Meet Stuart at Edingburgh airport, and the rest of the chaps at Heathrow.
Little did I realise that before arriving in Japan, we would have to land at Anchorage, Alaska. We flew right across the North Pole - no sign of the Japanese, but plenty of polar bears and eskimos.
Arrived in Osaka airport (Japan) about three milleniums later, totally knackered because of the flight, to find myself being arrested. I was taken away by small yellow airport policeman, who took me in this room, questioned me, finger-printed and searched me. The crime I had committed was that I had brought a "Vick's Inhaler" into the country which, unknown to me, is illegal in Japan.
Fortunately, Dave Wernhma, 'Tour Manager' and keen stoat watcher came to my rescue and explained to the police that I wasn't dependant or hooked on it, and they let me go.
Talking about getting arrested, Pete barnes (lights) and Les (guitars) got arrested for getting into a fight with a taxi driver who was trying to rip them off. Luckily the police sorted out and they were let free.
Apart from first impressions, the Japanese are really nice people, and well sussed.
Turned up in Osaka to be greeted by thousands of little smiling Japanese girls in the hotel lobby. You can't walk five yards down the street next to the hotel, because you get stopped by little girls giving you presents, wanting autographs, getting their pictures taken with you, etc. I've never seen so many cameras in all my life - one minute you're walking down to the shops for a packet of fags, the next minute 'FLASH!' - and then afterwards they will apologise for speaking to you. You see, it is against their religion, or belief, or whatever for women to speak or do anything unless the male, who is the dominant of the species, says so. So you get into this ridiculous situation where you get mobbed by these hysterical little children who don't know how to speak English correctly and I can't speak a bit of Japanese, so everybody keeps apologising and bowing and taking pictures, and this is guaranteed to happen to you every minute of the day in Japan. You can't take a piss without banging into a group of little yellow photographers muttering and bowing to you. And here's another thing, their toilets are different as well. Some Japanese places don't have Western style toilets. Instead of the pan being upright like ours (fig 1), you have to squat down on theirs (fig 2) which makes it very difficult to do a shite without messing your trousers.
Tonight's gig was fantastic. The audience were amazing and we were also enthusiastic and played a blinder of a set. I think Japan likes us.
It is so wierd coming off stage early- you're back in the hotel for 9.00pm. Mind you it takes about two hours to get back to your room because of the little girls lining the hotel lobby and corridors wanting 'autoglafs' and 'peekchors'.
We are staying at the same hotel as the Style Council, the Motels and various other groups, so you can imagine how chaotic the situation is. Funny, I've always wanted to know what it was like to be in the Bay City Rollers.
Jumped on the bullet train with the chaps and went to Kyoto for the day. Visited a few temples which were completely stunning. There was one temple which had one thousand and one Buddha statues in it. I think they were carved out of wood, but the beauty of it was that each one was different.
I don't know who built the temples, or much of the history, but the architects must have been geniuses.
On the way back to the bullet train, Tony, Stuart, Ian and I bought some Katana swords to take back as souveniers, or as Stuart says "I'me taken this to the gemme when I get back."
Anyway, back on the bullet train, which incidentally does a ton fifty or whatever m.p.h. on our way back to Tokyo. Got a great view of Mount Fuji from the train. Japan definitely has some wonderful scenery.
Interviews in Japan are really frustrating as you can imagine because of the language barrier. You have to have an interpreter at every interview. At least there were no questions about bagpipes and checked shirts and "Ha-So, you've got a velly cute acslent" questions...
One of the funniest things we've ever heard is the Japanese version of "In A Big Country". A Japanese chap called George Yanagi has recorded the song for a beer advertisement I think. He is the guy responsible for the music for "The Water Margin" and "Monkey", two popular BBC2 Kung-Fu programmes. Anyway, the song is played by sythesizers and drum machines, and is quite funny. The lyrics are all in Japanese, apart from the "In A Big Country".
Yet again the Style Council and the rest of the groups are staying at the same hotel as us. It's worse than Beatlemania across here. Of course "Big Joe", Personal Assistant finds it highly amusing. Talking about Joe, it's his birthday today, forty-third I think. Anyway, it's a party in his room tonight.
Next morning, Joe's room looked like it has been used for a Smirnoff promotion or something.
Spent all day buying presents and stuff to take home. Discovered a great shop called Kiddieland which sells nothing but toys. Today I bought two submarines, a gun, a baseball bat, and some bathroom accessories to take back home. We are all worried about taking souveniers home with us as the Customs people crak down really hard on "rock and roll groups". Can't blame them really - my tour bag had a complete arsenal loaded into it, what with swords, guns, baseball bats, etc. It's amazing how you can buy a gun but get arrested for possesing a Vick's Inhaler in Japan.
Heard news that the Style Council's gig ended in a riot the other night. What we got told that the stage was invaded by thousands of children and because of that, no "rock group" is allowed to perform there for two years. That's a bit strict, etc.
Dave Wernham, now promoted to Chief Panda Watcher, and I went out shopping for KamiKazi headbands for his Hells Angel friends. We tried nearly every shop in Tokyo, and it ended up that the only place you could buy these headbands in was Kiddieland - yes, the toyshop. Another interesting shop was The Pink Dragon, a Johnsons cum Flip type of place. This is where all the Japanese rockabilies hang out.
Everybody wore their headbands at the gig tonight - even Les, who was heard to say "Yes, I'm turning Japanese, I really think so".
Well, only two more gigs to go. Robert Fripp and Tony Levine turned up tonight, and seemed to enjoy themselves.
Tonight is the last night of our little Japanese tour - this will be one of the last nights we ever play the same set again, as we are now going home to concentrate on making our second album.
We will definately miss Japan and all the nice people we met, and maybe the next time we go, it will be for longer.
Back to Alaska, then home.
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