Youʼre the drummer for one of the most well-known bands on the planet. Itʼs November, 2003, and youʼve just begun a year-long world tour by finishing up 2 sold-out dates in Tokyo in front of 26,000 rabid fans. What do you do now? Do you reach for your pharmaceutical of choice? Do you take advantage of the local lovelies backstage? Or do you just get back on the bus and fire up the game console?
If youʼre Lars Ulrich of Metallica, you grab your new bass player, Rob Trujillo, and go out into the night in search of the Holy Grail of guitar gods. You ask the taxi driver to take you to the Roppongi district, home to nightclubs, seedy love hotels and the occasional Yakuza. There, in a small nondescript club, you jam the night away with one of the finest guitarists the world has never heard of.
For 3 decades, Kyoji Yamamoto has enjoyed a stellar career in his native Japan, first as the leader of the seminal Japanese bands BowWow and Vow Wow, even appearing onstage at the renowned Reading Festival, as a member of the supergroup Phenomena II, and then as a producer and a solo artist. Despite a brief flirtation with international stardom in the 1980s, when Vow Wow relocated to the United Kingdom to ride the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, he has existed in relative obscurity in the West.
City Boy Records (New York) has just released Voyager: The Essential Kyoji Yamamoto, a compilation that, for the first time ever outside of Japan, brings together 13 of the finest guitar instrumentals from Kyojiʼs 3 solo albums on one CD: Mind Arc (1998), Requiem (1999) and Time (2005). With extensive liner notes, never-before-seen photographs and 2 exclusive unreleased downloads, this CD release is the perfect introduction to a musician whose time has finally come.
From the arena-rock sound of “Voyager” to the hauntingly beautiful version of “Ave Maria”; from the Hendrix-inspired “Walrus” to the flamenco rave-up of “Spanish Pirates”; and from the aching blues of “River of Time” to the anthemic “Time (I Have Seen Everything and I Want to Tell You Something),” this CD will take you on a long and unforgettable voyage from Japan to your soul. All you have to do is let Kyoji Yamamoto be your guide.
Link to the Kyoji Yamamoto video for “Spanish Pirates” on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U84szTNrBGQ
The CD is available at www.cityboyrecords.biz . City Boy Records PO Box 684 Syracuse, NY 13201
Downloads available at iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and more.