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.
After the break-up
A tribute album, Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music of the Eraserheads, was released in honor of the band.
On February 28, 2007, the book Tikman ang Langit: An Anthology on the Eraserheads (2007) was launched at at Powerbooks bookstore in Greenbelt 3, Makati City. The launch was accompanied by acoustic performances by Cambio, Markus Highway, and Lei Bautista of Prettier Than Pink. They covered Eraserheads songs such as “Ligaya”, “With a Smile”, and “Magasin”. The event, which was dubbed as a mini-reunion of the band, with Marasigan, Zabala, and Adoro performing together for the first time in four years, was attended by around 50 people. Buendia was not able to attend because he had a scheduled meeting with his surgeon.
Adoro, Zabala, and Marasigan did an impromptu number at the Millennia Club. The event called “Marooned”, was a production of University of the Philippines (UP) bands from past and present.
On 30 August 2008, Eraserheads went onstage for their reunion concert at The Fort Open Field, Taguig City. The concert, however, was cut short as Buendia was rushed to the Makati Medical Hospital after experiencing chest pains. On November 26, 2008, SONY-BMG Philippines released the concert movie of the said reunion concert.
The band went onstage for their second reunion concert “'The Final Set on March 7, 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, Pasay City. Approximately 100,000 fans attended the sold-out concert. It went ahead despite the recent passing of their guest performer and friend Francis Magalona who died of leukemia the previous day.
They held another reunion concert in the United States (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New Jersey) and Canada (Toronto) from October 12 to 20.
They also performed at the du Music Festival held at the Dubai Ampitheatre on April 4, 2013. Buendia dedicated the song “Lightyears” to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
On August 10, 2013, they performed at Singapore. On December 27, 2013, Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar performed at “High Impact Asia” at Dubai. On April 4, 2014, they performed at the Eventim Apollo in London.
On September 2014, Eraserheads released two songs via Esquire Magazine (Philippines edition) titled “1995” and “Sabado”.
- UltraElectroMagneticPop! (1993)
- Circus (1994)
- Cutterpillow (1995)
- Fruitcake (1996)
- Sticker Happy (1997)
- Natin99 (1999)
- Carbon Stereoxide (2001)
EPs and demos
- Pop U! (1991)
- [Fruitcake (1996)
- Bananatype (1997)
- Please Tranpose EP (2003)
- Aloha Milkyway (1998)
- Eraserheads: The Singles (2001)
- Eraserheads Anthology (2004)
- Eraserheads Anthology 2 (2006)
- Eraserheads: The Reunion Concert 08.30.08 (2008)
- ERASERHEADS LIVE! The Final Set (Bootleg)
1896 Ang Pagsilang (1996)
- "Casa Fantastica"
Francis Magalona Happy Battle (1996)
- “Unstrung Heroes" (Duet W/ Francis Magalona)
- "Sapot Feat. Planet Garapata"
Ryan Cayabyab The Silver Album (1997)
- "Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka"
Nescafe Open Up Party Live (2000)
- "Blue Jeans"
- "Pumapatak Na Naman ang Ulan"
- "Tuyo Na'ng Damdamin (Feat. APO Hiking Society)"
Bandang Pinoy Lasang Hotdog (2001, re-issued 2006)
Gusto Ko ng Rock (2009)
Superbands (Universal Records)
(2005) Silver Shiny Jeepney (All Indie Band) Template:-
Run Barbi Run (Starring Joey de Leon) (1995)
- "Run Barbi Run"
Burger Machine (1994)
Pepsi Megadrive Raffle Promo (1997)
Jack n' Jill Chippy|Chippy
- "Ligaya" (1996)
- "Bogchi Hokbu" (1997)
- "Walang Nagbago" (2000?)
Talk N' Text - 6 Years AnniverSaya
- "Toyang AnniverSaya" (sung by Pencilcase' vocalist and Eheads fanatic Reynald Arebuabo)
- "Tindahan ni Aling Nena" (2005)
McDonald's (TV commercial)
- "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (2009)
- "Alapaap" (2009)
Johnson & Johnson (Modess)
- "Run Barbi Run" (2010)
- "Para sa Masa" (2012)
- The Reunion Concert – DVD (2009) 
- The Reunion Concert – DVD (Special Edition, 2009)
- The Heads Set: The Eraserheads Box Set (Limited Edition) (2010) – Released exclusively in Greenwich Pizza outlets, and included a free box of pizza. Contained rarities such as "Casa Fantastica", all local albums from Ultraelectromagneticpop! to Carbon Stereoxide, DVD documentary (directed by Marcus Adoro), a book and shirt designed by Cynthia Bauzon and Arnold Arre, who both collaborated with the band before.
- Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music of the Eraserheads (2005)
- "Alam Mo Ba" – Sung by Jo Awayan – (Composed by Ely Buendia & Jojo Bacasmas)
- "Feel So Strange" – Sung by Agot Isidro – (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "How Can I Be Sure" – Sung by Agot Isidro – (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Kundi Rin Lang Ikaw" – Sung by True Faith (Composed by Ely Buendia & Jojo Bacasmas)
- "Mga Babae" – Sung by Novia (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Something Always Brings Me Back to You" – Sung by Novia (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Halo-Halong Digmaan (War Mix)" – Performed by Various Artists (Composed by Ely Buendia and Raimund Marasigan)
- "Hanggang Ngayon" – Performed by Various Artists (including Ely Buendia)
- "Girl On Da Magazin" – Sung by Legit Misfitz – (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Black Whole" – Sung by Domino (composed by Ely Buendia & Lally Buendia)
- "Marble" – Sung by Domino (composed by Ely Buendia & Lally Buendia)
- "Sucke" – Sung by Domino (composed by Ely Buendia & Lally Buendia)
- "Stone's Throw" – Sung by Sponge Cola (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Awit Ko" – Sung by Jao Mapa (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Talikogenic" – Sung by Jao Mapa (Composed by Ely Buendia)
- "Gimik" – Sung by Jao Mapa (Composed by Raimund Marasigan)
- "Pacman" – Sung by Protein Shake – (Composed by Raimund Marasigan)
- Pillbox Volume 1 Number 1
- Pillbox Volume 3
Magazine cover appearance
- Esquire Magazine September Issue with CD of their two new songs (2014)
- Myx Magazine "Eraserheads Reunion Concert Collectors Issue" (October–November 2008)
- Pulp Magazine (2000)
- Run Barbi Run - starring as themselves
- Wating - musical score by Eraserheads
- Kuya - Marcus in a cameo role as a drug pusher
- Masakit sa Dibdib - Ely Buendia in a cameo role
- Tulad Ng Dati - starring Buddy as himself with Raimund Marasigan in a cameo role
- San Lazaro - Ely Buendia as Manong Rex
- Rakenrol - Ely Buendia in a cameo
- Waiting Shed (Short Film) - Directed by Ely Buendia
- The Artist Is In (Short Film) - Directed by Marcus Adoro
- Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story - Ely Buendia composed and performed the theme song “La Paloma”
- Bang Bang Alley - directed by Ely Buendia with King Palisoc and Yan Yuzon
Awards and nominations
Rock & Rhythm Magazine:
- Won: Album of the Year – Ultraelectromagneticpop! (1993)
- Won: Album of the Year – Ultraelectromagneticpop! (1994)
- Won: Listener's Choice Award (1995)
- Won: Band of the Year (1995)
- Won: Album of the Year – Circus (1995)
- Won: Album of the Year – Cutterpillow (1996)
- Won: Best Music Video – "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (1996)
- Won: Song of the Year – "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (1996)
- Won: Artist of the Year (1997)
- Won: Listener's Choice Award (1997)
- Won: Producer of the Year – Robin Rivera for Fruitcake (1997)
- Won: Best Album Packaging – Fruitcake (1997)
- Won: Best Video – "Fruitcake" (1997)
- Won: Drummer of the Year – Raimund Marasigan (1999)
- Won: Hall of Fame (2003)
Guillermo Memorial Award:
- Won: Most Favorite Band (1995)
- Won: Most Popular Group/Singer/Entertainer (1997)
- Won: Record Breaking Concert of the Year (2010)
Monster Radio 93.1 : Countdown Top 7:
- Won: Band of the Year (1997)
- Won: Album of the Year – Cutterpillow (9th Awit Awards)
- Won: Best Alternative Recording - Fruitcake (10th Awit Awards)
- Won: Album of the Year – Sticker Happy (1998)
- Won: Best Performance by a Group/Duo – "Pop Machine" (2000)
Katha Music Awards:
- Won: Album of the Year – Cutterpillow (2nd Katha Music Awards)
- Won: Best Rock Album – Cutterpillow (2nd Katha Music Awards)
- Won: Best Rock Song – "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (2nd Katha Music Awards)
- Won: Best Rock Group – (2nd Katha Music Awards)
- Won: Best Rock Vocal Performance – "Fruitcake" (3rd Katha Music Awards)
- Won: Best Album Packaging – Fruitcake (3rd Katha Music Awards)
Parangal Ng Bayan Award:
- Won: Best Group Performer Award (1997)
MTV Video Music Awards:
- Won: Viewer's Choice Award for Asia – Eraserheads' "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (1997)
- Note: This is the first award given to Filipino. Next is Kyla
- Won: Lifetime Achievement Award (2004)
Myx Music Awards:
- Won: MYX Magna Award (2009)
- Note: Raimund Marasigan accepts the award for Eraserheads
- Heads: Whatever happened to the Eraserheads?
- Ang Langit: An Eraserheads Book Launch, plus a Near-Reunion
- Eraserheads play their 'Final Set'
- Liveblogging: Eraserheads play 'Final Set'
- "Anti-smoking group ask for probe of tobacco company." Inquirer.net. (accessed August 27, 2008)
- "Eraserheads fever is in the air." Inquirer.net. (accessed August 27, 2008)
- "The Eraserheads Reunite - and this time, they're Smokin'." PhilMusic.com. (accessed August 27, 2008)
- "Eraserheads reunion cancelled." Supreme.ph. (accessed August 27, 2008)
- "Eraserheads. Club Dredd Online." ClubDredd.com. (accessed on October 26, 2007).
- "Pop-u." schizo-archives.com (accessed on October 26, 2007).
- "Eraserheads reunion concert cut short." ThePOC.net. (accessed on September 17, 2008).
- "Eraserheads to stage Final Set on March 7." PEP.ph. (accessed March 9, 2009)
- "‘Eraserheads Live! The Final Set’." BusinessMirror.com. (accessed March 9, 2009)
- Francis Magalona was supposed to guest in Eraserheads concert." PEP.ph. (accessed March 9, 2009)
- “The Eraserheads to release new songs”.Rappler. (accessed November 7, 2014)
- Benedicto, Rizza Lorraine.“Eraserheads surprises loyal fans with live performance at Esquire launch”.GMA News Online. (accessed November 7, 2014)