Of course, Fa Zi’s other family was the band. We consisted of:
Liu Lu Bing
A slightly immature long-haired drummer of 18 named Liu Lu Bing who was so poor he used to crash on the floor of a squat in Yuan Ming Yuan. He almost got us fired from the Guo Mao gig because about a week into our gigs he was caught shoplifting at one of the stores in the Guo Mao mall (one of the biggest malls in China at that time). I ran over there when I heard he had referred the security people to our bar, and paid for what he stole before it could get out of hand. Thus, despite his stunt, we managed to keep the band together for a little longer and rescued our paid gig.
Then there was a lead guitarist, Lian Bing, who’s name was translated to me as ‘Pie Face’. He loved playing Doors riffs.
The bassist was a fellow by the name of Wang Nin Ya, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him much since he came over to practices rather late sometimes.
Wang Ning Ya: Fender P-Bass
All told , we were a tight five-piece going by the name of Yuan Ming Yuan Ren (Old Summer Palace People).
Fa Zi also had some backup musicians who he used to record with as well as an array of those in Beijing whom he knew and had played with over the years. That included are several 50 year-old music teachers who played classical Chinese instruments such as the Gu Zhong and the Er Hu, a violin like instrument, as well as the Liu Qin, like a mandolin.
All told, the band could play rock and roll, folk music, or even ancient Chinese traditional music. Not a bad little outfit. That we got paid to play gigs around town was astounding since we hadn’t played but several months together. Still, we got to play some shows, even if to get them we had to tell the booker we could play jazz too.