The Tigers have their origin in a band named Sally & The Playboys, formed in 1965 in Kyoto. In the beginning, the band took up tunes like The Ventures’ as its repertoire. The instruments they used to cover tunes as above were borrowed ones and in a sense, they were a typical amateur school-kid band ubiquitous in Japan around that time.
The band consisted of the following members; Osami Kishibe, Taro Morimoto, Katsumi Takahashi and Minoru Hitomi. Very young as they were, another band called The Thunders regularly appeared at a jazz kissa (not necessarily means a place for jazz music but a small sized coffee bar serving a band performance) named “Den-en” located in Kyoto as professional. A high-school boy acted as a vocalist for The Thunders was Kenji Sawada.
The members of Sally & The Playboys got attracted by the way Kenji Sawada sang and asked him to join the band. In November 1965, Sally & The Playboys played one of The Animals’ songs at the wedding of a brother of Kishibe’s. Kenji Sawada also joined this performance. The following year saw Sawada become a regular member of Sally & The Playboys. About that time they changed the name of the band to The Funnies.
At this point of their history, though the individual nicknames, which got so popular in later days, haven’t come up yet, let us dare to dub each member as Taro, Sally, Julie, Toppo and Pea as we are so familiar with to date.
At first, the role of the leader of the band was taken by Sally and next transferred to Toppo. Around this time, when all the five members met and changed the name of the band, Pea started assuming the role. The first thing they tried to achieve was to buy instruments of their own to grow out of the borrowing habit.
Extrovert Pea was the most aggressive guy in promoting the band to the local clubs. He intended to let the group have a contract with a jazz kissa in Osaka rather than having one with Kyoto-based clubs, considering the difference in the notability and the averaged skill of bands observed in respective areas. To pursue this goal, he came to a jazz kissa named “Nanba-Ichiban,” situated itself along Osaka’s show-biz oriented bustling street called Shinsai-bashi only to get a cold shoulder at the first interview. His persistent negotiation with the club eventually led the band to have an audition and they got it through splendidly. The initial contract guaranteed them 7000 yen on the basis of one-day-work -week.
Picture: The Funnies appearing at Nanba-Ichiban
In this picture each member is in a suit. However, they reportedly used to wear clothes like T-shirts and cotton pants on stage. This period is the very era that they can be identified as a garage band. In this era they enthusiastically, though not so very brilliantly, played such imported tunes as of The Animals, The Rolling Stones, and what not.
By and by the increasing portion of the audience at the club gravitated especially toward The Funnies, and Masumi Mori, who presided a local Beatles Fan Club and got acquainted with The Funnies at that time, formed their fan club. As early as when they called themselves The Funnies, they built up popularity so high that they had more than 300 members joined the fan club.
They themselves were fans of The Spiders as well as members of The Spiders’ fan club. It is often said that they were told by The Spiders to join The Spiders’ own management office, i.e. Spiduction, if The Funnies would have an opportunity to come up to Tokyo. If The Funnies had decided to join the stable to be run by Spiduction, definitely they might have left utterly different types of recorded performances than what actually The Tigers did.
As it was, it was Yuya Uchida that first positively recognized The Funnies. He also had an experience of co-billing at Nanba-Ichiban. With The Funnies at hand, he was to scout for Watanabe Production (founded by one of the most noted impresarios from the late ‘50’s). Watanabe Production at that time was the most influential office capable of producing TV and radio variety shows on its own account. The Funnies chose to join the number one notch office so as to come to fame.
After coming up to Tokyo, for some while at first, The Funnies dealt with such a performing chore as backing Yuya Uchida on stage. After a period like that the plan of their debut as an independent band was laid out and they were named The Tigers by Koichi Sugiyama who was to compose many tunes for them for their recording careers to come. Their first TV appearance was made in CX network’s show titled “The Hit Parade.” In this show, they performed “Kicks”, which was a hit tune originally sung by Paul Revere & The Raiders. (I have heard that some fans videotaped this footage and some dubbed this performance onto 8mm format available at that time, but I have ever seen only a fragment of this footage so far.) Around this time, the role of the leader went to Sally. Basically the band formed itself up out of kids who were very familiar with each other and they had no such pecking orders as ones often seen traditionally in professional realm of Japanese bandsmen. That seems to be the reason why the band had changed leaders frequently up to then.
