Friday, June 11, 2010

Japan Day 3: The Truth About Osaka

Saturday, May 1, 2010: Gorevette departs our hotel in Yokohama en route to Osaka. Everything in Japan runs on time, except driving during the 'Golden Week', a national holiday.

We had an approx. 5 hour drive past Mt. Fuji, which turned into an 8 hour drive with holiday traffic. At Mt. Fuji, we stop and pose for a photo with our friends The Havenots.

... and a band photo at Mt. Fuji.

Osaka is an old and wild place; truly feral. I loved it. We wandered the streets wide-eyed and smiling. This is Osaka Tower, a centerpiece. All cities in Japan have towers. The tower is the subject of a new song and dance soon to take Japan by storm: Osaka Tower! It's catchy.

Our hosts Matt & Shimmi take us down an old and famous street past the Tower. It's tight and small feeling, and lined with sushi bars and gambling 'rooms', I guess you'd call it. Old Japanese men huddle past and crowd the machines. None looks at us much. Matt tells us people drink more in Osaka, and earlier compared to all of Japan. I was feeling Hamtramck, MI deja-vu ... that is a Detroit thing! ;)

We arrive at Rock Rider, the club. The Japanese are efficient. All the clubs have gear, and at Rock Rider, they went a step beyond. Just inside the entrance are lockers and a Asahi Beer vending machine! PERFECT.

The show ... well, I could try to explain this with words, but this would not be accurate. Recall I said Osaka was wild?

Before the show, we sampled traditional Osaka fare on the streets, Japanese 'Soul Food'. The restaurant was loud, crowded and greasy. Our hosts ordered a sampling off the menu, we sat patiently awaiting it's arrival. This is where the truth comes in: in Osaka, they like their meat on a stick!

This is how it is served, in metal trays, family-style. The sauce is kind of like tempura dipping sauce mixed with soy. Cabbage completes the table. It resembled what I had as a kid called City Chicken, which is actually veal. I don't eat meat, so the other options here are cheese and quail egg. Tiny quail eggs deep-fried in a fine batter and presented on a stick. Delicious and adorable!

In conclusion, I can handle the truth about Osaka. Tomorrow we play in Nagoya at the Day Trip club ...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Japan Day 2 cont'd ... Tune in Tokyo

April 29, 2010. We drove 45 minutes from Yokohama to play our first show at MoonStep club in Tokyo. I found this display of tires at a gas station on the way, the photo on top, Leonardo DiCaprio for Bridgestone Tires.

In Japan, they drive on the right, it's in reverse. I'm glad I'm not driving.

At soundcheck I checked out my amp for tour, a Marshall JCM 900. Me like. We checked early, at 2:30, doors were at 5. All the shows here are earlier than shows in the US. The clubs are small, about 300 capacity. 5 Bands on each bill, Gorevette headlines at 8 or 9 each night.

After soundcheck, we had pizza and cokes at a restaurant next to the club and walked around. The pizza was good, actually, and authentic. Right at doors the club filled up. Nikki, Lianna and I stayed in the dressing room upstairs.

Nikki tried to use the w/c outside the dressing room and was assaulted by fans. The club filled up so fast and fans came upstairs to wait outside to see her! She couldn't leave the room. Girls dressed like her and brought presents, they squealed with delight upon seeing the one and only Queen of Power Pop, Nikki Corvette.

Then, we play. The show flew by. We had two encores planned for this tour, and even though Nikki told us to cut out after a certain point, we couldn't leave the stage. They go crazy for the Corvettes songs and the Buzzcocks cover. And Search & Destroy in the encore. I've not seen people this excited about Rock N Roll in a long time ... or ever.

After we played, Nikki's fans wouldn't leave her alone. She stayed by the Gorevette merchandise signing and talking to people until the line of fans went away... it took awhile.

I stayed in the dressing room until someone told me a girl was waiting to see me ... this adorable gal Makiko brought the first Gore Gore Girls album for me to sign!

Lianna and Al relax after the first show by the Gorevette Japanese shirts and stuff for sale. Dig the superfan in the Japanese satin jacket!

Nikki makes her fans happy...

We drove back to Yokohama exhausted and excited, I was totally wiped out. Tomorrow is day 3, on to Osaka and past Mt. Fuji ... !!