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Airs Rock Video Bootleg Store: Tokyo Japan

4 Mar

Airs Rock Video store in Shinjuku in something of an institution. When I first visited the store in the late 90’s I could not believe how cool it was. Airs Rock, and many other stores like it were in the same vicinity and stocked live concert bootlegs. Back then it was VHS tapes and CD’s. All artists were available but the majority were rock. They used to have TV’s with VCR’s and head-phones set-up and I would spend hours happily watching rare live concerts from some of my favourite bands.

DVD’s ultimately replaced the VHS tape, but the theme of the shop and its competitors remained the same. Bootlegs baby ! Most major rock artists who toured Tokyo visited the store and happily obliged for photos and autographs. Many of them adorn the walls and it’s quite an impressive collection. Recently i went in search for the Shinjuku based store only to find it had moved, and to much smaller premises as well. They still have about four floors worth discovering. But it;s a sign of the times folks and with the rampant downloading of music showing o signs of being halted (and the popularity of youtube), I fear the Airs Rock Videos store’s days are numbered. They are still an amazing store and a place you should check out when you visit Tokyo. Take the West exit at Shunjuku station and turn right.  You will come to a major intersection (shinjukuogado dori) bit keep walking straight ahead. It’s on the left hand side of the road, about seven minutes walk from that busy intersection. When you start to see other CD and Record stores you know you’re in the right area. Check some additional youtube footage here.


Concert Guide in Japan

6 Feb

Many years back, it was quite difficult to locate a decent source of upcoming rock shows. Magazines and newspapers were the go. Nowadays, things are much easier via the internet. If you are living in Japan and wishing to regularly check some sites for upcoming live shows, these ones listed are quite decent. If you like Hard Rock and Metal, you should also get a copy of the magazine Burnn, which contains a thorough gig guide as well. If punk is your bag, read through Doll Magazine as they include a gig guide too.

Beady Eye Are Touring Japan

21 Jan

Just got word that Beady Eye (Oasis minus Noel) will be hitting Japan in May for their first tour here. Doing the clubs too ! By my recking it’s two years since Oasis played here and we here at Japanavision and well happy !

below are the full tour dates and details courtesy of

OSAKA: Zepp Osaka
Doors open: 6pm / Show start: 7pm
Ticket: ¥6,500 (tax incl. / 1F: Standing / 2F: Seats / Plus 1 drink charge)
INFO: 06-6535-5569 (SMASH WEST) / MEDIA: FM 802

NAGOYA: Zepp Nagoya
Doors open: 6pm / Show start: 7pm
Ticket: ¥6,500(tax incl. / 1F: Standing / 2F: Seats / Plus 1 drink charge)

TOKYO: Zepp Tokyo
Doors open: 6pm / Show start: 7pm
Ticket: ¥6,500 (tax incl. / 1F: Standing / 2F: Seats / Plus 1 drink charge)
INFO: 03-3444-6751 (SMASH) / MEDIA: J-WAVE

Oasis in the Japan Music Press

27 Jul

Just back from Japan with a bunch of Oasis collectables packed in the suit case. I thought I would make an update on the previous Oasis-Japan post as it never ceases to amaze me just how much the boys are adored over there. Whilst driving, I heard ‘Lyla’, ‘Let There Be Love’ and ‘Falling Down’ on different stations. I’d be hard pressed to hear bloody Wonderwall on my local Golden Oldies station, yet in Japan they spin ‘Lyla’ ! Too cool ! I also added to my Oasis Japanese Magazine collection and thought I would share. The magazines which feature Oasis gracing the cover are a collectable item all to themself and deserve further investigation. You know what’s cool about this topic ? Oasis may not even be touring or have a new album out, yet they still manage to make the magazine covers ! In my opinion, that speaks volumes for the band’s popularity in Japan. Check out the attached images from magazines dating back to 1994 – all of which feature Noely G, Liam, or the band. Rockin On, Cross Beat, In Rock and Music Life have all featured Oasis heavily. Of particular interset is Cross Beat from 2005 which in itself is a magazine (nearly 200 pages) which is ALL Oasis ! Rockin On from November 2008 even has a large color photo spread of the infamous (and cowardly) Canadian stage attack on Noel. Japan (like the UK) print awesome magazines on Oasis…the ones mentioned here are some to look out for when you visit Japan you when you’re next on eBay !

The Oasis – Japan relationship….

23 Apr

British Rock kings Oasis have always been held in high regard with the Japanese fans – it’s a relationship which has never really been analysed – until now. I am a fan of both subjects, so thought I would post my thoughts ! Why do the Japanese love Oasis ? Great songs ? Absolutely. Great musicians ? Definitely. But it goes further than that. The fascination with western pop and rock music dates back to the 50’s. The Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan etc have all enjoyed immense popularity in Japan. For some artists, the popularity is fleeting, whilst others (particularly artists like John Lennon) remain consistently appealing to new generations of fans. Oasis are the same. When the boys first played the clubs in 1994 it was pure chaos, with wild scenes not witnessed since rabid Beatlemania circa 64. The band was followed constantly and if you’ve seen some of the images of the fans crowding the bullet trains which the band was on, you’ll know what I mean. Since then, Oasis pretty much conquered the planet, with subsequent tours of Japan almost always sold-out. Liam and Noel are constantly gracing magazine covers like In-Rock, or Cross Beat – even when they are not actually touring Japan. Most recently, the video clip for Acquiesce was of a distinctly Japanese flavour – i.e. the young guy who digs karaoke and sings Liam-style. I for one thought this video clip was superb ! I recently followed the band on the 2009 shows and had a blast. Whether it was meeting up with fans outside venues or on trains – it was a memorable experience to treasure. When I arrived in Nagoya I went to the Tourist shop and the attendant asked ‘Are you here for Oasis? ! Then when I get to my hotel and flick on the TV – bam! – it was Oasis live – (Wembley 10/08) ! How cool is that ! Merch stands in Japan are usually an orderly affair where fans queue up politely to purchase tour items. Often, you will find bootleg merch stands outside venues whish sell an assortment of Oasis related items (see image above). I purchased a bootleg shirt which – at 2500 yen – was cheaper than the official shirt and a much cooler design (I am not condoning this activity as the band miss out on profits – but in saying that, I reckon it’s been ages since Oasis have printed a really cool tour shirt !). Often, in the bigger cities like Tokyo and Osaka, they will have an Oasis themed night to co-incide with the tour – so look out for that. The Japanese love and will continue to love Oasis – even when the band decide to call it quits. It is as simple as that. If you are an Oasis fan and you want to experience the band in a totally unique place where they are adored – save your money for the next Japan tour !

Japan – Where Sid Vicious Still Lives !

7 Apr

Which way to CBGB's ?


The Japanese love people like Audrey Hepburn, Simon and Garfunkel, the Carpenters and Sid Vicious. I kid you not – Sid’s image can be seen in any number of shops via posters and magazines. Now I probably only notice these things as I have a background in rock music, but I still think it’s worthy of a post. Sid couldn’t play, that’s well documented. So it’s only the image he portrayed which they like. The fact that he’s been dead for thirty years is what gets me ! Sure, teenage kids in any country nowadays can be seen in a Sid t-shirt, but only in Japan have I seen the posters and magazines constantly being produced which pay homage to him. Just adding to that, I remember seeing clothing at a general department store containing the CBGB’s logo – the commercialisation of punk rock is now complete.