Their first single, titled “Boku no Mary(My Mary)” can be regarded as the incipient one of those sweet and romantic recorded tunes which Japanese bobbysoxers could adore. It was quite contrary to what The Funnies pursued as their own sounds. It is hardly beyond imagination to think how they got perplexed with that song. They launched with both high hopes and anxieties. “My Mary” didn’t sell well for all the promotion employed (however, The Tigers’ fans in later days bought the copies as if they had started tracing it back, the sales must not have been so miserable).
The second single was a one especially tailored for the summer season of that year, titled “Seaside Bound.” For the band, this tune must have been much performer-friendlier than the previous single was. They adopted sideways jumping (literally “bounds”) as the original choreography when playing this song jovially (FYI, the footage of their appearance at NTV network’s “Shabon-dama Holiday” show, playing this song still remains). In May 1967, when this single released in the market, it seemed to be a little bit far from being quick off the mark, but as the summer season came nearer and nearer, the song really came to hit big. At the same time, “Kimi ni Aitai(Want See You Again)”by The Jaguars and “Sukisa Sukisa Sukisa (The Zombies’ “I Love You” sung in Japanese)” by The Carnabeats also came by great success respectively. The raging Japanese Group Sounds boom finally set in. The period from this summer through the next was to be identified as the hottest year in the GS era.
What enthroned The Tigers as the reigning idol so securely was their third single, titled “Mona Liza no Hohoemi(Mona Liza’s Smile)” They were endowed with the image that could make them look like medieval princes. And it gave them distinctive nobility airs especially when they sang the wistfully composed ballad featuring a chromatic harmonica. When applied the standard at that time, Kenji Sawada, AKA, Julie was too pretty and sweet for one to regard him as just an adolescent boy. The other members were equipped with respective characteristics and were also adorable. Girls picked and backed their own idol out of these members and used to cheer saying “I’m into Julie,” or “I love Toppo.” The Tigers succeeded in making underage sales of their records feasible, so to speak.
Rock and roll music is often thought to intrinsically
imply something questionable, but in the case of The Tigers it seemed as
if they had excluded such a tinge out of their world by playing princes.
As is often the case with most Japanese Group Sounds, some groups were
marbled with members whose features didn’t agree with typically frilled
GS garments. As to The Tigers they didn’t have to worry about such a thing
too much. Their office’s policy was to infuse them with something tender
and gentle, which is contrary to their formerly obtained characteristics.
The plan also intended that The Tigers should do something different when
they sang on records and appeared in TV programs than when they performed
in person as on live stage. They were to go wild and offer vehement performances
on stage. The gist of this tactics was to attract more fans with this surprising
difference. As a matter of fact, their first album was recorded live. In
this album, they are trying to appeal to their wild facet by setting up
the core of the program with such numbers as The Rolling Stones’ I strongly
recommend that those who have ever listened to nothing but their singles
should try this album.
| When The Tigers were introduced to Japanese show business world,
they wore their hair short. Even though they wanted to have their hair
trimmed at a barber’s to make it look like one The Beatles had, they just
ended up in clumsily chopped styles. Seeing that disastrous result, a beauty
parlor nearby their den located Karasuyama, where they lived soon after
coming up to Tokyo, invited them. At that time it was regarded so extraordinary
an act for men to visit a beauty parlor, so they used to have their hair
treated after the parlor was closed for the day.
A Japanese typical monthly, handling celebrities for teens named “Myojo” tried to reveal the secret of how they maintained their hairstyles in the November’s issue in 1967.
1. Have chitchat with hairdressers; this is a must to get dressers to become accustomed to each member’s characteristics.
2. Washing hair; rinsing can make hair softened and pliable.
3. Trimming; from the napes of their necks, start trimming tactfully parted hair with razors.
4. Have hair permed; utilize perming solution and plastic curlers specially designed for The Tigers.
5. Drying; dry hair off as a finish.
6. Pictures respectively show the head, seen head-on, seen laterally and rear view (taken at Beauty Parlor Taburou where they frequented.)
The following is an excerpt from the article:
….Julie is a man, so having his hair permed only
means to get a naturally wavy hairstyle. The perming solution has to be
formulated as weak as possible. On top of that, with the help from plastic
curlers, he can get the benefit from the setting action found in this device.
