Wednesday, May 18, 2005

beyond & me part II

From 1997 (click for larger).

do you really remember what it was like without the internet, in what seems like a long long time ago?

i remember my father dialing up on a rotary phone, where he would look at bulletin boards on a monochrome monitor. that was the early 90s.

i didn't get online on the real internet aka the www, until about 1995, when loud modem dialtones alerted everyone to the fact you were about to cut off their phone line.

in 1996 i discovered icq, and my parents got really annoyed as i dialed in day and night to talk to fellow beyond fans online. (i was sixteen and still convinced i was going to marry ka keung one day, despite the double age difference.)

there was a girl with the nickname of czarina, who was very much into "band sound" and local bands like tat flip and lmf. i wonder if she's the same czarina who writes music articles and reviews in milk?

somewhere along the line we found ka keung on icq, or at least whom we thought was kk. hence began the big chat room sessions that went on for hours. he seemed to know all the answers to the difficult questions we asked him, and in character when a careless person asked him if he still missed his brother ka kui, he promptly logged off.

(because we know losing a close sibling is like a wound that never closes.)

sometime in 1998 i set up a website with the dorky name of 'the beyond station' (only a bunch of references left, no longer online).

a lot of work, a lot of time spent, and a lot of getting nice people to translate chinese articles into english for me. (if later on i post articles with particularly weird, running on english, those were probably me with a translator program and a dictionary.)

through it i met a lot of cool people online whom i have since lost contact with, who shared the same passion for the same band: ken who had a collection to die for including their original first releases (are you reading this?), mui from california whose favourite member was paul and was like the older sister i'd wished for. through email and the post, a thai fan sent me a cassette she'd made of beyond's japanese songs, painstakingly writing the japanese characters in tiny print on the cover, and making photocopies of the japanese cd booklets for me.

somewhere between losing internet access and getting busted by my parents for spending too much time online again, i think i stopped updating.

the fever for their music came and went (my brother knows the cyclical nature of my personality), but i never forgot the love of music the band instilled in me, and wanted to share it with others. lofty and sentimental, i know.


At July 18, 2005 11:37 AM, Anonymous ginger said...

hello... reading your article brings back memories.. i was one of those madly following the chatroom... so many years.. was fun then...

reading yr stuff brought back memories

At August 06, 2005 11:51 PM, Anonymous Sebastien said...

Thank you heaps Rachael for this wonderful tribute to the band that has left such an indelible impression on my life...I reckon you're 25 this year which is my age this year as seems aeons since I first started listening to them back in '88...still, those old songs like Forever Waiting & Grey Train Tracks rock each and every day of my life...I'm illiterate in Chinese so any Beyond news is akin to the joy of unearthing rare gems. I can only imagine the state I'll be in on the night of Oct 15th 2005 when Beyond rocks shall be my first, last and only ever chance to experience this band playing live. Lastly, to all Beyond fans who have continued to support them through all these years, I salute you. Thank you for the music.


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