MEMOIRS

Bopin' B-Bops Band
by
Ichie Boy Balagtas
Manila, Philippines

The Bopin’ B-Bops band was formed in 1963 at Mandaluyong, Rizal. The original members were: Bing Santos – vocals/mastertech, eventually played sax; Mike Obaob – lead vocals; Mon Eleazar – drums/manager; Dimpling Ledesma – lead guitar/vocals; Jimmy Millan – bass/vocals and Boyet Aquino – rhythm guitar, eventually played keyboards.

HIGHLIGHTS: B-Bops regularly played at Plaza Airways, Makati, a production made possible by Rupert Jacinto. They played for around a year with contemporaries such as The Moonstrucks and The Purple People. They played at debut parties, fall-outs and in schools like Don Bosco, Ateneo, La Consolacion, Sta. Catalina to name a few and even played at the Junior’s/Senior’s Prom of St. Joseph’s College held at Club Pilipino at Santol, Sta. Mesa, Manila with George Ramos’ Vipers. The B-Bops also highlighted the inauguration of A&W Rootbeer Restaurant located at United Nations Ave, Manila, a performance simultaneously aired “live” over the radio.

The B-Bops also played at several TV shows like: JAM SESSION hosted by Bobby Ng; DEAR CHANNEL 9; and the “classy” INSIDERS. The group also appeared in the film “THE GRADUATION” with Dolphy and Helen Gamboa.

In 1969, Bing Santos left for the States but the group remained and shifted their path to go overseas, a reason that have caused a sudden change in the B-Bop’s line-up. Carlito Catral played sax/vocals; Sonny Panis and Tito played keyboards and bass respectively. They played in Japan and Korea. Their manager, Ramon Eleazar continued to play music. Formed bands after the B-Bops having The Originals as one of them. The Originals went to Korea, Japan, Guam, Acapulco, U.S., Panama, Puerto Rico, toured Mexico and U.S.A.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Bing Santos is presently with the group called “Intensity Band” as the drummer/vocalist/manager and is based in Seattle, Washington. Mike Obaob is in Chicago presently playing music. Jimmy Millan and Boyet Aquino re-constructed the B-Bops "AGAIN", playing good old Rock ‘n’ Roll this time with Tito Bautista (formerly of the Erratics) with Ed Diaz, Matt Fernandez and Ichie-Boy Balagtas (son of former Erratics’ drummer Alvin Balagtas III).



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