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.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Kingo Hamada -- Gatsby Woman

Somewhere among the many articles I've written for the blog, I've mentioned that the first Japanese commercial with a Hollywood celebrity that I had ever seen involved the lovely Elizabeth Montgomery from "Bewitched" fame selling some sort of food or drink. And since then, Hollywood stars and Japanese ads seem to have become great fodder for places like YouTube. Another famous example featured manly man Charles Bronson in a series of commercials for Mandom, a corporation selling cosmetics mostly angled toward men. As a piece of trivia, the name for the company originated as a combination of the words "human" and "freedom", although Mandom, thanks to Mr. Death Wish, does have that masculine ring.

In 1978, Mandom came up with a series of male beauty products called Gatsby (I've got no idea whether the company named it after the famous novel "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald), and over the years, there have been a lot of slick commercials including relatively recent endeavors starring Takuya Kimura(木村拓哉). Man, to come up with a comparison between him and Bronson!

Gatsby products were a regular presence in my Ichikawa apartment since they were so readily available at any convenience store, and there were about 4 or 5 of them in my neighbourhood. I've used the styling gel, the after-bath cologne and even the sweet-smelling body wipes. That latter product was absolutely essential during the torrid summer especially when teaching the students. I was willing to accept boring the kids but not disgust them.

By the same token, I don't know right now why City Pop/J-AOR crooner Kingo Hamada(濱田金吾)titled his 5th single from August 1983, "Gatsby Woman", in that way although according to Akira Ohtsu's(大津あきら)lyrics, the lady in question has that impression of a savvy and confident person able to handle herself in any situation. I would think that she would be the ideal spokesperson for Gatsby products but then again, Mandom has specifically called its female beauty care line Lucido instead.

In any case, the music of "Gatsby Woman" by Hamada has got that summery 80s Margueritaville swing to it. The melody could also proudly adorn any Gatsby commercial as well. The lass can pretty much breeze through any room and any problems to that music. The single was also a track on Hamada's 5th album, "Mugshot" which came out just a couple of weeks after the single.

Ah, if it were actually possible to do what the commercial is selling here.

And speaking of Bronson and Montgomery, I recall that they starred in a "Twilight Zone" episode way back when. If they only knew that they would share something else in common several years later via the nation of Japan.

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