The Eraserheads

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Background information
Also known as Eheads
Origin Quezon City, Philippines
Genre(s) Alternative rock
Pop rock
Years active 1989–2002, 2008, 2009
Label(s) Sony BMG (Philippines)
The Mongols
The Dawn
Markus Highway
Former members
Ely Buendia - Lead vocalist, Rhythm guitarist
Buddy Zabala - Bassist, Back-up vocalist
Marcus Adoro - Lead guitarist, Back-up vocalist
Raimund Marasigan - Drummer, Back-up vocalist

The Eraserheads, also popularly known as "Eheads", is a disbanded music group which came into national prominence in the 1990s. They are most remembered through their hit songs “Pare Ko,” “Alapaap,” “Magasin,” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” among others. Considered to be one of the most influential Filipino rock bands and biggest-selling musical acts of all time in the country, the group was formed by four alumni from the University of the Philippines-Diliman: Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro.



The year 1989 saw the birth of the Eraserheads. Four UP students formed a band with the initial idea of making music in order to gain attention from girls in the campus. The group’s name was taken from the movie Eraserhead by David Lynch, which they had read about while scanning through a magazine.

After several university gigs, the group eventually performed in several alternative rock joints around Manila. The group continued to audition in popular clubs. In 1990, after experiencing several rejections from prominent clubs, The Eraserheads finally decided to give up playing. Fortunately, they were spotted at a UP gig by vocalist Binky Lampano of Dean’s December and Jack Sicat of Ethnic Faces. The two asked the group to audition at Club Dredd in Timog, and the owners of the said club liked the group at once. They soon became a regular feature in the monthly schedule.

Breaking into the music scene

The Eraserheads' sensational song “Pare Ko” first became popular amongst fans in the UP campus because of its familiar theme and a few "obscene" words in the lyrics, typical in the life of the ordinary college student then. The band did the rounds of stations and recording companies in the hopes of getting a record deal so that their songs could reach public awareness. However, they were always rejected. A certain recording studio even said that they are not “pop enough”.

Their break came when Robin Rivera, a professor-friend from UP, helped the group record and mix a better version of their songs in an album which they called “Pop-U!”, a tongue-in-cheek response to everyone who turned them down. This first album is considered a rare classic since only 20 cassette tapes were given to a handful of friends and fans. The album eventually caught the attention of BMG Records' A&R Director Vic Valenciano. In 1992, the Eraserheads finally signed a three-year record deal with BMG Records.

The band was famously labelled as "The Beatles of the Philippines" by several music critics, due to some similarities to The Beatles' music style, popularity, and group structure and dynamics. Fans of The Beatles themselves (Buendia has admitted to be a big fan in an interview), the Eraserheads has incorporated references to the popular international group's works in their music and lyrics.


After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed that the band's primary songwriter and frontman, Ely Buendia, had left the band in mid-March 2002 for undisclosed reasons. However, in subsequent interviews, Buendia pointed to business matters as the cause of the band's breakup.

In PULP Magazine, Buendia's wife and manager, Diane Ventura, claimed that the breakup started with a miscommunication between Buendia and the band's roadie, the result being that Buendia and Ventura turned up late at a mall gig. This upset the roadie who snidely referred to the couple as "unprofessional". Buendia's band colleagues and crew at the gig gave Buendia "a cold shoulder", related Ventura, being under the impression that Buendia had come late deliberately. The next day, Buendia brought the incident to the attention of the band's management boss, Butch Dans, to which he allegedly reverted the blame to the roadie's "unprofessionalism". Dans, however, allegedly chose to consider the roadie's account over Buendia's without much deliberation. Dans allegedly quipped that Buendia and Ventura were "probably too high on drugs" to remember the gig's schedule. Ventura stepped in to dispute the allegation and vehemently denied that she and Buendia were even told of the schedule. Unfortunately, the other three Eraserheads also believed the roadie's story, which disturbed Buendia because he felt betrayed of their longstanding friendship. Buendia later announced to his mates through SMS that he was quitting the group.

