Tag Archives: Ace Frehley

Postponed…or canceled?

6 Mar

As I mentioned in this post, the American hard rock band KISS were scheduled to perform in concert seven nights in a six-city tour around Japan this coming April (2011).

The KISS flyer for the four dates KISS were scheduled to perform in the Tokyo area.

I say that they “were scheduled” to come to Japan because it was announced today that KISS “postponed” their tour of Japan.

The "radio schedule" from the newspaper that the postponement of the KISS tour will be explained tonight.

My friend told me that the famous hard rock / heavy metal music critic / journalist Masa Ito mentioned on his radio show that KISS are now tentatively scheduled to come to Japan this autumn (2011).

Hopefully they won’t just decide to cancel the tour altogether.

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A “Sonic Boom” will hit Japan

27 Feb

First of all, as I mentioned in this comment, the “2011 Tokyo International Marathon” was held today.

30,000 people from Japan and other countries ran the 42.195 KM (over 26 miles) course through the streets of Tokyo.
For the past five years now, the Tokyo Marathon has been an annual event held at the end of February.

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Anyways, my friend has just informed me that the American rock band KISS will be coming to Japan this April to play seven shows around Japan to support their “Sonic Boom” album.

(I did an interview with the artist who designed this album cover, by the way.)

The dates of the shows that KISS are scheduled to play in Japan are:

2011 April 13 – Nagoya, Japan at the Aichi Prefecture Gymnasium
2011 April 14 – Yokohama, Japan at the Pacifico Yokohama
2011 April 17 – Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena
2011 April 18 – Kobe, Japan at the World Hall
2011 April 20 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 21 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 23 – Sapporo, Japan at the Makomanai Indoor Stadium

Tickets for the shows in the Tokyo area (which are Yokohama, Saitama and Tokyo) will go on sale on 2011 March 12th.

I have seen KISS play in Japan in both Yokohama and Tokyo before. In Yokohama, I saw them at the “Yokohama Arena” (not the “Pacifico”, where they’ll being playing this time). In Tokyo, I saw them at both the “Tokyo Dome” and the “Nippon Budokan”.

An interesting thing about this tour is that KISS will play a show in Sapporo, Japan. KISS has played many shows in Japan since their first time here in the 1970’s and they’ve never played northern Japan before. I’m sure that KISS fans in Hokkaido are happy to hear that there will finally be a KISS concert in their area!

The name of the 「日本武道館」 (Nippon Budokan) in Tokyo means “Japan Martial-arts Hall”.
Traditionalists don’t really like the idea of musicians playing pop music in this “sacred” hall. The first pop band to play there were The Beatles when they first came to Japan. The traditionalists protested their concerts. But The Beatles drew huge crowds to the Budokan…and they held the record for the most consecutive sell-out shows there. They played four sold-out shows in a row at the Budokan.
But KISS beat The Beatles‘s record when they played five sold-out shows at the Budokan on their first Japan tour in the late ’70s.

Since then it’s become quite normal for musicians to perform at the Nippon Budokan. Even with the bigger and newer “Tokyo Dome” not far from the Budokan, upcoming Japanese pop stars still consider it a sign of success to play at the Nippon Budokan…not unlike American musicians playing at the “Madison Square Garden”.

The famous "Nippon Budokan"; Tokyo, Japan

Have you ever seen a KISS concert? If not, you’re missing out on the best live show by any band. Their shows are quite exciting…fire-breathing, blood, flying guitars, flying musicians, outrageous costumes, kabuki-style face paint.

To get an idea, watch this music promotion video for the single “Modern Day Delilah” from their most recent album “Sonic Boom”:

And, in a more good news for us KISS fans…the band has announced that a new KISS studio album of brand-new songs is due out later this year (2011)!

A number of newspapers in Japan had articles about the upcoming KISS tour here.
I bought today’s copy of 「夕刊フジ」 (“Yuukan-Fuji“) evening paper:

Here’s a close-up of the article about KISS:

 

The headline says: "Hell's group" KISS return for a Japan tour after four-and-a-half years!

Lydia Criss interview

23 May

Peter Criss was the original drummer of the hottest band in the world…KISS.
His ex-wife, Lydia Criss, has written an excellent memoir about life with KISS before and during their heyday in the mid-70s.

Lydia Criss was kind enough to do an interesting interview with me.

Ace talked all of us into going shopping at this store in Tokyo that sold only Nazi regalia…

(–Lydia Criss)

Click here to read Lydia Criss’ interview with me.

“Summer Sonic Boom” and Marty Friedman in FANTA band

15 Mar

The American rock band KISS released a new album last autumn titled “Sonic Boom“.

And every summer for the past ten years or so, there is a rock festival in Japan called “Summer Sonic” (actually this is one of the numerous rock festivals in Japan every year).

Well, my good friend Masa told me today that KISS is planning to play at this year’s “Summer Sonic” festival near Tokyo this August to promote their “Sonic Boom” album.

Maybe they’ll call their shows at the festival the “Summer Sonic Boom Tour“. 😉

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If you like heavy metal music you probably recognize the name Marty Friedman.

He used to be the guitarist for the American heavy metal band “Megadeth“.

Marty played on Megadeth's excellent "Countdown To Extinction" album.

Marty Friedman has a Japanese wife and can speak Japanese. When he was a member of Megadeth, he would do all of the band’s media interviews in Japanese when they toured here in Japan (usually Dave Mustaine, the lead singer, does the interviews).

