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Gossip Boy - a compilation of X Japan lore as told by an ex-roadie

matsumoto · 1385

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Offline matsumoto

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Don't we all love funny rumours and anecdotes about our favourite bands? Ozzy Osbourne once bit off a bat's head, Nicky Sixx once died for 2 minutes before a fan revived him with a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, Led Zeppelin once "pleasured" a groupie with a fish, Jimi Hendrix once worked with Cynthia Plaster Caster to make a plaster mould of his... junk? And the list goes on. I couldn't get my hands on any outrageous stories about X, but serendipity dictated that I would somehow meet a guy who worked as a roadie for them in the 1990s (don't ask, long story!), so here's a little list of funny anecdotes of his, courtesy of Mr. [Redacted]. [Disclaimer: don't take any of this at face value, this happened 25+ years ago]


Hairspray radioactivity

>Back in the day hairspray brands didn't abide by the same safety regulations as they do today, hence it could quickly get quite toxic. It took a minimum of 3-4 hairspray units to the upwards hairdos the band sported back then, so the air backstage got unbreathable quite fast. Lots of people would pass out and/or experience extreme respiratory distress.

> Hide's hair required the most hairspray units, which could be 6+ units.

> His hair was styled with him putting his head down so the hair could be sprayed at the roots to lift them up. Thanks to the fumes and keeping his head down for so long, he would feel sick and have trouble breathing. This didn't keep him from doing that epic 'do though.

> For that reason, from the mid-nineties onwards, his hair was mostly wigs or extensions that were prepared by the staff before being pinned to his real hair.

> The poor staff who had to prepare the wigs and extensions would get sick too, so every ventilator available was dragged backstage to ventilate the room. People would also drop by to fan the staff with those matsuri fan thingies.


Divas

> Yoshiki and Hide were, unsurprisingly, the brattiest members.

> Hide had a policy that said no food or drink whatsoever on the day of a concert. No one knows why, but from morning until after the gig, he wouldn't eat or drink.

> Reason why he was frequently hangry and sometimes lashed out at the staff.

> The staff still liked him, though, because he was the coolest. Everyone wanted to cater to him so they could copy his clothing style, way of speaking, etc. By 1995, the roadies was mostly an assortment of band clones.

> Yoshiki on the contrary ate like a starving shark. He requested huge ammounts of food, of which he only ate like 20%, which is still impressive. Mr. [Redacted] was once in charge of buying his food, and it was very stressful because he knew he couldn't screw up. Yoshiki had requested curry rice, McDonald's-style hamburgers, fish and plenty of other stuff.

> Yoshiki could spend hours in front of the mirror trying new outfits. His make up also had to be extra waterproof so he wouldn't sweat it out on the drums. He got very upset if sweat caused his mascara to run down his face. Remember kids: extra. strong. mascara. at. all. times.


Groupies

> Unlike in the West, groupies weren't really a thing, even if young girls would literally do anything to sneak backstage or to get a glimpse of the band's private moments.

> It was common for such fans to wait for hours at the venue after the concert was over so they would see the band leave on their vans. Also, they'd jump on taxis and yell "follow that car!" like in the movies. It was a pain in arse to make sure they didn't follow them to their homes or hotels, so sometimes a couple of similar cars would leave at the same time and drive through different roads so they'd get lost.

> Still, many fans managed to sneak around and do things such as camping outside the band's hotel with posters and flowers. Mr. [Redacted] says it would have been cute if they didn't start shrieking their favourite bandmember's name in the wee hours of the morning.

> It was also common for them to figure out the bar a bandmember would be drinking at, they'd sneak in, sit somewhere in their line of sight and start crying, shrieking or creepily hoovering to attract their attention. Creepy.

> The band was mostly private about their personal lives (as it often happens in Japan) but it was known that they all had their girlfriends/wives/whatever, except those were hardly ever seen in public and didn't usually come to concerts (because they'd be murdered by the fans in no time, I presume).

