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Filipino Indie Acts Pay Tribute To John Lennon | October 8, 2010
by Lawrence Casiraya

As the main creative force behind the now-defunct Orange and Lemons and now The Camerawalls, Clem Castro (who also goes by his first name Clementine) continues to channel his boyhood love affair with the Beatles.

After the untimely demise of his former band (a victim of the proverbial creative conflict), Clem went on to establish Lilystars Records, a fledgling indie pop label that has been drawing raves for its roster of local acts.

The Camerawalls are headlining a tribute show for John Lennon to celebrate the legendary singer’s 70th birthday. Also doing cover versions of Lennon songs are Lally Buendia (of Domino), The Gentle Isolation, Your Imaginary Friends, Arigato, Hato!, Outer Hope and Swissy.

The tribute is also part of the The Pop Shoppe! Music Series that highlights today’s indie acts. Here, in his own words, Clem reminisces on discovering the Beatles and shares some of his favorite Lennon masterpieces.

Can you recall a specific moment when you “discovered” John Lennon and began paying closer attention to him as a musician?

CLEM: I still remember the first time I saw a laser disc video of The Beatles’ first US Visit. I was 15 and fresh from forming a high school Beatles cover band. By the time “The Beatles Anthology” was released I was totally hooked especially the songwriting prowess of (John) Lennon and (Paul) McCartney. At a young age I hoped and dream to at least develop 1% of Lennon’s talent and success as a singer and songwriter. He wasn’t a technical musician but I love his his soul, power and honesty when it comes to making music. His massive influence can be readily found in my works and ideals.

What is your favorite Lennon song?

CLEM: To ask me what my favorite Lennon song is close to asking when can pigs fly. I have none in particular because many of the songs connects and speaks to me in different ways. From razor cutting rock and roll songs like “Money” and “Yer Blues” to the more soulful and sensitive “Beautiful Boy” and “Jealous Guy” – like two sides of a coin are both amazing. But I do have a song of the month I totally love and quite relevant – “Watching The Wheels” – hence the title of my birthday tribute event for him at Ayala Museum. It’s about letting go of the material world and living life for peace and others. And there is no finite knowledge, we know everything already, we just have to find it in ourselves.

In your own words, how is Lennon still relevant today?

CLEM: I’d like to play my part in keeping his spirit alive and it is very important that newer generations continue to discover John Lennon’s music and the message behind it. His relevance can be measured not by his net worth and possessions but rather his inspiration, talent and ideals. How he integrated entertainment and social relevance and moved millions.

“Watching the Wheels: A Birthday Tribute to John Lennon” will be held on October 9 (Saturday) 6PM at the Ayala Museum. Tickets available at Powerbooks and A Different Bookstore or call 0916-4004343 and 0915-9006954.

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