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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART FIFTEEN B - JAPAN 1981

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse

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A few weeks later (although it could have been longer) we headed off to Japan. I had already noticed the new people we were picking up along the way in Europe, but it meant nothing to me then.

Colin Claydon had replaced Stuart and one of the Trust crew was on board but I had no idea why. Having had a brief get together with my ex and thinking things were ok, I found out the night before we flew to Japan that she'd be seeing someone else. I was devastated and when I told Dave lights, the two of us sat on the underground to Heathrow crying our eyes out.

The flight out to Japan was almost like a bus trip. We flew from Heathrow to Stuttgart, which was a short stop over so we didn't leave the plane. Then Stuttgart to Karachi where we had a fuel stop. This was going to take a couple of hours so a few of us got off the plane to check out the local airport.

Article continues below...

   


We couldn't go very far because our boarding passes wouldn't allow it. This is where most of us realised we had overdressed.

The heat was unbelievable. I got off the plane in tracksuit bottoms, sweat shirt and tour jacket. I got back on the plane, with all those items over my arm. Luckily, back then, I always wore shorts but I won't forget the heat. Oh yeah, local time that day was 4.00am.

Next stop was Bangkok where we also had to refuel. I really don't remember much about the place. As we weren't allowed out of the airport we headed to the nearest bar as usual. Well, we are British (mostly) after all.

That was when I saw what I can only describe as something you only see in a film. That hazy, humid, smoky effect you would sometimes see in a 1950s movie. Almost like walking into a bar that has a small cloud in it. That was exactly what I witnessed. It's hard to explain, but I hope you understand.

Next stop Tokyo, Narita Airport. And I wasn't expecting this. None of us were. Thousands of fans were waiting for us. I have to admit they were mostly girls, but a third were boys/guys (you choose).

The fans swamped the airport and it all got a little scary for a while. We had to have a police escort from baggage claim to the main exit where we had a fleet of transit type mini buses waiting to take us to our hotel.

That didn't stop the fans though. They chased us everywhere.

The journey from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo took a couple of hours and what I remember most about the journey, although we were on a motorway, was a high wall or fence in between the south bound and north bound traffic, so all you could see was what was going on in front of you.

After spending two hours of looking at the number plate in front of us we finally burst into downtown Tokyo and, shortly after, arrived at our hotel, The Keio Plaza. For the next ten days this was going to be our base, but not home. I shall explain, eventually.

Having arrived at our hotel we were told to stay inside the vehicle until it was safe due to the amount of fans outside the entrance. This took another fifteen minutes then, finally, one by one we were led to the hotel entrance. Once inside the lobby things calmed down a bit.

The hotel itself was a massive piece of twin tower construction with its swimming pool somewhere around the 30th floor. Most of us were given rooms in one of the towers but we were much higher than the swimming pool. The view from the hotel window was staggering.

As we were handed our keys the noise outside was deafening and it was really odd to hear people calling my name while making that short journey from the van to the hotel reception.

I spoke to Lightsy about it later in my room and he heard the fans saying "Roopy" as much as I heard them say "Dave Rights". We had arrived and in a bigger way than any of us had expected.

An hour later most of us congregated in the basement hotel bar where we met the promoter, Udo.

This guy was fantastic. If you wanted anything he would find it. He told us all to order some food but suggested we try a steak sandwich. Of course it didn't take much working out. Having spent the last 26 hours on a plane a steak sandwich was perfect. I had three and, as Udo was footing the bill and at $7 a sandwich I was getting my money's worth.

While we ate Udo went through the itinerary with us and introduced us to a lot of his main people. It was a great meeting and we knew where we stood. Not much time for sightseeing, but we were there on business.

He also told us the best places to go for a drink, clubbing, and also told us about a friend of his that ran a bar called the Lexington Queen in the downtown area of Tokyo called Rippongi.

Doing as we were told, we went off and found the bar only to be confronted by the owner, an Englishman, who had been expecting us. We could tell by the pints set up along the front of the bar and the Tequila slammers just behind. Again, all this was organised and paid for by Udo.

