” Why I left KSA Band “
……..I lost my wife, kids,manager in auto crash
…….KSA sent for me
…….I once smoked hemp and sniffed cocaine
41 years after his fatal accident , Bob Aladeniyi recounts his ugly stories .He spoke with taiwoabiodun.com
The Juju Lecturer
He is handsome, meticulous , humble, disciplined, sincere , hard -working , easy going, honest , cheerful -giver and a God – fearing man- these are the sterling qualities bestowed on this multi- talented musician, Bobade Aladeniyi .
In Owo, his country home he is respected and honoured .He teaches the old and the young how to sing and play guitar .He also advises the upcoming musicians to desist from drug saying it will not take them anywhere .No wonder he is called Juju Lecturer .
After strumming his guitar for some minutes , he gave a heavy sigh, adjusted his chair , chuckled and meticulously packed his guitar in its box in a corner of his living room and started the interview ” My real names are Bobade Aladeniyi but everybody calls me ‘Bob’. I don’t smoke and don’t even drink alcohol”, he told this reporter.
Aladeniyi who has over 10 guitars of different brands , drums of different types and assorted loud speakers along with other instruments said, pointing ” these instruments are my tools and they are like your own tools like recorder, pen and paper too”.
He continued ” I was born in September 15, 1950 in Owo ,in the then Western State (now Ondo State) .I started playing guitar in 1966 at the age of 16. It all started one day when I woke up and took my little savings to buy a Box of guitar and notes from UTC in Lagos and I started building myself up, and that year 1966 was the beginning of my career as I started playing .I started practicing guitar at 14 , nobody taught me. I went to UTC ,bought a box of guitar , notebook and that was how I started practicing until I joined the late Fatai Rolling Dollars in 1967. The late Rolling Dollars was a guitar wizard , and when I got to him I had more experience and that was where KSA discovered me . I later left Rolling Dollars to join King Sunny Ade popularly known as KSA in 1969 where I learnt more about guitar.”
While with KSA I was the one who strummed the guitar when KSA sings and asked each instrumentalist (and myself ) to play our instrument in that track Tani Pepe tani atagbe ,ikanmudu tani atala,b’oyin ba tani a roro oyin, be buwa loju wa …..e pe Bob Aladeniyi mi ko fi guitar da wa laraya o di regi….(and he strummed the guitar to show the evidence). Infact I was very popular and my boss, KSA loved me so much, and he used to call me ” O ni guitar Ara”( Guitarist Wizard)
I took drug and smoked hemp
Did he ever smoked Indian hemp to enhance his performance ?, this reporter asked , and he responded “Yes , I did drug, I smoked Indian hemp, took cocaine and that was then . It was one guy who taught me how to use cocaine when I travelled to America .But I have stopped all those things. One does not need to take drug to enhance his performance at all. Infact I don’t drink alcohol at all now”.
“I have been to many countries like London, France, Germany, USA, Darkar , Togo, Miami “, he said.
Aladeniyi was so popular in the music industry in the 70s because of his dexterity in playing guitar which was unrivaled , he said ” Anytime we went out to play in Clubs like Kakadu or Q Club or Young Social Club in Ikorodu Road , there you will be hearing about me, as fans would eagerly be waiting for me to turn up , and immediately I am sighted the whole environment would go into frenzy that Bob has come, KSA’s Master guitarist has arrived.It was always interesting.”
He added “There were so many functions and parties where they would be expecting me . If I was not physically present or didn’t turn up our fans would not come to buy tickets , it is ‘no Bob , no ticket sales‘. There was another popular soloist with us then , he is Dele Akande who was the former KSA soloist , he died few years ago , we also met at Rolling Dollars before he joined us in KSA band .
My first travel
“I played what we called ‘ juju guitar’ in an album we waxed in London , and in a track ‘ Seinde’ where we sang his praises ( Seinde was one of the most popular medical doctors in
Lagos then) we also waxed : Asiko Laiye Eda kan Ko mola, E kilo f’omode, A fai ba won Ja won nbinu, among others that were hit. When we staged our shows at St Macras in London in 1971 and entertained our fans we were hailed to high heavens and that was our first time to travel out to play. It was an unforgettable period. My boss, KSA led both in songs and guitar while we followed and others would go into frenzy. He was called the greatest musician from Africa, the greatest Master Guitarist and dancer for he was a great entertainer , composer, skilled dancer and he toured the world. He is great and humble , that is King Sunny Ade for you”.
Why I parted with KSA
Bob Aladeniyi in his hey days was popular and became famous with his guitar .He has made name and with his age cum experience in music and therefore believed he was matured enough to be on his own, he later parted with KSA band and went ahead to form his own Band , he said ” When it was time to establish my own band I told my boss KSA but he said no , I should not go , KSA said I should not leave the band since I was still valuable and useful .”
On whether the rumour is true that KSA sent eminent personalities to beg him to return to the Band , Aladeniyi shook his head and said ” It is true that KSA sent important dignitaries to Owo my home town to plead with me .Yes, the late Ooni of Ife Oba Sijuade Olubuse , the late Kabiyesi Olowo of Owo Oba Kolapo Ogunoye , the late Alonge the Tailor were all contacted by KSA to call me back but I said I had bought my own instruments and that was all. I explained to them that there was no going back. That was how I left and formed my band ‘Bob Aladeniyi Band’ .
“Although many rumoured that we fought but it is not so , we didn’t quarrel .How can you fight with your boss who has been nice to you? .The fact is that when it was time to quit I quit”.
