Rock star Pepe Smith plans to retire from music; wants to concentrate on acting

by Yugel Losorata
Oct 18, 2017
Rock icon Pepe Smith gives advice to musicians: "Don't let anybody f--k around with your music."

Pinoy rock poster boy Pepe Smith hinted that he might retire from the music industry by early next year.

Pepe is part of the Juan Dela Cruz Band that will headline the Full Blast Pinoy Super Bands concert scheduled to take place this Friday, October 20, at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The event will feature OPM bands such as Queso, Basti Artadi, Dong Abay, Razorback, the Youth, Asin, and the Wuds.

In an interview conducted to promote the upcoming Juan Dela Cruz Band-led rock concert, Pepe mention the possibility of concentrating on his acting career, which he considers as his “fallback.”

“I decided to concentrate on my acting. So February or March next year I might retire,” said the singer who top-billed the internationally acclaimed indie film Singing in Graveyards.

The 69-year-old rock icon tried to explain his view on the matter by pointing out, “I just feel like I need a fallback from this rock and roll thing.”

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He leaves his options open for such an eventuality by saying, “It all depends…”

However, he did not elaborate any further.

(Read: Pepe Smith suffers stroke before doing indie film Singing in Graveyards)

Pepe appeared in a number of movies in the past, including last year’s Singing in Graveyards where he impersonates a rock star, and 2014’s Jericho Rosales-starrer Red.

Twelve years back, he appeared un-credited in the notable coming-of-age movie Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

LOVE LIVE PEPE. The 6 foot 3" celebrity dodged rumors that he is sickly and needs to overhaul his rock and roll lifestyle.

Pepe declared, “I’m not dead. I won’t be dead in a long time.”

Pepe is no doubt the most anticipated performer expected to hit the stage during Friday’s show which allows attendees to enter the Cuneta Astrodome as early as 5 p.m.

His presence will be even more nostalgic with the addition of his two comrades in Juan Dela Cruz: Mike Hanopol and Wally Gonzales.

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Organized by Rockfordproductions, Inc., the concert mixes Pinoy rock icons from the '70s, '80s, and '90s in a gathering of music legends, including The Youth, The Wuds, Razorback, Maria Cafra, and Queso.

The audience can expect a five-hour-and-a-half show where food and beverage come aplenty, thanks to the Oktoberfeast area to be set up.

Wolfgang’s Basti Artadi, Yano’s Dong Abay, and Asin’s Lolita Carbon are also part of the lineup.

“I will not really retire,” Pepe poignantly argued, “If there’s an offer to do something, I will try it out. Hopefully there’ll be acting jobs to do.”

ROCK CLASSIC. Being in a nostalgic mood, Pepe talked about the time that he wrote the anthemic song “Ang Himig Natin.”

He composed it within 20 minutes since he wanted to finish the song in time for an ongoing gig. That he penned it inside a ladies room added much color to the special moment.

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He recalled, “There wasn’t any room available so I went in a ladies room there at Luneta and did it in 20 minutes. I wanted to sing it that night. The show was called 'Himig Natin' and my song was appropriate for that matter.”

“Ang Himig Natin” has become Juan Dela Cruz Band’s signature song.

ON ROYALTIES. Pepe and his contemporaries experienced the birth pains of being pioneers of rock, including having to allegedly sign contracts that more or less prevented them from getting the right amount of royalties they deserve for their successful songs.

Pepe claimed, “All the time, I was giving up. We weren’t given the right bookings and all that.”

Yet, the outspoken soul in him quickly took over. “But f--k it! Good or bad reviews, they’re talking about us. I said, ‘Let’s full blast into the future!’”

His reply echoed the title of the upcoming October 20 concert that some believe could be his last.

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Now that he might possibly pack up his guitar for good, Pepe gave advice for the next generation of musicians: “Just get your brains out there and write some songs. Don’t let anybody f--k around with your music. Go for it. Rock it. Rock the world. Rock and Roll”!

(For tickets to Full Blast Pinoy Super Bands, call 0916-6392291 or visit


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Rock icon Pepe Smith gives advice to musicians: "Don't let anybody f--k around with your music."
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