Archive for April, 2010

The Mods Have Been The Mods Are The Mods Will Be The Mods


Just about every musical genre is alive and well and has fans in modern Japan (well, not sure about doo-wop) and to prove it, here are some pics from April 24th and the March of the Mods at Studio jam, Shinjuku. Bands pictured are The Fade Aways and The Kuruma (in red stripey t-shirts).

Afterwards, Minako, our friend Jinjin and I took a stroll behind the live house down the back streets of the Golden Gai – the Bohemian hangout where artists, writers and film directors hung out in the 50s and 60s. If only…

Tower of Rock Power


This weekend, research for “Voice of the Sword” took me back to the Tokyo Tower, and quite a shock waited me. There’s a Wax Museum in the middle section, and amidst all the remarkably un-lifelike dummies of Madonna, Julia Roberts, JFK, Ghandi, Princess Diana, I found an unexpected shrine of rock memorabilia. I can understand The Beatles, and I’m gratified by Jimi Hendrix, a little surprised by Frank Zappa, but…
who’s the Krautrock fan?
Who put up the display of the life and works of Manuel Gottsching, creator of Ash Ra Tempel and synth wizard extraordinaire?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m really chuffed. I am an admirer and collector of early experimental electronica, and I spend an obscene amount of time and money going through the 60s and 70s sections of Disc Union looking for rare analog synth gems. I am really pleased that someone has set up a shrine for Manuel. But who did it? And why the Tokyo Tower?
The main entrance – and a room set up to look like an album cover
Below: Displays of the albums E2-E4 and Inventions for Electric Guitar
Not just Manuel – there were waxworks of Klaus Schulze, too – and Faust – and some Krautrockers that even I have never heard of!

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