Sudesh Bhosle speaks on the May 15 Laxmikant-Pyarelal concert

Sudesh Bhosle will be singing songs of multiple singers and his own in the May 15 Laxmikant-Pyarelal concert. Photo: Sudesh Bhosle

After a gap of almost 25 years, a concert on Laxmikant-Pyarelal will be held on May 15 in New Jersey at the CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton, part of a concert tour in that month all over USA. Pyarelal will himself conduct the series, featuring a huge ensemble of musicians from their original recordings as well as their regular singers like Kavita (Krishnamurthi) Subramaniam, Amit Kumar and Sudesh Bhosle, besides Sadhana Sargam (who sang rarely for them), Mohammed Salamat and Priyanka Mitra.

What’s more, the show will be hosted by three top female stars of their era, with whom they have had a long and musical association—Zeenat Aman (Roti Kapada Aur Makaan, Satyam Shivam Sundaram et al), Padmini Kolhapure-Sharma (Prem Rog, Pyar Jhukta Nahin etc.) and Rati Agnihotri (Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Coolie and more). Interestingly, Padmini played Zeenat Aman as a child in Satyam Shivam Sundaram and lip-synched one version of Yashomati maiya se.

(Zeenat also recited a few lines in Yashomati maiyya se, and Padmini in Tere bina main nahin in L-P’s Woh 7 Din).

A 500 film score in a career that began in 1963 and whose 25-year peak ended in 1993 marked Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s genius and versatility. Their career flagged only after Laxmikant’s demise in 1998, but Pyarelal continues to make music. As recently as November 2021, this writer published Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, a book on this L-ong P-laying duo, or L-P as they are known, on Rupa Publications.

While Pyarelal said that he was “too busy” in rehearsals for the concert weeks before his departure from India, we spoke to Sudesh Bhosle, singer and mimic extraordinaire, about the show.

Excerpts from an interview follow.

You have been a part of many Laxmikant-Pyarelal concerts for decades. What is the difference this time?

Obviously, it is the fact that Laxmi-ji is no longer around. As with recordings, he was naturally more connected with the singers as Pyare-bhai would be busy more with the musicians. Pyare-bhai would be always more into orchestration and is a perfectionist. We singers would be a bit scared of him!

On stage, both Laxmi-ji and Pyare-bhai would conduct, Laxmi-ji on the left, Pyare-bhai on the right. Laxmi-ji would always be excited and expressive with his body language! He would always cheer us up, enjoy our modulations, and encourage is to dance and jump on stage. Pyare-bhai always wanted the song to be exactly the way it was there in the film.

In concerts, the audience always appreciates it when a song’s tempo is increased in the end, like with, say, my Jumma chumma de de (Hum). The response is always tremendous, which I know because I keep doing concerts around the year by myself or with others.

And the special thing I am looking forward to is the fact that this time, as with earlier L-P concerts, I will be singing on stage in the presence of its creator. This is what is especially gratifying, as it was so when I sang in the presence of Kalyanji-bhai and still sometimes do with Anandji-bhai of the Kalyanji-Anandji team.

What is the play-list going to be like? Amit Kumar told me that you are going to also sings songs by all three legends—Rafi, Mukesh and Amit’s father Kishore, besides your own!

Pyare-bhai had the immense humility to ask me for my views on their play-list, saying that I had done more stage shows than him! My experience tells me that not all great songs get a good response when presented on stage. There are some that sound good when heard, and some that look great within the film, but we must judge which songs will elicit a superb response when presented on stage!

Yes, while Mohammed Salamat sings like Rafi-saab and Amit Kumar will sing his own songs as well as that of Kishore-da, I will be singing songs like Mukesh’s Sawan ka mahina (Milan), Ek pyar ka naghma hai (Shor) as well as songs by Shabbir Kumar and Mohammed Aziz as well. Then there will be Kishore-da’s My name is Anthony Gonsalves (Amar Akbar Anthony) and Paisa yeh paisa (Karz). And Amit and I will join forces for Om shanti om (Karz)!

Laxmikant-Pyarelal, whose concert is being held on May 15 at Trenton, NJ, have scored music for 500 Hindi and regional films between 1963 and 2004. Publicity Photo.

What would you say is the biggest highlight of this show?

L-P’s songs—and they have made thousands of immortal numbers—are the heroes here. But Pyare-bhai himself conducting the show, with 80 percent of the musicians being those who have actually played for them at recordings, often in the very songs, and also us singers will be the high points. Also, our three show anchors were all top heroines of those times and they not only have their own individual draws but are making rare appearances on stage. They will also have so many stories to share on the songs L-P composed for them.





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