GOODBYE MY KING. this is how he looked when i first met him at eight years old. he was lanky, he was awkward, he wasn’t all that good looking - but boy, he made me laugh.
i remember hurrying home from school and catching the sampaguita or LVN reruns on channel 9 or 7. never mind if i’d seen jack & jill or tarzan vs. tanzan two or three times that week already. each was as entertaining as it was the first time i saw it. to this day one of my favorite movies is still hong kong holiday.
he was tatay and nanay. he was john. he was darna.
in every film he would wow me with his timing - and i don’t mean just the comedy. he sang and danced well with whomever he shared the screen with, whether it was nida or panchito or chichay or vic vargas or whichever of the two girls he was teamed up playing tanzan or even THAT gorilla.
he was a dancer. he was a singer. he was an actor.
reruns of his movies alternated with episodes of john & marsha. different women came and went. his TV children grew up along side his real children. time passed and through the different teen idols and shows, through my adolescence and adulthood he always managed to make me laugh.
he was a brother. he was a father. he was the king.
he was Dolphy and i will miss him terribly.
Crazyass Japanese Thing of the Day: Mameshiba are a decidedly unappetizing race of dog-faced legumes that spout bizarre, unsolicited trivia nuggets.
They initially starred in a series of 20 interstitials produced by the Tokyo-based advertising agency Dentsu.
Here are all 20, in chronological order.
sa panaginip (na) lang. i first saw karl when my friend jet dragged me to a back to back gig with color it red somewhere on pasay road. he barely had any tattoos yet and his band wasn’t that well known. he was wearing a football jersey, stripes, red and black (or dark blue, bar lighting you know). this was my first POT gig and was the beginning of fandom.
i followed POT around, as much as i could, as much as jet’s schedule would allow. along the way i met a lot of well known musicians, but most of all, i longed to meet karl roy in person.
tragedy struck and karl had to undergo a heart operation. they held several gigs to raise money for this. i wanted to pay for my ticket because it was for karl but russell told me there was no need to. i told him i wanted to give my hard earned OT pay of P900 (back then it meant more than it does now) and again said that my support was enough. i felt bad but didn’t argue.
years passed and as my circle in the music industry grew, i finally got the chance to meet karl. it was at mayric’s, one weekday gig, i think, and he was wearing one of his hospital gowns. i was amazed at how small a man he was. on stage he was bigger than life.
fast forward to years and years later when i was tending bar at big sky and karl would come in late on a sunday night and order apple juice. he had just finished rehab and was not allowed even alcohol. once in a while that he would sneak a sip from someone else’s beer and smile at me with this twinkle in his eye. more of a friend now than a fan, i’d make a face in disapproval. karl would always say “ate vi, sige na.” and it would start all over again.
years later again, at third floor in katipunan, i would find myself in the same room as karl. i forget if it was some birthday thing or just tambay, but karl was there. he was taking a nap when i arrived and i skipped the usual hello in favor of letting him nap. by this time karl was back drinking full time. when he woke, he stood up to greet me and tripped on something, hitting his head on the corner of a table. there was my idol, my friend, standing in the middle of the room, blood gushing from his forehead. we wanted to take him to the hospital but he refused. andy and i had to make do with betadine and a tightly placed band aid. after the bleeding stopped, he asked for my handkerchief saying “akin na lang ito ha. dugo ko yan eh.”
my last encounter with karl was on kamias road. i was waiting for a cab and he happened to pass by. he stopped the cab to ask me if i needed a ride. i refused saying that i was going in another direction. (he was headed home.) and, despite the honking of horns at the intersection, karl managed to “keep his composure” and insist one more time if i wanted a ride.
i know i have many more small stories about karl. they’re all mundane, nothing earth shaking. in each he would be drunk or drugged up or high on happiness. didn’t matter then, doesn’t matter now. all i know is that whatever it was, karl was karl.
karl roy, wala kang kapantay.
photo by bahaghari for rockEd Philippines.