In another interview, Marasigan said he was eating in SM Megamall, a local shopping mall, when he heard of the news (how he heard of it, was not clear). He said he was "semi-surprised" and wondered if Zabala already knew about it. Adoro told of the story now famous among Eraserheads fans about Buendia's cryptic text message. He said Buendia stated in the text message that he had already "graduated." Adoro quipped in the same interview that it was natural for Buendia to graduate first, since he was in batch '87 of their college (UP Diliman), while the rest were in batch '88.

Zabala confessed in an interview that disbanding had not been that far away from the members' minds. He said that there were many occasions wherein they could have disbanded but did not.

Adoro expressed the belief of some people that the band was getting too old, and that it was "selfish" for the band to continue, likely referring to comments about how it's time for other bands, besides the Eraserheads, to shine. The band made it clear, though, that Buendia's departure from the band wasn't in any way violent and that there was no shouting or any confrontation involved.

Without relenting, the three remaining Eraserheads decided to continue. Within a few weeks, the "new" Eraserheads debuted at Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City on April 19, featuring a female singer-guitarist, Kris Gorra-Dancel, from the band Fatal Posporos. However, after a few months, Adoro had quit the band as well. The remaining members of the Eheads added Diego Mapa and Ebe Dancel to their lineup and renamed their band, "Cambio."

2008-2009 Reunion Concerts

In July 2008, former members of the band confirmed that they will be reuniting for a one-time concert slated on August 30 2008 at the open grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, or altevernatively, the Fort Bonifacio open field. The multinational tobacco company Philip Morris, which allegedly will sponsor the event, expected 35,000 attendees following the announcement that admission will be free. According to multiple sources, tickets would be distributed to online registrants of the company website.

On August 22, mainstream newspapers and websites reported that the tobacco firm pulled out of the concert. While the reason for the pullout still remains unclear, most believe that the pressure exerted by anti-tobacco advocates, led by Dr. Maricar Limpin, had caused Philip Morris to discontinue its involvement in the concert.

On August 24, Raimund Marasigan confirmed through the Sandwich and Cambio mailing lists that while the tobacco company left off the production, a consortium of corporations - later revealed to be Radiohead Media Solutions, Inc., MTV Philippines, Smart Communications, and Sony BMG Philippines - the concert would "most definitely" push through by August 30 2008 at the Fort Bonifacio open field.

On 30 August 2008, the Eraserheads reunion concert pushed through at the Bonifacio Global City Open Field. Thousands of fans flocked to the venue, where the band played fifteen of their popular hits. However, the concert was cut short when after the first set, Buendia collapsed backstage and was rushed to the Makati Medical Hospital due to chest pains stemming from emotional stress. He subsequently underwent an angioplasty - his third since his heart attack on January 2007 - and has since recovered.

On the October 28 episode of Startalk, Ely Buendia said that the reunion concert was supposed to be a "one night only" Eraserheads reunion concert. He also said that there are no talks yet for a continuation of the said concert. However, he stated that he indeed felt "bitin" ("unsatisfied") with the uncompleted concert and is open to any sequels if it would have the proper production and venue. The other three members of the band, Marcus, Buddy and Raimund also expressed similar views in a follow-up interview by Myx and Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Sony-BMG Philippines released the concert movie of the band's reunion concert on November 26, 2008.

On the January 10 edition of Supreme, a feature of The Philippine Star, it was announced that the continuation of their previous reunion concert would happen on March 7, 2009.

On January 11, This was confirmed by Raimund Marasigan through a message he posted on the Pedicab, Cambio, and Sandwich Mailing Lists.

On February 27, the band was awarded as "Myx Magna Award 2009" in the recent 4th Myx Music Awards 2009, achieving their alternative music excellence.

The band went onstage for their second reunion concert dubbed as The Final Set on March 7, 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, Pasay City Where approximately 100,000 people attended the sold-out concert. The concert went ahead despite the recent passing of their guest performer Francis Magalona who died of acute myelogenous leukemia noon of the previous day.

According to a BusinessMirror article, Ely Buendia signed a contract stating that the "Final Set" is Eraserheads' last concert in the Philippines, as a band, for the next ten years. The concert was produced by MTV Philippines and Smart Buddy, in cooperation with Coca-Cola, GMA, McDonald’s, San Miguel Pale Pilsen, SM Mall of Asia, and QTV-11.


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