It's weird, but the last two weeks have been absolutely crazy for fans of a former band in the Philippines. Someone, it seems, has been sent by a mysterious organization to relay the information that the band is about to resurrect from the grave.
If that sounds vague to you, perhaps it's because it was intended to be that way. As I write this, nothing clear or definite has come out in the open except that the Eraserheads, arguably the last great Filipino musical quartet, is supposedly having a one-night reunion concert. They disbanded in 2002 for still unclear reasons.
But what has made this event starkly unique and different is its clever use of digital marketing tools, as noted by music industry veteran Jim Ayson, who also serves as moderator for the oldest Eraserheads mailing list called Circus (also the name of the band's second album).
Although the "reunion" talk has been going around for some time, it was those small hints let loose by the mysterious organization that has gotten the fans really excited, Ayson observed. The digital publicist, he wrote, made skillful use of blogs and viral marketing techniques to build up the hype and grab the interest of the fans.
It was also interesting to note, Ayson said, that even if the shrewd organizer chooses to also tap the traditional media by feeding information to a well-known entertainment columnist, the digital channel was the first to be utilized to generate the buzz.
Naturally, like the millions of Filipinos who grew up on the music of the Eraserheads (E'heads) during the 90s, I'm now helplessly caught up in this brilliantly engineered frenzy. And why not? I'm personally interested in this because I conceptualized and published, together with my colleague Jing Garcia of The Manila Times, the first book on the band entitled Tikman ang Langit: An Anthology on the Eraserheads. "Tikman ang Langit" is a Filipino phrase that loosely means "taste heaven", and was taken from one of their hit songs.
In the Circus mailing list, it was discussed that the reunion concert will be held on Aug. 30 on the open grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. This information was allegedly confirmed in a radio interview by Ely Buendia, the enigmatic former frontman who was the first to bolt the group.
Despite that, loyal fans of the band are still anxious to find out if the reunion gig will indeed happen. This is because the organizer, as well as the company backing it, have yet to reveal themselves. The rumor vine has it that cigarette company Marlboro is financing the concert, but no one from the company has stepped forward to validate this.
Secondly, the fans don't know where to get the tickets. So, like the horde of hopefuls aiming to see the band even for just a night, I enlisted in Marlboro's online events mailing list just in case the company is indeed sponsoring the gig--just making sure I won't miss the boat.
Needles to say, I'm aching to see the original members of the group reunite. Although they now belong to different bands, Ely Buendia, Marcus Adoro, Buddy Zabala and Raymund Marasigan are still not the same unless, of course, they are the E'heads.
The organizers, whoever they are, have done a marvelous job promoting the event. Now, if only they could tell us where to get the tickets. Please?