When S D Burman Almost Lost Guide - Blast from the Past
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When S D Burman Almost Lost Guide - Blast from the Past

One of the most iconic films with a memorable music score, Guide's music saw quite a bit of drama

In 1964 Sachin Dev Burman was one of the top music composers of Hindi cinema churning out melodious hits as though they were going out of fashion. Dev Anand was one of the actor-producers who swore by Burman Dada’s music. And Burman Dada really stepped on the creative peddle for Dev Anand starrers Teen Deviyan, Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Kala Pani and Paying Guest.

Naturally when  Dev Anand decided to produce his most ambitious film Guide, he wanted only Sachin Dev Burman to score the  music. But just then, ill-luck struck Burman Dada’s career. He suffered a heart attack and it seemed  the end of  his career. Dev Saab was advised to switch to another composer. But he stuck to his guns…rather ganas. And they would be  composed by none other than Burman Dada.

Recalling the incident, the dear much-missed Dev Saab told me, “It was Dada for me all the way in the  1960s. Dada did the music of my first directorial Prem Pujari. And after Dada it was his son Pancham (RD Burman). Guide which my brother Vijay Anand directed required an epic score and no one else could do justice to it. When he fell ill we decided to wait for him to recover. A commitment is a commitment. Dada suggested I take someone else. I told him Guide will have only his songs.”

The result was one of Indian cinema’s most complete  scores with songs as diverse and masterly as Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, Din Dhal jaye, Piya tose naina laage re, Wahan kaun hai tera and Gata rahe  mera  dil… Every song in Guide was a masterpiece. I rate it among the 10 best film soundtracks of all times.

And to think that  S D  Burman could have been replaced! Lataji who sang some of the gems in Guide says, “Dev Saab was a man of his words. And Burman Dada was a stubborn genius. Everyone said he wouldn’t be able to work after his illness. He bounced back with his career’s best work in Guide. In every live concert of  mine Aaj phir jeene ki tamnnah hai was a must.

Not every artiste is as scrupulous as Dev Anand. While Dev Saab wouldn’t hear of replacing Sachin Dev Burman after his health setback another actor-filmmaker Guru Dutt ruthlessly sacked Burman Dada from the film Baharen Phir Bhi Ayengi and gave it to O.P Nayyar.

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