Welcome back. With the Yankees' hurried exit from the post season fresh in my mind, it has been hard to muster up the energy to press my PC's keys in the right order. To make things worse, the latest Japanese export, DICE-K (Matsuzakasan) has converted most of the Japanese Yankee fans into Red Sox fans. Ouch...Anyhow, I had my very own Lost in Translation (a movie with Bill Murray about strange foreign experiences in Tokyo. It's R-rated so my students will have to take my word for it. Sorry Dogz...) experience. Really, it was out of the movie-literally.
Last Sunday, I received a phone call from a new, fellow foreigner friend Simon. He's British (which I don't hold against him) and quite a superb sax and piano player. Well, as all entries into the music scene go, he needed a bass player to cover a gig that night. I was more than happy to make room in my busy gig schedule. Oh, and by busy I mean non-existent.
As it turns out, the gig was at the Shinjuku Park Hyatt Hotel in the New York Bar. This happens to be the bar that was featured in Lost in Translation. It's on the 54th floor of this swanky hotel and overlooks the stunning Tokyo cityscape (Bladerunner anyone?). Unfortunately, my posterior spent most of the evening facing the beautiful view. There were folks from all across the globe listening (I think) to our music. There was one couple in the front that decided to watch TV on their cellphone (Yes, the technologically advanced Japanese have developed the TV phone. They initially tried the TV shoe but ran into licensing issues with the producers of Get Smart-and of course the smell). Being a veteran of apathetic audiences, I took no offense to this most basic of faux pas. I've played many years for audiences who preferred all sorts of other entertainment (flying cars, flying ladies, and of course just flies).
The highlight of the evening was when we received a request from a fairly inebriated Japanese gentleman. His request was unintelligible, even to the fluent Simon. Apparently, North America does not hold the patent for drunk requests. As is the standard procedure when in this situation, we both nodded and smiled and gladly accepted his ￥10,000 ($100). Then, we chose Someday My Prince Will come due to the fact it was the only thing that came to mind. Fortunately, he and his date disappeared before the end of the set. The bar manager relayed to us that that was exactly the song he was hoping to hear. Good thing we didn't play Don't Get Around Much Anymore...