People are parsing his bands' songs, looking for any lyric that sounds remotely like a premonition.

    For example, there's the Advent Call song "Puting Ilaw" that opens, "Saan ang langit, kaibigan / Saan pangakong kaligayahan / Aling daan tungo sa paraiso / Pag-ibig natin, iisang damdamin."

    And of the entire Kapatid discography, "Prayer" seems extra poignant now.

    My own bet, though, is the P.O.T. song "Piece of This." After all it starts, "Farewell to my friends / Thought I'd leave you all behind, yeah oh no."
  • In those multi-band concerts in Ateneo P.O.T. almost always played last. That was because they were a very tough act to follow.

    A typical P.O.T. performance was full of energy, to put it mildly. The band never failed to incite mad slamdancing and headbanging. Walaan talaga. Often the crowd would get up onstage with them.

    Pity any act that had to follow that. They had to play to a relatively sedate crowd that was still trying to catch its collective breath after the Roy and company-inspired mayhem.
  • Having a favorite band is awesome; having friends who also like your favorite band is awesome-r.

    In college J and I used to try to sing "Ulitin" while walking to our next class. We could never get the lyrics right, but we didn't care.

    R, meanwhile, once bootlegged a P.O.T. concert at the now-defunct Tia Maria's across Ateneo. It was a kick-ass show, as usual. Between songs Roy kept asking for "Pulang Kabayo, Pulang Kabayo." I remember listening to the tape days later and being pissed at myself for missing that gig.
  • All Filipino showbands have Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" in their back pockets, but P.O.T had the cover version to end all cover versions. To this day I can't bear listening to any other band playing that song.


  1. can you share the cover version of POT of Play that Funky Music... im a big KR fan but im overseas the last decade, completely missed Kapatid era...


    1. Sorry, I can't help with that. I don't have a recording of that cover; I was writing from my memories of watching P.O.T. play it live. Thanks for the visit, though.


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