Tag Archives: Gene Simmons

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?

************************

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.

Gene Simmons is a werewolf

19 Jan

A new remake of the movie “The Wolf Man” is set to be released in America soon (the Japan release date hasn’t been announced yet).

I never cared much for the 1941 version.

Movie poster for 1941's "The Wolf Man"

But I thought the 1994 movie “Wolf” starring Jack Nicholson was pretty good. (But I almost always like Jack Nicholson movies).

Movie poster for 1994's "Wolf"

But this 2010 remake of “The Wolf Man” looks like it’ll be quite good.

Movie poster for this year's "The Wolf Man"

It stars Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro as the “Wolf man”.
Lon Chaney Jr.’s 1941 “Wolf man” has become a pop culture icon…but with modern special effects and make-up, Benicio Del Toro’s 2010 “Wolf man” looks so much better.

Lon Chaney Jr as the "Wolf Man" in 1941

Benicio Del Toro as the "Wolf Man" in 2010

Anyways, it was reported that when making this 2010 remake of “The Wolfman”, the director wanted the best werewolf howl possible, so he auditioned many people to record them howl…and he finally decided to use the wolf howls of David Lee Roth (of the American rock band “Van Halen“) and Gene Simmons (bassist of the American rock band “KISS“).

***

Another excellent remake of a classic horror film is the 1994 version of “Frankenstein” starring Robert DeNiro.
Have you seen it?

Movie poster for 1994's "Frankenstein"

Boris Karloff as "Frankenstein's monster" and Robert DeNiro's version.

But I was disappointed with the 1992 remake of “Dracula” starring Keanu Reeves.

Movie poster for 1992's "Dracula"

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

+++

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.

The John Lennon Museum is closing

13 Dec

I mentioned a couple of times on this blog that the world’s only official John Lennon Museum is in Saitama, Japan.

(See this post and this one.)

Well, I just found out that due to a declining number of visitors to the museum, it will close in 2010 October.

I’d like to see the John Lennon Museum but I’ve have never visited it yet mainly due to it’s fairly inconvenient location and the ¥1,500 (about US $12) per person admission charge.

But, since it’s scheduled to close in about ten months, I might visit it before then.

The news that the John Lennon Museum will close comes only five days after the 29th anniversary of John Lennon’s death…and also one day after I heard that Wendy’s fast-food restaurant is exiting the Japan market this month (Click here to read my post about Wendy’s Japan closing).

This museum’s closing reminds me of the closing of the Rock And Roll Museum in Tokyo last January.
(I mention it in this post).

Bob Gruen interview

10 Dec

I just added another great interview to my site.

This is an interview that I did with the famous rock ‘n roll photographer Bob Gruen.

Click here to read my interview with Bob Gruen (and my other interviews, as well).

I rented an apartment in Harajuku and spent most of a year there…I like life in Japan very much. I think it is much more civilized than most of the world…

Bob Gruen

Victor Stabin interview

12 Nov

Have you read the interviews I did with a number of interesting people?
They’re on the “Interviews” page of my main website (Click here to visit it).

Well, I just added an interview that I did with Victor Stabin to that page.

Do you know who Victor Stabin is?

He’s the artist who designed the album cover for KISS‘s 1980 release titled “Unmasked“.

stabin-kiss

His artwork is very fascinating.

stabin-turtles

stabin-stamp

I have not listened to KISSUnmasked” since Jesus was in diapers.

Victor Stabin

Victor Stabin’s interview with me is very interesting…Check it out.

My “Interviews” page: Click here
My interview with Victor Stabin: Click here.

KISS are icons

9 Nov

The new KISS album “Sonic Boom” is excellent!

If you haven’t bought it yet…I highly recommend getting it.

sonic-boom

This album is currently at #16 in Billboard magazine‘s “Rock Album” ranking…and #8 in their “Hard Rock Album” ranking.

And it peaked at #1 in both of those categories!

Number one selling album!! I don’t think KISS has ranked that high since the late ’70s!

Also, KISS has been eligible to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame since 1999*.

(* to be eligible, a band’s first album must be at least twenty-five years old. KISS debuted in 1974).

