TODAY -

Remembering Paul Gangmei

Jyaneswar Laishram *

Cannibals : L-R: Jimmy, Ritchie, Momocha, Paul and Matthew
- Cannibals -
L-R: Jimmy, Ritchie, Momocha, Paul and Matthew
Picture Courtesy: Ringo Pebam



Let him who had understanding with the onset of heavy metal popularity in Manipur reckon Cannibals to pay a last homage to Paul Gangmei for he was one of those stalwarts who set the rock music trend in the state. He passed away recently leaving a monolith of hard rock to many of us. I know heavy metal was not everyone's cup of tea when it comes to counting the number of friends who enjoyed this sub-genre of rock during my high school days. But everyone knew and loved 'Paul' for the simple reason that he belonged to Cannibals, perhaps the first rock band from Manipur that came into limelight and received critical appreciations at national level for their excellence in covering classic metal tracks, particularly of Iron Maiden. And Paul Gangmei was Bruce Dickinson of Manipur.

Beyond Bruce Dickinson were some other avatars his fans discovered in Paul. He was also known as Manipur's one and only Ronnie James Dio who did perfect justice to heavy metal. However, Cannibals were not totally a metal band as they rather devoted more to rock and roll. They wonderfully covered whole load of popular rock and roll numbers from Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Nazareth, to name a few off their all time list. They sparked popularisation of some old good classic rock songs like Free Me (Uriah Heep), I Want Out (Halloween), Where Are You Now (Nazareth), Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple), The Price (Twisted Sister), Temple of The King (Rainbow), High Flyer (UFO), among others, without which fans always felt Cannibals' local gigs incomplete. No doubt to say Cannibals spearheaded a big musical revolution in the rock history of Manipur.

Further, there dwelled a different treasure of music on the other side of Paul Gangmei. He was likewise popular in every nook and corner of Kabui-inhabited areas all over Manipur for another big musical reason. He composed and sang a treasure of Kabui-Naga modern songs in his native dialect which are still humming around like unforgettable tunes among the young and old in towns and villages across the hills and valley. His untimely death is marked to be a big loss, not only in the landscape of rock and roll, but also from the whole music world of Manipur.

For those who did not know or who still don't know Paul, I recollect here a brief biographical sketch on this rock genius in a crisp flashback gathered from different sources like Rock Music Manipur (RMM) and musicians who used to associate with him closely as band mates or best friends for years. Paul Gangmei was born on 12th June 1966 in Kakhulong Village located in the heart of Imphal city. He was survived by his wife Athing Gangmei, father Gourachand Gangmei, one brother and three sisters. In his days as lead vocal of Cannibals, Paul inspired many youngsters to pick up guitar for formation of high school rock bands in places where the band toured around the country. His melodious, soulful songs touched the heart of every fan. He had a voice one couldn't tire of easily and covered songs rather into brand new taste.

Paul sang in lead for a number of bands which he changed in almost every year within a decade before his final settle-down with Cannibals. He joined Astounder in 1984, Black Sultan in the very next year, Machine Head in the successive year, after that came Cannibals as his last crusade. He retired as ex-vocal of Cannibals which were active from 1987 to 1996. Bigger part of Paul's career carried him along singing for the band which had a wonderful lineup comprising the region's renowned rock musicians like drummer Momocha, lead guitarist Ritchie, guitarist Jimmy and bass player Mathew.

Cannibals gigged almost all around major Indian cites at various concerts sponsored by colleges and other organisations. Winning the prestigious title of North East Contest in 1988 in Nagaland gained the band a fresh popularity among rock fans in cross-border regions. All that buzzing about them on college campuses suddenly multiplied when they started taking centre stages of big college fests in big metros.

A recollection of some landmark gigs that pulled huge crowd would include NESF at New Delhi in 1988. Crossroad, a popular rock show of Delhi University college campuses in the late 1980s until the 1990s, staged Cannibals storming the crowd to Paul's magical croon and band's prolific metal act at Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in 1989. Yet another memorable live performance of the band would count their well-attended 1992 gig at St Xavier's College in Kolkata.

