"Fanty bhai was my mentor. During our first meeting, I told him that I wanted to be a drummer. I shadow played "Station road" and "Jhorna theke nodi" in front of him. His words inspired me and boosted my confidence, and I totally immersed myself into drumming."
This was one of the anecdotes that Riyadh Sarwar of LRB shared with host Syed Ziaur Rahman Turjo during the fourth episode of "Drummerhood at home."
Organised by Stargazer, the live show features renowned drummers who contributed to shaping up the country's rock music arena. The first episode aired on May 10 of this year.
Till now, the show has featured Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu (Warfaze), Riyadh Sarwar (LRB), Ahsan Elahi Fanty (Nagar Baul, Feelings), Mahbubur Rashid (Miles, Rockstrata), and Pantha Kanai.
Ahsan Elahi Fanty participated in the Eid special episode where he also reminisced about the old days. "I bought my first Tama drum in 1983 with pocket money," he recalled.
"It cost Tk40,000 and I paid half of it to bring the drum home. After a few months, the owner took it back because I could not pay the full amount."
He added, "I started going to Feelings' practice pad from around 1984. I became good friends with the band members and it became a regular thing. That is when my real musical journey began."
He went on, "At that time, Gulu was the band's drummer while James and others were in the line-up. When Gulu became irregular, I got the chance to play. Later, he asked me to play the drums regularly as he wanted to play the keyboard."
"It was somewhere between 1984 and 1985 when James directly asked me to join Feelings."
"When we got tired of playing cover tracks at hotels, we thought, especially James thought, of doing Bangla songs. By that time, he had already earned the title of 'Guru'."
"Our struggles knew no bounds, yet we kept doing music out of love for it."
"Drummerhood at home" stands out among other live shows and webinars as it brings out many unknown stories and information from the formative years of Bangladesh's rock music industry.
In 1976, a young Tipu used to take tabla lessons at Chhayanaut. He talked about how he became Warfaze's drummer on the first episode.
He said, "I participated in the popular talent show 'Notun Kuri' and played music with my siblings."
"I grew up in Gopibagh. Iqbal bhai, a senior brother from our area, noticed my interest in conga and percussions. One day, he asked if I wanted to play drums. Then he took me to meet the band leader of 'Bishphoron Shilpagoshthi'."
"That was the day I first saw drums and tried to use the cue of tabla on them. And it all started from there," said Tipu.
Every Sunday, Turjo goes live with a guest from Stargazer's official Facebook page. He is also the drummer of Miles and the company's chairman.
Turjo is an excellent host who makes the interactions lively.
While talking to The Business Standard, he shared his excitement regarding the exclusive, live sessions.
"There were many drummers in the 1970s who are not in the music scene anymore. I felt we should make an archive and learn more about their journey as they paved the way for us," he said.
"We want to cover the history behind every decade of the rock music industry, and these videos will be archived for future use."
"Hosting the live show is an honour for me, and I enjoy every bit of it. The guests bring back nostalgia and important information from the past," added Turjo.
"These characters came out of my childhood and getting to talk to them is unbelievable. I consider myself lucky."
"During our conversations, we take walks down the memory lane and reflect on changes that happened in the industry over the years."
The show is a treat for rock music lovers. With a motto to work closely with drummers, in 2018, Stargazer organised "Bangladesh Drum Day", the first event of its kind. The live show is another attempt by the company to unite all drummers.
Upal, drummer of rock band Dreek and the managing director of Stargazer, told this correspondent, "We started thinking of doing something for drummers during the pandemic as everybody is staying indoors. 'Drummerhood at home' is an outcome of that thought."
Reaz, drummer of the band Mechanix and director of Stargazer said, "Each episode is a must watch for young and aspiring musicians. Without the contribution of these veteran artistes, the rock music industry in our country would not have developed. And our aim is to create an archive. As long as viewers are interested, we plan to continue the show."