Espiya Newstand (Current Events, Classifieds, Events) => Current Discussions => People, History and Culture => Topic started by: Rockford on December 24, 2007, 05:26:38 PM

Title: The Dawn
Post by: Rockford on December 24, 2007, 05:26:38 PM
The Dawn


The Dawn is a Filipino rock band which gained popularity during the late 1980s in the Philippines. The band broke up in 1995 and eventually, lead vocalist Jett Pangan formed another band bearing his name. In late 1999, however, they again reunited.

The Dawn was originally formed in 1985 by Teddy Diaz (vocals and guitars), Jett Pangan (lead vocals), Clay Luna (bass), and JB Leonor (drums). They derived the band's name from a portrait of the Holy Spirit that symbolized the dawn of a new day (probably found in a book given by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit to Teddy Diaz, as well as a crucifix which Teddy also received from the same sisterhood), called The Dawning of the Holy Spirit. Diaz, Leonor and Luna initially wanted a female vocalist; but in the course of their search, Jett Pangan auditioned and bagged the trio's unanimous nod. The recharged quartet began performing in clubs and eventually recorded a demo of a song entitled "Enveloped Ideas," a copy of which they submitted to DWXB 102.7, a now-defunct Metro Manila–based FM radio station that played Alternative Rock / New Wave music. It topped the radio station's charts in 1986, helping the group gain a cult following. Heavily influenced by the New Wave style of the '80s, "Enveloped Ideas" is distinct for its introductory operatic vocals a la Klaus Nomi.

While The Dawn was in search of a major record label, Luna left the band to emigrate to the US. Carlos "Caloy" Balcells, bass player of another Filipino group, the Cicada Band, soon replaced him.

Success and tragedy
In 1986, The Dawn signed with OctoArts International and, the next summer, released their eponymous debut album, which gained commercial success. Many felt that The Dawn would fill the void left behind by the Juan de la Cruz Band when their music slowly faded in the 1980's.

At the height of their popularity in 1988, and just weeks after the release of their second album I Stand With You, Teddy Diaz was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend's house on August 21, 1988 by two bystanders allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the demise of Diaz, his influence is still felt among many guitarists today and he has become a legend among many Filipino musicians. The Dawn, together with the Filipino music industry also considers Teddy to be the band's driving force till this day. The band bravely soldiered on; at one time employing the services of a masked guitarist (nick-named Zorro by some fans) in the absence of a permanent axeman. Atsushi Matsuura, a Japanese guitarist who had earlier released a solo album in the Philippines under Ivory Records, was inducted to perform lead guitar duties in January of 1989. He was later replaced by Francis Reyes, ex-Afterimage guitarist, who was also a DJ at NU-107, a local alternative rock radio station. Francis also happened to be close friend of Teddy's. Classically trained session keyboardist Millette Saldajeno joined the band in late 1990; she was replaced by Isidore Fernandez in 1992.

Breakup and reunion
In 1995, the band went their separate ways due to Pangan's desire to move on with another career. Pangan eventually formed the Jett Pangan Group. The 1997 reunion at the ULTRA brought everyone including Matsuura back on stage, and for the first time, the band jammed with two guitarists; Reyes being on board as well. They did another reunion show at the now defunct ABG's along Pasong Tamo, while they were discussing a comeback release through Sony Music Philippines. They reunited with both Francis Reyes and Atsushi Matsuura on guitars and performed on GMA Networks' 2000 today Global Millennium Day Broadcast in Ayala Avenue in Makati City. In that year, they also recorded Prodigal Sun, an album that, much like the parable of the Prodigal Son, symbolized their return to the music scene.

2001 saw the band actively engaged in the live circuit; they embarked on an 8-city US tour and were in New York City when 9/11 turned the World Trade Center into ground zero. In 2004, Caloy Balcells left the band in order to perform his duties as city councilor in his native Talisay City; he was replaced by former Wolfgang bassist Mon Legaspi and a few months later the band once again parted with Matsuura and returned to being a quartet.

Jett Pangan
JB Leonor
Francis Reyes
Buddy Zabala

Former members:
Teddy Diaz
Clay Luna
Mon Legaspi
Carlos Balcells
Atsushi Matsuura
Noel Mendes (Zorro)
Dodo Fernandez