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Dylan fest ready to rock Shillong
Published on 21 May. 2010 12:13 AM IST
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The Rock capital of the country, Shillong full of rock musicians and rocky mountains, is once again all set to rock n roll at its rawest to be delivered by the ace of Spades – Lou Majaw on vocals and guitar, accompanied by fellow Dynamites Lew Hilt on bass and Nondon Bagchi on drums at the annual Bob Dylan fest on May 24 to celebrate Dylan’s music, a tradition that continues every year on his birthday.
The Dylan fest is not about fancy pyrotechnics or incessant extravaganza but about the essence of the legendary prophetic singer’s time less music. Just the way Dylan himself would want it.As a young performer in the heydays of Kolkata’s Park Street, the now iconic Lou Majaw was introduced to Dylan’s songs.
This introduction started a lifelong love for Dylan’s tunes, hence the long running duration. A selective and most devoted group of people, from Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Guwahati and other parts of the north – east region and of course Shillong, attend the Dylan fest.
Thirty-eight years have elapsed since musician Lou Majaw first decided to honor the birthday of his icon, Bob Dylan, with an annual celebration in the remote, pine-crested hills of northeastern India. Empires and ideologies have risen and fallen, but the Majaw has held to his word. Every year since then, he has staged a celebration of music and poetry on Dylan’s birthday in India, even though sometimes no one came, and it sometimes poured rain.
“It’s because of the respect I have for Dylan. I respect him as a lyricist, as a writer of songs and poetry. His songs lit up my life and gave it a lot of meaning,” said Majaw, the 63-year-old rocker they call Shillong’s Dylan. But that’s no reason at all for Shillong’s Dylan to stop paying his annual obeisance to his idol. Dylan turned 69 this year and his legacy is in safe hands in Shillong.
Speaking about association with Star Cement, Lou Majaw said, “I am very grateful to Star Cement for coming forward to sponsor this year’s concert. As you are aware I am their Brand Ambassador and have been featured in their campaign “Our North- East, Our Star” along with the legendary Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Mami Varte and Sourabhee Debburma.
The campaign is a very emotional one which portrays the love for the Motherland. The creative team at Star Cement has been doing a very good job and they have a lot more things up their sleeves which I’m sure is going to delight everyone.”
Leading cement manufacturer of the Northeast Cement Manufacturing Company Ltd. (CMCL) is the sole sponsor of the event to promote the music culture of the region. Mr. Jyoti Agarwal, VP (Sales & Marketing), Star Cement said, “If people really, really listen, if they really see the meaning of what Dylan’s writings are — We are sure that we shouldn’t have had any war; everything would be so peaceful.” He said, “Here in the hills everyone is very fond of music. When these people celebrate, then they celebrate it with music.”
He said, “Star Cement has taken this effort to reach out to the people of the North – East and are asking them to celebrate the power of togetherness. The Bob Dylan concert is a part of that glorious attempt. We hope that this festival will further promote tourism in our State and will help to spread Dylan’s gospel, his art, poetry and philosophy besides regional tradition and culture of music.”
Cement Manufacturing Company, which has it’s plant in Lumshnong, Meghalaya, presently manufactures 1 million tones of cement per annum. It is presently undergoing a massive expansion plan and by the year 2011 will be producing 4 million tones per annum.

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