ROCK IS DEAD? You’ve got Brain Damage baby! : Prof. L S Ganesh rocks at IIT Madras
The age of classic rock still lives within the sacred portals of IIT Madras; and it is people in their golden years, who carry on the flame and are passing it on to the younger generation. Sunday, 11thApril 2010 the audience at the Central Lecture Theatre was mesmerized by the performance of an artist who defies the stereotype of his profession, and refuses to act his age. Thank God for that!
Prof. L S Ganesh, age 56, faculty at the Dept. Of Management Studies is a serial offender in terms of belting out the music that gave the genre its name. Rock. Pure and simple.
Starting off proceedings with a rendition of ‘Pinball Wizard’ by The WHO, the audience just sat back and lapped up the fare that followed. Having warmed up with that track, the band ensemble moved on to play Pink Floyd’s ‘Brain Damage’. The heat was on, and if it wasn’t for those cramped auditorium chairs, people would have been on their feet, dancing. Not letting the rhythm drop, the band performed a Steely Dan number, but more was to come.
Deep Purple has a way of catching people’s attention. And in no small way were the crowd shaken up when the familiar strains of ‘Smoke On The Water’ picked up. The race was on to see whether the song or the cheers would fill up the hall first. It was a beautiful performance, one that the junta at IIT had been deprived of, since Prof. Ganesh had not performed in public for the past two years.
Next was a track by Sting, followed up by the chugging ‘Locomotive Breath’ by Jethro Tull. For people who thought that the show would also be approaching a stop, were just blown away when next song performed was none other than the rock anthem ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin. As if that didn’t send people into a frenzy, the double whammy was completed by playing ‘Highway Star’ by Deep Purple again.
By this time the audience was in no mood to let up, and the band complied. With a Van Halen number ‘Jump’ the show rolled on, with people wishing that it could go on till midnight.
Yet all good things must come to an end. The last song for the night turned out to be a peppy number from a long forgotten band called ‘Traffic’, which seemed the perfect way to wind up things.
Thrilled to the bone, would be an apt way to put how everyone in the hall felt. The beats, the rhythm the melody and the punch; the music seemed like an exhilarating joy ride. A music that reaches inside of people and jolts them. Shakes them up. It makes people feel as if they’re dancing inside, swaying to some untold tune, moving away from reality for a little while, and approaching a new one. For late comers, it is called Rock. And it lives.