Song during school years: Pal pal dil ke paas from Blackmail (Kishore Kumar). It was my first Hindi song on the guitar.
Song during college years: Sweet home Alabama from Second Helping (Lynyrd Skynyrd). I had ‘grown up’ by then, so had stopped playing Bollywood songs on guitar. Also Wonderful tonight from Slow Hand (Eric Clapton). It touched every girl’s heart!
Song during first love: Love came to me very late, when I met my wife. The second time I met her, I asked her to marry me. I love you more than I can say by Leo Sayer is the song that I connect to her.
Song during first heartbreak: I’ve been very lucky that I didn’t have any heartbreaks. Because I could play the guitar so well, usually, I was breaking hearts of girls!
Song for all seasons: Constipated duck from Blow by Blow (Jeff Beck). It’s an instrumental which I can freak out on even after 20 years of first hearing it. Also, Stay from Marathon (Santana) and Listen to the music from Toulouse Steet (The Doobie Brothers).
Song to headbang to: Smoke on the water and Highway star from Machine Head (Deep Purple). It was a fashion to have long hair and headbang to them.
Song to dance to: I can’t dance to save my life, but the song I move to would be SOS from the self-titled album by ABBA, Cocaine from Slow Hand (Eric Clapton), That’s the way from the self-titled album by KC and the Sunshine Band. Now that’s a song that I could dance to in the middle of the road.
Song for drives: I can’t listen to songs when I drive.. Because I get so lost in the songs! I have banged my car twice because of that.. Now I don’t drive at all.
Song for mornings: I was brought up in Sweden and I listened to classical raags or Bollywood music in the morning to keep in touch with the country. It could be anything from Aaj mausam bada baimaan hai from Loafer (Mohammed Rafi) or Kahin karti hogi from Phir Kab Milogi (Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh).
Song for rain: Let it rain from the self-titled album by Eric Clapton. During summers in Sweden, every time it rained, by chance one of my friends would surely have that song. We’d take off our shirts and drink to the song! Another song that reminds me of rain is Stairway to Heaven from Led Zepplin IV (Led Zepplin).. But I have no idea why!
Song when stressed: I stop all music! That’s what happens when music is you profession.
Song when mad as hell: I don’t get angry much. But when I’m depressed or upset, which happens rarely, I just pick up a guitar and play. After my father passed away, I didn’t cry, I just strummed my guitar… that let out all my emotions, and I could cry after that.
Song when inspired: Songs by Alla Rakha Khan and Zakir Hussain or Ustad Aamir Khan or Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Song to serenade a girl with: In Sweden you didn’t need to serenade girls.. It was a lot simpler! But whenever I’d see a pretty girl there, I’d hum Aaj unse pehli mulaakat hogi (Kishore Kumar) to myself.
Song to be serenaded with: There’s no need for a song.. I’d prefer a kiss instead!
Song of a colleague:
Genda phool from Delhi 6 (Rekha Bharadwaj).. The music production on it is something else!
Song you sang: Three songs get the crowds roaring away at my concerts.. Halke halke from Honeymoon Travels, Ticket to Hollywood from Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom and Aai Paapi from Kismat Konnection.
Song that others connect you with: Title track of Bhool Bhulaiyya and title track of my album, Woh Chali.
Song that best describes you: Aa raha hoon main from Chod do Aanchal.. it was the first song I wrote after my father passed away. It’s about how I’m a fighter and no matter what, I don’t give up.