Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 14:45 WIB

Celebrating the 50-year journey of Indonesian legendary rock band God Bless

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Jakarta, IO – If we mention the top rock band in the country, it is worth saying that God Bless is an icon of Indonesian rock music. Its work over the last 50 years is almost unmatched by other legendary local bands.

God Bless was formed in 1973 in Jakarta by Ahmad Albar (vocalist), Donny Fattah (guitarist), Ian Antono (guitarist), Jockie Soerjoprajogo (keyboardist),  Fuad Hassan (bassist) and Coki Bollemeyer (drummer). This music group is often considered a pioneer in the development of rock music in Indonesia.

As a band, God Bless of course experiences ups and downs in personnel, this is a process or life history that has to be gone through over five decades. God Bless is famous for their energetic music, strong lyrics, stunning stage performances and eccentric outfits.

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Visitors to the exhibition enjoy the wardrobe gallery of the God Bless personnel. (IO/Septo Kun Wijaya)

All of God Bless’s journey is beautifully displayed in the exhibition ‘Retrospective of God Bless 50 Years’ curated by musician Sir Dandy at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Central Jakarta.  When Independent Observer visits the exhibition, Tuesday (20/2), when you first enter the room, visitors will be presented with the band’s genealogy from 1973 to 2012.

Then, on the left side there is the God Bless discography which consists of 10 albums.  A number of vinyl records and cassettes and compact disks were displayed on the walls before music releases were usually in non-physical format. These albums are God Bless (1976), Semut Hitam (1988), Raksasa (1989), The Story of God Bless (1990), The Greatest Hits of God Bless (1992), Apa Kabar?  (1997), The Greatest Slow Hits (1999), 36th (2009), Cermin 7 (2016) and Anthology (2023).

These albums are proof that God Bless has produced various hit songs which have become legendary in Indonesia, and often reflect social and political themes which make God Bless one of the influential voices in Indonesian popular culture.

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The legendary piano belonged to God Bless keyboardist Abadi Soesman. (IO/Septo Kun Wijaya)

“Visitors can also enjoy songs from the two God Bless albums in the discography section of this album. We provide headphones so that visitors can also listen to the songs while looking at the collection of vinyl records and cassettes,” said one of the guides at the exhibition who explained every corner of the exhibition.

If we walk into another room that is no less interesting, we will find a replica of the God Bless studio which is full of cables, guitars, basses, amplifiers and even small instruments such as pedals for drum sets. Not only that, this exhibition also presents Ian Antono’s ‘classic’ mixer.

“What might be a bit of a surprise for me is that Mas Ian’s mixer at Rumah Kita Studio was able to be carried here. Reportedly it took ten people to transport the mixer,” said 2012 God Bless drummer, Fajar Satritama.

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God Bless’ recording microphone. (IO/Septo Kun Wijaya)

“That’s a legendary mixer. Last time we recorded the album Cermin Tujuh using that mixer. The mixer is old but the sound is still cool, and today it’s on display here. That’s cool,” he continued.

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What should not be missed is the God Bless costume display room. The t-shirt is dominated by black which shows the color of rock lovers and metalheads with various designs of the God Bless brand. Apart from that, what is most interesting to look at is the modified jackets and costumes of the God Bless personnel.

The reason why God Bless has been dressing up eccentrically like superstars for their shows is explained, so that they look radiant on stage and convince fans that they are ready to put on the greatest rock show.

This exhibition ‘Retrospective of God Bless 50 Years’ can be accessed for free by the public for two weeks, namely from February 17 to March 1.  Visitors must register first via the National Gallery of Indonesia website. (at)

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