> Sorry for you, slash fanfiction writers of the internetz, but to Mr. [Redacted]'s knowlege, none of the band members were gay. .

> Also, sorry to disappoint you fellow Westerners, but their love interests were all Japanese. Except for Yoshiki. Yoshiki liked them white ladies, nothing new here!

> Mr. [Redacted] says his primary motivation for working that job was courting the female fans and offering alternative "emotional support" when they were denied access to the actual band. It worked. He says it worked particularly well when he wore eyeliner. The chicks couldn't get the rockstars, but they were okay with doing the  roadie as a consolation prize. Guys, take notes.


Trivia

> Contrary to popular belief, they didn't drink all that much. Japanese people really do seem to be quite sensitive to alcohol, so a couple of beers actually did it for them.

> Hide was the one who always managed to get the drunkest on the least alcohol units. And he really was a rowdy drunk.

>Mr. [Readacted] doesn't think drugs were ever involved, since they weren't widely available in Japan at the time and even people in the rock scene appeared to be opposed to drug culture.

> It was widely believed that Taiji was fired for questioning Yoshiki's artistic and business direction, if other motives were involved, they're not known.




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Offline WeekEnder

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I really wanna know what brands of makeup they used lol. That thang lasted whole sweaty concert. I tried putting on some cat eye styled eyeliner during one of our band concerts and by the end the sweat worked its shit and I ended up looking like a raccoon :P

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Offline matsumoto

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Hahah, I can try asking that, but I doubt that he'll remember. I bought a super water resistant eyeliner and mascara in Japan the last time round, though, it's called Heroine and they sell on Amazon. Check it out here here. The only way to take that thing off is to wash your face ten times with extra-strenght make up remover. 10/10

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Offline WeekEnder

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herewego.png

A 19yo lad with green hair buying a sketchy looking japanese eyeliner. Look what X made us do lmao

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Offline matsumoto

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You'll love it WeekEnder, I'm sure  ;D I have tried virtually every eyeliner in existence and that one takes the cake. The Heroine brand also makes a killer waterproof mascara but I don't wear that one much because it's a pain in the bum to remove. According to my Japanese teacher, Heroine's the no.1 hype brand in Japan at the moment.

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Offline Kasumi

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Thx for sharing all those little X tales from back then matsumoto!  ;D

I laughed about the hairspray thing.

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Offline OmniaDei

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Thanks so much for sharing! From a huge gossip girl's perspective, there are actually some questions that I have if you're still in contact with him and wouldn't mind helping me ask!

For the band members' private lives, many fans now know Yoshiki's famous girlfriends Kudo and Voth, Sugizo's ex-wife and Taiwanese girlfriend, and of course everyone knows Toshi's infamous wife. However I'd really hope to get more gossip on the other band members but haven't been able to. I have heard dubious rumors about Pata being already married and having a kid, but I don't know for sure.. Taiji's private life was also interesting because most of his fans now know that he was divorced and had two kids, but no one knows who the ex-wife is, or even when exactly they got married (rumors put it at around X's debut, but was it really that early?) Given that no one has heard of what happened to his ex-wife and kids after he got divorced, I assume that they severed all ties and want to move on, but if Mr. roadie has heard of any details with Pata and Taiji, I'd really love to know! Also the fact that no one knows who hide's girlfriend was (or probably even that he had a girlfriend until he passed away), but she probably has moved on too...

I've also heard rumors that Taiji used to cook for the band sometimes, and when Heath took over he also had to do some cooking, but I'm not sure if that's credible information...

Another thing is I'm also quite intrigued as to how Yoshiki and other band members get U.S. visas so easily. I'm assuming U.S. visa process works differently for artists and celebrities, but back then they probably all had arrest records from all the drinking during indies era which could honestly really affect your visa application, and they often had to fly to U.S. very frequently for recording and stuff. How does that process even work out?

Anyways, thanks so much for sharing! Sorry for posting quite some questions  :D ;D