Thai protest rocker ‘Nga Caravan’ celebrated at last, in Nikkei Asia


My latest story in Nikkei Asia is about Nga Caravan whose band provided the soundtrack for 1970s students fighting military government in Thailand.

Really enjoyed writing this one, an indirect look at Thailand’s long struggle for freedom and democratic representation, so timely. And Khun Nga is an absolute gentleman.

Thanks to Hugo Chakrabongse for making it happen.
Thanks to Yumi Kajiwara for fantastic images of Nga’s birthday bash.

BANGKOK — “On Oct. 6, 1976, the darkest day in our history, Caravan played a concert in Khong Kaen. That’s when we heard that the fascist Thai government was killing demonstrators in Bangkok. It was too dangerous to return to the capital. We fled into the jungle. We became fugitives,” says Nga Surachai Chanthimathon.

In May, nearly half a century after that jungle day, Nga celebrated his 75th birthday with a star-studded concert at Bangkok’s Thailand Cultural Centre that took the capacity audience on a musical trip back in time. Nga, a founder of the 1970s Thai rock group Caravan and former communist guerrilla, was backed by his son Phikanes on guitar and a host of guests including former band mate Thongkran Tana……

Read the full story here.