Little more than two weeks ago during the busy Christmas season, I got a very sudden and rare opportunity of meeting a person whom I wanted to see and meet in person for quite a long time, who was on a very short holiday to his motherland and when visiting a relative over here in the hill capital of Kandy..
A fine lead Guitarist of yesteryear but not known to most of the present day generation over here on FB, Even musicians, But quite well known among senior musicians and other senior citizens over here. Maybe some may remember him as the lead Guitarist of the mid to late 80’s band Jade but Not many will know he was the main lead Guitarist for the studio recording of the famous 4 song Sooriya album Dilhani..
An EP album which which is a landmark in the vinyl or record industry of Sri Lanka.
An album produced by Mr.Gerald Wickremesooriya on his own Sooriya label that still holds the record for the highest amount of sales of an EP record in Sri Lanka
The album which contained the very first song in the Island where harmonizing was superimposed or overdubbed by the same lead singer by Sri Lanka’s legendary recording engineer the late Mr.Mervyn Rodrigo. (This was actually an experiment but results proved to be very good! and was subsequently added to many more recordings)
A song totally created by a person considered the God father of Singhalese Pop in Sri Lanka ,the late Mr.Clarence Wijewardane for the two week old little daughter of the manger of his first band,The Moonstones, Mr.Sri Sangabo Corea .
The “Person” is, Non other than Mr.Anton Goonetilleke. And as I mentioned earlier, Not known to many but he is the man, who was just 19 at the time way back in 1969 who played this beautiful opening mid and ending Electric Guitar riffs for the studio recording of the evergreen hit Dilhani sung by Indrani Pererabacked by the Moonstones. But Anton was not a permanent member of the Moonstones and had left by the time photographs were snapped for the cover of the EP and sadly as a result did not appear on the cover picture with the rest of the Moonstones. However, Mr.Gerald Wickremesooriya, The big man and proprietor of the record company had seen to his own eyes and heard to his own ears the performance of Anton Goonetilleke and had insisted that at least his name should appear on the flip side of the cover and so it was!
The studio recording was done during the morning hours of the 17th of May 1969 at Sarasavi Recording studio, Dalugama Kelaniya on twin track Monaural and in just two (2) takes after many weeks of practice by the boys & girl.
Enjoy this little part of the opening,Middle and ending Electric lead Guitar riffs combined together along with the first verse of the track which I have edited down to 1 minute and 4 seconds from the full song of 3 minutes and 4 seconds.