The finished light and soft look cannot easily collapse after his sleeping
and his dynamic performances. When cutting his hair, hairdressers take
good care to have the edge of the razor meet the hair at right angle. Long
hair tends to look heavy, so an ingenious care is taken to avoid this by
thinning the top so that the hair may look light.
The more The Tigers gave concerts, the more increased the number of the fans got around that time. They were so fabulous and getting buried with screams. Right in the midst of that kind of fame, the disaster just cropped out.
On November 5, 1967, at the concert given at Ayamegaike, Nara-Pref., a rushing mass of fans fell over one after another like dominoes and some were injured. Due to this incident, their pre-taped first appearance in a popular variety show produced by NHK (Japanese sole non-commercial and virtually government-run TV broadcasting organization) had to be shelved and afterwards the footage recorded previously was disposed of. This contract once seemed to be their cornerstone to make them enrolled in another NHK’s big program that used to be broadcast on New Year’s Eve annually (“Kohaku-Utagassen” is the name of this yearend show). It was a great shame.
Furthermore, basically NHK seemed to keep on giving many Group Sounds its dirty look. For all the raging phenomena generated by Group Sounds movement, the only groups which could survived the NHK’s sieve were Jackie Yoshikawa & The Blue Comets and The Wild Ones and so forth out of the stable classified as “clean-cut boys with short hair.” Who suffered most by this biased view was The (longhaired) Spiders who had already gotten a contract to appear in an NHK’s program and seemed to be the closest group to making it at the yearend show but finally NHK turned them away at the last minute. But this incident produced byproducts. That was a reinforced sense of unity among the GS fans and this force generated much more strong popularity of GS.
In December of the same year, they gave a concert under the name of “The Tigers Charity Show” and they contributed the revenue added up to 700,000 yen. Rumor had it that this show was meant for them to get a favorable reception from the voters responsible for deciding “Nippon Record Taisho Award (Japanese counterpart of US Grammy), “but the truth was that it was not The Tigers but their managing office that set it up. The Tigers themselves of course performed at this concert with all their might. The performance at this concert has not been sold in the form of a record yet but in the format of reel-to-reel tape the performance once was for sale. I hope that someday in the near future they will put a CD containing this concert on sale. (FYI: though only partially, the recorded performance at this show is available in a CD titled “From GS To New Rock.”)
After all they let “The Brightest New Talent Award
(one of the awards set in Nippon Record Taisho)” slip away. It was often
said that the reason why they failed to capture the prize was because another
GS, The Blue Comets secured the most coveted Grand-Prix Award. In other
words, the unanimous decision made by the committee was to go easy on giving
the outstanding awards, which had to be allotted for non-GS nominees. In
this connection, the following year’s Brightest New Talent Award went to
a female teeny singer named Kaori Kumi, who was to become a one-time co-billing
act for The Tigers in several media. But the answer may be definitely crystal
clear for the question as to which sold records better, Kumi in 1968 or
The Tigers in 1967.
| It is as follows when you let me introduce the songs they performed
live on stage in this era.
Pea sang “Balla Balla,”” Justine” and “OK.” He came
into his own when performing tunes with beats.
The year 1968 started with their appearance at a jazz kissa in January, when they released the next single “Kimidake ni Aiwo(Love Only For You) b/w Ochiba no Monogatari(The Story Of The Falling Leaves).” I just wonder how many girls felt their heart throb in ecstasies when Julie shouted “Kimi-dake Niiii….” (The fact is that the song initially recorded for their fourth single was “Aisuru Anita,” which later The Wild Ones turned into a hit single. But The Tigers dropped it as a candidate and released “Love Only For You” instead. I think they were right. The dropped recorded song was included in a bonus EP especially given away to purchasers willing to buy as advanced orders of their greatest-hits-style LP titled “The Story of The Tigers” which was released after they disbanded. At present, this recording is included in their CD titled “Legend Of The Tigers.” This CD also contains other previously unreleased tunes like “Lovin’ Life (the song was heard in their movie “Hi London” but this time this is a studio take).”
