A Roadie by Heart
The man is known for his enormous contribution to our music industry. He may not sing or play any instrument, but he is still considered a legend. He is claimed to be the first true roadie, a musician's doctor, the go-to-guy for everything and even a healer. Abdur Rafique is the first guitar tech in this country and has been repairing musical instruments for over 28 years.
Rafique started off as a technician, repairing televisions in the early 70's. “Back then repairing televisions was a very big deal because we didn't have many TVs. I remember going to a village with a co-worker to repair a TV set and there were people lined up at the station to see us,” says Rafique. His journey in the music industry began with the pop revolution in Bangladesh. Rafique started would repair amplifiers and speakers for artists, namely Ferdous Wahid and Pilu Momtaz. It was around that time that Rafique first got his hands on an electric guitar. “At first I was a little scared to handle the electric guitar. Back then, equipment was really expensive and these were the first batch of instruments which were imported in our country. But the fear slowly went away when I started to work with it,” he says. But Rafique never wanted to repair guitars as a full time stint. “I was unsure when it came to making the decision but an acquaintance of mine really inspired me to do it. I remember he said, 'This is going to last a life time'- which it really did.”
In the early 1980's, Rafique started his own shop, Rafique Electronics, which is still located on Science Laboratory Road. “As I was the first one to open up an instrument repair shop, musicians started lining up at the front gate and I was really overwhelmed by this response. I realised it was worth taking the risk,” says Rafique.