Philippines Fun Wall Profile: Karl Roy

Karl Roy. In a word – rockstar!

And there goes on stories upon stories of the rockstar that was and is Karl Roy. I personally met Karl Roy in the early 90’s when Advent Call was just taking its first few steps. As a student in UP at that time, I was very active with student groups like UPJMA and my fraternity Upsilon Sigma Phi, and part of my role was to organize fund-raiser events, and mostly I threw free concerts at the UP Sunken Garden among other things. Of course, Advent Call was gaining popularity, and was an instant must-have in the roster of performers if the event was to ever become a success. And since I was one of the first (if not the first) to make use of Advent Call, then most of the other groups would ask me how to get in touch with them, and I ended up being a middleman-manager to their manager at that time Nitto Palacios. Needless to say, I was also a band groupie – forever devoting my free time to catch their gigs at Cabooze, Weekends Live and Club Dredd. And yes, Karl Roy and I became close friends.

Karl Roy

Karl Roy

When the Advent Call phenom took off, I sort of got left behind. Before I knew it, Karl Roy just went into different directions, and eventually there were just crazy stories about the behind-the-scenes of the rockstar life. We re-met again when he was with P.O.T., and then I saw him drop off the radar again, following a bad break up with the band. It was at that time that I actually got to know him much better again. We hung out more often. Somewhere there,  he and Nathan Azarcon were considering to get me to manage their upcoming band – Karl Roy and The L.S.D. (Love, Surrender & Devotion). It was a weird time for all of us, and well… let’s just say they went on to become Kapatid.

You can’t talk about Karl Roy and not have to mention drugs in the same sentence. Yeah – he’s gone through how many heart procedures, and many have felt that he really destroyed his life and health by constantly getting high. Not just simple high, but rockstar high. Put it this way – if taking 7 drops of acid in your lifetime means that you’re clinically insane – well, let’s just say that was just all in one night’s fun.

For whatever they said about his habit, I admired him for the fact that he knew everything he was getting into, and taking into his system. Karl Roy knew the names of every magic mushroom out there, down to its scientific name. He also knew prescription drugs, and knew the difference between a Xanax and a Xanor, not just by definition on the box, but by actual experience. To me, Karl Roy was creative in the way he would take his drugs – in perfect timing, in perfect mixture – a mad scientist who concocted various combinations to bring the state of living to a higher – pardon the pun – state of life. Unlike most abusers who would seek escape from depression, Karl Roy used and abused in order to inch closer to Truth, seeking that perfect moment of clarity where Truth would be revealed – a rhythm, lyrics for a song, answers to the most basic question – what is Life?

And what he really found inside him was that he was full of love – always giving, never violent, always smiling, always welcoming, always wanting the best for the daughter he couldn’t spend much time with. We were the same that way.

At those alleged dark times (or so people would like to think), Karl Roy might not remember your name in the morning, but he’ll recognize your face, and he’ll put together the moments, and he’ll know the Truth of what it means because deep inside, he knows himself. He knows what the moment is about, and he’ll know that whatever it is, it must’ve been good, because in him – it was all good.

We’ve hung out together too many times to know what that means, and we both never really made excuses for the supposed fuck-ups “they” claimed we were making. One day – we both realized – who the fuck are “they” anyway? And just like that, we recognized the gods that we were. We would never be afraid again.

Without trying to outdo the stories said about Karl Roy, I won’t divulge the inside information on our little own adventures. That’ s between me and Karl.

I just feel he deserves to have a place in the Philippines Fun Wall because he is an icon in Pinoy rock, and if there was anyone who lived up to what it means to be a rockstar, then it was and is Karl Roy.  The rockstar drama. The rockstar success. The rockstar rockstar.

Once upon a time – I wrote him a poem. Once upon a time – Karl said, “JJ, you gotta write my autobiography.”

I said, “Karl, if it’s an autobiography, you have to write it.”

In any case, I’ll write a little something…  For now, this’ll have to do.

29 Responses to “Philippines Fun Wall Profile: Karl Roy”

  1. jayme reodica Says:

    very talented guy i know him since high school walang tatalo sa kanya pag dating sa stage performance!!!!

  2. you can be a “rockstar” and not do drugs. what is the point of being the best and looked up to if you are dead, or the right side of your body is paralyzed. Or losing your partner because you would rather live the next “high” rather than live a long happy life with her. I respect and enjoy Karl totally, but some things are more important than getting “fucked up”!

    Someone who gives a “fuck”!