In February this year, they started shooting the first movie that featured The Tigers, titled “Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteiru(The World Is Waiting for us)” The film stylized itself as a lightly romantic fairy tale based on a female co-star Sylvie’s (, who was characterized as an imaginary princess who wandered onto the Earth from an outer planet) falling in love with Julie. The soundtrack album for this movie was issued, but in fact, the tracks used were made up of selections recorded as studio takes and the corresponding intertwined lines used in the film. What was available at that time in the form of records sounded different from these tracks. The song titled “Yellow Cat,” introduced with verses played by a toy piano, sounds much more exciting in this soundtrack, so I think this is definitely what you cannot miss. In March 1968, many fans were gathered at Nippon Budokan Hall (Tokyo) to hold a premier especially for their newest song titled “Hana no Kubikazari(Flower Necklace).” This event was filmed as one of the footages of this movie. Finally this movie unveiled itself on April 10. Near the end of the plot of this film, Julie is on the verge of being taken away from the Earth to Andromeda (Sylvie’s homeland). And Julie pleads with the audience gathered at this premier to get everyone’s force together (that is to sing together) to send him back onto the Earth. It was nearly a common scene that the audience at many theaters used to sing together by assimilating themselves to the singing fans appearing on the screen. The energy generated by this film was such high.
Around that time, The Tempters, who made their debut in October 1967, was steadily catching up with The Tigers to be a formidable rival in the trade. It was much more awakening fact to see that both of these two groups resulted from their amateur careers based on teenage-lads’ fraternity and to form a good comparison, many other predecessors of them were derived from traditional and nearly outdated professional bandsmanship.
In the midst of the GS boom, such GS-oriented teen magazines as “Teen Look,” “Seventeen” were started one after another. Especially for the former, The Tigers sang its jingle and the magazine sponsored a radio program named “Let’s Go, Tigers.” In this program, their live performances taken from their gigs at a jazz kissa and from studio-session-formed ones were introduced to the listeners on the air. I wonder whether somebody has been keeping these recorded materials until today (it is regrettable that few of Japanese counterparts of remaining BBC sessions survived the stations’ policies).
Speak of jingles handled by The Tigers, the closest association brought to mind is a series of chocolate-bar jingles produced by Meiji Seika Co., Ltd. (a Japanese confectionery giant). As to this topic, I recommend readers of this page click and check the related features available at “Kiyomi’s ‘60’s Page (the most friendly site for people cherishing the memories from the golden ‘60’s. Sorry it is writtten in Japanese only.)
Their fifth single, “Ginga no Romance(Romance in Milky Way) b/w Hana no Kubikazari(Flower Necklace)” was used in the aforementioned film and was released with the format in which either side of this disc was regarded as an A-side. In “Flower Necklace,” Toppo sang in solo for the first time and this side of the single overwhelmed the flip side. Though there is still some doubt whether this song can be categorized as a rock tune, Toppo’s delivery of his clear voice suited this song very much. Meanwhile, it seems that The Tigers seemed to have ceased playing the instruments by themselves from this song on. The reason why they had given up playing for themselves seems that in records, they tried to make themselves distinguished from other bands by the elegantly affluent use of strings. Other than that, partially the reason why they ceased playing themselves on records seems to be the lack in time enough for them to rehearse the new songs due to the rushing schedule accompanying to the popularity. However, when performing live on stage, they played these songs in person as well as other covered imported songs.
To verify their high popularity, they sometimes played several covered songs on TV. Some of the most remembered songs were “Time Is On My Side” and Toppo’s favorite solo renditions like “Words “ or “Holiday”(both were originally sung by The Bee Gees). The fact that The Tigers covered a lot of The Bee Gees’ songs stands for the implication that these two groups were distributed to Japanese listeners through the same record label but even aside from this fact, something innocent one could felt in Toppo’s voice was first-rated above all. However, to my chagrin, none of these renditions can be found in the form of records today.
In July 1968, another summer-season oriented single, “C, C, C b/w Byakuya no Kishi(Knight in the Night)” was released. The beat-affluent A-side tune embodied the movement at that time called “Rock ‘N” Roll Revival” and was penned by Kunihiko Kase (of The Wild Ones). The flip side song was so dramatic that it served as the ending tune for the CX network’s show titled “Yeah, Yeah, Young.” In “C,C,C,” Julie gestured “hushhh…” by his upright forefinger as shown in the picture sleeve for this single and this record charted number 1 in the Japanese counterpart weekly of US Billboard HOT 100, “The Original Confidence.” The most rampant ideas of how to design picture sleeves for singles released by the bands from that era was to use pictures of smiling members. Again, for The Tigers to show another astonishingly different idea, their respective faces were intentionally obscured despite the band’s collective brand as an idol. In the following month, they heralded in the era of large-scale concerts in the open with their show named “The Tigers Show” at Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo.