Gone are the days when Paul ruled the realm of rock and roll. And the eternity is that his fellow band members and fans will always remember him like a jolly singer, big dreamer and great performer whenever one opens Manipur's book of rock history. Over the last decade or so, rock music in the state has attained a grown-up level with the emergence of prominent artists rocking in their own genres, styles and contents acclaimed critically at national arenas. Such trend might have been lost or not yet arrived today had it not been musicians like Paul Gangte who inspiringly paved a vital heritage and a catalyst of 'rock' music in the region.


* Jyaneswar Laishram wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer contributes regularly to e-pao.net and can be contacted at ozzyjane(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on April 20, 2014.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Ngayaising Jagoi : Conquered Mt Everest
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #3 :: Gallery
  • Working Of Panchayats In Manipur #1
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #3
  • Campus Talk 2.0: Interaction Prog at MU
  • International Biodiversity Day
  • Sendra Park & Resort #1 :: 360 ° View
  • Sibilong & Phaitol rejects Oil Exploration
  • 1st JCRE Alumni Meet
  • Vacancies post in NEC, Shillong
  • Lecturer required at Ajmal College, Hojai
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • The complaint caveat
  • Kanchan Soibam :: eRang Photos
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #2:: Gallery
  • Ahing Ama : Book (short story) review
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #3
  • Oil happy in Manipur
  • Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2017 at Imphal
  • NE students hail Higher Education initiative
  • Forced Displacement of Chin Civilians
  • National Robotic- 'Escalade 6.0' @IIT Ghy
  • Winners take it all : BJP on a roll
  • Opportunity towards progress
  • NEROCA, 2nd Div League winner:: Gallery
  • Thounaojam Loiyangamba :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts Residency #1 :: Gallery
  • Bombing of a bridge in 1944 during WWII
  • Road side hawker culture in Khwairamband
  • Maharaja Bodhachandra Samadhi :: 360 °
  • Jadhav case: Return to India will need more
  • Admission Counselling in NE, Delhi
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Letting professionals run DIPR
  • Articulating freedom of speech
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • CCpur victims laid to rest :: Gallery
  • Class XII result announced :: Gallery
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • Interdependence is key to #endTB
  • Urban flood effective mgmt strategies #2
  • Public Meet resolves No Oil Exploration
  • UG admission info for Delhi University 2017
  • College Principals' Conference at NEHU
  • Mortal remains of CCpur victims laid to rest
  • Redefining Manipuri Hindu
  • Last rites of CCpur bodies performed
  • Private tuition : Financial burden on parents
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • International Yoga Day #1 :: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #2
  • Auditorium of High Court of Manipur :: 360 °
  • Book publishing as a career option
  • Simplifying the pursuit of happiness
  • Shirui festival: Let us not go with words..
  • Count pigeons around you
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Hill dists : Lagging in Science stream
  • The lesser truth of National media
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • Barak Spring Festival @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Phalneilhing, Sinchui :: eMing
  • Incarnations of Goddess Nongthang Leima
  • Ebudhou Thanjing Laishang #1 :: 360 °
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #2
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe
  • 'Maj Rati Keteki', an author's insight
  • SC notices in Biren son case
  • Army act extended by six months
  • Timely acted, but need to rethink...
  • Lamkang Cultural Day @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Ambassador Of Japan with CM :: Gallery
  • JNIMS Ortho scripts history
  • Indigenous people are ST, so are Meeteis
  • Grooming security experts in admin service
  • Parents are supposed to be cheer leaders ..
  • Applauds CM for Building Peace & Harmony
  • 2 trucks carrying logs seized
  • Japan to invite 25 people from Manipur
  • Bomb blasts rock border town in Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 73rd anniv of Battle of Imphal :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts : Encouraging Artists
  • Manipur: In the waiting room of justice
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba :: 360 ° View
  • Of storms, flying saucers & lazy thoughts
  • Anti-Terrorism day observed
  • Ex-Servicemen Meet organised
