The legendary singer, composer and guitarist Ayub Bachchu, admirably called AB, died on Thursday morning at the age of 56.
He was suffering from heart diseases for long and found unconscious in his Maghbazar apartment in the morning on Thursday by his colleagues.
‘He was already dead by the time we had taken him to the hospital,’ said Bachchu’s friend and studio manager Mohammad Delwar Hossain.
Later at a press conference, Square hospital doctors said that Bachchu died of heart failure and he was brought dead.
Delwar said that Bachchu was holding keys in his hand as he was lying unconscious on the floor of his room shortly after 09:15 am.
Bachchu, whom fans often compared with legendary guitarist Joe Satriani, performed last at a concert in northern district Rangpur on Tuesday.
He left behind two children and a widow.
Calling the passing away of Bachchu ‘too soon’ and the loss of a ‘comrade’, musician Foad Naser Babu said, ‘His demise is a great loss to the music industry. He gave so much to music, yet he had so much more to give.’
Singer Tapan Chowdhury, who spent a decade singing to the rhythm of Bachchu’s guitar while they were members in Souls, the band that catapulted both to fame, remembered Bachchu as a ‘real’ musician.
‘I just lost my brother,’ Tapan Chowdhury said, adding, ‘He was a born musician.’
Condolences and tributes poured over social media platforms as soon as the news of the passing away of the maestro broke. President Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and cultural affairs minister Asaduzzman Noor condoled with the nation his death in separate messages.
Different other organisations including Shammilito Sanskritik Jote, Bangladesh Musical Bands Association, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, Bangladesh Sangeet Shilpi Parishd, Sur Taranga Shilpi Goshthi and others also paid their condolences on his death.
On Facebook, fans shared posts in gratitude of Bachchu living the beautiful life of a musician.
In tribute, fans drew sketches of Bachchu and designers put together images of their beloved musician, saying, ‘Legend never dies,’ or ‘You are in our heart.’
Many of those in their 30s dubbed Bachchu ‘melody of childhood’ remembering the days they spent listening to his songs.
Many kept it simple, just sharing their favourite lines from his famous numbers, including ‘Ei Rupali Guitar Fele,’ ‘Ar Beshi Kadale Ural Debo Akashe,’ ‘Thikana Shudhu Ek Samadhi,’ and ‘Ghumanta Shohore.’
Born in Chattogram in 1962, Bachchu recorded 28 albums, including 16 solo albums during more than four decades of his career as a musician. A pioneering rocker, Bachchu composed 500 songs including famous numbers like Chalo Bodle Jai’, ‘Rupali Guitar’, ‘Hanste Dekho, Gaite Dekho’, ‘Ghum Bhanga Shahore’, ‘Darojar O Pashe’, ‘Madhabi’, ‘Hawker’, ‘Meye’, ‘Tara Bhara Rate’ and ‘Sare Tin Hat Mati’.
He also sang playbacks for films and recorded dozens of songs released in mixed albums.
Bachchu formed his own band Spider at the age of 14. In 1978, he joined Feelings, which went on to become a major band in Bangladesh. But he spent only two years with the band and joined Souls as its lead guitarist in 1980 where he played for ten years.
In 1991, Bachchu founded LRB, abbreviation of love runs blind. He owned a music studio called ‘AB Kitchen’ at Maghbazar.
His first album was a solo released in 1986 titled ‘Rakto Golap.’ His second album, Mayna, also a solo album, thrust him into prominence in music industry in 1988. His third solo titled ‘Kosto’, released in 1995, was a super-hit and made him a household name. He released an instrumental album titled ‘Sound of Silence’ in 2007.
LRB was acclaimed for its taste for experimentation, with its first album being released in double-disc record. It was the first time people came across such an idea in Bangladesh.
The album was a runaway success with many of its rock numbers becoming so popular that they were still on the top of the popular band song charts years on end. Bachchu’s live performances were not complete until he sang some of these songs, including ‘Ghum Bhanga Shahore,’ ‘Madhabi,’ and ‘Hawker.’
Its last album titled Juddho was released in 2012. Bachchu’s last solo album ‘Jiboner Golpo’ was released in 2015.
LRB performed more than 500 open-air and 2,000 indoor concerts. LRB is the only Bangla rock band to have performed at the Madison Square Garden in New York. It also toured USA, Europe and many other countries for live performance.
On his last birthday in August, Bachchu, a key musician in popularizing rock music in Bangladesh, had told journalists that he still had a long way to go.
He had also shared with journalists his plan of writing a memoir. He had said that he was planning to leave the capital to embarking on writing the memoir.
The mortal remains of Ayub Bachchu will be kept at the Central Shaheed Minar from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Friday for people to pay their final tributes to the beloved singer.
His first namaz-e-janaza will be held at Jatiya Eidgah after Jummah prayers.
He will be buried at the family graveyard in Chattogram on Saturday.
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