Iconic Filipino musician Rene Garcia has passed away on Sunday, September 2. He was perhaps best known by many as the lead guitarist from the beloved OPM band Hotdog. Garcia was 65.
Rene’s older brother, Greg, confirmed the news to the media. Rene reportedly died at around 6:20 pm due to cardiac arrest.
Speaking of his brothers death, Greg Garcia expressed hope that in his passing perhaps the legacy Rene built would be better recognized by the music industry.
“Perhaps the music industry will now give him the recognition he deserves in changing OPM in the country,” Garcia said.
Rene was the lead guitarist of his band Hotdog, sharing the stage with his other brother Dennis who played bass. Completing their group was female lead singer Ella del Rosario. They were known for pioneering the “Manila Sound” of the 70’s, giving radiowaves and music lovers hits like “Manila“, “Bongga Ka Day“, “Pers Lab“, “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko“, and “Bitin sa ‘Yo“, which Rene actually lent his vocals to in a duet with Ella. Their songs often focused around the theme of unrequited love. Over the years, the band evolved into other genres like Pinoy Rock, disco, and even tried their hand at new wave.
The band had several members through out the years, including Zsa Zsa Padilla, Gina Montes, Maso Diez, Andy Caberte, and Rene Enriquez.
Hotdog achieved quite a level of success, even performing for the proclamation ceremonies of Miss Universe in 1974. The event was held at the Fold Arts Theater in Manila. Rene and Ella performed “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko” for the show.
Rene’s wake is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 3 at the Manila Memorial Chapels in Sucat, Paranaque. His remains will be in the Agoncillo chapel.