  • Managing natural resources
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Effort To Bridge The Hills And Valley
  • Colloquium: Japanese Culture & Nationalism
  • Meet rejects oil exploration at Khaidem
  • Training on Service Marketing in Healthcare
  • Illegal migrant detection with 1951 cut-off
  • Ghost of 2010 continues to haunt
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji - Actress :: eRang
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #1:: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #1
  • Nightmares of event management
  • Big data for big impact
  • Free Counselling & Awareness Program
  • One belt one road
  • Jobs: Counseller for Family Court, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Total shutdown against blast in Moreh
  • Tribals reject MoU signed- govt, JACAATB
  • Naga Hoho appeals NIA over arrests
  • First visible step to check corruption
  • International Dance Day :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Children Club:: 360 ° View
  • Take smart choice before admissions
  • Love one another ... for living together
  • Shirui Lily Fest off to a grand start
  • On Shirui festival
  • Shirui Lily Fest @Shirui, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Civil Service Tennis Tournament :: Gallery
  • Barak(Spring) Festival at Senapati
  • When will India cashless island go cashless
  • The winsomeness of human mind
  • Jobs at NIELIT centers
  • Aadhar Registration & Distribution Program
  • Work starts on Trilateral Highway in Myanmar
  • AI plans NE expansion, to inject more flights
  • People's Day Bridging the gap
  • Reality bite - something seems fishy
  • Meeyamgi Numit hosted by CM :: Gallery
  • Andro AMMA FC : Winner of Doon Cup 2017
  • How great is my mother's love for me
  • Boat House, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Pinch of love :: Poem
  • Fingerprint & Iris code for Aadhaar
  • Sharmila solidarity with Africans
  • Trust deficit in Framework Agreement
  • Equality in place of majoritarianism
  • A hope for better Manipur
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #3:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Fishery as an agenda for Barak Festival
  • Supermom :: Poem
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • May Day #2 :: Essay
  • For inclusion of Meitei in ST category
  • Hands that rock the cradle rule the world
  • Film Personalities #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #2
  • High Court of Manipur :: 360 ° View
  • From head-hunters into money-hunters
  • Importance of dialectic in Philosophy
  • Binalakshmi Nepram threatened by Police
  • Cleanliness drive conducted at CCpur
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #1 :: Gallery
  • Bringing TB out of the shadows
  • Women are the salt of the earth
  • Superstition and its side-effects
  • Temples of learning
  • Guidelines of play schools
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #2 :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #4 :: Gallery
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #2
  • Bir Tikendrajit Park :: 360 °
  • Nurses are heart beat of healthcare
  • Go to the hill districts too
  • Beginning of a new era; but ...
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #1
  • OORJA football Closing ceremony :: Gallery
  • May 10, 1942: first bomb hit Imphal in WW2
  • Manipur killings: Amicus Curiae on Army...
  • A white paper on good governance
  • Butterfly a living parable of resurrection
  • Global Manipuri Mega Photo Contest
  • Inquiry on "School Van accident"
  • Inking an MoU with CCpur JAC
  • Calls for human security
  • Laishram Lalitabi - Actress :: eRang
  • Manipur & Nagaland CMs :: Gallery
  • Cheirao Ching Kaba #1 :: 360 ° Photo
  • MLA - defection politics in Manipur
  • Japan interest to develop Education in NE
  • CM floral tribute to Martyred Jawans
  • More than a 'courtesy call'
  • Development & security matters
  • Thongjao potters adapt to modern reqt
  • Prize Distribution- MU Sports :: Gallery
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #1
  • Imphal Intl Airport : How International?
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • RIST popular talk 29 - Molecular Electronics
  • 122nd rank in the list of cleanliness
  • Consumers' rights
  • Sagol Kangjei Exhibition :: Gallery
  • Musuem, Kangla :: 360 ° photo
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon #1 :: Gallery
  • Arbind Soibam - Emerging Singer :: eRang
  • Traditional Thabal @Pourabi :: Gallery
  • Arambai show #2:: Gallery
  • Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipur & Japan
  • Laishram Birendrakumar recieve Padmashri
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Mr India 2017- Ksh Bhaktakumar :: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS