Wong Ka Kui

Wong Ka Kui
黃家駒
Wong Ka Kui.jpg
Wong in 1993
Born (1962-06-10)10 June 1962
Died 30 June 1993(1993-06-30) (aged 31)
Cause of death
Burial place Tseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery
Nationality British
Education Secondary 5, Baldwin College (博允英文中學)
Occupation
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
Years active 1983–1993
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 黃家駒
Simplified Chinese 黄家驹
Musical career
Also known as Koma (translated in Japanese)
Genres
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Labels
Associated acts Beyond

Wong Ka Kui (Chinese: 黃家駒; Jyutping: Wong4 Gaa1-keoi1; 10 June 1962 – 30 June 1993) was a Hong Kong musician, singer and songwriter. He was a co-founder of the rock band Beyond, where he was the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter. His younger brother Wong Ka Keung had been the bass guitarist for the band.

Life and career

Early life

Wong grew up in So Uk Estate, Sham Shui Po.

As a junior at secondary school, he was recommended to listen to European and American music by a schoolmate and later became a fan of David Bowie. Until the age of 15, he taught himself to play guitar after he had acquired an acoustic guitar pre-owned by a neighbour. When developing his guitar skills, he bought a second-handed electric guitar, a red Fender Stratocaster in maplewood.

He once worked respectively as an office assistant, a mechanic, a scenery decorator for TV company, etc after his graduation from secondary school.[1] He was also a salesman in the same insurance company of drummer Yip Sai Wing.

The formation of Beyond

In 1980, Wong met drummer Yip Sai Wing through the boss from a piano company and later formed a band with their friends lead guitarist William Tang (鄧煒謙) and bassist Lee Wing Chiu (李榮潮). In 1983, the band signed up for the participation in a contest by "Guitar Magazine" under the band name "Beyond", created by Tang who made a purpose to transcend themselves in aspect of attainment. The band thereafter added Wong Ka Keung on bass in 1984 and Paul Wong on lead guitar in 1985. After that they held their first and only self-funding concert Waiting Forever (永遠等待演唱會) (1985).

In 1986 Lau Chi Yuen (劉志遠) joined the band as lead guitarist and keyboardist to record the band's first album Goodbye Ideals (再見理想) (1986) and EP Waiting Forever (永遠等待) (1986) without the assistance of outside record company. Until under the assistance of KINN's MUSIC LTD, operated by manager Leslie Chan (陳健添), Beyond's images and music became more public-accepted. Beyond released the album Arabian Dancing Girls (亞拉伯跳舞女郎) (1987) and Modern Stage (現代舞台) (1988).

1988–1991: First success, Cinepoly Records and social concerns

In 1988, Beyond signed a Cinepoly's contract to proprietor Chan Siu Po (陳少寶) and then made the album Secret Police (秘密警察) (1988). they won awards in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation by a hit from this album "The Grand Earth (大地)". In 1989, the band won awards by the song "Truly Love You" (真的愛你) from the album Beyond IV (1989) in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation and both RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards.

In 1990, Beyond won awards by the song "Glorious Years (光輝歲月)" from the album Destiny Party (命運派對) (1990) in Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation. Wong also won "the Best Lyrics Award" individually rather than with the band.

From 1990 to 1991, Beyond paid more attention to the social issues and ongoing events around the world. The music and lyrics in the song "Glorious Years" (光輝歲月) was created during Wong's visit to New Guinea in 1990 and it is a tribute to former South-African president Nelson Mandela. In 1991, the band visited Kenya and witnessed the grinding poverty and misery there. Wong was again enlightened to write music and lyrics in the song "Amani" from the album Hesitation (猶豫). Upon their return, a number of songs were written addressing the serious problems of Africa. The Beyond Third World Foundation was created in the same year with profits from the redistribution of an early album.

Career in Japan

Realizing the restriction on original music in Hong Kong,[clarification needed] Beyond decided to redirect their career to Japan. In January 1992, Beyond signed a worldwide management contract with Japanese record label Amuse. During the year, they released an album called Continue the Revolution (繼續革命). In May 1993, Beyond returned to Hong Kong with a new album Rock and Roll (樂與怒). Wong's signature work "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies" (海闊天空) won the Best Original Song award in Hong Kong. Before they went back to Japan, Beyond held unplugged live concerts in Hong Kong and Malaysia, which were Beyond's last concert with Wong Ka Kui.

Death

Beyond arrived in Japan in January 1993 to record new material and engage in media appearances. On 24 June 1993, the band appeared at a Tokyo Fuji Television game show Ucchan-nanchan no Yarunara Yaraneba (ウッチャンナンチャンのやるならやらねば!).[2] An accident occurred 15 minutes after the show commenced. The stage floor was very narrow and slippery, and Wong fell off the platform with one of the hosts Teruyoshi Uchimura live on the air. Wong Ka Kui fell 2.7 metres to the ground, landing headfirst and falling into a coma immediately.[3] Wong was rushed to the hospital. Due to the traumatic head injuries he suffered, the hospital was said to have operated cautiously, but they in fact never operated on him, saying they would wait for him to wake up.[citation needed]

On 26 June, several music fans of Beyond gathered at the carpark lot of the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Station to pray for him. The next day, as doctors declared the case helpless, a Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner arrived to treat Wong, who showed slight improvement afterwards.[2] Six days later, at 16:15, in Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, on 30 June 1993, a Japanese representative announced Wong's death in a press conference.

Wong's body was transported to Hong Kong on 3 July, with hundreds of people awaiting its arrival at Kai Tak Airport. His funeral procession took place two days later, bringing various major streets in Hong Kong to a standstill. Thousands of celebrities and fans attended his funeral service.[4] Wong was buried in Tseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery, with his Martin D-28 acoustic guitar.[5] His tombstone is made of white marble and bears the image of a guitar.[6]

Legacy

The song "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies" was written by Wong and has been an anthem of Cantonese rock music and one of Beyond's signature songs.

Beginning in December 2007, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) released a documentary series called "A Legend Never Dies", featuring Roman Tam, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Teresa Teng, Wong Ka Kui and Danny Chan. The episode of Wong was aired on TVB on 26 January 2008. The episode labelled Wong Ka Kui "The Spring Water of Hong Kong Music Industry."

On 8 November 2005, Hong Kong post office released a stamp collection called "Hong Kong Pop Singers". Wong was one of the five singers who had their images printed on stamps.

In a vote conducted by Sina China in 2007, Wong was one of the Most Missed Celebrity along with Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui. There are many tribute songs dedicated to him, including "The Champion of Love" by the rock band Bakufu-Slump, "Him" by the rock band Soler, "Wish You Well" by his brother Wong Ka Keung, "Paradise" by Beyond, "Combat for twenty years" by Beyond and "The Story" by Paul Wong.

During a concert of Beyond in 2003, Wong was resurrected in the form of a life-size video projection, alongside the remaining band members while they sang the song "Combat for twenty years" (抗戰二十年) in memory of him 10 years after his death.[7]

Asteroid 41742 Wongkakui was named in his memory on 29 May 2018.

Songs for Beyond

Music

Year Album Single Other Role
1983 Hong Kong "Mansion" (大厦) Vocals
"Brain Attack" (腦部侵襲)
1986 "Goodbye Ideals" (再見理想) "Goodbye Ideals" (再見理想) Lyrics, Vocals
"Fly Beyond the Hard Sea" (飛越苦海) Lyrics, Vocals
"Acoustic Guitar" (木結他)
"Dead Romance (Part I)" Lyrics, Vocals
"Dead Romance (Part II)" Lyrics, Vocals
"Old Footprints" (舊日的足跡) Vocals
"Myth" Vocals
"Waiting Forever" (永遠等待) Lyrics, Vocals
"Long Way Without Friends" Lyrics, Vocals
"Last Man Who Knows You"
"Who Is Brave" (誰是勇敢) Vocals
"Giant" (巨人) Vocals

Filmography

Selected awards

  • 1989 – won "Song of the Year" award for the song "Truly Love You" at Hong Kong's Jade Solid Gold Awards

See also

Copyright