Terry Thaddeus

October 27, 2008

Terry Thaddeus (1947-2003) first sprang to prominence with The Teenage Hunters from Kuala Lumpur. They were one of the first “local” bands to tour the vibrant Bangkok’s clubs like the Red and Blue in Siam Square in the 60’s. His reputation as a gifted guitar virtuoso was recognized by Marshall World magazine in 1973 when it featured him on its front cover, dubbing him as the Jimi Hendrix of the East. His powerful lead riffs was captured in It’s a beautiful feeling recorded with The Strollers.

Terry Thaddeus also played with Zachariah Dash, Windjammer and Winds of Change, very briefly with The X-Periments (S’pore) and the London-based Pitiful Souls.

Credits: The below photographs are supplied by Chris Smith. He is also kind enough to write a very interesting accompanying note which he has agreed to share with the fans here.

The Teenage Hunters-111Terry Thaddeus with The Teenage Hunters, cir. 1962

The Teenage Hunters-222Unidentified singer backed by The Teenage Hunters, cir. 1962

Description for Terry Thaddeus and “The Teenage Hunters” photographs (By Chris Smith):

The two photographs were taken during a charity variety show called “Musical Express” in aid of St. Vincent de Paul Church. It was held in the town hall at Malacca. Also on the bill was my group “The Blue Stars”, a vocal group called “The Portuguese Four” and some Malayan musclemen: Clancy Ang (Mr Universe) Sunny Phua, who was crowned Pride of The Nation the previous year. Gan Boon Leong Mr Malaya 1962 and physician culturist Walter Jayatilaka. More than a thousand people attended the show

I cannot remember the musclemen or the Portuguese Four but Terry’s playing was magnificent, even in those days (It was sometime in 1962. A local paper of that year should confirm the date). We became good friends and I often visited the family at the Electricity housing complex in KL where his mother was a nurse in the dispensary. His mother was always called Auntie and his father Uncle. His sisters were Dolma and Rani. They now live in London? I cannot remember the younger brother’s name. There was much drinking of tea as we made music and laughed a lot. The group also played one time at the Happyland Hotel and nightclub near Malacca where we went to see them.

I was on holiday in Malaysia on 13th May 2003 when, by chance, saw the obituary for Terry in the Star newspaper. I phoned the number given in the article spoke, I think, to Terry’s brother or son who gave me a London phone number which I rang on my return to UK. The lady I spoke to said that Dolma was not at home. I was staying with my sister at the time and later on Dolma phoned my sister and they had a nice chat. I had returned to Spain where I was working so missed her.

The photo line-up was Terry on (Fender Stratocaster) lead guitar with Fender amplifier and echo unit – superb sound. Johnny Tan on bass guitar, Danny Low on rhythm guitar and Kenny Rabel on Drums. They played a few instrumentals, one of which was a superlative version of the Shadows’ “The Savage” then a small girl came on and sang “Let’s Get Together” originally sung by Hayley Mills.

As “The Blue Stars” we did record many instrumentals, but on a mono tape recorder – well it was 1962. None of which made it onto disc at the time. In fact the tape recorder genius, so I heard this year, passed away some time ago. Presumably the tapes have all been mislaid or thrown away. We played many charity shows, like Terry did. Terry had the knack of playing without looking at his fingers, as the first photo shows. He always seemed to know just where he was on the fret board; quite uncanny for one so young at the time. He also had a cheeky laugh and smile! I will always remember him, his family at the time and the good music we shared.

Chris (JB) Smith