I love Japan, it’s as simple as that. I have been there a number of times and you really can’t beat the awesomeness of the place. It’s like one giant amusement park with lots of bright lights, nice people and great music. This video below was a segment from a TV show on Japanese culture that was screened on Australian TV about 15 years ago. I think this video is the one thing that kicked off my fascination with Japan. I had been discovering the whole Estrus Records thing with my first purchase of Japanese rock n roll being a 7″ by The’s called ‘I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield’ (ES750), bought purely because I also have a fascination with the life of Jayne Mansfield; my favourite blonde bombshell who sadly saw her fate in a car crash on June 29, 1967 at the young age of 34 (yeah, I am such a Jayne geek that I actually know that). ANYWAY, upon receiving the record in the mail, I played the wax immediately and became intrigued with Japanese rock n roll. There was something cool and quirky about this band, The’s, and I needed to hear more. Oh, and yeah, the drummer’s hot.

One day while shopping in Thrash Grind & Grunge, I was talking to part time worker (and Smash it Up radio host), Dave Manning, about rock n roll and he advised me that on SBS that night (SBS is a TV channel in Australia that shows many foreign shows) there was going to be a special on Japan and in particular, there would be a segment on The’s and Japanese rock n roll. When I got home, I set up the video and recorded this special on Japan. Now, rediscovered on a grubby old VHS tape 15 years later, direct from the Long Gone Loser Archives, I bring to you the highlight of the show… the 10 minute segment that focuses on the lives of The’s.

The’s most notably got some stardom with their cameo in the Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill, where the girls run through renditions of ‘Woo Hoo’, ‘I’m Blue’ and ‘I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield’. It’s good to see the band finally get the recognition they so deserve and I hope it made people search out more great bands from the land of the rising sun because believe me, that country has some of the best rock n roll bands on the planet.

From here, my fascination of Japanese rock n roll grew and I discovered such great bands as Guitar Wolf, The Jet Boys, The Pebbles, Supersnazz, Sit & Spin, Puffy, MAD 3, Boris, Jackie & The Cedrics, Gasoline, Estrella 20/20, The Switch Trout and many more. It’s all good! If you’re not hip, now’s the time. Look ’em up. You’re gonna have a ball!

Estrus Records
Jayne Mansfield


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