We, on this blog have featured Shri VS Shirali whose musical career has been followed and published in various forums and media.
As fate would have it our star performer Avinesh got an opportunity to meet him in person on 16th Janurary 2011 and this is what he has to say.
‘He is very talented, simple and honest. He has mastery in multiple instruments viz: Guitar, Keyboard and Harmonica. I was overawed in his presence. He prefers to play songs on a harmonica of the same scale as the original rendering.
According to to Shri VS Shirali he is the first person to own Hohner 270 Chromonica of all the 12 scales and Hohner has customised harmonicas for him ( C#, F# and G#) which are not in their line of off-the-shelf products.”
Avinesh is ecstatic that he could spend a full day with Shri Shirali who (along with his mother) spared time for him. Avinesh spent a lot of time listening to his playing and got a lot of valuable tips for which he is grateful. Shri Shirali played around 15 numbers composed by Shri RD Burman, the memory of which Avinesh cherishes.
We at HaLoH hope that he had the presence of mind to record them so that we can also partake of the aural feast.
Our front man Shri Ramana has the following information to add to this post:
"Mr Shirali waited for about 1 and half years to get his customized C# (Db) harmonica from Hohner.
Though a 270 C slide can be reversed to play comfortably in C#, it still cannot technically be called a C# harmonica because hole no.1 BLOW with SLIDE IN in a C# harmonica is 'D' where as it becomes 'C' on a reversed C harmonica."
Hohner 270 is one of the most popular harmonicas among harmonica lovers including Shri Milon Gupta."
1. This post is being republished as some more relevant information has been brought forward by Shri Ramana.
2. On the earlier post an anonymous visitor had left a comment inquiring about the identity of the other person with Shri Shirali in the first photograph, The gentleman in the picture is Mr Anthony Golmes, the proprietor of Furtados-Mumbai from where Shri Shirali reportedly has got his harmonicas.