Sunday, January 16, 2011


Remember our coming-of-age years? Those were the good old days. Music played a huge part in my life when I was in high school and Form 6. Remember the EPs and LPs, Top of the Pops and Dick Clark's American Bandstand? I spent hours listening to chart-toppers, and spent a bomb buying copies of teen magazines just to swoon over pictures of my favourite teen idols, especially Ricky Nelson.

My prized possession at the time was my huge collection of song books. I had compiled thousands of pages of handwritten lyrics of Billboard's Top 40 songs. I knew the words of every single hit and enjoyed singing along whenever they were played on the radio or the turntable. Those 1960s hits have become classics of yesteryears.

Then came the university years. My songbooks were soon replaced with reference books. I lost touch with pop music, and much later discovered another genre of music that was darker and less innocent. But that's another story.

Fond memories of those teenage years came flooding back again last Tuesday, courtesy of Alfred Ho, 61, guitarist and singer extraordinaire. When I heard that Alfred was playing at Ol' Skool Bistro, I knew I just had to be there.
I had such a blast that night, singing and dancing to Alfred's rendition of evergreens. His music makes you want to snap your fingers, move your feet and sing along. It has that feel-good effect on his listeners. You can feel the passion, the energy of this man as you watch him on that little stage, sitting all alone on the stool, guitar in hand. When his fingers start plucking the strings and as he sings the first few notes, you know you are in the presence of a genuine legendary performer.

Here's a sampling of Alfred's music videos:

Blind since the age of three, Alfred's visual impairment has not stopped him from having a vision of his future. He hopes to perform in Las Vegas one day. All he needs is someone to give him a break. Ted Williams got his, why not Alfred?

While waiting for that break, Alfred has another dream too that's closer to home. He wants to start a cafe where he can share his love of good music and good food with good company. A place where older folks (like you and me) can relax and feel right at home, and where everybody is a friend.

If you want to help turn Alfred's dream cafe into a reality, do watch this space. Seniorsaloud will keep you posted on Alfred's upcoming concert. In the meantime, do support him by showing up at Ol' Skool Bistro, Jalan Gasing, PJ. Alfred plays there every Tuesday till end of February. His CDs are on sale at all his performances.

For more about Alfred, his music and his story, click here. Alfred also performs at private functions. His extensive repertoire includes Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and Vietnamese songs. You can contact him at 03-7984 8560 / 016-635 9800 or e-mail him at

1 comment:

newd acid said...

One of our country unsung hero.