Sunday, June 26, 2005

please let go of your hands

we need beyond: a hundred thousand signatures by china fans asking beyond not to breakup

translation by lil_bing on beyondforum

After 20 years, the most popular rock band Beyond announced their official break up this year, the three members are currently doing their farewell world tour to say goodbye to fans around the world. There is one group of fans still wish their idols would change their decision, they have started to gather ten thousand signatures, hoping this will change Beyond's decision on the break-up, until today, there are several thousand signatures already, this moves Beyond too.

The band who has been together for 20 years. Beyond, after hosting their farewell concert in February in Hong Kong, they are now very busy with their world tour, officially saying goodbye to their fans, after that the three members will be working separately. However, their fans still don't want to see the band break up, at the beginning of the year there were some fans faxing to the press threatening Beyond by saying they would kill themselves, there were also fans crying for them to get back together. But Beyond still stick with their decision, Ka Keung even expressed that one of the reasons for the break up is because of their different style of music. Beyond has just finished their tour at Beijing, Shen Yang and Harbin, coming next would be Tian Jin, Cheng Zhou, Chang Sa, and Hunan. A group of China fans are hoping to change Beyond's decision, they have started a partition, they follow Beyond to every farewell concert in China, setup a table outside the venue with a banner to ask fans to adopt their message hoping to change their decision by gathering a billion signatures.

Filled Up the Venue

50,000 Audience in 30,000 Seats

As of right now, the fans have already collected several tens of thousands of signatures, besides collecting signatures outside of the venue, they find their relatives and friends to help out, they also spread the words online to ask fans to go sign the partition, working very hard. However, on the other side, Beyond still didn't change their decision, when they were at the Beijing concert, Paul started the concert by saying "Beyond says breakup, we are breaking up." Fans immediately cried "Don't leave." When Beyond was at Shen Yang, the venue could hold 30,000 people but there were 50,000 people, the sponsor of the concert said that besides the 50,000 people inside the venue, there were more fans who couldn't get in, they just stand outside of the venue to listen. Similar situation happened at Harbin.

In response to the fans' hardwork, KaKeung said on the phone "wow, one hundred thousand?? It sounds more like bacteria. Everyone is so dedicated, actually isn't it better to use their spirit and dedication to support the things I want to do? Even after we break up, Beyond's spirit will not change, we are not expressing our spirit together, but we are doing it separately."

When asked if this group of fans successfully collect one billion signatures would they consider changing their minds, KaKeung replied "Actually having over a hundred thousand signatures is already very good, I am moved already by hearing it, we will talk more if it really happens."

Paul replies "I admire the fans' stubborness in their spirit, being so dedicated for something is good, but isn't it a waste of time? Why not use the time to be a volunteer? If there is really a hundred thousand signatures, I don't even know how I would react, it's kind of scary with such a huge effort, really have to wait till it actually happens to let you know what I think."

Releasing Fairwell DVD in Mid of the Month

Yip Sai Wing says "With a hundred thousand people supporting Beyond to not break up, why not tell these hundred thousand people to support Hong Kong's music industry, support legal music, musicians won't have to work so hard. We will see if there really are one billion signatures, but it's not like I don't know that the fans are putting so much effort in it, I am also moved by it."

On the other hand, Paul was in Beijing for an online interview with, he mentioned: "I feel that I am letting my fans down when I see the banner telling us not to breakup in my room. I hope they will respect our decision. Actually ever since KaKui left, we already felt that we have been broken up, without him, nothing has meanings." An online fan asked whether Beyond will get together for 25th and 30th anniversary? Paul said "Talk about in several years? We don't even know what's going to happen tomorrow, I guess there's a possibility."

After finishing the concert at Harbin, Beyond returned to Hong Kong to personally work on their Hong Kong farewell concert DVD as the last product of Beyond, which is planned to be released in the mid of the month. In addition, today is also Wong Ka Kui's death anniversary, Beyond's three members are currently at Tian Jin preparing for their concert, they have already went to visit KaKui couple of days ago.