My many nicknames
According to Aladeniyi he has many appellations ” I was called ‘ Juju Lecturer, Oga Guitar, Guitar Wizard and many more but the one that stuck to me till date is Juju Lecturer .I have taught many how to play the guitar instrument , I taught Segun Awe ( who played for Commander Ebenezer Obey) , Monday John respected me in guitar playing .Shina Peters is like a son to me he respects me a lot .Many University and Polytechnic students who studied music had passed through me. Once in a while they invite me to these institutions to teach them practical
Bob Aladeniyi and Taiwo Abiodun
Obey and KSA , who is great?
Though Bob has played with the two great musicians ( KSA and Obey) but he found them to be great in their own ways as each possessed his own different talent .”When you talk of entertainment KSA is unrivaled and if you again talk of a great composer Obey is great .They have different talents .I can’t say who is the boss between the two for Obey is a good composer while KSA is a good entertainer .KSA is a great Master guitarist , he could play for hours , he could dance till tomorrow , he is a talent to the musical world. He has been playing guitar before I joined him .He is a multi-instrumentalist. In Nigeria and Africa no man can beat him with his ‘ rubber’ legs and in guitar. I repeat nobody can compete with him.He is just a gift to the world”.
Today’s music in comparison
Aladeniyi condemned the types of music or songs being played today and said ‘ they are just playing Saje (gutter music) ,I can’t stand it .Imagine they are now blending our juju music with hip pop. because they have no music to play.Juju music is still relevant that is why all these boys are now playing them and remixing them into hip pop. What are they singing? , is it the music you cannot play into the hearing of our children that is called music? The present day music can corrupt our children. Pick one KSA album and listen to its lyrics, listen to its ballad, guitar or instrument then you know that is song. Pick Obey’s record it is still evergreen.Compare these with the rubbish they are playing they called music today.Mark you all these type of music will soon fade away , it’s just a matter of time”
My fatal accident
Each time Aladeniyi remembers the incidence that almost wiped out his family in an auto crash he feels somber but still gives thanks to God. Narrating the episode he said he almost died in an auto accident in 1978 although he does not want to remember the sad story again .When pressed further he said ” In 1978 I had an engagement for Egbe Omo Owo Social Club in Ikorodu and I had to leave Benin where I went to play for Lagos , on getting to Sagamu the accident happened and I lost my wife , son and my band manager in the accident that was the most painful moment in my life “, he said almost in tears. I thank God my band is still on.I believe it was the work of enemies who attacked me on July 15 , 1978 when I was returning to Lagos from Benin where I went to play .I was in my Peugeot 504 Car with my late wife, Alaba and her babies ; Segun Aganga ( my Band manager) in the car and I had almost arrived Ikorodu before the accident happened”. He recalled with pains and emotions as he almost burst into tears again ,” I drove into a Bedford lorry carrying logs of wood .My Boys had gone before me to Lagos and I was coming behind them , and I was already in Ikorodu when the fatal accident happened .I am the only one that survived with big scars , for I had a lot of stitches on my cheeks, mouth and body, the scars are there till today and I will carry these scars to my grave.The 504 GL air conditioned car perished under the Bedford lorry. The accident was so fatal that all Nigerian newspapers carried the news”.
Music runs in the family
According to Aladeniyi the music profession runs in the family , he said “My son who is still a student at the University of Ilorin plays guitar and he teaches others too .My two female children also play music , it is a legacy in our family and we are known for this. Gone were the days when they say musicians are beggars , today lawyers , medical doctors and other professionals want to sing .It is in blood , it is talent and it will just burst out in you .Music is like spirit you don’t know when you will just start to sing”
I smoked marijuana
Like many musicians , Aladeniyi said he was into drug when playing guitar on stage , he said ” I smoke a lot of marijuana , cigarette , and alcohol to make me feel high. It was interesting then.I had To be high before going to the stage but KSA never smoked in his life.He was just a talent .Now as I am in my late 60s I don’t smoke anymore and I don’t need to lie that I did not smoke Igbo when I was young .But let me warn the upcoming musicians that one does not need to feel high or smoke before one can perform . I have stopped all these because it is a bad habit and while some escaped from it others are not lucky as they are badly affected.This is a message I am passing to all including my own children that you don’t need to do drug before you become popular and make it in life .Drugs don’t pay, the reverse , the repercussion is always deadly”, he counseled .
Gratitude to KSA
The Guitar Wizard says he is grateful to his former boss, KSA , “When things were rough for me , KSA bought musical instruments worth two million naira for me and I bounced back. We are still very close. When he clocked 70 years of age I went there to celebrate with him.He is really a nice boss. And I know how much he gave me towards my mother’s burial”.
Young coming musicians
For Aladeniyi doing drugs is not the way to achieve fame and success, he advise the upcoming musicians .The musician however confessed he smoked marijuana while performing on stage in order to feel high , he counseled “I implore everyone to always remain grateful to his or her benefactor and I thank God that six of my children are graduates .I have built a house and I thank God I am still alive.
How rich is Bob?
When asked how rich he is , the 68year- old -musician burst into laughter,
he looked up as if searching for answer from the ceiling and with total humility said “I am not a millionaire but I thank God for His mercy “.
He then continued singing and strumming his Gibson guitar : Ta ni pepe tani atagbe , ikamudu tani atala. B’oyin ba t’ani a roro oyin , be bu wa lehin a o ko si teni begi loju igi a ruwe ka fi ti s’ana kiyesoogun e pe Bob Aladeniyi mi o ko fi guitar dawa l’araya , O di regi !