Surrounded by her ever-growing vinyl collection, twenty-year-old Ingga is sprawled on her bedroom floor with her ear pressed closely to a small transistor radio. An announcement on RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia) has caught her attention, but she fears she misheard the DJ. Could it be true? Are they finally coming home? She is in disbelief, but indeed the famed all-female Rock ‘n’ Roll band Dara Puspita is scheduled to play two shows in Jakarta in just a few weeks. A smile flashes across her face. Her heroes have returned.
After what seems like eternity, it is finally the night of December 18th, 1971. After hitching a ride from her suburban town, she finds herself at Istora Senayan in Jakarta. Surrounded by a teeming throng of 15,000 people, Ingga suddenly swells with excitement. And she is not alone. The effervescence of the crowd is more than palpable. For the past three and a half years, Dara Puspita was busy touring Europe and their fans missed them dearly. The youth of Indonesia have anxiously waited for this night.
When the four Indonesian girls finally take the stage, they are met with a deafening roar from the crowd. It has been three and half years since Dara Puspita performed for their own country. Back in 1967, Titiek Hamzah was merely eighteen years old. Now at twenty-two, the youngest member commands the audience with her thumping bass lines and incorrigible confidence. The lead singer Titiek A.R. assumes her place behind the microphone and strums her guitar with an ease and aggression that instantly makes her fans cheer. Perhaps a subtler performer, rhythm guitarist Lies slings her guitar strap around her shoulders and faces the audience with a smile.
Community Engagement | Music | Politics and Social Change
Summerlin, Eliza, "The Power of Dara Puspita: How Four Girls From Indonesia Brought Rock ‘n’ Roll to the World" (2012). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. Paper 1270.