The Jetliners At The Coconut Grove With Mignonne & Ishan Full Green Album – by Pat Ranasinghe
(My Story) – By Felix Fernando
Having completed my Primary schooling at St. Sebastian’s School in Hultsdorf, Colombo 12, I continued my Secondary schooling at St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena, Colombo 13.
Quite a few of my classmates were interested in music, and we would talk music during our breaks. When I reached my Senior Level, a certain Christian Brother once came up with the idea of playing music, on the loudspeakers, during our lunch breaks and we loved this idea. Songs were requested and played for 20c. per song. This became quite popular among the students. Hence the idea came up of having a Talent Show, and it would feature anyone who could sing or play an instrument. I decided to gather a two of my friends and perform on this show. We sang two songs, “Three little Kisses” & “Moonlight Bay”, with me playing guitar.
Stepping off stage, I was met by this guy who introduced himself as Colvin Perera (who had ‘Lucien Merle’ added to his name). He requested if I could back him up on two instrumentals, namely “Guitar Boogie” and “Quartermasters Store”, both of which I had heard before, and thus I agreed to do so. On completion of his act, he invited me to join a group which he was forming. Didn’t I jump at the idea of playing in a group. The first rehearsal was on the Saturday morning at his home in Dehiwela. Dehiwela? That’s quite a distance from Hultsdorf. How would get to Dehiwela from Hultsdorf? Simple! A couple of buses would take me there. Come Saturday, I approached my Mum for bus fare to Dehiwela, which was promptly refused. (I’ve got to mention here that was the twelfth sibling of a family of 13.). Times were tough! Hence my mum’s refusal. I had to take my next mode of transport, my faithful bicycle, which took me about 2 hours to get to my destination.
(From here on, I will change the name “Colvin” to Lucien.)
Having met Lucien, I was introduced to Anton de Mel (bass guitarist) and Aloy Backhouse (drummer). Also Jimmy Mortimer, who would be our vocalist. We rehearsed tunes made popular by “The Shadows” and “Cliff Richards” vocals.
Rehearsals were held at the Mortimer house in Mt. Lavinia, which meant a bit more bike peddling for me. There were days, when one of my tyres would develop a ‘puncture’. I would still continue my journey, and get it fixed by Jimmy’s younger brother and friends, who would then use my bike to ride around the neighbourhood till it was time for me return home. There were days when rehearsals went on till late, but still I continued rehearsing on the promise that the boys would purchase a lantern (but the lantern would end up in flames due to the sea breeze). This meant my pleading with the ‘cops’ and showing proof of a burned-out lantern.
There were quite a few days, rehearsals would continue with the absence of the drummer. On days like this, a ‘pint-sized) guy would seen sitting on a side, and beating a good rhythm on a pile of old newspapers with a pair of sticks plucked off a ‘guava’ tree. This guy was Harris Jurangpathy. It was a bit frustrating rehearsing without a drummer, till the day came when we invited him to join us (on the proviso that he had to own a set of drums). A few moments later we would see him running up the road to ask his dad to get him a Drum set. Sure he got it, but the bass drum was so huge that all we could see was his head. Still drumming was excellent.
The Jetliners At The Coconut Grove With Mignonne & Ishan ( Full Green Album ) The first album recorded and released in 1962 on a green vinyl disc. The Photos on this video are the highlight of their performances at St Peters College, at the coconut Grove, open air Concert and at the Liberty Cinema Please enjoy
01 I like to be in Sri Lanka – Mignonne & The Jetliners
02 Apache – The Jetliners
03The Wedding – Mignonne & The Jetliners
04 Hello Mary Lou – Ishan Bahar & The Jetliners
05 This Boy – The Jetliners
06 My Boy Lollipop – Mignonne & The Jetliners
07 C.G. Boogie – The Jetliners
08 Jet Dust – The Jetliners
09 Desafinado – Mignonne – The Jetliners
10 Besame Mucho – The Jetliners
11 Everyone’s going to the moon – Mignonne & The Jetliners
12 Chu Chu – The Jetliners
13 Billy – The Jetliners & Mignonne
14 What ‘D I Say – Ishan Bahar & The Jetliners
Lucien M.C.Perera – Lead Guitar
Felix Fernando – Bass Guitar
Anton Gunewijeya – Rhythm Guitar
Harris Jurangpathy – Drums
Vocals Mignonne Fernando & Ishan Bahar