Boy, this concert brings back some great memories!
The year was 1983 and for the first time ever, we played Tokyo, Japan.
Boy, talk about feeling out of place!
I had no idea what was about to happen. I was convinced nobody would come to the show, that nobody in Japan (Japan!!) would even be able to pronounce my last name and that my records hadn’t sold there.
But, boy was I ever wrong!
I was right that the audience barely spoke English, but they had memorized all of my hits and learned them phonetically, so the thousands of people at the Budokon (the big arena there) all sang every song along with me. It was amazing and very moving.
I had anticipated the language barrier, so I had a Japanese friend write out most of my talk in between songs in phonetic Japanese and had them printed on cardboard so I could introduce songs to the crowd in Japanese.
I think they were very grateful, because, as you’ll see, they are a wonderful audience.
I also learned one of their beloved songs called “Sakura, Sakura” (cherry blossoms).
Of course, I re-arranged their song and made it into a lovely ballad.
You’ll see all of this on this month’s video.