Padmarajan and Bharathan held him and his work close to their heart, Sathyan Anthikkad held his work dear.
Cinema Buffs nay casual followers would know the person I am talking about has to be extremely talented and versatile to get the respect of these great directors, Johnson or Johnson Mash was just that.
The image I have of him (Have never met him personally) is leaning into a microphone his fingers drawing soulful music from his ubiquitous guitar. I dont know his full name he was always Johnson, just Johnson.
AIR Chalachitra Ganangal program was where I first heard his name (the announcer saying the movie name, the lyricist name and last sangeetham Johnson). Then saw it on screen -background music Johnson-, then - music Johnson. Then again and again his name kept on popping up during my growing years, so and so in my mind one of the names good music is synonymous with is Johnson.
I saw his name on the news scroller on TV announcing his passing away at 8.30 pm on August 19, 2011. The Guitar in my mind twanged out of tune, the string broken.
Kannerpoovinte kavilil thalodi he has begun his final journey.
"So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me" (ABBA)
He lived his life to a Fare-thee- well! Goodbye Johnson!