By Lachman Balani
MISSISSAUGA: Long time ago way back in the early sixties, the TWIST craze took over the world, as from the US all the way down to India and beyond, guys and gals twisted away to Chubby Checker’s immortal song ‘Let’s twist again!’
From the few juke boxes in India at that time, every second song that would blare out would be ’let’s twist again’. It was on forever on the Binaca Hit Parade! My school in India would hold twist contests where everybody would twist around crazily! Even on field trips to factories, handicraft villages and amusement parks, we guys would twist on the bus and then twist again as we jumped off the bus inviting everybody to twist. It was such a craze that Mehmood sang the song ‘Aao twist karein’ in the Indian movie ‘Bhoot Bangla’! The great Pancham da, R.D. Burman did the music score!
Can you imagine the thrill up my backbone when I heard the man himself, Chubby Checker was coming to the Festival of Friends in Hamilton just an hour’s drive from my home? And that too for FREE (such a magic word!)!
And so it came to pass that this past weekend I went to see the living legend do his thing! Bang on at 8.30 pm, to super ultra loud cheers, Chubby came on stage and took all the revellers down memory lane as he did covers of several chart-topping songs of the 60s including a couple of Beatles’ tunes and he also did his own songs. It was an energetic evening that saw many groovin’ geriatricians let go and dance like nobody was watching!
Getting caught up in the moment and looking at the enthusiastic crowd, Chubby jumped off stage and motioned to the security to open the fence and let him through! Much to the delight of everyone he started dancing with several members of the audience one person at a time. The look of ecstasy on each woman’s face as he danced with them for half a minute or so each was just so historical!
He then returned to the stage and then looking around asked 3 women to come up one by one on stage and do bust thrusts and backside wiggling. The crowd went wild! He also then asked a lot of guys to come up and do the twist with him. It was just one awesome moment after the other as the man who popularized the twist showcased the stuff that he was made of!
The grand finale came with his rendition of the epic Twist song that shook the whole Ancaster Fairgrounds in Hamilton and split the heavens as even the crowd joined in with loud yells and screams, dancing away like there was no tomorrow!
Even I let myself go wild!
It was one of the most memorable evenings!