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India’s Bob Dylan comes to Mumbai

Shillong’s Lou Majaw plans to release compilation to celebrate 50 years of music making.

music Updated: May 29, 2012 15:14 IST
Megha Mahindru
Megha Mahindru
Hindustan Times

At 65, Lou Majaw is a busy man. After wrapping his celebrated Bob Dylan tribute concert in Shillong recently, Majaw is now gearing up to sing his favourite songs in Mumbai, before he heads to Delhi to perform at the World Music Festival. "There are some concerts in Mizoram as well. It’s a jam-packed schedule, but that’s the fun of it," he says.

As he does every year (he’s been at it since 1972), the Shillong man has been working hard to put together a concert celebrating his icon’s birth anniversary. And for Dylan’s 71st birthday, Majaw made sure the festivities were way beyond the usual — encompassing artistes from the North-East to Mumbai’s Whirling Kalapas and even American acts like Parker Ainsworth, Jeff Harding and Skyi. The Dylan devotee says, "It was a three-day affair. This concert is my way of showing respect to one of the greatest lyricists of all times."

Lou MajawAfter over four decades of playing covers, ask him if he will ever tire of Dylan’s songs and Majaw says, "I can’t. His songs have poetic value that is hard to get weary of." It is such madcap devotion that has earned him the moniker, India’s Bob Dylan.

Known for his signature short shorts and long, silver mane that could give Axl Rose and his kilt a run for his money, the veteran rocker has won many fans not so much for his vocal prowess but for his showmanship, stage antics and swagger. However, he insists he is no rock star: "I’m just a simple guy with no big dreams."

He may have a documentary on his life and umpteen mentions in international publications, but Majaw chooses to remain ignorant of his star status. Ask him about his recent concert being aired on national television this time and he says, "I don’t know much. Some guys from Big CBS Spark attended it, so I said why not! I’m not interested in marketing myself… I just want to have fun on stage and do my own thing."

And like his idol, who recently celebrated 50 years of music making, Majaw too is gearing up for his golden jubilee. "I’ll complete 50 years in music in 2015, so I’m working on a compilation of my original songs. I’ve already recorded eight of them, but it will take time to finalise the record."

About his gig in the city, the Khasi (a tribe from the North-East) singer says, "It will be a mixed set with everything from blues to rock ‘n’ roll. And yes, definitely some Dylan songs since this month calls for his celebrations. I might also play some Khasi folk music."

Lou Majaw and Friends will perform at Blue Frog, Lower Parel, on May 31, 10 pm. Entry Rs 300.

First Published: May 29, 2012 11:41 IST