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Home of rock’n roll in Japan

Date Posted: 2001-06-08

The best time that I had on Okinawa was at the 1985/86 New Year’s Eve Rock Concert that took place on Ikei Island, where the Big Time Resort now stands. There were a lot of bands on the ticket with the headliner being Murasaki. Four of my friends and I loaded up our car with B-BQ and a cooler full of “refreshments” and headed for the venue. We got there a little early so we were able to get up close to the stage. The show started at 8:00pm and the party lasted until around six the next morning with Murasaki closing out the show. It was an awesome time and the best way to bring in a new year. The next day Murasaki was flying to New York to do some shows there.

After that I would try to go see Murasaki as often as I could at, what was then the best live house on Okinawa, the Cannon Club on B.C. Street. There were a lot of good bands that played there but the mainstay had to be Murasaki.

You could always count on Condition Green to give you a show that you could never forget when they performed live. The head crazy man was Katchan. The first time that I saw some of his antics was at the 1988 Peaceful Love Rock Festival. This was when you could still bring your own coolers to the show!! He came out on stage with a hospital gown on. After a couple of songs he hoisted his guitarist up on his shoulders, a miniature Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the guy started playing upside down while Katchan was spinning around and as he was spinning we were exposed to Katchan’s bare naked butt. He didn’t have anything on under his gown!! Then there was, what is now one of his signature moves, the time that he drank beer out of a shoe that belonged to someone in the audience.

Marie with Madusa would often play for us at the East Coast Live in Kinville. You can still get a glimpse of some of the Okinawa rock icons in action at places like Jet and Jack Nasty’s but, just as time must move on so does rock and roll and it’s styles. As we get ready to say goodbye to the oldest rock bar in Okinawa, the old East Coast in Kin (scheduled for demolition in a couple months), new live houses such as The Hideaway, The Zone, Fujiyama and Seventh Heaven now play host to Zero Faith (who has their own version of a modern day Katchan, Jack who has his own way of performing), Jesus Chrysler, 8 Ball, Mongul 800, New Murasaki and countless other bands trying to achieve their own legendary status. I think that it is safe to say that Okinawa was, is and always will be the “Home of Rock and Roll in Japan!!!”

Happy Rock Day Okinawa!!


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