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Out Cast

Kenji Todoroki - vocals
Jun ‘Kimio’ Mizutani – lead guitar
Koichi Fujita – rhythm guitar
Yuyu Hoguchi - organ
Ryoji Ono – bass
Takamitsu Nakazawa - drums

With their double-breasted suits and neatly styled hair, this smartly dressed sextet was the first band to come from the Watanabe Production management company. They were formed in mid-1966 by legendary guitar mangler Jun ‘Kimio’ Mizutani and organist Yuyu Hoguchi, both of whom had formerly played with Ryuichi Tsuda & The Blue Ace. After moulding the boys into a suitably commercial image, Watanabe signed The Out Cast to Teichiku Records, who released their first single, a folk song ‘Tomodachi Ni Naro (Let’s Be Friends)’ which was a flop. Hot on its heels came a second single, another folk song ‘Aisurukoto Wa Darede No Dekiru (Anyone Can Love)’. This was also a flop, but the b-side, entitled ‘Denwa De Iikara (Just Gimme A Call)’, was a bubblegum classic flip out which guaranteed Mizutani and the band a place in garage rock legend. In the summer of 1967, Out Cast played a very psychedelic show with The Tigers at Tokyo’s Nichigeki, and scored their first hit ‘Enpitsu Ga Ippon (A Pencil)’ that same summer. Two further minor hits guaranteed the release of their LP KIMI NO BOKU MO TOMODACHI NI NARO (‘Let’s You And Me Become Friends’), which was full of Mizutani’s signature mayhem. However, Mizutani and singer Kenji Todoroki were growing tired of the Ground Sounds format and found the suffocating restrictions of Watanabe Productions impossible to deal with. The two quit the band to form the more artistically satisfying Adams, causing Watanabe Productions to sack everyone else except bass player Ryoji Ono, in an Electric Prunes-style rock pogrom. The new line up continued briefly with new vocalist Osamu Okamoto, guitarist Katsumi Tani, organist Yoshiharu Sugano and drummer Yukio Asakura; but The Out Cast’s days were over.

Julian Cope

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