Amit Saigal, founder and editor of music magazine Rock Street Journal (RSJ), died in Goa on Thursday. The 46-year-old, fondly known as Papa Rock, drowned while swimming off Bogmalo beach in Goa.
“Saigal’s friends who were present there said he was asthmatic and could have had an asthma attack while in water,” an official of a private beach management service said.
“Around 12.20pm, our life guard saw some people on a sailboat gesticulating wildly for help. We sent a jet ski there and found Saigal on the deck with his pulse missing,” the official said.
Anoop Sebastian, Saigal’s friend and manager at RSJ, told HT that Saigal was on his way to an island with some friends when he decided to go for a swim. Saigal was later taken to hospital where he was declared dead. The police have registered the case as an unnatural death.
Saigal had been instrumental in organising rock events such as the Great Indian Rock Festival, Pubrockfest, Jazz Utsav and Rocktoberfest.
His death has come as shock to both friends and fans. “I knew him since 1984. His passing away is a loss beyond repair for the industry,” said Indian Ocean vocalist Rahul Ram. “I can’t believe it. I’ve known him before I started Parikrama and he started RSJ,” says Subir Malik, manager of the band Parikrama.
Many from the music world offered their condolences on Twitter. “Wherever you’ve gone, I hope they have beer, good maal, and an acoustic guitar. Rock on, brother,” wrote singer-composer Vishal Dadlani.