In September 1968, they released “Haikyo no Hato(A White Dove) b/w Hikari aru Sekai(The Glorious World).” This time, Kunihiko Murai penned both of them. The picture sleeve prepared for the single resembled an album cover which one can tell whose it was easily at that time (allegedly, one of Buffalo Springfield). “A White Dove” is a typical message song which reminds one of Noah’s ark and the interpretation by Toppo’s crystal voice truly broke new ground. “The Glorious World,” on the other hand, seems to be the spitting image of a song by an Italian band named I Pooh, but there might be no telling whether or to what extent the song was actually inspired.
As this single was released, those who backed The Tempters or others started referring to The Tigers as a band that was unable to compose its own songs. The answer for such an insinuation was a piece of Taro’s own writing titled “Aoitori(Blue Bird).” This song is very soothing and familiar to ears accustomed to some old nursery rhymes. The flip side tune titled “Zin Zin Ban Ban” is a rock tune that incorporated guitars á la Jimi Hendrix and really had something wild within. The single rose up to number 4 in The Original Confidence chart.
After this single, in November 1968, they released an album with a totally coordinated conception, which no one had ever tried to realize in this business, titled “Human Renaissance.” Some say that this album was the result from the transplantation of the idea to The Tigers from The (Watanabe-Production-managed) Adams, for whom the very original idea was ready but it had never seen daylight as an completed work. Anyway, the truth has yet to be known. As an additional information, this album was initially titled as “Human Relation.” The basic idea to produce this album might have been to add another properties like something classical or something high-classed to the images The Tigers had been building until then. Their own writing as well as the titles respectively composed by Kunihiko Murai and Koichi Sugiyama gave the album a sophisticated side that one can sense from a new and different viewpoint. However, the album sounded far from what one used to expect a beat group or a garage band would generate. It maybe also appropriate to say that with their sole nobility images, this album could be in its own right. However, it is also contradictory to the degree of completion to which this album reached that the stress resulted from their maintaining something noble might have been building up on them gradually. Most of the songs contained in this album sound classical except for “Wareta Chikyu (Broken Earth),” which was strongly inspired by the style of Jimi Hendrix. (Some might classify this as an often-used Japanese genre, “New Rock.”)
Some may well be doubtful whether they were able to play these tunes for themselves with the sudden refinement in sounds, but to tell you the truth, they actually took some up when they performed live at that time and I thought it to be more than up to par.
The period of the culmination like this literally meant the ceiling for The Tigers and the other GS bands were bound to come across. All the events started turning little by little.
On March 5, 1969, the incident identified as “Toppo’s disappearance” cropped up. But in fact, this was not a true disappearance. Toppo simply chose to get off the bandwagon because he got fed up with growing discord among the members and jobs he had had to deal with as if he had been a puppet. When their office announced his disappearance, he was confined in a hotel room. This abduction scheme was a cut-and-dried conspiracy favored by managing offices at that time and the office had already gone as far as to buy Toppo a boarding pass to Europe. This conspiracy was revealed to media soon after that and the office held a press conference for an apology for the put-up.
I don’t mean to deal with this incident further here, but I believe due to the falsehood of the statements issued by the office, Toppo, who vindicated himself, was able to put his notes in magazines like “Teen Look” and “Seventeen.” He also was able to continue to contribute a series of his illustrations titled “Eve” to “Teenlook.” He also appeared in pictures featured in some other magazines after he went to France.
In 1969, the public demands in music started shifting from simple beat sounds to reflective expressions found in a new type of rock music. The Tigers’ newest single at that time titled “Utukushiki Ai no Okite(A Declee Of Love)” employed the essence found in so-called “Art Rock” elaborately. On the picture sleeve used for this single, Toppo’s face was obscured with tactfully hanging shadows.
Picture: Toppo in Paris
Shiro wearing hippie-like sandals
The youngster who was picked out to assume Toppo’s position was Shiro Kishibe (Sally’s younger brother). He basically had a liking for music and when The Tigers were playing as amateur, he accompanied the members to The Beatles’ concert at Budokan. After The Tigers had gone professional and started capturing teenagers’ attention, he moved to U.S.A. under the auspices of the office that The Tigers belonged to. He loved listening to music more than playing himself. He sometimes contributed to a Japanese pop music monthly called “Music Life” to give Japanese readers some updates on what the concerts given in the States were like.
