Another Group Sounds

Sharphawks,Jaguars,Swooners,Bunnys,

Sharp Hawks

Yuji Nozawa,Tadao Suzuki,Rikiya Yasuoka,Masao Koyama,Jimmy Lennon
 

The band personnel consisted of people from mixed European or American and Japanese lineage.They started as a vocal and dance group in '63,At first they were 4
boys and a girl.After some member changed, the group started with 4 boys,Yuzi "Tommy" Nozawa, Masao "Andy" Koyama,Tadao "Sammy" Suzuki,Rikiya Yasuoka.

They started as a vocal and dance group, however, in the GS boom, they became GS, a vocal beat combo.  In truth, they couldn't play well, so another instrumental band called the Sharp Five backed them. The Sharp Five was a very technical band, so we hear their cool singing as well as cool playing.Their firs single " Tsuiteoide" was released in Sep.'66.After 3 singles was released, Andy quite the group to start his solo career.(in '83, he sung the theme song of "Genesis Climer MOSPIDA".) Jimmy Lennon joined the group to replace Andy.

On the "Slitherama" comp, we can hear "What I Say " which features dance beats with girls screaming.
Their "Let Me Go" is a good mixture of Japanese traditional rhythm and Rock 'n' Roll.  In "Unchain My Heart", the Spanish-Japanese singer sings in a Flamenco style with a rockin' beat . 

By December of 1967, the Sharp Five were contracted to a different label, so they couldn't back the Sharp Hawks anymore. Sharp Hawks practiced hard to accompany themselves and added a new member, and continued until 1969.





 
 

JaguarsTheir Logo Mark
Yukio Miya (drms),Hisayuki Okitu(lead gtr.),Koichi Miyazaki(gtr.),Sin Okamoto(vcls),Yasuji Sato(organ),Mikio Morida(bs.)...Takeshi Hamano(drms)

They were one of most famous GS; many Japanese remember their debut song "Want You See Again(Kimi ni Aitai)". They sung some moody hit songs and wrote cool punk ballads like "My Dawn"
(on HOT NIPS).  On the other hand, they were compared to Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.  (In Japanese they were called as Dave Dee group for short!). Jaguars covered "Zabadak", "Legend of Xanadu".This Japanese cover version of Xanadu was a #20 hit.
Actually, it was the flip side of another moody song. The lead singer Sin Okamoto attracted teen girls with his good looks and singing with whip like Dave Dee.
Also they covered the fab "Tobacco Road" which is on the "Big Lizard Stomp" compilation, which was a psychedelic version, much like the Blues Magoos, "Blue Feeling" (Slitherama), "See See Rider"  (Banzai Freak Beat).

They appeared in their own movie "Jaguars Tekizen Jyouriku" in '68, a cool comedy which was influenced by the Beatles' "Help!". But soon after, the leader/drummer Miya quit the band due to a conflict with the other members. He wrote their early original "Beat Train".
He formed a new group called New Jaguars and released a few singles, but they weren't successful.
In their later years, the GS boom had peaked, so they recorded moody popular songs and after some personnel changes, they disbanded in '71.



Swooners
They were a Filipino band formed in '63. At first they went to Hong Kong and played in nightclubs there. They released their original song "Sonata Of Love " on the Diamond label in Hong Kong and it was a hit there. They opened for the Kinks and Manfred Mann in Hong Kong. 

Then, the band came to Japan. They released 2 singles and 2 albums in Japan.  Japanese guitar kids were amazed to hear their cover version of Jimi Hendrix 's songs because they were very difficult for the Japanese to copy. 
Their cover of "Fire" used siren, it made weired effect, this remind me Standels' "Riot in Sunset Strip".
On the other hand they covered many R&B numbers," Hold On I'm Coming","Boo Ga Loo Down Broadway","When A Man Loves A Woman", they relesed a single "Mickey's Monkey" in Japanese.



BUNNYS

Takashi Terauchi(lead gtr.) ,Tatuya Ogino(organ,vibs) ,Hajime Ono(bass) ,
Hiroshi Kurosawa(gtr.harmaonica,vcls.) ,Tadashi Inoue(drms,vcls,shakuhachi)
Hideyuki Koshiishi(gtr.flte.vcls.)

Yoshiyuki Suzuki(gtr.vcls)

Takeshi "Terry"Terauchi started out as a sideman in Jimmy Tokita & the Mountain Playboys, a Country & Western band. In 1962, he formed his first Eleki band (it means instrumental band with electiric guitar), the Bluejeans, (Their June 1964 album, "Korezo Surfing" ["This is Surfing"], was Japan's first surf music album.)

They became the most famous surf instrumental band in Japan. They opened for the Ventures and Astronauts. Terauchi's style is very Ventures-influenced, but much faster and more frantic, with a heavy picking style and liberal use of his Mosrite's whammy bar .

In '66 Terauchi quite the band and formed a new vocal and instrumental group, the Bunnys.   In Dec. '66 they released their first single "Terry's Theme", an instrumental number which was played as the opening number in the gig with a simple riff, the flip side was the legendary garage instrumental "Test Driver" (appeared on Monster A Go Go). At the same time they released "Let's Go Terry" .On this album we can listen instrumental songs with his frantic wildest guitar and wild vocal songs.

As their 3rd single, they released "Kanjincho/Genroku Hanami Odiri", which were Eleki instrumental versions of Japanese traditional songs, which was from their second album "Seicho Tera Uchi Bushi". The album was all Japanese traditional songs. Terauchi made a new sound from old songs with his frantic guitar!  These Eleki versions of traditional songs attracted not only young Eleki fans but also elder people who didn't listen to Eleki-Surfing songs. The album sold about 100,000 copies!  It was the best selling GS album.

They released one more single 2 weeks later, it was "Let Go Shake/Shake No.1". It was a dancing number with vocals. They continued to release instrumental singles and vocal ones. "Little Devil (Akuma no Baby)"was their 6th single. In  '67 Koshiishi quite the band to join The Edwards.  Suzuki joined the Bunnys to replace him.
In '67 They released instrumental album "Let's Go Classics", it was Eliki version of Classics like "Symphony No.5","Hungarian Dance No.5" "Thema From Unfinished Symphony"(appeared on Surfbeat Behind The Iron Curtain:Plannetary Pebbles vol.1).This album was also released in West Germany.
As a vocal combo, they released fab songs, such as "Let's Go Shake","Taiyouyarou"(on HOT NIPS), "Let's Go Bougalu" etc. All of the songs have very simple melodies, but the frantic guitar, eccentric sound charmed us. It was the Bunnys' sound. 

In '68 Terauchi quite the band, Bunnys changed to a softer sound, but they were not successful. They recorded a cover album of the musical "Hair", but unfortunately it was not released.  The Bunnys disbanded in '71.

After quite Bunnys, Terauchi formed a new version of the Bluejeans, called Takeshi Terauchi & the Bluejeans  (to distinguish them from the original Bluejeans, who continued recording and performing after Terauchi's departure, and even opened for the Beatles at their 1966 Japanese concerts, and still existed in '68).   Changing some members, this new Bluejeans continued as Terauchi's band even today.
In '77, the Bluejeans became the first band from outside of the USSR to do an extended tour, in which they played many local cities.  This, however, is another story.


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