But they’ve always been passed over every year since they became eligible…that is, until now.

KISS have been nominated to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year (in 2010).

In March 2010, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will vote to see which of the twelve nominees will be inducted.

The nominees for 2010 are:

  • KISS
  • ABBA
  • The Chantels
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Genesis
  • The Hollies
  • LL Cool J
  • Darlene Love
  • Laura Nyro
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Stooges
  • Donna Summer

Who do you think should be chosen?

In my opinion, besides KISS only two other acts might be worthy!

unmasked

You Wanted The Best…

8 Oct

KISS was on the American TV show “Late Show With David Letterman” to promote their new album (Click here to read my post about their album).

I haven’t seen the David Letterman show (or any other American TV show) in many years…but thanks to YouTube, I was able to find out about this and watch it!

Here it is:

I got Sonic Boom

19 Sep

As I mentioned in an earlier post (click here to read it), the band KISS has recorded a new album titled “Sonic Boom“.

sonic-boom

"Sonic Boom", 2009

It’s due to be released on 2009 October 6.

Well, thanks to my friend Masa, I was able to get the CD early.
I got it today and listened to it already.

It’s very good!
It’s not their best work…but it’s still a great KISS album.

Gene Simmons, bass player of KISS, said that their new “Sonic Boom” album is similar to classic ’70s albums…in particular, their 1976 album “Rock And Roll Over“…

"Rock And Roll Over", 1976

"Rock And Roll Over", 1976

…and their 1977 album “Love Gun“.

"Love Gun", 1977

"Love Gun", 1977

Personally, I don’t think it’s like either of those or any of their other albums from the 1970s.
I think it sounds more similar to their under-rated 1989 album “Hot In The Shade“…

"Hot In The Shade", 1989

"Hot In The Shade", 1989

I think “Hot In The Shade” is a very good album, and “Sonic Boom” reminds me a bit of it.

Those two albums have another similarity…”Hot In The Shade” is the only album to feature former drummer, the late Eric Carr, singing a new song (he sang vocals on the song “Beth” on the Smashes, Thrashes & Hits album…a song which the original KISS drummer, Peter Criss wrote and sang on).

On “Hot In The Shade“, Eric Carr sang lead vocals for the song “Little Caesar“.

And “Sonic Boom” is the first KISS album to feature current drummer Eric Singer and current lead guitarist Tommy Thayer each singing lead vocals on a new KISS song.
Eric Singer sings on “All For The Glory” and Tommy Thayer sings on the song “When Lightning Strikes“.

The track listing for “Sonic Boom“:

  1. Modern Day Delilah
  2. Russian Roulette
  3. Never Enough
  4. Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)
  5. Stand
  6. Hot & Cold
  7. All For The Glory
  8. Danger Us
  9. I’m An Animal
  10. When Lightning Strikes
  11. Say Yeah

I’d say “Modern Day Delilah” and “All For The Glory” are the best songs on the album. But the whole album’s good!

Also, KISS have new costumes for the Sonic Boom Tour:

KISS 2009

KISS 2009

Top 5

1 Sep

If you had to choose your five favorite movies and five favorite music albums (CDs) of all time…what would they be?
No pondering it for a long time…just off the top of your head write them in the comment section of this post.

As for me, I think I’d choose:

MOVIES

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (starring: Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (starring: Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd)

Die Hard (starring: Bruce Willis)

Die Hard (starring: Bruce Willis)

Dirty Harry (starring: Clint Eastwood)

Dirty Harry (starring: Clint Eastwood)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (starring: Steve Martin, John Candy)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (starring: Steve Martin, John Candy)

Shaun Of The Dead (starring: Simon Pegg)

Shaun Of The Dead (starring: Simon Pegg)

…..

MUSIC

KISS "Double Platinum"

KISS "Double Platinum"

KISS "Revenge"

KISS "Revenge"

Ozzy Osbourne "The Essential Ozzy Osbourne"

Ozzy Osbourne "The Essential Ozzy Osbourne"

Pantera "Reinventing The Steel"

Pantera "Reinventing The Steel"

Queensryche "Operation: Mindcrime"

Queensryche "Operation: Mindcrime"

What are your “Top Five“?