Friday, June 6, 2008

Dato' Johari Salleh - My Father.

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!


Emmanuel Ombilod said...

I can't believe that one of my greatest mentors is criticized that way. I just thanked him today on facebook on my degree project for my film composition. From my own words, I can't describe how talented Dato Jo (DJ) is. For even though the work that I just posted a few days ago was appreciated by him (DJ), I never think that I'm even close to his musical talent.

For me he is one of the greatest music maestro who is still living,breathing and walking in Malaysia.

To view at my project and also Dato Jo's comment click the link below:

Johana Dato' Johari said...

Thank you for your comments, personal views and appreciation of my father's talent. Hold on to my father's favourite quote: Aim high! Stay blessed.

Azman A Hamid said...


You do not know me.I met you when you were around 4 or 5 years old. It was Hari Raya. My father (Abd Hamid Kassim) is a very close friend of your father and colleague at RTM. My mom was also there and I also remember meeting your mother Nor Azah Aziz who was a newsanchor at RTM. You were very precocious. My name is Azman and the second youngest child of Uncle Hamid as that was your appelation for my dad. I think your father is such a talented and gifted musician. His compositions are timeless and so beautiful. I still remember Gus Stein. Is he still alive? From the way you describe your father, I can tell how much you love him. God Bless!

Johana Dato' Johari said...

Dear Azman,

Thank you so much for your note. As I'm sure you noticed, this blog entry was made several years ago. Recently, I had uploaded onto Facebook several old photographs including those with the late Uncle Gus Styne. These photos were taken during Uncle Charlie Mariano's stay in Malaysia. He lived with us while he was here and it was a joy to have known such a legend. His daughter Cynthia Mariano is on Facebook as well and I have reconnected ayah with her so they can recall together the happy memories when ayah lived with them in Boston.

If you are on Facebook, please look me up. Just Johana Johari. I'll reconnect you with ayah. I'm sure he'll be very pleased to hear from you again.

Stay blessed.

albert said...

i was working for dato johari when
he was pengarah muzik dbkl orkestra tell you the truth....i call him a living legend....super arranger, musician, and a good mentor ... you re great dato....