RD Burman and you had a great association, isn’t it?
He was an old friend and no doubt one of the greatest music directors of our country. He will always be very close to my heart and I have had such a great musical journey with him. I am told that I have done some 16 films with him.
When did you first meet?
I don’t remember that, but the first film I signed after Bobby was Zehreela Insaan that had RD as music director. Let me tell you an anecdote, it is something I feel bad about — it was during the early ‘90s when I was having this great spell of hits and most of the music of these films was by Nadeem-Shravan.
One day Pancham called me and asked why we could not work together. I told him, ‘What to do yaar? Whatever films come to me, the music director is already fixed by the director’. Then, I was working with Rajkumar Santoshi in Damini and Pancham was giving music for his Ghatak. I heard one song and loved it.
After shooting he fell ill and passed away. Just two months before that he had called and asked why we weren’t working together. The last film that we did together was Gurudev. It’s always weighed on my heart that we could not work again.
<b1>The secret behind the success of the Rishi Kapoor-RD Burman combination?
I was the only young hero that he had in his time. Sunjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav were only beginners at that time. I was a musical star in all those truly musical and romantic films. Pancham’s youthful music was with Rishi Kapoor. Yes, he had done some great music with Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor but I was the new kid on the block.
Some of your favourite films with him…
It’s difficult to single out. He gave great music even in some of my flop films like Bade Dil Wala, Yeh Wada Raha, Aan Aur Shaan and Dhan Daulat. In fact, Pancham has made a great contribution to my career and of course there were lyricists Gulshan Bawra and Anand Bakshi.
Kishore Kumar, too, played a big part in the RD-Rishi Kapoor combination, isn’t it?
Yes, of course. The best part was that both sang on beat, so it was easier to lip sync.
Have you had your differences with him?
Yes, once I had a great fight with him over one song. He got angry with me and told me, “Tum bhi to kabhi bure shot dete ho.” Then I told him to cool down and the differences were sorted out.