Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bombay to Goa to Los Angeles County

I had a jolly watchalong of Bombay to Goa with Memsaab today, and it's a wonderful, funny film - and a perfect stress release after four days of fretting about a rain-soaked basement. However, "O Mehki Mehki Thandi Hawa" tossed me a nasty surprise.



I don't know why I'm shocked anymore, after examples ranging from Pritam's "Yeh Ishq Hai" from Jab We Met/Angggun's "Être Une Femme" and Bappi Lahiri's "Koi Yahan Nache Nache" from Disco Dancer/the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." I guess I expect more from Burman, though clearly I shouldn't.* At least he copied it effectively - the bouncy, sunny Beach Boys sound fits in perfectly.

Okay, I had to get that out of my system. I loved the movie and have plenty of good things to say about it. Plus even this gripe hasn't been a total loss. Somehow in poking around youtube for song clips, I found this endearing video of two guys doing their own picturization on the Tube. Yes! That's what it's like in my head most of the time!

* Talk about not meeting your heroes - take a listen on the itwofs page to a song that came out before Sholay's "Mehbooba Mehbooba."
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12 comments :

Banno said...

I loved 'Videowala Lafanga'. Yes, I guess that's the way Hindi film songs are in all our heads. I remember as a teenager, belting out loudly off-key at home, all by myself. Haven't done it in a train yet. Thankfully for the general public. 'Bombay to Goa' is serious, serious fun. Forgive all the copyright trespasses.

Mister Naidu said...

Loved Bombay to Goa...especially the Beach Boys lift! Funny!.. About Mehbooba Mehbooba...it blows away its "inspiration" to bits. Mehbooba has grit, oomph and soul while "Say you love me" is like melting ice cream.:) Plagiarism isn't always bad!

memsaab said...

If I liked the Beach Boys better than I do I wouldn't have minded...but RD could have written a much better original than that!

*Hate the Beach Boys*

bollyviewer said...

From the link on RDB's various "inspirations" the guy seems to have very wide-ranging musical interests! You've got to give the guy points for listening to everything. ;-)

I remember a PTV (Pakistan state TV) compere commenting on RDB's borrowing the worst of Pakistan (he was referring to Kabhi bekasi ne maara from film Alag Alag, that was a lift of a Pakistani song) and wondering why he couldnt "borrow" from any of the better Pakistani compositions, instead!

Pessimisissimo said...

I'm reminded of the time Arthur Freed and Nacio "Herb" Brown were asked to write a Singin' In The Rain item number for Donald O'Connor along the lines of Cole Porter's "Be A Clown." Their response: "Make 'Em Laugh."

Maybe someone asked R.D. Burman for a bouncy, Beach-Boys-type song.

Anonymous said...

Not fair! Demis Roussos is said to have lifted the song from a Cypriot song, Ta Rialia, by Michalis Violaris. Demis Roussos released that single the same year Sholay was released.

Those things are worth noting.

Eric said...

I've only seen a couple of Bollywood films, but they all seemed very festive.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Rd's copy of "Come on Let's Twist" is SO much fun! I have to say though, as much as I disapprove of the plagiarism, RD rocked it every time.

Beth said...

Banno - I've been singing this one for weeks. It's so catchy!

Mister Naidu - I enjoyed the movie a ton. Totally adorable. As for "Mehbooba," I like both versions.

bollyviewer - That's one way to look at it! :)

As someone has since pointed out to me, the Beach Boys themselves lifted quite a few songs from Jan and Dean. SHAME!

Pessimisissimo - That'd explain it!

Anonymous - Really! You're right, that is definitely worth noting.

Eric - That's one way to put it :)

Shweta - I just wish credit were given where credit is due. I have no problem with musical inspiration, but copying is seriously not cool, especially when people like RD Burman seem to be so revered for musical creativity. Making good use of source material is a very fine skill and one without which the world would be a lesser place. But just acknowledge your sources.

berger said...

About the youtube video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seItKARPxug

Can anybody ID the song that starts at 37 seconds and runs to 1:38? ...Please help. I need to buy this song...it is stuck in my head and I need the entire song :-)

Thanks!

Beth said...

That's A R Rahman's "Yun Hi Chala Chal" from Swades.

berger said...

Beth, thank you!