- - - -

there have been rumours of breakups circulating for years, from their post tragedy reformation in 1994, to the release of solo albums by the three remaining members while still within the confines of beyond.

if you'd mentioned it to me in 1998 or thereabouts, i'd have screamed in your ear, and berated you for saying such things. one, because they were releasing albums that were expanding my poor musically challenged mind (please let go of your hands and surprise being examples); and two, because i couldn't let go of them either.

being together for more than twenty years, the band is akin to something familiar and comforting.

there's often some person at their concerts with a placard that reads, "i grew up with beyond". it's true for many people, especially those in their mid-twenties and older. in the beginning was beyond and many others, and now they are all that's left of the 80s bands (save for the occasional tat ming pair reunion). nobody else has risen, commercially anyhow, to take their place.

zen could have been it, but they were a bland commercial band, whose popularity peaked with their songs in the 'young and dangerous' movies. the only song i can remember liking was 'i remember you'. (lead singer wong wo hing released his own solo album this year, and the video that keeps playing on tvb makes me block my ears, frankly, when he hits those terrible notes.)

beyond's last full album, goodtime, was released in 1999. the artwork still perplexes me - the three of them stand in the background, whilst mischevious models upstage them with their displays of affection for each other.

the surprising thing from the credits was that they'd ditched their usual producer jim lee and decided to do it all themselves. while paul could probably churn out catchy enough rock songs like the title track in his sleep, the rest of the album just seems to be lacking. the production is muddled, and the songwriting seems uninspired. a rushed job perhaps, to mark the end of their contract and troubled relationship with rock records?

"we have had a goodtime after all", the booklet reads inside. with this, they announced their 'break' after the goodtime concert. fans were already worried that this break would become a breakup, but the band emphasised it was some time off to devote to solo projects.

the three of them have differing musical styles: ka keung's has been described as british influenced and is more pop (just look at his favourite albums of 04); paul's music is inclined towards metal and hard rock; and wing's is somewhere between the two.

maybe the itch to do their own thing and increasing conflict between the members produced that dull album. either ways, paul quickly churned out three albums and an ep (yellow paul wong, black & white,root ep and play it loud) in a similar number of years; ka keung took his time to release brb ('be right back'), pursuing some movie roles and general leisure time; and wing released the beautiful time machine ep before beyond reformed for their 20th anniversary in 2003.

and now we fasttrack to 2005 to bring the closing of the band's story, as they play dates in china up to the end of july, having already performed two sold out farewell concerts in hong kong at the beginning of the year. and the above piece of news.

when making reference to it, a person from the beyondstation mailing list said angrily that fans should 'please let go of your hands', quoting the 1997 album title and song.

there's an image from the video of the same song that i'm reminded of - the three of them walking up a ramp in the rain, with ka keung holding up an umbrella, and wing holding up a balloon. their other free hands are handcuffed to each other.

beyond is what binds them together, but now that they want to create music outside of these confines, there are fans who cannot accept it. some even threatened to commit suicide if it went ahead.

beyond is as much a symbol of endurance as it is living with the pain of the death of a loved one; the latter is a reminder that nothing is permanent. beyond was never meant to last forever, and could have easily ended in 1994 after ka kui's death, if not for the wishes of the fans.

i have to wonder if the breakup upsets these fans so greatly that they sign a petition asking for a reversal of the band's wishes, that beyond's achievements have really come to nothing. because isn't there room for music in their hearts, that maybe beyond has inspired a love of music that isn't just confined to these three people on a stage? why can't these fans throw their support behind sales of legitimate cds (china's piracy is staggering enough for the US to demand action or face trade embargo), and musicians who deserve their support? beyond has tried to encourage the music scene over these many years, but there's only so much you can do when there is no audience.

i have to thank beyond for so many years of good memories, for fighting for what they believed in, and for the music that will never leave me.

as long as they continue to make good music, whether solo or together, i'll continue to listen.


At June 26, 2005 5:31 PM, Blogger Artkruger Letchmi said...

Another good one!

At June 28, 2005 10:27 AM, Blogger Chris Leung said...

Beyond, thank you. I grew up listening to Beyond as well.

At June 29, 2005 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, thank you beyond! =)<3

At July 08, 2005 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the song!


Post a Comment

<< Home