    • Understood. But maybe there is a bigger picture to these things, and at best we should always try to remain non-judgmental to the way we’ve lived life. There are the consequences that have happened – and in Karl’s case, pretty big life-threatening ones. But that is the path that was tread, and it won’t ever be the same way again. It’s just the way. And at that moment – it’s not about being “fucked up.” It just is.

    • Also. Don’t misunderstand that Karl is here because he’s a rockstar who could handle his drugs. His music is first and foremost. I just wanted to clarify and defend his side of abuse which many misunderstood as escaping from reality. In truth, at those moments – they were as real as they got.

    • i totally agree..can i post this to my partners wall too?

  3. i believe in karl roy’s talent even the things that he went through….we need to go through these episodes to really define who we really are…making us truly human…

  4. angelo andal Says:

    from high school days in Aquinas School, magkasama kami sa section and he was into music na at that time already. he’s music will always stand out in spite of the things that happened.

    just wait and he will surprise all his critics if by chance he decides to make an album and again make a rock album, whose songs are a reflection of the countries situation and about peoples life.

  5. Karl’s writing is awesome. When he wrote Piece of This under P.OT. – he really caught his emotion and his identity. Galing pa how P.O.T. could’ve stood for Piece Of This… When he wrote Prayer for Kapatid – solid. Especially considering the tragic circumstances surrounding the band’s growth…

  6. I was not putting Karl down by any means! I know that what is done is done. I am sure if he could though, he would go back and change some. I believe you can be talented and not get wasted. It is possible. I also know alot more of the personal side of it. Like when Dr’s tell you to stop what it is that ended you up in the Hospital, it will kill you, you should listen to them, and your loved ones. Where were his fans, friends and (most) family. Not there! His wife got him thru it! But everyone else showed up to drag him back down, just so they could say they partied with him. Sad really. They are killing the one guy they look up to. I love you Karl. Stay with us as long as possible!!

  7. Well….I always said Karl was the nicest and kindest, most interesting, most productive and most lucid drug addict I ever met. Lol! His “death wish” is apparent, but he only wishes it on himself. For the rest of the world, what he’s got to give to us all is pure, unadulterated Truth, Music, and Love – take it, there won’t be much of this stash of good stuff after Karl Roy.

    About Piece of This. Karl knows how much I love that song. Beautiful.

  8. Karl lived a life I envied but never wanted. He was one of those persons whom I perceived have chosen to simplify their way of living by just living it the way they want to. I would’ve liked to live that way if not for my personal goals and conditions. And now life has taken me too far in a different direction to even think of it.

    Much respect to Karl. But I cannot let my kids choose the path he has taken. His music I will enjoy repeatedly and so shall my kids if they choose to, but I don’t think I can let them follow his example of keeping it real. Whatever that bigger picture may be.

    • Badjo – Well, we all have our own unique paths to take. We always try to make a decision that serves us the best at any given moment. And you’re right, you cannot let your kids choose the path Karl took because eventually they’ll make the choice themselves – balanced with or without your parental advice. In the end, I believe that our pursuits in life will lead us to a point where we have a smile on our face that nobody can take away no matter what. To quote a song – “Whatever makes you happy, whatever makes you beautiful.” We all look at life through different perspectives even though it may seem we come from similar backgrounds and persuasions. Eventually, a person’s own version of happiness might be the nightmare of another. Who are we to judge what really is correct? Like I said – if you have that smile that no one can take away – if you are truly happy in that – then that’s that. That’s your truth in life.🙂

  9. RIP kapatid salamat sa musika di ka namin makakalimutan brod Karl Roy

  10. jhay-jhay Says:

    R.I.P Karl Roy

  11. DISSECTINGPAN Says:

    RIP KARL

  12. RIP Karl Roy

  13. RIP Karl Roy…thanks for the music

  14. drugs is bad. Period. whatever reasons behind, this thing kills and should not be in anyway defended for any reason at all.

  15. now it;s time for you to write his autobiography… will look forward for it…

  16. RIP ..salamat sa musika..fade away puting ilaw..

  17. walang beer dyan sa langit men …

  18. Well said JJ , He inspired me with my music as well. Karl was the most versatile musician i knew who opened his mind to every possibility that music could achieve and i will forever be grateful for that. Rest in Peace Amigo vaya con dios!

  19. For what ever path he took and things he tried, He made his name remembered. Fame has its glories and its sacrifice and he knows the risk. A very talented artist.

  20. missing Karl.

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