LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, Sept. 17, 2005, Saturday at the KISS CLUB, was again a Night to remember, to say the least.
Let me start by saying that my "hat's off" to all the sleepless night and efforts contributed into this Vegas Jamming-Reunion by the organizers comprised of Jess Dungan, Poldy Aranzamendez, Tony Aranzamendez and Dan Bornilla. These bunch of guys, fellow Pinoy classic rockers, from Las Vegas prepared for that event about 3 months in advance and in one night, it's all over. But it goes without saying that it was very rewarding and was a Total Success!! Nides Aranzamendez, Manny Tagalog, Ben Yanto, Jay Husfelt, Jun Caberte, Raymond Ungson and Jun Montemayor, are just few of our PCR eGroup members that made this event a REALITY. This event is supposed to be a Jungle Cats-Bits N Pieces Reunion but it turned out to be a full-blown PCR Reunion-Jam instead because other musicians also attended and performed. The Vegas Jam organizers, the PinoyClassicRock.com website, all the performers as well as guests who attended this event and more importantly, to the owners of KISS CLUB, Glenn and Nina Alberto for accommodating such an event EN GRATIS, we would like to extend our sincere thanks.
The afternoon started with the Bits N' Pieces Band from Los Angeles, California, playing some disco music like Earth Wind and Fire, VST & Company, to break the ice, so to speak. Led by Jay Husfelt, Jun Caberte, Niki Domingo, William Peñaloza, Ed Samson, Babes Gutierrez and Marifel Husfelt.
It was followed by the reunification of former-members of Jungle Cats band, who played the last time together over 3 decades ago, led by the ever-energetic Raymond Ungson providing the vocals, Danny Bornilla on keyboards, Poldy Aranzamendes on lead guitar, Tony Aranzamendez on bass and Nides Aranzamendez on drums. They played an almost perfect rendition of "PURPLE HAZE" for a start.
Then followed by the BARKADOWS Band from the SF Bay Area, led by Celso Singh, Cesar Llorente, Nelson Guiab and Manny Tagalog. The band played classic music by the Shadows, such songs like Apache, Kon-Tiki, Perfidia, Foot Tapper, Blue Star, Shadoogie, and a Cliff Richard's song called the "Young Ones". It was a great time to remember our good old days in elementary/high school.
The Wonderfools, also from the Bay area, followed. Led by Jun Montemayor on lead, Vince Ungson on keyboards and second lead, Raymond Ungson on bass, and Walter Pennington on drums. They played some great Bee Gees tunes and a few Beatles rendition. At this point, Raymond had to step down, feeling exhausted. He was truly in the groove and sang his heart out. For once, I thought he was a teenager again. He truly rocked!
When Raymond sat down, Sonny Santos-keyboard and Titoy-Bass of the San Fernando band as well as Lucci Salvane jammed-in and performed a popular R&B “Mustang Sally” tune with Ben Yanto and Jess Dungan alternating on vocals. As the jamming gets hotter, Nides Aranzamendez then was substituted by Ewett Bonifacio on the drums when Nides decided to play conga and timbales for a "Soul Sacrifice" popular classic tune by Santana.
They were followed by a Make-Shift Band, made up of different band members. They also played instrumental music by Shadows & Ventures led by Lolo Boy on lead, Art Fajardo on drums, Tony Aranzamendez on bass and Jun Montemayor on rhythm. Later on, Vit Villavicencio, formerly of the Howlers Band, replaced Sonny Santos on keyboard and Randy Avellar of the famous "Society of Seven" sang "Just Once" to the delight of the crowd. Then, Nides Aranzamendez did his incomparable drum-style rendition of Brian Bennett's "LITTLE B", Jess Dungan capped-off their performance to the tune of "Play That Funky Music".
The night was getting heated-up, so the BeatJacks Band also from Vegas played next. This band was represented and led by Jess Dungan on vocals, Tony Aranzamendez on bass, Lucci Salvame on sax/trumpet, Winnie Negoza on keyboards, Bobot Guererro on drums, Esther Dungan as female vocals and Jojo Monroy on lead guitar. This is an upcoming band to watch in Vegas. Actually only a few days, one day jamming, one day of practice, one day of rehearsal and then the BeatJacks started playing at the Kiss Club the Sunday, Monday and Friday before the 17th Jam. They were also joined by Pepito Alcova (IN10CT band) played trumpet & fugel horn. They will be performing at the Ramada Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, a few weeks from now.
Next, was the Bits N' Pieces Band for a second round of Cha-cha, Rhumba, Swing and Solo performances which again lasted for 20 minutes.
Then came Jess Maniquiz and his Pira-piraso Band, which was composed of Rene Molina-bass, Jay Husfelt-drums, Niki Domingo-vocals, Danny Mack-lead and Vit Villavicencio-keyboard. This bands forte was the 60's Beatles and Dave Clark 5 songs. Later joined on percussion by Vaughn Velasco.
Although the time was not enough to accommodate all the rockers present that night it was a night of reminiscing and plain getting together. Majority of all those who were present enjoyed the company of friends and former band mates, some of whom, the last time they saw were from 20 to 30 years ago.
All our members who are now with our Creator, who contributed a great deal in the Pinoy Classic Rock distinct kind of music, were given tribute as the night passed away such as Rey Sanchez, Boy Adan, Eddie Nicolas, Bob McCoy, to name a few.
Jun De Guzman, all the way from Sydney, Australia, who sang "Come Fly with ME" with the Bits N' Pieces Band. Great patience on the directions I gave you going to The KISS CLUB that night. Thanks for coming-until next time.
Jun Roque, formerly of Bad Habits band and who's from Vancouver Canada, called via cell phone, exchanged pleasantries and send congratulations to all the performers that night. Also Roger Jereza from Guam also phoned-in to say send his best wishes to the PCR Vegas Jammers.
Glenn Velasco, Rebby V of the IN10CT Band, Randy Avellar of the Society of Seven fame and a big number of guest performers, that I cannot take account, thank you all for coming into this wonderful event, until our next PCR Reunion-Jam.
Also in attendance were Benny Hufano (Thunderbirds, Originals), Danny Yuson (Jovials) and many more. Their presence at the event truly promulgate of what the Pinoy classic rockers are all about.
The event was also highlighted as a PCR Fundraiser and spearheaded by Ben Yanto (PCR webcreator), selling the leftover souvenirs from our 1st PCR Reunion in Nov. 2003 at Southern California as well as auctioning the one & only Juan dela Cruz (JDLC) Pagkalas Reunion Concert's t-shirt that was held in Manila last June 11. The PCR raised a total of $150 to be donated to the American Red Cross towards the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
After packing all the equipments, some of the band members who were at the jamming-reunion concert went to Sun Coast Casino to watch the "Elements Band" where Danny Bornilla is the Keyboard and Musical Director. Some went to Barbary Coast to watch the San Fernando Band, where Titoy plays bass and Sonny a keyboard player & musical director, and others went to see the IN10CT band at Orleans club.
Until next time, To everyone who in someway contributed for this event, THANKS FOR A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, IT WAS WORTH THE TRAVEL!! GOD BLESS.