Halloween, Naked Frontman and a Cactus Costume

One of my better shows was Halloween of 2004.  I was living in Japan and was double booked for a Halloween show at Hoshizora Jett, Matsuyama’s one and only rock and roll bar.  It was all cover bands, with me singing in  a The Jam cover band (not a cover jam band, if that’s even possible) and playing bass in a rock band, Rocktopus and the Tentacles (shut up), that was doing a mix of songs.

I can’t remember what we called the The Jam band, but it was my friend Fuku, a drummer whose name and face I can’t remember and another guy whose name I also can’t remember, but who had a reputation as a good guitar player who hadn’t  played in anything recently.

For those of you who don’t play music, those of us who do, tend to be in bands more or less all the time, until we either age out or run out of people willing to play with us.  If a player is in their mid-twenties and hasn’t been in a band in a few years, they either have found a new hobby, they suck or there is something wrong with their personality.  Or they smell really bad.  I kicked a guy out for that once.

Anyway, this guitar player hadn’t been in a band in a while and I heard it was because he couldn’t handle his liquor.  This turned out to be the true.

I had made myself a cactus costume for Halloween that year, and it was awesome.  Best costume ever.  But imagine being on stage (or in this case, on floor) dressed as a fucking cactus, with a drunk guitar player unable to keep up, and trying to make it work.  It was not to be.

The second band was some space rock band that was abrasive and I don’t even think they played covers.

So Rocktopus and the Tentacles came on and played a solid set.  We were followed by the G Strikes, who did a damn good job as well.  By this time, there was toilet paper flying through the air and lots of drunken dancing.

The last band comes on.  The Ishitegawa Damned (there was a dam there called Ishitegawa Dam, and they were played Damned covers, get it?). Fronted by Mr Takashira.

Mr Takashira had started showing up at punk rock shows about a year prior and quickly made a name for himself as the naked dude.  The Ishitegawa Damned had barely got through their first song before shouts of “take it off” were being heard.  So he did.  And he put on a solid, fully nude performance, though I think everyone who played that night was glad they were the last act.  Because that’s a tough act to follow.  And he because he had put the microphone in his butt.



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