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, October 25, 2016

Flipper's Guitar -- Groove Tube

Mike Myers brought back the 1960s again back in the 1990s with his "Austin Powers" franchise, and an entire generation got to know about what Burt Bacharach, groovy and psychedelic were all about. Mind you, I actually lived through all that although I don't remember much since I was less than 5 at the time. However there was one show that I still have memories of...and that was the American variety hour (yes, the USA did have variety shows back then) "Laugh-In", a prime time comedy tour-de-force starring Dan Rowan and Dick Martin as the hosts of barely contained lunacy mixed in with all that was late 1960s pop culture: go-go dancing, body painting...and groovy. Giggly Goldie Hawn in a bikini dancing it up...yup, she is seared in my memory.

But even before Mike Myers gave us a look-see into that crazy decade, the Japanese at least had already been getting some of those images and music from back then for some years via Shibuya-kei. Of course, there was Pizzicato Five who took care of the Swingin' 60s party-all-night aspect of the genre, but at around the same time, there was also the duo of Flipper's Guitar who carried over their mellower take with some influence from French pop.

However, I was surprised to discover that Keigo Oyamada and Kenji Ozawa(小山田圭吾・小沢健二)did indulge some of that P5 nighttime fun for their 5th single, "Groove Tube" from March 1991. The J-Wiki article for the single had a mass of text that I had to wade through but really couldn't find anything too insightful about "Groove Tube" itself aside from the quote from Oyamada that stated that the men had wanted to put out their most powerful single with this one with the booty-shaking rhythm of B'z and a hard-edged guitar sound reminiscent of Tomoyasu Hotei(布袋寅泰).

I'm not quite sure that "Groove Tube" actually gets to the level of some Hotei shredding but the song definitely has a good amount of drive. Written and composed by Flipper's Guitar under their moniker of Double KO Corporation, I think it actually has some influences from not only P5 but also Pet Shop Boys. with the lyrics talking about what seems to be a night out at a cool-as-sin and sexy 60s party. And the video kinda illustrates that...wouldn't be surprised to see Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe there sipping cocktails with a bored look.

"Groove Tube" got as high as No. 22 on Oricon and is also a track on "Doctor Head's World Tower", the duo's 3rd album released in July 1991.

To finish off, I would like to mix in this article's theme of psychedelia and Canadiana with a skit from my dearly beloved "SCTV" comedy show. Here is Dr. Braino as played by the late John Candy.

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