Julian Cope presents JAPROCKSAMPLER.COM

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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,
Junko
Posted by JunSuzuki, May 29, 2013
The Jacks - Image
The Jacks
Posted by poika, Dec 28, 2012
The Jacks - Comments
Jack all
For Jacks lovers everywhere, all of their recorded output, including some beautifully recorded radio sessions can be found on their box set, Legend - 40th Aniversary. This is an amazing set, with all of the non-LP singles plus the two official Lp's and the afore mentioned radio sessions LP, all in beautifull clear sound. Just pop over to Japan or Amazon.jp, (cheaper than flying but less fun) and order; you will not be disappointed.
Posted by poika, Dec 28, 2012
Yanagi George has passed away
Truly an excellent musician throughout his career. George Yanagi's impressive body of work and character will continue to inspire and move lovers of music. [LINK]
Posted by judan-maiku, Oct 17, 2011
Too Much - Comments
doubt
Hello

very interesting information, but I have a question

who is the one on the cover of the album and single? is this Juni Lush? or Junio Nakahara?

I saw the album cover of The Helpful Soul, and there also appears a man with afro hairstyle, is this Junio Nakahara?

Hopefully I can clear my doubts, because I think that is on the cover of the album, The Helpful Soul, is Nakahara and that is the same as the album cover of Too much and the single, but the text mentions that it is Juni lush that has the afro.

or both had afro? that in the photo of the band there is only one

I hope is not a nuisance.
thank you very much.
Posted by massiosare89, Sep 20, 2011
Too Much - Comments
doubt
Hello

very interesting information, but I have a question

who is the one on the cover of the album and single? is this Juni Lush? or Junio Nakahara?

I saw the album cover of The Helpful Soul, and there also appears a man with afro hairstyle, is this Junio Nakahara?

Hopefully I can clear my doubts, because I think that is on the cover of the album, The Helpful Soul, is Nakahara and that is the same as the album cover of Too much and the single, but the text mentions that it is Juni lush that has the afro.

or both had afro? that in the photo of the band there is only one

I hope is not a nuisance.
thank you very much.
Posted by massiosare89, Sep 20, 2011
The Mops - Video Clip
Live on the roof of Mitsukoshi department store August 4, 1972
Posted by scarlet, Sep 14, 2011
Joe Yamanaka has passed away / ジョー山中さん死去
"A man beyond the sky,
even though I have never seen you in my life,
that I know you are always watching and guiding me...

空の彼方から愛を..... one love"

- Joe Yamanaka [LINK]
Posted by judan-maiku, Aug 20, 2011
Toshi Ichiyanagi - Comments
rip-off?
The CD version of "Opera Based on the Works of Tadanori Yokoo" is not a rip-off in any way, so long as it comes as the reissue from Bridge Records.

Not only a faithful reproduction of the original double LP, it has a new essay included by Yokoo, and aside from the absence of picture discs as they would be in vinyl, it is (I daresay) a more robust package.
Posted by judan-maiku, Jan 03, 2011
Yuji Takahashi - Comments
Distant voices
Sorry, I said it had a red label, in fact it's an orange label. Excuses.
Posted by henkzuurveld, Jan 02, 2011