OAG: The Boys I Once Knew…

OAG …The Old Automatic Garbage.

THE names – Radhi, Qi, Lam and Ivan – have remained in my mind as fresh as the day I met them 21 years ago at Positive Tone studio in Petaling Jaya.

That quirky (music) sound and the fun-loving characters came to mind when I heard their song being promoted on Fly FM in the past few days.

I am not sure if that’s the new composition or an acoustic version of an older song. But when I first heard it something triggered in my brain. But I didn’t know what. I couldn’t pin point what did it remind me of…

Then it was announced that it was in fact OAG… and it all started to flood my memory ever since.

And here I am trying to write something about the boys that I have soft spot for. I was carrying a torch for them for the past 20 years. And sure, they are not young boys anymore. Radhi has two children, Qi is reportedly dating actress Nelydia Senrose while as for the rest the boys, I am not really sure what they are up to now.

I was very new to entertainment world when I first met the boys. Was previously writing for news; entertainment is a world apart from (news), undoubtedly.

We became pretty close and I loved more than anything to tag along when they have studio recording session or video filming. It was the time when I was really into getting involved with music and musicians as a way to enhance my knowledge for my writing. Such as the time when I went to watch you guys fliming the video for that classic 60’s TV in a warehouse somewhere in Kuala Lumpur.

Quietly I feel proud to think that I was the one who broke them into the mainstream with my story in The Star when everybody else was writing about who’s who in the music industry.

Being the person that I am, I was more than happy to interview obscure, independent musicians who went against the mainstream. I guess it suited my rebellious nature. Go against establishment. And in my mind these musicians need my help (and other media) more than the already popular and established names.

I still remember how happy I was when OAG started getting recognised. I could see how they started getting featured in other publications and how their popularity shot up.

By then, the boys have became household name, and I was quietly watching them from the side. Proud that the talented young boys were making it in the music industry with something new and fresh. Something different. And I was so glad that they received due recognition for their substantial talents.

Their popularity coincide with the birth of my baby boy. Since then, I became less and less active in my pursuit of writing about out-of-the-box musician/band.

But I can safely say that everytime I read about OAG, I have always felt that maternal pride of sort. To think that one time in our life, years ago, we were so close. I love the boys and very proud of them.

Over the years, from the news I read, the boys have gone separate ways and OAG fades away while Radhi seemed to be hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons. He got himself embroiled in controversies. But thats what growing up was all about. You continuously learning. And making mistakes along the way.

Prior to my resignation a year ago I bumped into Radhi who seemed was making a solo comeback then. The moment he noticed me, he just came over and hugged me. What a sweet guy. After quick pleasantaries he told me,” I am really sorry, if you have noticed, somebody (very famous name) claimed to have discovered OAG years ago which was wrong! It was you! You are the one who was with us from Day One when nobody bothered to give us second glance…”

Guess what Radhi, I wasn’t even upset. Because I was and am still with you guys 20 years later. I wasn’t with you guys because OAG was the “in” thing then. I honestly love your music and the boundless energy, not to mention music-making talents.

Regardless whether I went for your events and concerts or not. I have always been with you guys. Quietly. Cheering on the side when you guys did something awesome. Feeling sad whenever I read something unsavoury about any of you in the news. Through it all, you guys hold special place in my heart. A