Surprise That Rocked Rocker

29 Jul

The veteran rocker proved that he still has the magic to sizzle his audience.

The veteran rocker proved that he still has the magic to sizzle his audience.

‘Cool’ is his second name but last weekend, Amy Search was almost in tears. HAFIDAH SAMAT fills you in.

The showbiz movers and shakers who attended the event were (from left) composer Johari Teh, concert promoter Ali Bakar, singer Rahim Maarof and M. Nasir.
The showbiz movers and shakers who attended the event were (from left) composer Johari Teh, concert promoter Ali Bakar, singer Rahim Maarof and M. Nasir.

A heartwarming sight - Amy kisses daughter Nabila's cheek, with Norish all smiles in the background.
A heartwarming sight – Amy kisses daughter Nabila’s cheek, with Norish all smiles in the background.

Amy's family members (from left) Kat, Nabila and Norish rendering the haunting Isabella.
Amy’s family members (from left) Kat, Nabila and Norish rendering the haunting Isabella.

IT was an unforgettable Sunday evening. Amy, the lead vocalist of rock outfit Search, turned 50 on Monday. As expected, there was much fanfare.

The award-winning singer was overwhelmed with joy when his family surprised him with a birthday bash at the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts in Kuala Lumpur.

The elegant party was attended by some 220 of the singer’s family, relatives and close friends. The guests came from far and wide to join in the fun.

Spotted in the crowd were Amy’s daughter, the actress Nabila Huda; AirAsia Berhad chairman and former Search manager Datuk Aziz Bakar and wife Datin Norma Norell; and singer-composer-film director M.Nasir and wife Marlia Musa.

There were also the much celebrated songwriter-actor Bob Lokman (who was responsible for the band’s legendary tune Isabella), Search members, rock outfit Lefthanded’s vocalist Nash,Joe and Eddie of Black of Wings and former reality talent show Akademi Fantasia 6 principal, Ramli MS.

It was heartening to see some of Amy’s orang kampung too, from his hometown Bakar Batu in Johor Baru.

Fashion designer Albert King, who was accompanied by stylist Izatt Shariff, was seen chatting and joking with some of the members of the Press.

Despite her super-tight schedule, Amy’s wife-cum-personal assistant Norish Hassan, who had masterminded the party for three weeks, had discreetly called up his relatives and friends.

Details had been worked out carefully: from the attendees and the food, to decor and the evening’s programme.

The ballroom received the touch of wedding organiser Pak Abu.

The entrance was transformed into a little fairy tale garden and the setting done in earthy tones. Sheer chiffon curtains added a touch of romance.

The interior of the ballroom was an exquisite ivory hue with a gorgeously decorated head table. Tall arrangements of fresh red roses and small lanterns formed the centrepieces of each table.

The dining tables were labelled after some of Search’s greatest hits including Isabella, Seroja, Rozana, Meniti Titian Usang, Mentari Di Ufuk Timur and Isi Dan Kulit. How nostalgic!

Two gigantic screens were mounted at both sides of the room for guests to enjoy a video presentation of Amy’s illustrious career in the music industry.

“It was no walk in the park to organise the party. The days leading up to the evening were nerve-wracking, as Amy got suspicious about my late night outings,” said the tudung-clad Norish, laughing.

“Nabila even joked that I’d be grounded by Amy if I stayed out more. Oh, how I prayed that everything would turn out memorable,” she added.

Well, Norish, it was certainly worth the effort! It was touching to witness the well-wishers who came clad in their party best congregating to celebrate the legendary rocker’s landmark birthday in style!

Norish recalled a funny little “drama” which unfolded at their home a few hours before the party.

Amy was reported to have become upset at his family when he noticed that they were getting restless… Amy had only been told that he was to attend a corporate event later.

“Nabila, myself and the kids were ready to leave to make the final preparations and there he was nagging at us. So we stayed back and pretended nothing was happening,” said Norish, smiling.

The guests were warned beforehand that Amy had no inkling of the party for him. Everyone was to surprise him with the birthday song.

The evening’s entertainment kicked off at 9pm. Amy performed the melancholic Saat Ku Idamkan, from his solo album Magik which was released in 1994.

Just as he was about to break into the second song, the house lights came on and confetti dropped from the air. This was followed by the joyous birthday song and applause.

Amy was clearly shocked. He took a few seconds to compose himself.

“I’ve never celebrated my birthday before. This is so touching. I’m grateful to Allah for my long music career.

“I’ve a supportive family and friends who have supported Search through the years,” he added.

Amy said that his life has come full circle.

After 27 years in showbiz, he only hoped for good health and another child!

“I’ve achieved some of my dreams and my greatest moment was Search’s tour in Indonesia back in the 1980s. I still get goosebumps thinking about the historic moments.

“Of course, if Allah permits, I don’t mind having another child,” he said, laughing.

(Amy has three children – Nabila, 24, Alexander Zulkarnain, 4 and Sania Samara, two).

The evening also included a series of performances by his friends.

Hattan came on stage and rocked the house with his rendition of Dia, Man Bai rendered his signature Kau Ilhamku, and former Malaysian Idol contestant Fazli Zainal performed Suatu Masa.

The highlight came when Nabila, Norish and his sister-in-law, singer Kat, came on stage and performed Isabella.

Amy was all smiles, enjoying the small family performance on stage.

“He’s my hero. He knows best and I’ve learnt a lot from him”, said Nabila, as she playfully kissed her father on the cheeks. Amy looked dashing and spunky in a linen gold suit.

Asked about his plans, Amy stressed that he wasn’t planning to retire.

“I want to continue performing. It’s heartening when you still sizzle for your fans, especially the younger generation,” he said.

Oh yes, did we mention that amongst the more expensive gifts Amy received was a bungalow worth RM2.5 million in Shah Alam, courtesy of an undisclosed close friend?

Here’s wishing you, Amy, a Happy 50th Birthday!

 

New Straits Times

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