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.

Monday, May 14, 2018

THE CRAZY RIDER Yokohama Ginbae ROLLING SPECIAL -- Shogun Kaoru ‘Wolf Ryu (羯徒毘路薫狼琉)

Rock’n Roll is such a broad term (second only to Jazz) that pretty much anything can be stuffed into it but there’s no question THE CRAZY RIDER Yokohama Ginbae (横浜銀) ROLLING SPECIAL are Rock’n Roll.  Founded in 1980, they were a classic drum (Arashi; ) / guitar (Johnny) / bass (TAKU) / guitar/vocal (Sho aka Xiang; ) group that lasted until 1983 (ending by mutual agreement).  In 1998 Arashi, Sho, and TAKU revived the group (Johnny was off doing his own thing) and shortened their name to Yokohama Ginbae (Yokohama Silver Fly).  In 2002 they formed – for the summer – Shonan Ginba which was then dissolved and reformed as THE CRAZY RIDER Yokohama Ginbae ROLLING SPECIAL RETURNS.  Along the way Arashi survived a stroke, and his younger brother Sho a few busts for methamphetamines.  2016 saw their 35th anniversary and they have a series of concerts scheduled for 2018 with originals Sho, Arashi, and TAKU still at it (plus a few friends):

Half of popular music is style and Yokohama Ginbae didn’t disappoint, wearing trademark sunglasses, leather jackets, white pants, and riesent/regent hair.  The guitar-driven songs have a definite Chuck-Berry-meets-the-Ramones feel – mostly short, fast, loud, and aggressive.  Representative is their third single “Shogun Kaoru ‘Wolf Ryu” (羯徒毘路薫狼琉), a turn-it-up-to-11 head-banger with a raucous call and response:

Sho likes sound effects and recorded motorcycles and rain, the latter used to great effect in his lovely and wistful  “Rainy Shonan Street(雨の湘南通り) from their third album “仏恥義理蹉䵷怒”:

A surprise was hearing the background falsetto taken from “Little Darlin’” by Maurice Williams & the Gladiolas (later a cover-hit by the Diamonds, a group from – Toronto).  Coupled with the mid-song spoken section we’ve moved into doo-wop territory, so Yokohama Ginbae were certainly not one-chord wonders. (I’ve linked the best quality audio version but if you go to the one posted by TOSI5944 and read the Comments, you’ll find this group and song deeply affected a lot of people.).

TAKU was responsible for writing quite a few songs for others, among them Iwai Sayuri (“Dream-Dream-Dream”) and Junko Mihara (“Love Me Good” and “Suddenly Love” – I believe the only 2 of her songs she meows in).  He’s still active in the industry and you should check out his very entertaining site: 

And I have to post their second single from 1981: “Tsupari High School Rock’n Roll” for a new generation:

30 years later, ensuring there will be no yankii shortage !


  1. Hello, T-cat.

    Thanks for putting up Yokohama Ginbae. Since I'm not too knowledgeable about the Japanese rock scene, it's good when someone can bring in some of the "hard liquor".

    Indeed, especially after listening to "Rainy Shonan Street", I think Yokohama Ginbae's material is a lovely tribute to the 1950s and a reflection of what Yoyogi Park was providing back in the late 70s and early 80s.

    Some of the trials and tribulations that the individual band members were going through as you mentioned above sound perfect for a hard-living rock-and-roll band.:)

  2. Hi J-C: yep, didn't hear a lot of city pop influence in there. This is actually a small excerpt from an article I started writing last month that was turning into a book (7 groups, 17 vids at last count). So as not to abuse your hospitality and patience I've decided to extract abridged bits, with 2 more to come - all musically related but different artists (and not yet covered). Thank you for the opportunity!

    1. Hi, T-cat. By all means, bring out those abridged bits. Will be happy to read them. And when that book comes out, let me know!


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.