MUSIC INDUSTRY LOSES PART OF ITS SOUL: – by Joe Van Langenberg
Once again as many times before, death has snuffed out the life of yet another gifted performer, who could be deservedly described, as one of those who left his footprint on music industry’s hallowed turf; the other two been Sunil Perera of the Gypsies and Ronnie Leitch.
His name was Desmond Anaclitus Rajiva de Silva, popularly known as Desmond aka Baila King. Life is replete with twists and turns. It’s a bitter and unpalatable pill to swallow, but it’s a harsh and cruel reality we need to accept.
With the unexpected passing of Desmond, while being at the top of his game, the music industry has lost an entertainer extraordinaire.
Desmond’s monumental loss has made the music and entertainment industry weep. It’s no exaggeration to state, that music has lost a part of its very soul, leaving many shaking their heads in disbelief and absolute shock.
Now that the Baila King has brought the curtain down, the stage remains bare with emptiness all around it and clouds of gloom hovering over the horizons beyond, like a restless spirit in search of a safe haven. It’s a sad day for anyone who had the privilege of knowing Desmond, either personally or professionally.
For over forty years Desmond entertained an amalgam of audiences, with his toe-tapping hits, belted out in his inimitable style. He was a stickler for perfection who had an eagle eye for the minutest detail, never falling short of his fans’ expectations and never failing to lighten anyone’s mood with a joke, smile and chuckle.
Desmond was the consummate performer with a flair for flamboyance. Kicking off his music career with the Fireflies back in 1963, this versatile and much sought after performer, revolutionalized the industry with his stamp of creativity, performing with aplomb over the years in Los Angeles, New York, Melbourne, London Auckland, Dubai, Bahrain, New Delhi
& Singapore, to venues bursting at the seams.
Desmond’s bubbly personality combined with his stage gyrations, charisma and ability to communicate with the most fastidious audience, made him not only a crowd puller, but also an indispensable part of the industry.
Besides having distinguished himself in his chosen profession, Desmond was held in high esteem by hundreds of thousands the world over, for having contributed in no small measure to the betterment of autistic children.
Desmond was a regular with the Spitfires and Gabo and the Breakaways. He later formed Desmond and the Clan, a band which skyrocketed him to fame and glory.
Many aspiring musos cut their musical teeth under the tutelage of Desmond, who was willing to impart his valuable know-how to others in need of guidance and assistance.
This accomplished performer with many firsts to his credit stood out like a colossus. Not only was his brand of music catchy, pulsating and addictive, but it was exceptional in its totality.
Desmond de Silva passed away on January 09.2022 in Melbourne, Australia. He was just 77 years young at the time of his demise.
Rest assured, the memory of Desmond de Silva will remain in our minds for quite some time.
Memories seldom or never leave, like people do. Desmond, like Sunil Perera and Ronnie Leitch were larger than life. And such memories become part of our DNA over time.
As it hurts to say goodbye, let’s say au revoir.
May you rest in peace and power. Thanks for the music, the memories and the good times. May the turf rest caressingly over you brother.