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.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pat Metheny Group -- Last Train Home

"Jojo's Bizarre Adventure" was one of the anime that my friend introduced me to last year. I got through the very first episode before I made the decision to go " thanks". Just wasn't my cup of ocha...seeing that beloved dog getting roasted in the kiln didn't exactly help. From what I've read though is that it's quite the epic odyssey and the anime has had a reputation for picking out some interesting songs as ending themes. I heard that British prog rock group YES' "Roundabout" and The Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" were featured on the first season of the show. Man, I remember the latter tune when it originally came out in the 80's as the ladies were all strutting in the video.

Anyways, when it was time for the usual anison part of my visit to my friend's house last week, he played another ending theme for "Jojo" which was for the second half of Season 2 (2015). As he was getting the computer all lined up, he mentioned nonchalantly that it was by Pat Metheny Group.

Wait a minute, I went. Pat Metheny Group? The last time I heard those guys was also back in the 1980s when they and David Bowie did the theme song "This Is Not America" for the spy flick "The Falcon and the Snowman". Good golly...never thought I would be talking about those guys on this blog.

Then my buddy played "Last Train Home", and as it did, I started getting all these sensations of nostalgia and my body sank even deeper into the chair. My mind flitted back to my memories of being on that sunset train from Sapporo to Shin-Chitose Airport after a 3-day trip to Hokkaido. I had wondered about what would have made a fine accompanying song to those memories. Well, I no longer need to muse. This IS the song.

"Last Train Home" was a track on the group's 1987 album, "Still Life (Talking)", and it apparently has been quite the popular song for TV shows and commercials including one for a Florida supermarket chain according to Wikipedia. I mentioned that it was the perfect song to end my Hokkaido trip, but in train-happy Japan, I think it would make for the optimal theme for any working person heading home from the company after another long 13 hours. Back in the early days, when I was out late with the guys at the izakaya or karaoke box, it was the usual thing to take part in the nightly dash with dozens of other commuters for that last train home at the amazingly late time of 11:55 p.m. (yes, I'm being sarcastic here). However, I don't think Friday nights at that time would have been the ideal platform (no pun intended) for "Last Train Home" since people were still pretty juiced up and gabbing away.

A few nights after the March 11th 2011 earthquake, I took the Tozai Line back home. The subways were running again but Chiba Prefecture was going through its rolling blackout programme. There were not a whole lot of folks on the subway and the lights on it were only at half-power. My area in Ichikawa was blacked out when my train got past Minami-Sunamachi Station and was now traveling outside. In a country where power blackouts had been very rare (up until that week, I never faced the phenomenon in 17 years living there), entering my city in nearly total blackness was an eerie sight for me. Looking back on that commute home, perhaps I could've used a bit of Pat Metheny there. The song has that subtle mix of pride, sadness and even through another long day, will be back for another.

To finish off, here is "This Is Not America".


  1. Aww, sorry you didn't like JoJo, it's one of my favorites with its ridiculousness, though I admit it's obviously not everyone's cup of tea.

    the anime has had a reputation for picking out some interesting songs as ending themes

    Oh, so much more than that. The mangaka Araki Hirohiko is a fan of 80s sophisticated pop music, so almost every one of the characters in the show is named after a band or a singer. Main antagonist is called Dio Brando, for instance, after Ronnie James Dio (of Black Sabbath) and Marlon Brando. Main four antagonists in the second season are named Santana, Esidisi (AC/DC), Wamuu (Wham!), and Kars (The Cars). Second JoJo's mother is Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam), and best friend is Robert E. O. Speedwagon. There are four zombies called Page, Jones, Plant, and Bonham (of Led Zeppelin). This glorious bird is named Pet Shop... and so on and so on. Great fun.

    1. Hi, Faruk. Good to hear from you again.

      Yeah, my friend certainly swears by JoJo. And I forgot that he actually told me about what you've just said about Araki being a huge fan of 80s pop music. I kinda wonder if any of those singers have heard about Araki's tribute to them.


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