Everybody should know what group this is! The Golden Cups were one of the top GS groups in the late 1960's in Japan and in my opinion one of the best rock groups ever. I'm only missing three of their 45rpms(although I would like to have them all in Toshiba Red Vinyl) but otherwise I will be ready to do a full review of all their singles on the main Showapop website.
One of my favorite magazines is Hobby Japan, one of Japan's premier modeling magazines. Heck They even had a Manga version of The Clash in the back pages! This Star Wars themed cover is from the July 1983 issue which features these two funky...but very cool...renditions of Darth Vader and two Storm Troopers. What a great cover from the Return of The Jedi era. Hobby Japan is never a let down!
Having learned more about Japanese Group Sounds music over the last few years I was curious about The Beatles opening acts in Japan in their 1966 tour of the country. While most people would know of Jackie Yoshikawa and the Blue Comets, most of the other acts are relatively unknown outside Japan. The Drifters was one of the opening acts for the Beatles and their spirited performance might leave one thinking they were a little to enthusiastic in their show but they were suppose to be. The Drifters were one of Japans comedy groups during the 1960's and 1970's and are still known as being one of the biggest comedy acts in Japan. This is the cover of one of their LP's on Toshiba records and pressed on Red vinyl, typical of Toshiba releases in the 1960's.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful films I never seen is Futari No Ginza (1967). Out of Print in Japan and unavailable on VHS, DVD or any other format has made this film difficult to get my hands on and watch. I've seen the first 10 minutes of the film on Youtube and it blew my mind. Everybody should know by now my deep Love for lead actress and singer Izumi Masako, and this image is just another example of her supreme beauty! This beautiful poster is one of the film posters for Futari No Ginza typical of mid 1960's Japanese film poster styles. I really need to pick one of these up one day...
I've been doing much of a The Clash renaissance lately. I recently remembered that I had a very cool Clash image from the back of one of my Hobby Japan magazines from 1986. It was kind of odd that an illustration would be in the back of a Hobby Magazine but there it was. Apparently the writer/modeler was a punk rock fan and his readers would send him drawings to put in his column in the back of the Hobby Japan. Sadly drummer Topper Headon is missing from the drawing but otherwise it is a top drawing of one of the worlds greatest rock groups.
If you haven't seen GS Wonderland you are seriously missing out on a very great film on Japanese Group sound. The group in the film called The Tightsmen are are nice throwback to such GS groups as The Lions and Ox.
Two CD related items were released for the film, the CD OST with the songs and background music from the film. The second cd was the maxi-single that features the "live" version of their hit Seaside Hotel which does not have the horns present and is keyboard dominate. Also includes Karaoke versions of some of their songs. There will be a longer review on my Showapop.com website when I receive the item.
Leonardo Flores is a Southern California based Film Director and Writer. Some of his articles have been published in There's That Beat rare soul magazine (www.theresthatbeat.com), Collection DX Vintage Japanese and American Toys (www.collectiondx.com)and 60's music magazine Ugly Things. Leonardo also wrote, produced and directed his first feature length film "Young Birds Fly" in 2006.