Friday, April 17, 2009


Last night, I was introduced by an American friend to a Japanese Beatlemaniac who has been an obsessive fan and collector since the 1960's. Together, we went to his favorite spot in Tokyo, The Cavern Club, a Beatles-themed club and bar with a retro atmosphere, memorabilia decorating the walls, and Beatles tribute bands playing every night of the week.

This type of focused mania is distinctly Japanese. I don't think you would ever come across a similar place anywhere in the world.

The real unique charm to the place was the band, Shirokuma Company, a fab group of four Japanese guys with mop tops, vintage black suits, and original period instruments. They played set after set of extremely well rehearsed note-for-note interpretations of all of the famous hits. From the sound of their amplifiers, the growl in their voices, and the shaking of their hair, these guys were as close to the Beatles as it gets.
Let's take a closer look:
'Paul', with his violin bass and puffy McCartney hairdo doesn't look so bad. He could also sing pretty well. 'John' however is a different story.

The guy's stage name is Mabu John (Mabu short for Hidemasa Mabuchi). His performance was a near perfect interpretation and his striking resemblance to John Lennon is absolutely uncanny, if not a bit eerie. 

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