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Jett Pangan devastated by Razorback drummer’s suicide

/ 12:25 AM January 19, 2019

Jett Pangan

Jett Pangan is the epitome of coolness. His band, The Dawn, is already part of Pinoy pop culture. Check out the group’s new album, “Ascendant,” on Spotify.

Aside from singing his heart out, the rock star also got his acting chops down. Jett topbills the stage production, “Dirty Old Musical” (DOM), along with Robert Seña, Bo Cerrudo, Carlo Orosa and Nonie Buencamino.

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The original Filipino musical by Spotlight Artists Centre is back by popular demand. I immensely enjoyed “DOM” during its initial run. It will tickle your funny bone, as well as tug at your heartstrings. Catch it at the Music Museum on Feb. 22, 23, March 1, 2, 8, 9,15, 16, 22 and 23 (call 891-9999).

Jett takes the place of seasoned actor John Arcilla in the musical. He refuses to feel pressured about it. The OPM rockstar’s got enough panache and chutzpah to pull it off. Ready, Jett, go!

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Here’s my chat with Jett:

Since “Dirty Old Musical” tackles midlife crisis, tell us how you handle it. I’m lucky to still be singing in a rock band, so midlife crisis doesn’t really bum me out (laughs). But, yeah, the age thing does hit me a bit more than I’d like, especially when it’s the body talking. Corny as it may sound, whenever I feel like I have fewer miles left on the road, I just count my blessings and the incredible life that I’ve had thus far.

How do you feel about having replaced John Arcilla? I’m sure John Arcilla did an incredible job as Freddie. He’s a terrific actor. All I can do is bring in my own best version of Freddie and have fun with it.

Brian Velasco

What’s your fondest memory of Razorback’s drummer, Brian Velasco? Brian’s shocking passing will remain with me forever. At the turn of the millennium, he played drums for the Jett Pangan Group (JPG) on its final leg. This was prior to The Dawn regrouping after a hiatus.

We had so much fun. I remember we just drank and drank beer before, during and after each show—and he was an awesome team player. When JPG came to an end, I saw him as a brother, so his untimely demise is truly devastating.

What are your sentiments about Brian’s suicide, which he even streamed on FB Live? What went on in Brian’s mind moments before his death is something none of us can bring to a conclusion 100 percent, unless we were his regular bandmates or family.

What’s the best and toughest part of being a rock star? Being called a “rock star” is the toughest part (laughs). I was born and raised a regular guy, so any “godly” titles associated with me or the work I do leaves me feeling awkward.

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The best part? Doing what I love—and getting paid for it! It’s exhilarating and humbling at the same time.

What’s your message to parents who don’t want their musically inclined kids to become fulltime musicians since it isn’t a stable career? I always look back to the deal my parents struck with me when I started singing for The Dawn way back in ’86: Just finish your studies, then you can do whatever you want. A career in music can be rewarding, but it can’t guarantee what you expect out of it, so I think any caring parent only wants to make sure that you have a fallback option.

How do you stay away from temptation during gigs? I’m not perfect. Thank God my wife is (laughs). I’ve had my share of dodging temptations and other challenges related to being married, but we work it out as a team. Family is our strength and shield.

What’s the craziest thing that a fan did to you? In the ’80s, a girl threw a lady garment onstage. I honestly didn’t know what to do with it.

What’s your personal anthem? I’ve quite a few personal anthems, but right now, it’s U2’s “Red Hill Mining Town.”

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TAGS: Brian Velasco, Jett Pangan, Music, The Dawn
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