Working with U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, HDI sent Guns ‘N Roses lead guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal to Malaysia for a series of performances, workshops and lectures November 2-7, 2013.
Bumblefoot started his program on November 3 in Kota Kinabalu with a press conference at the Sabah institute of Art .The Institute is noted for being in the forefront of training Malaysian artists in art, design, and production. In addition to the Press Conference, Bumblefoot presented a music workshop for both students at the Institute and the general public. After the workshop he went to the Upside Down House ,the first of its kind in South East Asia and among the five upside-down structures in the world (three are found in Europe and another in Japan). The house was opened to the public in early February 2012 and has since been attracting both international and Malaysian visitors. The Upside Down House was the site of a community outreach program for the Wallace House of Blind. The Wallace House of Blind operates a training center and functions as a Sheltered Workshop to cater for the needs of blind persons who have been trained in various specific fields and are currently awaiting employment.
On November 4, Bumblefoot started the day with rehearsal and sound check at Wisma Wanita for the evening performance. At the concert Bumblefoot played with the popular Malaysian band Kinabalu Merdu Sound.
On November 5, Bumblefoot flew to Kuala Lumpur and immediately began rehearsals with local guitarists lead by JD of POP Shuvit.
The following day, November 6, was a heavy interview day. Bumblefoot began the day at Red FM, a private radio station that broadcasts across Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It is managed by Star Rfm Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star Publications (M) Bhd. Red FM began broadcasting on September 1, 2001 and is one of Malaysia’s top five English radio stations. The station is targeted at urban and suburban listeners, playing a selection of the best music from the 80’s and 90’s as well as current favorites. He then went immediately for a second interview at Suria FM at which Bumblefoot also played his electric guitar in the studio. Suria FM is a private radio station licensed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is owned by Star Publications (M) Berhad. Suria FM started its operations on 30 December 2005 on a 24 hours basis. The station broadcasts in Malay in an “All-time favorites” format with music from the 1980s, 1990s and towards more contemporary selections.
The evening of November 6 was the big concert at the National Visual Arts Gallery in collaboration with famed Malaysian music group Dewangga Sakti.
Bumblefoot continued to work on his final day in Malaysia promoting U.S. culture and values. The day started National Art Culture and Heritage Academy (Aswara) for a music workshop.
The National Art Academy (Ask) was set up in 1994 under Ministry of Cultural, Art and Tourism Malaysia which is currently known as National Art Culture and Heritage Academy (ASWARA). It is a higher learning institution fully supported by Malaysian Government which provides learning, research and academic publishing as well as professional consultant service in art culture and heritage which aim to produce a skilled artist and integrity author in their area beside to strengthening the national art heritage. At the Academy Bumblefoot did his final Malaysian music workshop for music students and the public. He then did an interview Utusan Malaysia a major English language newspaper.
Bumblefoot’s final activity in Malaysia was a special one. He went to Rumah Perlindungan Anak Yatim Nur Qaseh Orphanage where he did a meet and greet with the children.
Bumblefoot’s visit to Malaysia was a major success.