Thursday, April 29, 1999


Goziamas, and Stomu Yamashta from the ancient Samurai village of Edo, now probably better known to you all as Tokyo, the venture capital of this thronging island nation just off the coast of Asia, where w.o.r.k. is the religion of the masses and p.l.a.y. is a dirty four - letter word, unless when used to describe what we are here to do by way of amusing the locals in their nocturnal hours of need. And what needs they have.

This may be the only place on Earth where you can see four well - dressed businessmen, who were earnestly and vociferously discussing some very important matter relating to the day's business, suddenly all rise from the table and proceed to perform what I can only describe as a "starburst" of synchronised falling backwards on their arses, due to copious amounts of alcohol having reached the parts of their beings which control all large motor activities, then pick themselves up in ragged fashion and proceed to continue the addled ritual of bowing and making all the proper motions of necessary Japanese protocol in ending an evening with each other, before bouncing their separate ways into the night. Fascinating culture, and all due to the quest to relieve the six - letter word, s.t.r.e.s.s, which seems to be their other accompaniing deity permanently attached to the first one we mentioned.

No matter, a liberal dose of funk n' soul seems to work wonders too, and we have been getting a warm and wonderful reception to our particular brand here at the new "Sweet Basil" club in the heart of Roppongi, which is the equivalent of London's West End, or New York's Times Square, or maybe Sydney's King's Cross even. Feel free to add your own local analogies to this short list of examples, and submit them to me personally, written on
crisp new banknotes - only one entry per note, please - but make as many entries as you feel necessary. All will be treated in the strictest confidence, reserved usually for the accused and his lawyer, or the sinner and his confessor - after all, we wouldn't want people to know that you're all so rich (or so bored and friendless) that you'd be spending your time and money on things such as this, now - would we?

Which brings me to the subject of our next adventure after this Oriental week of noodles, rice, and raw fish n' chips. Pretty soon we'll be on that long flight back to the land of the setting sun (I refer to the Americas) for a brief "hit" in Philadelphia, and New Haven, where we get a chance to trade war tales with our buddies Tower Of Power for two nights, before getting the next available intercontinental airbus for England, and some throbbing nights in
London (four), Manchester, and Birmingham (six there). I think the guys were a bit taken aback by the tightly - packed itinerary at first, but the thought of all those frequent-flyer miles going virtually round the globe had them all salivating into their cocktails..........or in Fred's case, his lemonade. (As you are no doubt aware, we do this strictly and purely for the love of music and the joy of travel..............and pigs can, in fact fly) However, since Heathrow doesn't as yet allow our porky little friends, unless as rashers of bacon in the terminal caff, we won't be flying any over with us.

So do come and visit us at the Jazz Cafe in London, or Ronnie Scotts in Birming-ham, or the Band-On-The-Wall in Manchester (where we even get a night off to play cards or read) and we guarantee to play some new and different things from last visit, and hopefully you'll furnish us in return with some new jokes or other tokens of appreciation in lieu of the filthy lucre which only the young and greedy, or the old and over-knighted accept for this vocational endeavour. Yes, we really DO do this for you - and to keep fit. Otherwise, we'd be pub - owners, or food critics, run a young ladies' finishing school, be film censors, or something absolutely riveting such as that, and obviously be thoroughly over - weight and underachieved.

Still, there's always that option if YOU don't show up.................................................

Sayonara from the East
(To be continued some time soon)