Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 28, 2014 (Tokyo)



February 28, 2014 (Tokyo)

Nothing is better than having your first cup of coffee in the morning in Tokyo.   The scent of the caffeine is like perfume to me.   Sadly due to my declining age, it is hard for me to pick myself up from the bedding this morning, due that it's a tatami mat.  I am so accustomed to having a western style bed, where you sit, and then lay yourself down.  But here I can’t really figure what the sophisticated way of laying in your bed.  I can’t jump onto the futon, because it is harder than a bed.  So I have to get on my knees, and then gently allow my body to fall backwards.  It is very awkward because I’m suffering from a bad back.  So for me to get up in the morning, I have to crawl out of bed and go to the nearest wall, and pull myself up.  Once up, no problem!

Today I am obsessed in finding the legendary and some even claim it doesn’t exist, the Brian Jones solo album.  It was rumored that he recorded an album sometime during the “Between The Buttons” sessions.  He utilized Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman as the rhythm section, but played all the other instruments, including the complete string section.   Not only was Brian the best looking Rolling Stone, but obviously the most talented as well.  My sources here are told that the actual Brian Jones untitled album showed up in Japan sometime in the middle of the 70s, but eventually became bootlegged in the 1980s.  It never emerged in the Internet nor in the States.  Getting a CDR of this album can cost one a hundred dollar bill.  The only place one can go after this CDR is in Shinjuku at a record shop that only sells bootleg Stones recordings. 

The store is located in what looks like a vacant building, and on the fourth floor.  There is an elevator in the building that can only fit one person, and if you’re overweight, you’re out of luck pal!   The shop is called “Are You Stoned?” For some years now this has been the Mecca ground zero shop for the most obscure of the obscure Stones recordings.  They also sell suits that once belong in Charlie Watt’s closet.  How they got it is a real mystery to me.  Perhaps Charlie has his own version of the Borrowers in his home. 


Nevertheless as I move forward on the long hallway I found another interesting store.   It is called “Winnipeg” and it is totally devoted to the Canadian filmmaker and writer Guy Maddin.  When you walk into this store, you come upon a giant portrait of Maddin and right below the poster size image you see a lone person behind the register, who it seems is watching a Maddin film on her small VHS video screen.  Here, they sell all the Maddin films that are available on DVD, as well as actual 35mm and 16mm film prints.  Maddin wrote three books, and here in the shop they have every edition possible, including the editions around the world in various languages.   Oddly enough, it seems there are numerous editions of his work in Finnish. 


I purchased a 35mm print of “The Heart of the World” a film Maddin made in 2000.  Impossible to find, especially in 35mm, but I had to have it!  Sadly when I got to “Are You Stoned?” they sold the last copy of the Brian Jones CDR, and they told me (in English) that they will not be able to get more copies.   My disappointment was so great, but on the other hand I was quite happy with my Guy Maddin purchase, and I knew I must be in heaven, because the next store after “Are You Stoned?” was a shop devoted to the illustrator John Tenniel.  I desperately need a print of Tenniel’s illustration from “Alice in the Wonderland.” In many ways I feel like I did fall into that same hole as Alice, here in Shinjuku. 



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