Auguri Cafe

At the Amusement Park near Mount Fuji on 24th Wednesday August

At 9:30 a.m., we set out from our hotel in Akasaka and made our way to the Limousine Bus Station in Shinjuku where we were to catch the limousine bus to Lake Yamankako in the Mount Fuji area. It was a lot of luggage to carry again. The journey to Shinjuku involved travelling in the underground trains and there were a lot of staircases to climb up and down carrying our grear. When we got off the underground and got up to ground level, it was a long long walk to the Limousine Bus Station and by the time we arrived all of us were exhausted. We got to the Limousine Bus Station with time to spare and we found ourselves something to eat and waited for our bus to arrive. Our rendezvous was the Amusement Park near Mount Fuji. The bus journey would take some two hours. The scenary en route was beautiful but all of us soon feel asleep. The pattern of falling asleep during travel was to repeat itself over and over again. When we arrived at our rendezvous, we shifted all our luggage from the bus and waited for Oya san and Takatani san to arrive. They arrived shortly in two vans full of gear for the show and we set off for our show at the Auguri Cafe. It took an hour and a half to get there and we fell asleep again on the way.

 

The Auguri Cafe was in the country side amdist farms and agricultural land. The surrouding was breath-taking beautiful. There were open fields everywhere. Ding san started screaming soon after we arrived.

There was tree house round the back of the cafe. And we all had half a mind to climb up to have a look at the view from the top.

 

By the we got to Auguri Cafe, we started setting up our gear : the drum kit, the P.A., the guitar amps, the bass amp, the mixing desk, the P.A. speakers and all the rest of it. We basically started from scratch. By the time we had the gear properly set up and did our sound check it was nearly time to get started, no time to eat anything; we had some ice cream though. Soul Mates and my band were to play on the night.

 

As usual, Soul Mates did a stunning set playing Standard Jazz, Fusion Jazz, Blues and Folk music. Join them was an incredible hard player Sewa san. Sewa san came third in the world haromica competition and he was really cracking. He simply was fantastic on Blues harp.

We were quite exhausted before we got on stage and when it was our turn to play, we had to muster all our concentration and energy to play. It took a bit of time before we really got into the music. We played for over an hour before Masa Oya san, Takatani san and Sewa san joined us on stage and had big jam. We really had a good time towards the end. We could have done better on stage, but given the circumstances, we did our best and
 

 

The Agurui show was a memorable one indeed. It was always great to play with fantastic players like Takatani san, Oya san and Sewa san. Besides that, it was one of the most difficult shows I have so far played in Japan. The shifting of heavy gear, travelling over a prolonged preiod of time and setting up the stage all took their toll. Even before we got on stage, we were practically exhausted. That night we stayed at the JVC/Victor Studio.

JVC/Victor Studio

Going to JVC/Victor Studio always feel like going home. To me, this is where it all started : this is the place where I recorded my first recording Play My Blues back in 1995 and this was the place I first met Masa Oya san through the introduction of Kazuo Takeda san. My two week stay at JVC/Victor Studio in 1995 shaped and changed my life in the years to come. If someone were to ask me, I will say this is where it all began. After the JVC experience, I began to feel playing music is what I wanted in life, arguing mult-million dollar cases in Court just wasn't the same anymore, winning an important case never gave me the thrill and satisfaction it used to give me and being a barrister-at-law did not have quite the same sense of importance to me as it once had. I used to throw every ounce of energy into every case I was working on unquestioningly. I often worked till way after mid-night as I had a busy practice. After JVC, I began to ask questions. Did I really like what I was doing? What meaning did it have working over 12 hours a day preparing a case? Did I really want to do this for the rest of my life? Would I be rather doing something else? Is there anything else in life apart from arguing cases in Court? Is money all that important? The seeds of revolt were planted at JVC Studio. They eventually blossomed. Some say it is bitter fruit I grew for myself, many say I was such a fool to give up my lucrative legal pratice, others say what a waste. Behind my back, some said they always knew there was something in me and I would blow it some day. I packed in my legal practice after 18 and a half years. The only regret that I had was I did not pack it in 10 years earlier.

The next day we were to go back to Tokyo to catch the Bullet Train to Osaka. We thought the journery from Tokyo to Mount Fuji was tough, but nothing prepared us for the journey from JVC/Studio to Osaka.

To the next show : Page One at Osaka