Juju Music Legend, King Sunny Ade, Parts with Age-Long Guitar amidst Emotions


Mary Ekah
It was amidst strong emotion and reluctance that Juju music legend and king of juju music, Sunday Adegeye, popular known as King Sunny Ade (KSA) parted with his age-long classic Fender Guitar, which he fondly referred to as, “My Baby”.

Parting with this instrument of inestimable value, which the King of Juju has held so close to his heart for three decades was the only prerequisite for him to be inducted into the prestigious Hard Rock Hall of Fame, making him the first Nigerian and African to be so honoured. So on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, the Grammy Award-nominated icon officially became the first Nigerian musician to donate pieces from his personal reserve to Hard Rock’s world-famous memorabilia collection and so his 30-year old yellow guitar has to go as well as other personal items including an album cover and a pair of shoes, which he donated to the Hard Rock Café, Lagos.

KSA, who could not hide his emotion, reluctantly parted with the musical instrument, while describing the guitar as his baby, fondling and kissing it with so much emotion, before he eventually handed it over to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hard Rock Cafe Lagos, Mr. Sanjay Mathani.

The guitar, which he said was purchased in 1984 during one of his musical tours abroad, has earned him several hit records and awards. He said that although he would really love the good-old guitar to be in his personal gallery, he had no doubt it would get better exposure and value in the Hard Rock Hall of Fame, where thousands of other iconic memorabilia are currently archived.

“I’m thrilled to be the first Nigerian musician to donate personal items to Hard Rock’s world-famous collection and to be showcased alongside other legendary artistes,” said King Sunny Ade. “For me, this is more than just a ceremony; it’s an opportunity to pass on a cultural legacy and inspire new generations of musicians around the globe,”, the legend noted.

King Sunny Ade’s donated personal items will join more than 81,000 pieces of music memorabilia that Hard Rock has acquired over its 45-year history. Other iconic pieces include Madonna’s wedding dress from “Like a Virgin,” John Lennon’s wireframe tinted glasses, Jim Morrison’s famous brown leather pants, and many more.

Speaking amidst excitement during the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Hard Rock Cafe Lagos, Sanjay Mathani said, “It’s a great honour to be able to pay homage to the rich and historic musical roots in Lagos with a memorabilia donation from King Sunny Ade,” adding, “Hard Rock embraces all genres of music, and we are proud to support such a talented and influential artist.”

The first-of-its-kind donation was brokered by leading talent agency and event management company, Temple Management Company, who are also putting together the highly-publicised grand concert for King Sunny Ade tagged ‘Sunny On Sunday’ scheduled for Sunday, December 11 at Federal palace Hotel in Lagos.

“Celebrating King Sunny Ade is something of a national assignment for us at Temple Management Company that must be carried out,” noted Director of Communications, Temple Management, Terfa Tilley-Gyado. Speaking further, he said, “An induction into the Hard Rock’s famous memorabilia collection is just one of such responsibilities that will culminate at a grand concert that Nigerians have never witnessed come December 11,” he added.

Hard Rock Hall of Fame began in 1979, in London, with an unsigned Red Fender Lead II guitar from Eric Clapton, who was a regular at the first restaurant in London. Clapton wanted management to hang the guitar over his regular seat in order to lay claim to that spot, and they obliged. This prompted Pete Townshend of The Who to give one of his guitars, also unsigned with the note “Mine’s as good as his! Love, Pete.” While other celebrated artistes such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson and Elton John also had their personal belongings kept at Hard Rock Café.

Interestingly, leading video entertainment company, MultiChoice Nigeria, has concluded plans to broadcast live the ‘Sunny on Sunday’ concert on DStv Channel 198 and GOtv Channel 29 on Sunday, 11 December 2016. The world-class concert holding at Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, Victoria Island, Lagos, marks the grand finale of the 70th birthday celebration of one of Nigeria’s music maestros, King Sunny Ade.
After decades of superlative performances as a Juju exponent, King Sunny Ade, who is understandably one of Nigeria’s music greats, turned 70 on September 22, 2016. For those that do not know, the Grammy-award nominee has been performing on stage for upwards of 50 years. He has under his kitty over 70 albums, including collaborations with artistes such as Steve Wonder, Many Dibango, Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keia, among many others.
Martin Mabutho, General Manager, Marketing and Sales, MultiChoice Nigeria, speaking on the collaboration, said: “We are proud to celebrate Nigeria’s foremost Juju exponent who, for over 50 years, has consistently made great music, videos, and art that have become legendary. As an undisputed authority in the Nigerian music industry, King Sunny Ade, has continued to earn more respect from his increasing and wider audience home and abroad. We are aware of his contribution to the growth of the industry and that is why we are partnering with Temple Management Company to bring this historic celebration to our subscribers through a live broadcast.” The Sunny on Sunday concert will feature other great artistes including Onyeka Onwenu, Awilo Logomba, Iyanya, Dare Art Alade, Terry Apala, Jeff, Tyson Noir, and many more. DStv and GOtv subscribers can catch this grand concert live by tuning to DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29, come December 11, 2016.