It used to be officially announced that he became a new member of The Tigers by way of going through an audition. But according to Shiro himself, he was ordered to come back to Japan without any reasons and that order brought him directly to a Japanese beauty parlor to have his hippie-styled long hair trimmed neatly. The audition in question was meant just for the form’s sake, so it seemed to be another put-up.
Shiro was good at singing but had none of the knack for playing the guitar. But he was told that it would do even if he was to only fool audiences by merely carrying a guitar. But he felt the pricks of conscience and insisted on just playing the tambourine while he tried to learn how to play the guitar.
One of the charms of The Tigers was a wide range of their choral ensemble. Low-pitched Sally, High-toned Toppo and Sweetly singing Julie coming in between them provided them with this widely ranged chorus. For a brother of Sally, his voice was on the high-pitched side and in this sense he could take over Toppo’s slot. But in this very point of the newly set lineup, it could be no doubt that the band lost its edge to some extent.
When Shiro was in the States, especially after he witnessed rock concerts as real things, he is said to have sent a warning letter to The Tigers saying, “GS is to be out soon, you better quit.” But alas, it was his turn to be a member of the band. Maybe he was somewhat disillusioned.
The Japanese public choice in popular music was moving from songs indulged with romance-flavored fairy-tale lyrics to ones dressed with something down-to-earth. When this trend was mixed with Shiro’s characteristics more suitable for one to remind of ordinary folks they just couldn’t be satisfied with the long dominant image as princes and then started growing out of that images to become lads living next doors. They started growing hair longer than before and they used to wear clothes depending on each member’s fancy rather than keeping to uniformity.
In July 1969, they released “Nageki(Grief)b/w Hadashide(Barefoot).” This featured Julie as a soloist. You can see that the office wanted him to start solo a career.
The next single was “Smile For Me” newly penned for their movie “Hi London” by Barry and Maurice Gibb (of The Bee Gees). The film went along the plot in which The busy Tigers visit London as the result of a contract with a devil and in that city they meet with a lot of happenings until they finally make it in time to get back to Japan. This plot can be interpreted as an opportunity offered by their office to give them some time to rest and to let the steam off while working as actors. The recording of this song took place in London and initially intended to be released only in Europe but as if they had been yielding to the fan’s request, the record was released in Japan, too.
The following single, “Love Love Love” is remembered as a typical New Rock tinted love anthem. The sleeve used was in a form of double-ended luxurious one. Next, along came such singles as “Tokai(Solitude In The City),” “Subarashii Ryokou(The Free Travel),” and “Tikai no Ashita(Promise For Future)” as well as albums like “Jiyuu to Akogare to Yuujou(Freedom,Hope,& Friendship) (released in Dec. 1970),” “Sounds In Coliseum (2LPs, recorded live)” and “Finale (this was to commemorate their disbandment).” The last album, recorded at Den-en Coliseum, Tokyo, reflects the transitory influence each of these tunes taken up by the band (like “I Put A Spell On You” and “Heartbreaker” by Grand Funk Railroad) once was proud of.
After this succession of releasing, they see themselves act more as an individual than as a band. Julie released an album titled “Julie” and Kishibe brothers (Sally and Shiro) put an album titled “Sally & Shiro Tora 70619” on sale. They were not an exception either to fight back the increased waning of the GS boom and finally disbanded in January 1971. The album to commemorate their disbandment was left, titled as “Finale.” This LP had as small room as one long playing record so there were many performances dropped to save individual members’ solo. This made it hard to grasp a total image as a band but the enthusiasm spawned by the cheering fans can be felt.
After the final concert, Pea retired from the show business. Sally and Julie formed PYG with former members from The Spiders and The Tempters (these two groups disbanded before too). The office to which Julie still belonged soon after The Tigers disbanded was eager to put him in the showcase as a solo singer. But he persisted in performing in some band. This indicates his preference afterwards to having his own band rather than being backed by an orchestra. Taro formed Taro & Alphabets with the youngsters picked from the following generation. Shiro temporarily joined Bread & Butter.