Julian Cope presents JAPROCKSAMPLER.COM

Recent Posts

Flower Travellin' Band gate-fold of alternate Satori cover LP (cuddles)
Posted by cuddles, Mar 19, 2014
Sadistic Mika Band S.M.B. Super Best (1989) (cuddles)
Posted by cuddles, Mar 19, 2014
Murasaki - Image
Murasaki Doin' Our Thing at the Live House Murasaki (double LP, 1977) (cuddles)
Posted by cuddles, Mar 19, 2014
Kuni Kawachi - Image
Kuni Kawachi Kuni Kawachi - My Heart Remains Frozen (1978) (cuddles)
Posted by cuddles, Mar 19, 2014
The Flowers - Artist Information
Cult GS Collection
Just for clarity, "Cult GS Collection - Nikkatsu Issue Remi Aso/The Flowers" does have some great Flowers cuts from film tracks, but also Remi Aso tracks used in film. The other GS songs are not covers by the Flowers, but rather other GS songs used in Nikkatsu films.
Personally, it is one of the best GS compilations I have ever come across.
Posted by judan-maiku, Dec 08, 2013
The Flowers - Image
The Flowers (LP cover)
Posted by poika, Nov 15, 2013
The Flowers - Artist Information
Seedy soundtracks
Before they released the Challenge LP, along with other singers, they added music to several Nikkatsu soundtracks.
Some of these songs would later appear on other Flower related LPs. To hear Yuya and Remi Aso in glorious mono, check out the CD "Nikkatsu Cult GS Collection - Remi Aso & The Flowers". The CD contains a mixture of originals, in their own special style plus covers of well know GS tracks.

You will not be disapointed!
Posted by poika, Nov 13, 2013
Fujio Yamaguchi has passed away
On August 14th 2013, Fujio Yamaguchi (ex-DYNAMITES, ex-MURAHACHIBU) passed away. He was 64 years old.
A memorial show was recently held by former DYNAMITES friends. [LINK]
Posted by judan-maiku, Oct 07, 2013
Too Much - Comments
Juni Rush
All recording cover sleeves of the Too Much records featured Juni Rush who was the lead singer and front man of the band. Mr. Rush had a natural Afro as he was half African American and half Japanese.
I hope this answers your question.
Posted by JunSuzuki, May 29, 2013
Vodka Collins - Comments
Vodka Collins, reality check.
With all due respect to Mr. Cope, I have so many corrections to this entry I don't know where to start. First and foremost Alan Merrill started the band Vodka Collins. It was his idea from the start. He brought up the idea to drummer Hiroshi Oguchi backstage at the Western Carnival in 1971 when Mr. Oguchi was with the band PYG, who were falling apart.

After that Mr. Oguchi had the short lived band Orange and Mr. Merrill had the short lived band Godzilla (with Haruo Chikada). When both projects floundered the timing was right for the duo to try out the idea they had discussed backstage at the Yurakucho Nichigeki Theater Western Carnival. A glam rock duo, a band like T. Rex, that was the concept.

Alan Merrill wasn't "brought in" to the band Vodka Collins, this is made up, fiction, It's like saying Steve Peregrine-Took started the band Tyrannosaurus Rex and wanted a younger singer but brought in that old folkie Marc Bolan instead.

Yes, Alan Merrill was a model in Japan, but he was hired for those jobs because he was already playing live shows on stage and TV and was recording solo (2 albums, Atlantic records and Denon Columbia) and with the bands The Lead (RCA Victor) and Godzilla prior to Vodka Collins. He looked like a rock musician and was already making records and doing shows, which is what got him the modeling work. The Flower Travelling Band's singer Joe Yamanaka was also a model for example. This was the way it was in Japan in the early 1970s.

Alan Merrill wrote all the songs for Vodka Collins, was their lead guitarist, musical arranger and lead singer (The Spiders' Monsieur Kamayatsu was not a full member of the band at the start, he was a solo artist and he can only play rhythm guitar). With all due respect to Monsieur Kamayatsu, he's a great talent but he can't play lead guitar. By the way, for the sake of accuracy the lead guitarist of The Spiders was Mr. Takayuke Inoue, not Monsieur.

The original Vodka Collins line up was a duo of Oguchi and Merrill, with Take Yokouchi the last member to join.
After Merrill left Japan in anger due to non payment for his work with Vodka Collins a few days before they were to headline a Budokan show. Desperately in need of funds he started the commercial venture the Arrows in the UK in 1974, with Mickie Most as producer. Mr. Most put the band on a cash retainer as soon as the Arrows signed, solving Merrill's fiscal quandary.

This sudden departure at the apex of the band's success certainly angered many of the EMI (Japan) corporate team backing Vodka Collins, who thought of Merrill as a wealthy young American who would have his parents pay his rent and bills and didn't require payment for his music. They were sorely mistaken. He left Japan, not returning for 17 years.

And this is where Mr. Cope gets the story really backward.

After Merrill left, indeed a "younger singer" was brought in to try to replace him. That was Mickey Curtis's son, a teenager. It didn't work out at all. Vodka Collins was Merrill's brainchild and no one could replace him, so the project ended abruptly.
While in England Alan Merrill not only wrote "I Love Rock N Roll" but was the original artist on the first released version of the song with The Arrows, two years after Vodka Collins broke up.
The Arrows also had hits like "Touch Too Much" and "My Last Night With You" in the UK and Europe further angering the Vodka Collins team he had left behind. The song "I Love Rock N Roll" (RAK records) got the band Arrows their own weekly TV series (Arrows show, Granada-ITV 1976) after performing the song on the Muriel Young produced ITV show "45" in 1975 UK. The song served the band very well in that respect. It got them a TV series.

Moving forward 17 years, Vodka Collins' management finally offered Merrill enough of a cash advance to interest him in recording several reunion albums in the 1990s. Once again, as in the past he wrote all the songs, sang and played all the lead guitar parts on the recordings, also overdubbing keyboards and blues harp. It should be noted that Monsieur Kamayatsu never played guitar on any of Vodka Collins records, although he did sing harmony vocals.
I'm sorry, it is not my intention to embarrass Mr. Cope, and I'm sure there are corporate factions in Japan who want to revise the truth about Vodka Collins to save face and Mr. Cope may have been told a lot of lies in his research, but I really need the truth to be known.
Thank you,
Posted by JunSuzuki, May 29, 2013