When Adnan Sami met Amitabh Bachchan
It happened in 2004 for a duet, eight years later, the singer-composer pays tribute to his idol .bollywood Updated: Apr 14, 2012 14:45 IST
At Ekta Kapoor’s recently held Balaji Awards, singer-composer Adnan Sami paid tribute to movie icon Amitabh Bachchan with a medley of songs, starting with the duet he had recorded with Amitabh, Kabhi Nahin… for a music video, followed by Tere Mere Milan Ki Hai Raina… (Abhimaan, 1973), Kabhi Habhi Mere Dil Mein… (Kabhie Kabhie, 1976), Rim Jhim Gire Saawan.. (Manzil, 1979), Thodi Si Jo Pee Li Hai…(Namak Halaal, 1982) and Intehaan Ho Gayi… (Sharabi, 1984).
Admitting that a typical tribute would have included songs such as Khaike Paan Banaraswala… and Arre Deewanon… (Don, 1978) and Dekha Na Hai Re… (Bombay To Goa, 1972), he instead chose to highlight Amitji’s romantic image. “I not only sang the songs, but played all the instruments and re-arranged the music, giving ‘Inteha…’ a complete jazz ensemble. At the same time, I’ve also retained the vision of the original music directors,” he says.
Adnan was in Dubai at age 11 for a music concert where he got a picture of his brother and himself taken with the star. Around 20 years later, he approached him with the duet and requested an autograph for his photo. When told that the little boy in the picture was Adnan, Bachchan scrawled his signature, along with a line that read, ‘To Adnan, love and admiration, Amitabh’, and put down the date, keeping a copy for himself.
Adnan’s offer was greeted with a laugh, “You’re joking! I’m not a singer!” Bachchan apparently said. Eventually, though, he was persuaded to come to the recording studio and sing at a higher pitch than he usually did. “When he heard the track on bigger speakers, he admitted he was filled with enthusiasm,” says Adnan. The singer recorded the song in the control room rather than the booth with headphones on. “He was so expressive that I regret I didn’t have a camera to capture him.” Bachchan, Adnan says, doesn’t like to rehearse. As soon as the camera is switched on, he comes to life. “For each shot, he gave us five-six takes. It was a nightmare choosing one during editing because each one was so good,” says a starry-eyed Adnan.
The song was a super hit and he admits to getting offers for more videos and even films. “But my health was deteriorating and I was in a different zone,” he sighs, adding, “Maybe some day we will work together again.”