Lee Eliot Berk (right), with Lawrence Berk, student Johari Salleh, and Charlie Mariano. (Circa 1967)
Dato' Johari Salleh
While I was away on a short vacation in Cherating with my husband and teenage daughters, my father was ruthlessly "attacked" by ignorant and arrogant individuals. I was only made aware of this tonight, by my very upset brothers and family. Even my mother, who has been divorced from my dad since 1978, voiced out her opinions in defense of the truth.
We are all appalled with the way the media had twisted his words around just to sell their newspaper. We are also equally disgusted by the abysmal way certain quarters had tried to justify THEIR mistake!
Let's put things in proper perspective. My dad graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, America in 1968 and went on to become one of the most prominent maestros in Malaysia. All during that time, the insecure nobody who has been trying so hard to compensate his own inadequacies, was probably still exploring his own genitals! And now, that little nitwit is claiming that he knows more about music than my dad does!! How pompous can you get?!
I pity the fool who twisted my father's words to start a scandal just to draw attention to an insignificant talent show that does not yield real talent as their so called graduates of it's 'academy' or champions! I find it distasteful and inhumane to criticize the talent of others when most of the judges themselves have talents that are questionable. Unfortunately, the Malaysian audience represents narrow-minded and shallow people who prefer good looks to real talents. This is why my father never bothered to follow such so-called 'reality tv shows'. There's nothing real about it at all.
The younger generation of musicians must wake up and smell the coffee. Without the likes of P.Ramlee, Johar Bahar, Alfonso Soliano and my dad paving the musical way for them, they would have nothing today. No idea whatsoever! The young musicians of today don't have the right attitude towards learning. They think they know everything just because they can play a musical instrument and read a few notes. With this mindset, they learn nothing. Their skills are so technical and soulless. They chase fame and glamour. They want to be respected but they don't know how to show and give respect!
Some may say that my dad may already be a 'has-been', together with the others of his time and those who came before him. But they will never be forgotten because their names have gone down in history, etched in stone, forever. As for these wannabes, all I know for sure is that they will be forgotten like yesterday's breakfast. Yeah... old musicians of yore may be has beens now. But at least they have been here. As for the wannabes, that's all they will ever be...
Poor insignificant fools!