Amit Saigal: The Papa Of Indian Rock [A Tribute And Photos]

Posted on June 30, 2012 in Media

By Pinak Pani Datta:

What do you do when you are too passionate about some thing but don’t get enough exposure you need?

Revolution has many faces. From the violent struggles of Che Guevara to Gandhi’s Satyagraha, all are different forms of revolution. Even a new start to something that is non-existent in a culture is a revolution in itself.

But, Amit Saigal never knew he would later be known as a revolutionary leader in the field of music production when he was playing with his college band Impact in the 80s. All he felt was a need for a platform for the Indian bands to showcase their art. The only platform being the college fests those days, it was hard for any passionate musician to make a living out of it as they had a very limited reach and exposure.

Amit Saigal and Sam Eric Lal published a magazine at Allahbad in early 1993. When Saigal printed the 2500 copies of the 1st issue, the idea was ‘to come up with RSJ which would provide news about rock music anywhere in the country‘ recalls Sam. Thus the Rock Street Journal was born.

At first it was a subscription-only magazine which was promoted by Amit in the different college festivals. With time, the collective sub-continental non-bollywood music news monthly gained popularity and subscribers increased, making the magazine the most sought after music magazine in the country. This made them shift the magazine’s base to the country’s capital and popular rock destination, Delhi.

But, like most revolutionaries do, Amit didn’t stop there with the cup of success-blended coffee in his hand. He knew he had a long way to go. Up next was RSJ’s major extravaganza, the Great Indian Rock. A rock festival where one could live rock, breathe rock and feel rock.

The 1st five versions of the event were presented entirely by the RSJ. Since the 2000s, the Indian music fellowship almost changed drastically. With the popularity of internet and digital music, the mission RSJ once started saw a brighter day. They used these tools as a fuel and came up with a new venture, the Great Indian Rock Albums. Bands from all over the country would contribute their demos to RSJ who would choose the best ones to perform in the fest and also feature them to the GIR archive albums.

Amit Saigal can be compared to what Ozzy Osborne did with his OzzFest to revolutionize Heavy Metal music. Amit Saigal is the father of independent music in India. He brought the underground music scene to the stage it is today. The Papa of Rock will always be in the Hall of Fame in the Indian Music Industry. He passed away in January this year, but has left a legacy behind him – like a true revolutionary.

[thethe-image-slider name=”Amit Saigal”]

[box bg=”#fdf78c” color=”#000″]About the author:

Pinak is an online journalist at Youth Ki Awaaz and a student of North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology.[/box]