Musicians for Musicians Benefit Concert aims to raise RM500,000

Francis Danker

Francis Danker has carved out a nice career for himself, not far removed from the days he was playing in a band while growing up in the 1960s.

Although no longer a fulltime musician, Danker has stayed in the entertainment business, busy overseeing the hugely successful event company Memories Entertainment.

Memories Entertainment counts Public Bank and Petronas among its clientele and was the brains behind the hugely and well-received opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Through it all, Danker has always had a soft spot for the entertainers who played in the pubs and hotels during his heyday.

“Those were the good old days. Many talented musicians could earn a decent living,” recalled Danker during the launch of Musicians for Musicians Benefit Concert, to be held on March 15, 2020, at Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

“Sadly, that is no longer the case as most establishments prefer foreign acts.

“As a result, many of our musicians are suffering, especially those from the 1970s and 1980s.

“Many of them are living hand to mouth and some have mounting medical costs.”

Seeking to improve the lives of these legendary musicians, Danker, who is also president of Persatuan Pemuzik Tempatan Selangor (PPTS) a newly formed not-for-profit association, decided to organise the ‘mother of all concerts’ next year.

The confirmed acts are Blues Gang, Alleycats, Strollers, Os Pombos, Headwind, Ages, Cellar Hi-Five, Delta, The Falcons, Forever Band, Fredo and the Flintstones, Lefthanded, Heavy Machine, Lord & The Boys, Michael Veerapen & Friends, Pathfinders, Pieces, Sons of Adam, Albert Sirimal, Bala, Frankie Tan, Leonard Tan, Gerard Singh, Roy & Fran and Zack & Lyia.

Proceeds from the concert will be channelled to those in need with PPTS hoping to help them have some form of monthly income.

“It will be the biggest reunion of Malaysia’s top musicians from the 1970s and 1980s and including some from as far back as the 1960s.

“In fact, we might get a couple of performers who are in their 80s,” said an excited Danker.

“As of now, we have 30 acts lined up for the concert but we have been getting more and more requests. We have to see how we can accommodate them all.”

Danker said they hope to sell about 5,000 tickets and raise at least RM500,000 for the artists.

He added over 70 tables have already been sold and hoped more corporates sponsors would step forward to help make it a grand occasion.

“Most of the performers are in their 60s and 70s and this could be the last time they get to perform with their friends under one roof,” said Danker.

“PPTS has many ideas to help the musicians and this concert is the first step.”

Separately, event patron Tan Sri Syed Yusof Syed Nasir Syed Yusof said he would assist PPTS to engage the Ministry of Health to explore ways to provide musicians – including the current crop – medical aid including health insurance.

He also offered to initiate discussions with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government on housing assistance for homeless musicians.

Syed Yusof hoped Tourism Malaysia would respond positively to PPTS’ request to include the concert in the Visit Malaysia 2020 calendar as it was one facet of the country’s rich cultural and musical heritage.

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