Giving teeth to music

Aug 10, 2018, 08:15 IST | Shunashir Sen

Listen to a 12-member band that is led by a practising dentist and includes a radiologist and banking honcho

Giving teeth to music
Dr Victor Rodriguez with his guitar at his clinic in Colaba. Pic/Bipin Kokate

When we talk about Mumbai's indie music circuit as it stands today, we generally refer to people in their 20s and 30s playing in live bands or electronic outfits. Yes, there are the Uday Benegals and Sanjay Divechas who count as veterans in the scene. But we have rarely come across a person who started in a beat band all the way back in the '60s and is still playing rock music. And never before have we heard of such a musician who is also a practising dentist. Yet, that's exactly what Dr Victor Rodriguez is.

What's more, Victor and the Crowns — the 12-member band that he fronts — also includes a radiologist, Nikhil Cunha, and a partner at Goldman Sachs, Sonjoy Chatterjee, apart from other professionals. So it almost seems as if the characters of the movie Rock On! have multiplied in number and gained in age. For, like with the protagonist in the film, Rodriguez, too, gave up on his music for a while as his dentistry practice blossomed, only for him to be enticed back into his hobby thanks to happy circumstances.

family

"After the beat band that I had started with my brother, Peter, folded up, I virtually stopped gigging for a few decades. Then, people started asking me to play for charity events at St Andrew's Auditorium in Bandra, old age homes and other places. So I would round up a few guitarists and singers and put on a show. But that changed when a patient of mine suggested that I play at Blue Frog. I told her, 'You must be joking.' But she worked on it, and until that point, we would never charge any money. Blue Frog, though, said it's their policy to pay musicians. And that turned out to be a good thing, because we now have three professional musicians in our ranks, and it's not fair on them to play for free," Rodriguez tells us.

He adds that their repertoire reads as a rock 'n' roll hall of fame playlist. There's everything from The Rolling Stones to Abba to Billy Joel. "But the most important thing is that we all do it for the love of music. The rehearsals at my place — which take place at around 8 pm when everyone's done with work — are like a party, with dinner, drinks and everything. So, ours is a fun band," the dentist says, giving us a glimpse into what the vibe will be when they take the stage at a SoBo venue this evening.

On: Tonight, 9 pm onwards
At: The Quarter, Royal Opera House, Mathew Road, Opera House, Girgaum.
Call: 8329110638
Cost: Rs 749 onwards

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