Recently at Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur, we saw history in the making – arguably the first official performance in almost 20 years by one of Malaysia’s most iconic rock bands, Headwind.
Sure, the band only played two songs – Memori Luka and Hanya Di Radio, but watching all five of Headwind’s members – Zainal Abidin, guitarist Zulkif (real name Zulkifli Kasim), bassist Nicky Ooi, keyboardist Kudin and drummer Razak (Abdul Razak Salleh) – on stage together brought back a wave of nostalgia and memories of when the band was at its peak in Malaysia.
“I honestly did not know when we would do this again. We have not been on stage together for almost 20 years, but we are still good buddies,” said Zainal during the press conference before the gig, which was to announce the upcoming The Musical Journey Of Zainal Abidin: 35th Year Anniversary concert.
The concert will celebrate Zainal’s 35 years in music, a significant part of which was with Headwind.
He joined the band in 1977, and together, released its first album, Headwind, in 1983. However, Headwind only made its breakthrough with its 1986 album, Headwind 86, and its follow-up, Headwind 3, which featured megahits like Kita Serupa, Suraya, dan Memori Luka.
Subsequent albums like Bisikkanmu (1987) and Dalam Ingatan (1988) were equally successful.
Then in 1989, eager to explore other musical genres, Zainal announced his departure from the band.
Although Headwind continued on without Zainal for a period of time, things were never the same, and the rest of the members eventually went their separate ways as well.
Meanwhile, Zainal embarked on a successful solo career kickstarted by his 1991 self-titled album, which gave us the iconic hit, Hijau. He has released four solo albums to date.
However, as he celebrates his 35th year in music this year, the 57-year-old singer looked back with fondness at his Headwind days.
“I am what I am because of Headwind. Those 10 years I had with Headwind was the best time of my life. We’ve not played for a long, long time, but these guys are still the best!” he declared.
According to Zainal, the upcoming show will feature a setlist of 10 Headwind songs, 17 solo numbers, and four to five acoustic songs, and even a 20-minute “stand-up comedy” segment.
There will also be a special tribute segment to his friend and mentor, the late Tan Sri SM Salim, who passed away last December.
Besides Headwind, other iconic Malaysian musicians will also be taking the stage with Zainal, such as guitar maestro Sham Kamikaze, music producers Mac Chew and Jenny Chin (who worked on the Zainal Abidin album), among others.
The concert will also be supporting Puncak Gunung Harapan, a charity project by the Selangor And Federal Territory Association For The Mentally Handicapped (SAMH) in which 14 people, including four students from SAMH, will be climbing Mount Kinabalu to create awareness about mental disabilities and also to collect funds to support SAMH.
The Musical Journey Of Zainal Abidin: 35th Year Anniversary concert will be held on Feb 25 at 8.30pm at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Tickets are available at www.mytickets.asia, and are priced from RM158 to RM958.