After he quit Megadeth, he and his wife moved to Tokyo (now, like me, he’s an American KISS fan living in Tokyo with his Japanese wife 😉 ).

Now that he lives in Japan, he makes a living by occasionally co-hosting music shows on TV, writing for music magazines, playing in a variety of Japanese bands, and he has released albums of remakes of Japanese songs.

Most recently, he has recorded TV commercial for the Fanta soft drink with three Japanese musicians and Akenono, the former 横綱 (Sumo Grand Champion).

In these commercials, Marty Friedman and the others (who are all famous in Japan…actually, Marty Friedman is the least famous of the five in Japan) are in a “FANTA” rock band.

Since they are all musicians in real life except Akebono (the former sumo champion)…in the commercials, Akebono plays the drums but always messes up.

The reason that these five celebrities were chosen for the “FANTA band” is that the first initial of each member’s name spells F.A.N.T.A.
They are: Marty Friedman (guitar), Ayanocozey (sometimes called “DJ OZMA”) (bass), Nana Tanimura (vocals), Takamizawa (aka: Takamiy (of the Japanese band “The Alfee“)) (guitar), and Akebono (drums (and “bodyguard” 🙂 )).

These commercials are to promote the new Fanta drink in Japan…”Moo Moo White“.
(Click here to read the post I wrote about this drink.)

Here a video of the TV commercial that Fanta released (it doesn’t show who the band members are…in an attempt to build up anticipation):

And here’s the latest one (Akebono, the sumo wrester / drummer drops his drum sticks):

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Also, in Japan, yesterday was the holiday “White Day“.

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Bruce Kulick interview…deuce

21 Feb

On 2008 September 1, I did an interview with former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick.

Well, he has released an excellent new album and agreed to do a second interview with me.

Bruce Kulick's "BK3" album cover.

Click here to read my second interview with Bruce Kulick.

I did experience more about the (Japanese) culture than most (people) would…

[Bruce Kulick]

Read my second interview with Bruce Kulick.

Car recall isn’t an issue in Japan

31 Jan

In America and China many 「トヨタ」 (Toyota) cars are being recalled because there’s a possibility that an ill-fitting floor mat can cause the accelerator pedal to stick which could cause an accident.
And now 「ホンダ」 (Honda) cars overseas are being recalled too.

I heard that Toyota and Honda dealers in those countries are losing a lot of potential business because the public has become hesitant to trust the safety of those cars now.

「トヨタ」 (Toyota)

「ホンダ」 (Honda)

This issue isn’t an issue at all in Japan.

Most Japanese feel that the cars being recalled overseas are different because they were made in America or China.
Japanese cars in Japan are made here…and anything “Made in Japan” is seen as superior in quality and safety.
So, Toyota and Honda dealers here in Japan aren’t feeling the affects of the recall overseas at all.

In fact, Toyota is the best-selling car in Japan…and has been for many years.

Has your image of Japanese cars changed because of this recall?

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On a totally unrelated subject…
I found out that Gene Simmons (of the rock band KISS) did a TV commercial in America for the Dr. Pepper soft drink.
His son is also in the commercial.

As I don’t live in America, I don’t normally watch America TV…but thanks to the internet in general, and YouTube specifically, I was able to see it.

It’s here:

Do you live in America? Have you seen this commercial on TV before?

In Japan, KISS has done a few TV commercials too.
I wrote a post about them last year. Click here to see that post.

Mister Donuts Japan’s 40th

16 Jan

This post is about Mister Donuts Japan, but first I wanted to mention an email I just received from Michael Doret.

He’s the artist who painted the 1976 KISS album cover “Rock And Roll Over” and he also painted their album cover for last year’s “Sonic Boom“.

He did two interviews with me.
In my post about the second interview, I wrote a comment about an email he sent me last month about prints of the albums covers that are signed by both him and the band (KISS).

Click here to read that comment I wrote.

In the email that I received from Michael Doret yesterday he sent me a photo of KISS holding the prints and he wrote to me:

Just in case you were interested, I thought I’d share with you a photo that was just taken of KISS helping to promote my limited edition prints.

I hope you had a great New Years!

Best,
Michael

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Anyways, 2010 January 27 will be the 40th anniversary of the day the first “Mister Donuts” store opened in Japan.

「ミスタードーナツ」 (“Mister Donuts“) is an American chain that is very popular in Japan.
It seems that this chain wasn’t so popular in America, though…and the U.S. stores were bought out by rival chain “Dunkin’ Donuts”, which has more success in America.

Ironically, it’s the other way around in Japan.
Dunkin’ Donuts” failed in Japan because Japanese people found their donuts too sweet so they closed up all their stores here years ago.
「ミスタードーナツ」 (“Mister Donuts“), being less sweet and more simpler, appeal to Japanese.
「ミスタードーナツ」 (“Mister Donuts“) in Japan is owned by a Japanese company so the menu is tailored to Japanese taste. They even sell Chinese food in their Japanese stores.

One of their best-selling donuts in Japan is the simple “Old Fashioned” donuts.
There are a few varieties of this one. I like the 「オールドファッションハニー」 (“Honey Old Fashioned“).

So, to celebrate 「ミスタードーナツ」 (“Mister Donuts“)’s forty years in Japan, this month they’re giving away “Lucky Cards” to customers who spend ¥600 or more.

These are scratch cards. When you scratch them, it tells how many “points” you won (either 3, 5, 40 or 150 points).

The points can be collected and redeemed for prizes such as a dish set, coffee cup, stuffed toy, cell-phone strap, donuts, etc.

Click here to see the prizes they offer.