Local bass maestro dies
By Steven Patrick
Alda Evan Tan, former bassist of the AIM-winning rock band Dragon Red, passed away today, June 11 at 4:45AM. He was 29.
Alda collapsed two months ago from brain complications resulting from hereditary kidney impairment.
He was admitted to the Damansara Specialist Hospital where he slipped into a coma,before he was moved to the University Kebangsaan Malaysia hospital two weeks ago.
Alda’s former band was voted Best New English Artiste at the Anugerah Industri Muzik in 2007, and he also played in the bands Estranged, Car Crash Hearts and with ex-Too Phat rapper Joe Flizzow on his upcoming single Apa Benar.
Car Crash Hearts guitarist Collin Chin said the outpouring of support for his band mate, both emotionally and financially, has been overwhelming.
“We raised RM100,000 in five days (to help pay for Tan’s medical expenses). There were two anonymous donors who didn’t even know him, yet they contributed RM20,000. Because of that, the family didn’t have to sell their house,” said Chin.
Alda was also a full-time social media manager, music arranger and event organiser.
“He was just a great, smiley guy that got along with people really easily,” recalled musician and film producer Pete Teo.
When news broke about Tan’s collapse, musicians and fans rallied together and set up a Facebook page called “Pray For Alda Evan Tan” to raise the funds for his medical bill.
The page has since received almost 2,000 likes.
Adam Lobo, lead singer of Dragon Red and Tan’s best friend for 14 years, visited him almost daily while he was in hospital.
“I was very sad when I heard the news from Tan’s father. A lot of people loved him.I guess God loved him more. God probably needed a bass player and musical director in heaven,” he said.
Though Tan left Dragon Red after the release of their debut album, Holocaust,because he wanted to explore more jazz-inspired material, he remained good friends with Lobo.
“He wasn’t a typical rock bassist. He loved jazz and he loved the funk-rock of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He wanted to explore different sorts of music but we still had
much in common. We were huge fans of Liverpool FC,” recalled Lobo.
R&B singer Atilia, who produced the Acoustic Nights series that Tan played for in April, remembered him making a big impression on her.
“He was playing bass with Joe and he really stood out from the other musicians. He was amazing. He had this awesome, soulful black sound,” she said.
She was devastated when she heard the news of Tan’s condition, but hopes that the Acoustic Nights series that was filmed for television will be broadcast this year.
“It will give more people a chance to see why his performances were revered by the fans,” she said.
One of Alda’s fans, Calvino Krishnan, said that when he was 16 and an aspiring guitarist back in 2005, Tan took the trouble to show him the ropes.
He posted this comment on Facebook: “Your selflessness and the trouble you took to help young musicians will be missed the most, my brother.”
Tan’s funeral service will be held at St Ignatius Church in Petaling Jaya at 10:00AM on June 14.
Published June 11 2012