Loganathan Arumugam, vocalist of the legendary Malaysian band, ALLEYCATS, has passed away this morning at the age of 54. He was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The band Alleycats is definitely before my time, but often I've heard of them when growing up. That's because my father, Eric Yeo, was their producer. While the iconic Alleycats have long cemented a place in Malaysian pop history, I know them as normal people, just long-time friends of my father.
My childhood memories are fuzzy, but I remember meeting Alleycats numerous times when my father brought me to a studio for recording sessions. I was a toddler then, but I remember them speaking and playing with me when they were taking a break. Obviously, vocalists Loga and his elder brother David left the deepest impression. I called them 'Uncle Loga' and 'Uncle David' then (and had always been amazed by their magnificent afros, and their ability to speak Hokkien!) Unfortunately, I haven't met any member of the Alleycats for more than 15 years.
Although I've already learnt about Loga's lung cancer a few months earlier from my father, the news of his passing is still rather shocking and saddening to me.
Loga and the Alleycats played a significant role in Malaysian pop history because, as Jeff Ooi had mentioned in his blog entry, 'their music taught us Malaysians to be once blind of colours'. They were the epitome of Malaysia's multicultural and multiracial harmony, where a band and their songs can be embraced regardless of their race or skin colour.
Rest in peace. And thank you for the memories.
Like Jeff Ooi's entry, I'm also putting up videos of Alleycats' performances so that all my readers from everywhere can share a bit of my country's pop history.
Seribu Bintang (A Thousand Stars), composed by my father
Loga singing Nota Terakhir