Not far from the Lexington Queen was a disco building. That's the only description I can think of. You get in a lift, you press which floor you want and when it arrives at your chosen floor, you walked into a disco. But they were all differently themed. One floor would be rock; another would be disco, etc.

We only had a small amount of rehearsal time in Tokyo so were tucked away in a room on the seventh floor of a building in the city centre.

Being curious of our surroundings, I ventured up to the roof and was blown away by what I found. I had no idea that baseball was such a big thing in Japan, or even golf, but wherever I looked, there were practise nets. I guess they had to practise somewhere, I just didn't expect it a couple of hundred feet up. Just goes to show how little we know about other cultures I guess.

The whole Japanese tour set up was a bit weird but we learned a lot from our ten day stay.

Firstly, each show started at about 4.30pm and was usually finished by 6.00pm. The load-in time was always from about 8.00am but we found at the first gig, in Tokyo itself, that there were a lot of people with note pads following you about.

The Japanese crew were quite happy to watch you set up but they were constantly making notes. And these notes were a kind of blueprint for the coming shows. And the attention to detail was quite astonishing. I remember the lights being focused and there was a guy making notes of where each beam of light hit the stage.

I cleaned my cymbals and had a guy take note of everything I did.

To cut a long story short, every gig we did in Japan was set up before we got there. Even the drum kit was set up the way I wanted it, but maybe not Clive.

As I said, we were only there for ten days but the experience will last forever.

Most mornings we were on a Bullet train at 5.00am travelling from one city to the next. Being used to home comforts I was expecting a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie at that time in the morning. No chance, or more appropriately, not a sausage.

The only thing available was sushi, which you could purchase from a guy on the platform costing about £5 for eight tiny bits of rice rolled up with raw fish. As it happens, I'm allergic to seafood so I went without.

There was also no trolley dolly on this service so, by the time we reached our destination, I was seriously hungry.

The journey out of Tokyo to Nagoya will be remembered by me mostly for the time it took to leave Tokyo itself. This city is so large; it took an hour from a three hour journey to finally leave.

Then we passed Mount Fuji, a spectacular sight, but then travelling at 200mph you still don't get a decent shot.

After shows in Nagoya and Osaka where we had our first real encounter with Adrian's alter ego (Melvin), it was time to head back to Tokyo where we did two last shows at the Sun Plaza, then it was Sayonara, Japan.

Udo, being the gent he was, made sure that everyone was given a parting gift. And, with our gifts loaded, it was time to say goodbye. By the time we reached the airport the fans had been camping out. There were thousands there to wave us off. I still think back on those days with fond admiration.

I loved the way we were treated like kings, yet we hadn't really done anything to merit that. With only two albums under the band's belt this was a sign that things would be getting better.

And yes, Paul really did introduce the song as 'Lunning Flee'.

****************************



Keith Wilfort is a big name in the early history of Iron Maiden. Keith was one of the band's first ever true fans, 'inventor' of the first ever Iron Maiden t-shirt and became the band's first ever fan club secretary.

Keith is not in good shape at the moment and is in hospital in California where he now lives and requires open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.

He's had to have his teeth removed in preparation for the surgery and to save him from further infection. The surgery will almost certainly go ahead today (Friday 21st February).

The after care and medication alone will cost thousands of dollars and donations from the Metal community are coming in thick and fast to the GoFundMe page that Keith's family have set up. You can visit the page and donate by clicking here.

Two people have made anonymous donations of $1000 each and although Keith is in high spirits, he wants his teeth back so he can swear at everyone properly.

The band have been informed, and Metallica have also been alerted, due to the connection between the bands over the years.

So far the donations have hit $3,500, which is staggering in three days.

Keith and his family are updating his Facebook page with all developments and you can follow them by clicking here.


Click here for the Loopyworld index, including Steve's tribute to Clive Burr...




