So every year Mods run amok all around Japan. They've been doing so for nearly 30 years ever since the first Mods Mayday scooter run in 1980 or '81. I find myself endeared to this custom, not for being a Mod myself or for any real reason in particular. I just love the coming of Spring and I have an affinity for Mod culture and the music and style of the 6t's. Well, since I had begun doing Mystery Mondays, I had planned for a special homage of my own. I checked the calendar this year and lo and behold, my birthday had fallen on a Monday, the last Monday of May to be exact! So while all my mates in the States were off for Memorial Day, I had a birthday bash with some Japanese garage bands and dubbed my party "The Last Days of May!"
After an initial set of British invasion music by myself and some northern soul by Japanese DJ extraordinaire Harry the Hempstead Heath, the event was sparked by THE MADAME CATS, and their blur of Showa pop/girl garage tunes... They brought a number of the boys in the crowd to their knees calling for an encore and more!
Much like the little drummer boy bringing song as their only gift, THEEE BAT came on stage playing not only their version of the "Batman Theme" but extending their set to include my favorite tunes like the Stooges' " I Wanna Be Your Dog" which they called me onstage to howl along to, as well as my all-time favorite "Sometimes the Good Guys Don't Wear White" by The Standells. And then dragging back up to the mic for "Neat Neat Neat," The Damned classic which I had requested they play more over soup at a friend's house just a few weeks earlier!
Usually a listless Monday, the MINNESOTA VOODOO MEN pressed the manic button! Straight off their stint in the weekend's Mods Mayday at Sendai City, they gave it 110% and ran the show into over time! Amidst a birthday ordinance of tequila shots (of course while playing "Tequila") and classics & originals from their own set, random guests from THEEE BAT, THE MADAME CATS and even THE MERCIES grabbed the VOODOOMEN's instruments and took over while they presumably filled their cups and got back to business! Wild girls dancing onstage, drunk freaks in the crowd, Fabian hanging from the rafters, this recalled the early days seeing them in Tokyo after my first arrival nearly five years ago! And now, on a Monday no less, and on my birthday! The magic has not gone anywhere!
Special thanks to the staff of CLUB HEAVY SICK in Tokyo, DJ HARRY THE HEMPSTEAD HEATH, THE MADAME CATS, THEEE BAT, MINNESOTA VOODOO MEN and all the friends who came out this spectacular evening... I was unlucky enough to stiff you all and get the last train home!