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Shigeru Narumo – lead guitar, keyboards, vocals
Hiro Tsunoda – drums, vocals

This terrible band was an appalling sour mash of American Breed cod-psychedelia overlain with lashings of the kind of shrill spewdo operetta that would disgrace the grooves of Uriah Heep’s dopey SALISBURY LP twelve months hence. Like most of the so-called heavy Japanese bands of the period, Strawberry Path was in actuality anything but. Generally, their catholic sound is eclectic and overwrought, with arrangements being of the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink variety. Music freaks claim songs such as ‘Leave Me, Woman’, ‘Woman Called Yellow Z’ and ‘I Gotta See My Gypsy Woman’ as evidence of the band’s good intentions, but the band’s deft performances of such daft AOR drool as ‘Mary Jane On My Mind’ and Marmalade/Hollies soundalike ‘The Second Fate’ suggests their hearts were more naturally in this non-headspace. The band was really a duo with help from occasional bassists Hisashi Eto and former Powerhouse bassist George Yanagi, the latter also contributing a lead vocal, as he did for the Shinki Chen solo LP. Strawberry Path would eventually mutate into the equally poor Flied Egg (great band name, at least!). Drummer Hiro Tsunoda would thereafter throw in the towel completely, going for total sub-sub-Peters & Lee meltdown with his agonisingly bad solo LP MARY JANE, a 1977 barrel-scraper featuring all of his previous crimes against rock, plus an unashamed copy of Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ done in a Danish Eurovision style. Although Strawberry Path’s original Philips LP sleeve names the record WHEN THE RAVEN HAS COME DOWN TO EARTH, it is occasionally listed under the Japanese title OHTORI GA CHIKYU NI YATTEKITAHI.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Yoshihara Sumire is an extraordinary percussionist, who plays instruments of leather, wood, metal, in order to investigate the tones therein. She first came to prominence in 1972, at the Geneva International Contest, and recorded work by composer Maki Ishii for her debut LP.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Joey Smith – vocals, drums
Masayoshi Kabe – bass
Shinki Chen – guitar

The Speed, Glue & Shinki story is told in Book 2, Chapter 8 of Japrocksampler.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Slash was a festival band from Kyoto led by guitarist Mikio Matsuda. The other members of the band are unknown to me, but Mikio joined Murahatchibu during its last brief incarnation in mid-1979.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Mari Kaneko - vocals
Char – lead guitar
Jun Sato – keyboards
Yoshiro Naruse – bass
Shoji Fujii – drums, percussion

Led by teenage underground star guitarist Char, Smokey Medicine was a band whose local following was enormous but who never broke into the national Japanese circuit. From what I've heard, I can undertstand why, as it was uninspired tripe.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Formed while still at school in the far northern island of Hokkaido during 1975, Seishokki was made up of future underground movers and shakers - Hitoshi Matsumoto, Yuji Nakamura, Masanori Komatsu, Yasuaki Harabuchi, Ikuro Takahashi and Tetsuya Takashio - who went on to perform with a variety of ‘90s bands, including Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Fushitsusha, High Rise and Che-Shizu. Their sole album ORGANS OF BLUE ECLIPSE was mostly a retrospective of home recordings from the period 1975-77, recorded in an outbuilding on the banks of the river Chubetsu Gawa, on the outskirts of their home town Asahikawa. However, the final ((and most ‘rock’) track on the LP, entitled ‘Abashiri Blues’) was recorded live at a local club. The album received a limited vinyl release in 2005CE on the Siwa label.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Known in Japan not for his music but for his manga art, the one-armed Mizuki Shigeru created a visual half world inhabited by behemoths, ghosts, sub-humans and the like. However, in 1978, Shigeru decided to create an ‘accompanying soundscape’ for his visions and the result was the electronic music of YOKAIGEN. To facilitate this vision, Shigeru employed the services of electronic artist Morishita Tokihiko, whose own albums TOCCATA and 18 SAI MIMAN NO BALLAD had been released half a decade earlier on the Polydor label. Following Mizuki Shigeru’s instructions almost to the letter, Tokihiko created a sonic landscape of alienation and bubbling, whirling, disjointed half-life worthy of his one-armed mentor’s inner soundtrack. The results were released in 1978 on the Victor label.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
Masahiko Satoh is a composer and arranger, and is a key figure in the Japrocksampler story (see Books One and Two).
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
The splendidly-named Sakenomido (‘drunken kid’) were a Kyoto underground outfit only known for their single Murahatchibu support slot at the MURAHATCHIBU NUMBER ONE CONCERT, on August 27th 1972, which took place at Kyoto’s Matuyama Outdoor Music Hall. The other bands on the bill were Marisu and Spanish Harlem Night.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007
A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Hideakira Sakurai is best known for creating the soundtracks for many of the cult classic Lone Wolf and Cub/Baby Cart films.
Posted by Julian Cope, Sep 01, 2007