21.1.14


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sanctuary SANCTUARY RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'FROZEN'
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guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES TO RELEASE 3D CONCERT 'APPETITE FOR DEMOCRACY 3D: LIVE AT THE HARD ROCK CASINO - LAS VEGAS' INTERNATIONALLY
This is the first official Guns N' Roses live concert film since 1992's 'Use Your Illusion' concert video and features brand new live performances of classic GN'R tracks...

blues pills BLUES PILLS KICK OFF THEIR HEADLINING EUROPEAN TOUR
The three month tour takes in seven UK dates, including an upgraded venue in Manchester...

tesseract TESSERACT SIGN TO KSCOPE
The band have a new creative energy after reuniting with singer Dan Tompkins and have already written half of their third album, the follow up to 'Altered State', slated for a 2015 release...

primordial PRIMORDIAL TO RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH THIS NOVEMBER VIA METAL BLADE RECORDS
"We feel revitalized, the hunger never left and we are ready for another chapter to be written in our history..."

ill nino ILL NIÑO PREMIERE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'I'M NOT THE ENEMY'
The video tells a bold story of youthful injustice, overcoming social stereotypes and the dreams of constructing a better life...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND LAUNCHES ZTV AND NEW ZILTOID SITE
"I'm really excited to present to you the new Ziltoid website, and the first of three ZTV episodes leading up to the album release..."

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST OPEN US TOUR WITH NEW SONGS AND CLASSICS: SPOILER ALERT - FULL SETLIST HERE
The legendary British Metallers are touring in support of of their new 'Redeemer Of Souls' album...

tony wright TONY WRIGHT RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM 'THOUGHTS 'N' ALL' ON 17TH NOVEMBER
The Terrorvision frontman has made a personal, heartfelt and passionate reflection of his journey...

off PUNK/HARDCORE LUMINARIES OFF! RETURN TO THE ROAD
There will be six UK dates before the band head off to mainland Europe...

queensryche BREAKING NEWS: QUEENSRYCHE ANNOUNCED AS HARD ROCK HELL VIII HEADLINERS
Following the official cancellation of W.A.S.P., Hard Rock Hell are pleased to announce that Queensryche will be stepping up to the top slot...

motorhead LEMMY TALKS TO FULL METAL JACKIE ABOUT HIS HEALTH, THE NEXT ALBUM AND THE MOTORBOAT CRUISE
Lemmy Kilmister was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show this weekend...

hellion HELLION ANNOUNCE NEW 'KARMA'S A BITCH' MINI ALBUM & SINGLE
Hellion's strongest line-up to date unleash first new material in over a decade...

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY RELEASES 'SOUNDTRACKS OF MY LIFE' DVD
Blaze and backing band Absolva are captured in a performance celebrating 30 years in the business for Blaze...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH TO RECORD NEW ALBUM AND DO ONE FINAL TOUR
Just as we told you back in May, Black Sabbath's Hyde Park performance on 4th July was not the last ever Sabbath gig...

def leppard DEF LEPPARD ROCK THE NFL AT WEMBLEY
A stage was set up on the pitch with the band performing in front of beautiful cheerleaders...

slipknot SLIPKNOT RELEASE 'THE DEVIL IN I' OFFICIAL VIDEO
Find out more about the new masks as the build up to the release of '.5:The Gray Chapter' continues...

sy keeler ONSLAUGHT'S SY KEELER TO SIT OUT FORTHCOMING US/CANADA/SOUTH AMERICA TOUR
Ex Anthrax legend Neil Turbin steps into the breach as the health issues of Sy Keeler's son mean he is needed at home...

vivian cambell VIV CAMPBELL TO UNDERGO STEM CELL TREATMENT
Trixter guitarist Steve Brown will fill in for Def Leppard's autumn dates...

haken HAKEN LAUNCH 'DARKEST LIGHT' VIDEO
"We've managed to chop the old song in half, cut away all the excess fat and produce a 6 minute rowdy riff roller-coaster that will surely find a home in the heavier side of our live show..."

the dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE 'THE FACE I LOVE' VIDEO
Get a look at the title track of the new EP here. A new album will follow in 2015...

primordial PRIMORDIAL ANNOUNCE UK DATES IN FEBRUARY 2015
There will also be an album launch in Dublin in November for 'Where Greater Men Have Fallen'...

