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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi's Rambling No.526

A Japanese band Tulip is the decisive reason that I chose a musician as my lifelong career. It literally changed my life entirely when I came across their music. I’ve been an avid fan of them since I was a high school student. The band had broken up, but has been reunited occasionally for its anniversaries. Last year, it had the 40th anniversary concert tour. I went to three venues by paying for the expensive tickets, the bullet train fares and the hotel stays. A large sum of money for a poor and cheap person like me was spent on the concerts because it crossed my mind that it could be the band’s last tour and my last chance to see them perform live. Considering the members’ ages of above sixty and their tour rate of one every five years or so, the next tour seemed precarious to me. But I was totally impressed by their high-level performance at the concerts in this tour. They played their old familiar tunes better than ever. Listening to their performance, I realized I had had a keen eye for the true rock band even as a high school student. The band I picked among many other bands was the one that kept shining and still played lively rock through all those years. After the last concert, I felt in rapture how lucky I was to be a fan of them. I wanted to go to the bathroom when I was leaving the hall, but there was a long line of people. Next to the hall was a hotel and I was headed there for the bathroom. I found a bunch of people gathering at the passage between the hall and the hotel. It seemed they were waiting for the band members to come out of the hall, as they would get in the cars here. Holding my desire for the bathroom, I joined the crowd and waited. No one showed up. After a while, I began to think the information among these people was false. An hour has passed and people started leaving. I was close to the point I couldn’t hold it anymore when the members finally appeared one by one with the staff guarding them. They waved, got in their each car and drove off. I got to see my favorite member Toshiyuki Abe off stage for the first time since he signed on his essay book for me and shook my hand at the book-signing event when I was a college student. I shrieked his name to him as I usually did. He glanced at us, waved at us, smiled at us, looking so happy. He got in the car, waved at us again and went away. I ran to the bathroom and felt the utmost happiness, never suspecting that was the last time I saw my idol. The end pounces abruptly. The other day, the news that he had passed away in India came in. Another dream of mine has been broken. I had dreamed of being a popular singer-songwriter and having Abe’s guitar playing on my songs. I had been striving by this goal in my mind. I can’t believe I would never get to go to a Tulip’s concert again. My memories related to Tulip are the only good ones during my dismal teenage period. How fun it was to go to their concert with my friends! How hard we laughed together reading Abe’s essays after school! How hopeful I was when I was singing their ‘Blue Sky’ out loud with my friend looking up the blue sky from the class room window! Tulip was a symbol of hope for me. And now it’s gone forever with Abe. I don’t know what will get me going from now on. I’ve cried every night. Only one solution seems to remain, that is to let him play the guitar for my songs inside my mind. I listen carefully and reproduce his playing by making his sound and technique with my synthesizers and computers. I think I can do it because he now lives with me until I die…

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