I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tunnels -- Garagara Hebi ga Yatte Kuru (ガラガラヘビがやってくる)

I was a bit surprised that the part of the J-Wiki article on the Tunnels' musical output had put this song "Garagara Hebi ga Yatte Kuru" (The Rattlesnake is Coming) as the comedy duo's most successful single compared to their earlier kayo kyoku parodies such as "Ame no Nishi-Azabu"(雨の西麻布)or even their more "serious" "Nasakenee"(情けねえ)from 1991. But then again, Ishibashi & Noritake are all about the outrageous comedy, so I guess that something as crazed as "Garagara Hebi ga Yatte Kuru" with all of the sexual innuendos would be the one to get them to the top of Oricon.

"Garagara Hebi ga Yatte Kuru" was used as one of the opening theme songs for the Tunnels' Thursday night program on Fuji-TV, "Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu"(とんねるずのみなさんのおかげです...The Tunnels' Thanks To Everyone), one of my must-see shows on the Japanese television schedule. It's too bad that I couldn't find the opening credits for the show with that theme on YouTube, but I was able to find the guys' nutso performance on stage. Tsugutoshi Goto (後藤次利)provided the music which rather sounds like something for a kids' program but the lyrics by Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康)blows my theory out of the water since the snake in the song is a pretty horny (and not horned) viper....probably representing the tall and lanky Ishibashi.

Actually, speaking about those lyrics, the inspiration for them came one evening as lyricist Akimoto and horny viper Ishibashi were playing rounds of Mah Jongg late into the night. The TV in the room was playing some sort of foreign B-movie in which one of the characters kept blurting out "Beware of the rattlesnakes". With the repetitive clacking of the MJ tiles and the quote coming out over and over again, Akimoto and Ishibashi didn't stand a chance....the lyrics were pretty much spawned and twisted all over their brains by the end of that session.

But it was all good for them, though. Following its release in January 1992, "Garagara Hebi" became the Tunnels' first No. 1 single and their first million-seller. In fact, by the end of the year, the song would be ranked No. 6 for 1992. The video below has the full recorded version.

Now, the reason that I actually put this article was not just for the nostalgia for the Tunnels' program. Earlier today in Toronto, there was rather big news on the TV about some woman who came across a baby python crawling about in the bathroom of her apartment not too far away from my home. It was actually a cute little snake. But it just goes to show that one is never sure what could be living in the drainage system of a city.

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