Rock legend Hiroshi Kamayatsu passes away at 78
Legendary rock musician Hiroshi Kamayatsu (かまやつひろし) died at the age of 78 on the 1st of March after a battle with cancer. Born in 1939, he rose to fame in the ’60s as guitarist and backing singer of The Spiders, probably the most famous of Japan’s Group Sounds bands (the local equivalent of beat music and garage rock). After they disbanded in 1970, he formed a new band, Vodka Collins with musicians from other popular GS groups and he also started to release blues, folk and soul inspired solo material from the early ’70s. But the most interesting and unexpected twist came in his career later, when he started to work under the name Monsieur Kamayatsu, started to experience with various music styles, including acid jazz and eventually hooked up with some of the most prominent names of the Shibuya-kei movement, including Kahimi Karie, Cornelius and even had some releases on Readymade, the label associated with Pizzicato Five. He also tried his hand on acting and was a respected song writer, composing songs both for other singers and bands and for animes and commercials.