A Pinoy Drummer Story
Over Three Decades Of Playing Music

by Ramon Eleazar
Manila, Philippines
October 2002

I would like to share my story with you.

My name is Ramon Eleazar, former manager and drummer of the group called B-Bops from 1964 - 68. The band members were Mike Fernandez on lead vocals, Bing Santos on lead vocals, Boyet Aquino on rhythm guitar & keys, Dimpling Ledesma on lead guitar, Jimmy Millan on bass and myself on drums.

We had a good headstart with Rupert Jacinto who contracted the band to play at nite clubs called Click at the metropolitan building in Makati and the Plaza Airways also in Makati on the weekends. We alternated with the Moonstrucks band.

Sonny and Freddie Lozano then brought us to Japan with Asahi Productions. They then changed our name to Houserockers(1969). We played mostly on military bases. There were some changes in band personnel when we were in Japan. Mike Fernandez and Carlito Catral on lead vocals, Dimpling Ledesma on lead guitar, Sonny Panis on keyboards, Ato Quitoriano on bass guitar and myself on drums. We weren't ready to go back home yet at the end of our contract so we decided to go to Seoul, South Korea and performed at the Chosun Hotel. We alternated with several bands there such as the Originals, Swooners and Celtics.

At the end of our gig, the other guys were ready to go back home to continue their studies. The Originals band then asked me to play drums for them. Joey "Pepe" Smith was their drummer then but my style of drumming blended with the type of music they were playing. They were more on the Rhythm & Blues side. The Originals (1969-1971) were Sonny Baecher on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Pete Aristorenas on lead guitar, Rocco Nishi (Japanese) on keyboards, Benny Hufano on guitar bass and myself on drums.

The Originals stayed in South Korea for another 6 months, then went back to Japan, toured at various cities in Japan and then to Guam. We stayed in Guam for 6 months. There we met with the Howlers, Dropouts and other local bands. We were mainly a dance-band then.

The Princess Hotel in Acapulco, Mexico then bought us there. They put us in a showroom so we were forced to be a show band. We acquired a Mexican horn player (German Gonzales) and the band got popular because of such move. We also changed the name to the Originals Int'l (1971 - 1983) because we had Sonny of German-decent, Rocco Nishi who is a Japanese, German Gonzales who is a Mexican and the rest are Filipinos.

We met an American who brought us to the states. We started touring the whole US from spring to fall seasons and then go back to Acapulco every winter which is the peak of the season there. During those times, we were able to share the stage with famous international music artists such as Kenny Rogers, Gloria Gaynor, Ike and Tina Turner, etc.

We were also given a chance to cut our own album. Unfortunately it was only a semi hit.

We also had our own television show in Mexico City but with the big economic drop in mexico in 1983, everything crumbled into pieces and the band broke up.

Late in '83, we decided to go back to the states except for Sonny and German. We added Debra and Cheryl Sill to the band line up and the Flashback band was formed (1983-1986). The band toured the US till we got tired and decided to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. There were about 15 Filipino bands then and jobs were scarce. We had a lot of changes in the band personnel because of the job situation and at the end we were only 4 left (Far East, Jonathan (Potenciano), Sunspots and us).

We changed our name to Phlash band (1987-1997). The band members were Ricky and Glynnda Bascones, Albert Hermias on lead vocals, Benny Hufano on bass, Rocco Nishi on keys and myself. We played in different hotels such as the Stardust, MGM, Ceasar's Palace, Gold Coast & etc. This went on till I left the group in 1997. The band continued but disbanded a few months later.

Where am I now and what am I doing? I came back to the Philippines in '97 to take care of the family business. I'm still very much involved with music, Praise music this time. I've been playing concerts with renowned international praise artists and also a producer of 4 albums and hopefully more to follow.

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