October 24, 2010
大江慎也 & ザ. ルースターズ/ Oe Shinya & The Roosters
1983/84. The beating heart of The Roosters, Oe Shinya is at the end of his tether. Whether underlying psychic fragility leads to mental collapse or the wrong kind of drugs (or both)...the signs are all too obvious: the sharp sussed rocker has put down his guitar and taken to lying on a hospital bed on stage, getting up only to dance in an unsettlingly uncoordinated way.
The writing has been on the wall for some while. 1981's magnificent Case of Insanity:
"When my mind's away in the daytime
Watching TV with no sounds
You know I wanna make my life complete
It's harder and harder as time goes on
Oh I don't care, I don't care
'Cause now I'm just a case of insanity"
Ironically, the songs Oe gives The Roosters during the onset of his illness are among his very best. Post-Oe, The Roosters go downhill pretty quickly: lumpen 80s rock interspersed with pointless VU covers in big 80s back-combed hair.
Meanwhile, Oe retreats to his hometown in Kyushu - rumours have him tilling the earth and/or teaching in a cram school - working on his recovery. He is back in the Roosters / Roosterz on and off but it isn't the same. He returns proper with a brilliant solo album in 1989, Peculiar (anybody who can supply y brawd with a link to this will earn undying love). A long time on the mend, the '00s have seen a triumphant return to form with new material as well as diginified reunion gigs with the original Roosters line-up (Fuji Rock 2004 a notable highlight).
Y brawd had the privilege of a brief chat with the man after his solo outing at Fuji Rock 2006. Standing in a post-gig line to get product signed; sticking out like a sore thumb next to teenage nu wave arrivistes (males in skinny ties) and original fans (females approaching middle-age but still living the dream). Oe-kun seemed quite shocked as y brawd reached the front of the queue and declared admiration in dodgy Japanese. So much so that the great man was moved to stand up and offer a bow of thanks...which of course wasn't on.
Y brawd still doesn't know the Japanese for: "No, sirrah. You are a hero of the Japanese new wave, and you bow to no one".
Time's arrow flies backwards:
01 Good Dreams 
02 Hard Rain 
03 C.M.C. 
04 I'm Swayin' in the Air 
05 Sad Song 
06 She made Me Cry 
07 Case of Insanity 
08 Let's Rock (Dan Dan) 
09 Sitting on the Fence 
10 One More Kiss 
11 Girl Friend 
12 Hey Girl 
13 恋をしようよ 
14 Rosie 
Oddi wrth y brawd