Begin began with Eisho Higa （比嘉栄昇） (vocal/guitar), Masaru Shimbukuro（島袋優） (guitar/chorus) and Hitoshi Uechi（上地等） (electric piano/chorus), all of them born in 1968, all of them from Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, and all of them friends from elementary school. However, the band formed in Tokyo itself after performing at a friend's wedding in 1988. At first, Begin tried their hand at hard rock, but after finding out that they weren't cut out for the genre, they veered into a more blues/Okinawan direction. In 1989, Begin appeared on the popular TBS program "Heisei Meibutsu TV Miyake Yuji no Ikasu Bando Tengoku" (平成名物ＴＶ三宅祐司のいかすバンド天国...Heisei Specialty TV Yuji Miyake's Cool Band Heaven), kinda like an epic version of those high school "Battle of the Bands" of its day where budding bands of all stripes competed to become the grand champion. Higa and company got high praise from the judges assembled and would eventually become the 12th King of Ika-Ten following other bands like Flying Kids (3rd King) and Jitterin' Jinn (6th King). (both are represented in "Labels")
I actually had the opportunity to see Begin several years ago....not in a concert, but on the outdoor deck of the Tokyo Bay shopping mall named Decks. Unassuming and relaxed as the guys were, they had a small performance right then and there with a small appreciative crowd clapping away.
|Begin -- Koishikute|