protokult SING ALONG TO 'GET ME A BEER!' LYRIC VIDEO BY PROG FOLK METALLERS PROTOKUL
"For those of you who can't understand what the hell Martin is spewing, now is your chance to sing along! Get yourself a cold one and enjoy!"...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DVD/CD WITH CLASSIC AND RARE PERFORMANCES
"It's still hard for me to find the words when remembering that half the incredible band who originally recorded the 'Slide It In' album with me have passed away," says Coverdale...

metal church VOCALIST RONNY MUNROE QUITS METAL CHURCH
The band posted a statement on their official Facebook page assuring fans that the band is alive and well and that "big announcements" are expected soon...

bloodbath BLOODBATH STREAM FIRST NEW TRACK FEATURING NICK HOLMES AND REVEAL ALBUM TRACKLISTING
Sweden's masters of horror Bloodbath are set to release their fourth album of supreme death Metal, 'Grand Morbid Funeral', on 17th November 2014...

ac/dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, 'ROCK OR BUST', AND CONFIRM DEPARTURE OF MALCOLM YOUNG
AC/DC have announced details of their 17th studio album, their first for six years and their first ever not to feature Malcolm...

lordi LORDI RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM 'SCARE FORCE ONE'
Tour dates to follow for the Finnish sensations. "The overall sound of the band is more modern this time, and we've tried out some new tricks here and there..."

bloodstock CANNIBAL CORPSE WILL PLAY AN EXCLUSIVE UK SHOW AT BLOODSTOCK 2015
Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Ihsahn join the line-up that also includes Within Temptation and Opeth...

helix HELIX ANNOUNCE TOUR OF EUROPE
This will be the first Euro tour for Helix since heading out with Kiss and Ian Gillan in the 1980s...

threshold THRESHOLD DISCUSS HOW THEY FOUND THE NEW ALBUM ARTWORK ON THE INTERNET
Damian Wilson and Richard West discuss Threshold's new album 'For The Journey', out today...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS RELEASE 'THIS IS ROCK N ROLL II' IN ADVANCE OF NOVEMBER TOUR
Re-packaged, re-styled and with 4 bonus tracks, the rare 2001 classic from The Quireboys will be available on 23rd October...

gwar GWAR REVEAL TWO NEW MEMBERS - BLÓTHAR AND VULVATRON
Meet the latest warriors to don the latex and styrofoam and join the intergalactic crew for Gwar's "Eternal" tour...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY SIGN TO NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT
The journey continues for one of the groundbreaking Metal bands of our time, with new material to be released in 2015...

tank TANK BEGIN WORK ON NEW ALBUM; BAND CONFIRMED FOR BANG YOUR HEAD
The band are scheduled to enter the studio in November with a release planned for early February...

blitzallica DIAMOND HEAD TO HEADLINE COUNTY DURHAM'S BLITZALLICA IN OCTOBER
Plus legendary Metal party band Dumpy's Rusty Nuts and old favorites Holosade who are reforming especially for this headbanging estravaganza...

saille SAILLE COMMENT ON FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM
"'Eldritch' differs quite a bit from our two previous albums," keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen says...

winger WINGER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BETTER DAYS COMIN'
Winger have released a new music video - the title track from their Billboard chart breaking album...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX ANNOUNCE SIX HEADLINE SHOWS IN EUROPE
This Autumn, Voodoo Six will play six headline shows in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES DECEMBER UK TOUR
Schenker will perform songs from the new album, which features the new single, 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely' plus all the classics...

johnny thunders LOOKING FOR JOHNNY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY THUNDERS MOVIE TO BE RELEASED NEXT MONTH
When Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23rd 1991, he left behind a mystery...

metallica METALLICA TO RELEASE 27 LIVE ALBUMS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND APPEAR IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS
To commemorate the anniversary of the LiveMetallica.com site, the band are offering CDs and LPs of every gig they played in 2014...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS AND THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOURS
Kobra And The Lotus will be kicking off their Headline Tour on 24th September in support of their latest record 'High Priestess'...

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