Published: 26th March 2022
What happened on March 26: First and last time English band The Police came to India, remembering Beethoven
Yes, The Police performed in Mumbai in the year 1980 and this is how a few Parsi women made it happen, all for a good cause
The year was 1980 and the Parsi ladies of Time and Talent Club in Mumbai wanted to host a fundraiser for education, poverty relief and medicine. And not just any fundraiser, something that would leave a mark. Around the same time, they learnt about the famed English band, The Police! Yes, yes, we are referring to the same hit-making machine of a band known for songs like Be My Girl – Sally, Behind My Camel, Can't Stand Losing You and so many more!
So, what was to be done? Via a Mumbai agency, the ladies reached out to the band and the date was set — March 26, 1980. The venue was set — the now-defunct Rang Bhavan. When the news got out, all tickets were sold out. Naturally.
When the D Day arrived, it brought music as well as mayhem. Fans tried to climb the neighbouring wall to get inside. All was excessive, even the funds that the ladies managed to raise by the end of it all. And this is how, ladies and gentlemen, Mumbai's first-ever rock concert was organised. Also, this was the first and the last time The Police performed in our country!
Do you hear that?
You've surely heard his tunes, even though you might not have known it was his composition. And isn't that the greatest mark of an artist? That their art precedes everything, even their name. Ludwig van Beethoven is the name and March 26, 1827 is the date when he passed on.
Beethoven lost his hearing at 26, lost his heart in vain at least twice, lost his life at 56, but his timeless tunes are just that, timeless. His symphonies, chamber music and piano sonatas, though there is so much to talk about, let's just look at Beethoven's Ninth Symphony which is over an hour long. It uses singers, both chorus and orchestra, the first symphony to do so. It was unprecedented, in both scale and scope. You have to hear it to believe it.
Because March 26, 1874 is the day poet Robert Frost was born, we leave you with his poem, Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.