Eddy Tulis


Not many of this generation still know who Eddy Tulis is. But truly he was one of the best and most talented one in his era, someone who we believe should be placed as one of the most important milestones of Indonesian music history.

In the era of the 60s and 70s Eddy Tulis is considered one of the best drummer. He was the only one who could replace the position of Benny Mustafa in Eka Sapta who was considered as the top drummer at that time. When Benny left the legendary band Eka Sapta, Eddy was asked to replaced Benny.

eddy-tulis-eka-saptaEddy Tulis in his Eka Sapta years

Eddy Tulis was born in Jakarta on February 8, 1937.  Eddy was the second from three siblings in his family. He already loved music from the early ages. Little Eddy listened to Les Paul, Charlie Christian, Miles Davis, and Wes Montgomery.

He grew up with his cousin, Victor Rompas. They always hung out together and and played some Boogie Woogie. “Eddy was a really good guitar player”, says Truitje Rompas, Victor’s sister. He also Mastered the Martial Art, Ju-Jitsu.

eddy tulis 4Eddy Tulis with Mus Mualim and Bachrumsyah

eddytulisBenny Mustafa also acknowledged the expertise of Eddy Tulis. This is what Benny said about him. “He was a great drummer, intelligent, His brush stick style was very clean and perfect.” According to  Abadi Soesman, “Eddy inspired my colleague Fuad Hasan (former GodBless and The Pro‘s drummer) to play drums.” Not only that, Eddy was also known as someone to come to when one had something to ask about drums. Some younger drummers always came to him such as Karim Suweileh, Hengky Makasutji, Susi Nander and Gatot Soenjoto. Rudy Arifin (the drummer of Aria Junior) and Jelly Tobing were among his students.

Beside playing the drums, Eddy was considered as a very musical person. It was because of his ability to play several musical instruments like bass, guitar, flute and piano just as great. He was also great in writing songs. “Eddy was my rhythm guitar in Eka Sapta Junior”. said Jopie Item. As if all these talents weren’t enough, he also had good singing vocal. “He was a really good singer too,” said Benny Mustafa, as he digged his memory back to 1964 when Eddy sang Stardust wonderfully. Eddy played bass in Ayodhya, where he played with Kiboud Maulana, Ireng Maulana, Dicky Prawoto, Benny Mustafa and Maryono.

Eddy Tulis in his younger daysEddy’s gifted ability to write songs were felt by some of the then-popular singers. His song “Hanya Dikau” was sung by Ernie Djohan, “Kau Kujelang” by Andi Meriem Matalatta, and “Kasih Kembalilah” by Rahmat Kartolo, Nia Daniati and also later by  Tantowi Yahya.

Eddy once joined Billy Cobham‘s Drum Workshop in Switzerland for 3 months in 1969. Throughout his career Eddy had played with Bing Slamet, Mus Mualim, Ireng Maulana, Wiharto, Benny Mustafa, Dicky Prawoto, Sadikin Zuchra, Papo Parera, Victor Rompas, George Hardi, Maryono, Idris Sardi, Sadikin Zuchra, Didi Tjia, Jopie Item, Hendra Wijaya, Darmono, Hengky Makasutji, Arifin, Bonar Simorangkir and many others. He also helped Idris Sardi and Mus Mualim for making music scores for some movies.

Unfortunately his career was not that long. He passed away on November 16, 1979 at the age of 40 due to the high blood pressure he suffered. He’s gone but not forgotten. His contributions were massive not only in jazz but also in Indonesian music history in general. It’s time for us to pay the respect to the legends who started it, because without them, we won’t be able to enjoy the music as how it is today.

Written by: Stanley Tulung
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan
Photos are provided by Stanley Tulung from Eddy Tulis family collection, used by permission