Thanks to all I’ve seen in every moment of my life … you all are my Heaven Below!


In the last entry, I wrote I came up against walls …
but, of course, there were great things as well.

First of all, the weather has been fine for 3 days. (^_-)
It may be only weather, but a blue sky surely refresh our spirit.
(The winter in Hamburg is usually kind of dark and drizzling.)

And one more thing!!
I met a dear old friend in Hamburg!

His name is Carsten Meyer, and it was 2002 I met him for the first time.

Let me write how it was like …

In 2002, after coming to Hamburg, I was all at sea.
You know what I mean? I had no one to turn to.
"I finally made it to Hamburg, but where should I start to find band members?"

On thinking it over, I decided to hand out the flyers "Vocalist Seeking to Join Heavy Metal Band" (below) at the entrance of concert halls and music clubs.
Of course, you have to give it to the heavy metal lovers.
So, I bought heavy metal magazines at Kiosk, check the schedule of heavy metal gigs in Hamburg and went to a venue whenever there was a heavy metal gig.
At the venue, I always asked staff members to allow me to hand them out at the entrance after the show.

The day I met Carsten … if I remember correctly … was also a day in November.
On that day, I was at a hall
GRUENSPAN , a hall with a long history where artists like Bryan Adams, Linking Park, REM etc. have played.

A well-known band must have played on that night as well, but I actually don't remember who it was.
All I had in mind on that day was this.
"Before the last song, I must go outside. Don't miss when he says, 'the last song is …'"
With flyers in my arms, I waited for the moment.

At last, I heard that the next song would be the last.
I hurried out of the hall.

It was very dark outside … probably around 11:00 pm.
It was also very cold outside the entrance door.
Standing there alone, I waited for the audience to come out.

Then, the door opened … a crowd of audience, looked tipsy, came out all together.
It was such a big crowd that I wasn't able to hand it out to everyone.
I just gave it to whoever walked by me, speaking to them.
"I'm a singer. I'm looking for a band. Please.
If you know anyone, please let me know.
I'm a singer from Japan. Looking for a band."
Pushed by others from behind, most of them just passed me by without giving ear to my words.
I kept on, handing it out.
"I'm looking for a band."

Then, a long-haired guy with a leather jacket, who was already like 30 meters away from me, turned back his way.
In his hand, there was a flyer I just handed out.
He walked straight back to me and asked.

"Are you by yourself?"
Reading the flyer …
"So, you wanna join a heavy metal band. That's why you flew all the way from Japan?"

Thinking for a little while, he said to me.
"Listen. I love heavy metal. I love bands.
So, I can understand your passion for playing in a heavy metal band.
Let me help you anyhow."
"There is a better place, called
Headbangaer’s balloom, near here.
It's a bar where heavy metal lovers and musicians, including very known ones, hang out. If you hand out your flyers there, more "appropriate" people will know of you.
The word will spread in the metal scene in Hamburg."
"If you like, I can bring you there. Will you come with me?"
It was dark and I didn't even know his name.
Still, there was something about him that made me trust him.
"Yes, please."
I decided to follow him.

And yet, when he led me to a quiet, dark harbour … I started to feel a bit nervous.
"Was it a right decision to follow him? What if he was a bad guy and …"

Then, after a little while, he turned around and said to me.
"Here we are!"
He opened the door and led me into the bar.
Inside, heavy music was being played on full blast.
And there was that Markus Grosskopf from Helloween.
I got shocked!! ∑(゚Д゚)

Well, well, well …… I first listened to the albums of Helloween in my high school days, which actually changed my life so much (although I don't write details here now).
So, to understand my shock, just imagine that a member of your most favorite band appears in front of you out of the blue!!!! (◎_◎; )

Carsten patted on my back, encouraging me.
"Go ahead!"
So, getting over my initial hesitation, I walked to Markus and talked to him.
I don't remember what I told him, though …
I think I gave him the flyer … anyway, I was too excited.

I gave my fliers to almost everyone who was there, explaining my situation to some of them.
(When I finished talking to everyone, Carsten called a taxi for me. Saying it's not safe for me to walk alone in the dark, he even led me to the taxi and watched over me till I got in the car. What a nice gentleman!!)

Later, one of those fliers from that night reached to Lars Ratz of Metalium … and I signed up with his contract, which eventually led me to a world debut back then.
In short, without Carsten, those things wouldn't have happened.

After 15 years from then, I came back to Hamburg.

And …
Believe it or not, at the crossroad near
MARKTHALLE , I came across him with his girlfriend!
"Saekoooooo! Not at GRUENSPAN tonight??"
Joking each other, we celebrated our meeting with wine and beer.
He encouraged me again in resuming music activity.

Honestly, I didn't expect to meet him this way.
It was as if something, some kind of higher spirits?, told me: "It will be all right again!"

Incidentally, I also have a wonderful episode with the then-manager of MARKTHALLE (although I don't write it here, for it'll be very long), but the manager is probably different now.
Given half a chance, I should check it!
In front of Markthalle. From right to left, Carsten, me and his girlfriend, Patrizia! 23619024_1673324519384250_1444261595_n
Yes, it will be all right.
Believe and get over or break down the walls!

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