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


After the last entry, some asked me to write about another heart-warming episode at Markthalle in Hamburg. So, here it is.

During the first few weeks in Hamburg in 2002, all I could do was just to hand out flyers at concert halls.
And I was at Markthalle on that night.

Like always, after requesting permission of handing out flyers at the entrance door of the hall, I went into the hall.

By the way, the hall is quite big as you can see in the picture below.
▼ The front building is Markthalle.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons :

What was different from other nights was that I was not alone.
I was with an American girl, Susan.

Susan and I became friends in Hamburg.
She was rather shy … and used to say she wasn't confident in herself.
That might be exactly why she loved hard rock / heavy metal, music that encouraged listeners to be faithful to their beliefs.
When she first found out why I came to Hamburg — that is, to look for a heavy metal band to join —, she said, brightening her eyes, "Wow, what a strong will-power you have! I'm impressed! Let me support your dream together!!"
That's how she started to accompany me.

Her favourite band was playing in Markthalle on that night.
So, she came along with me.

After entering the hall, we realised that we still had to wait till the showtime.
So, we went to a bar counter and ordered some drinks … then, a door by the wall next to us opened.
Inside the door looked like an administration office or something.
Out of the room came a man, perhaps in his late 40s.
He talked to a staff member at a bar, and he was about to go back and close the door.
In this short moment, we hunched that he might be one of the people in charge.

Suddenly, Susan talked to me …
"Why don't you talk to him? You see, many top-class bands play here.
He might know a few bands who are looking for a singer."
Saying so, Susan pushed my back … it was just before his closing the door.
"Go, Saeko, go!"
"Serious? How can I talk to a maybe-owner of this big hall?"
Pushed forward, I said to him, standing in the opening left by the door ajar.
"Ah, ah, excuse me. May I ask you a question?"
He looked at me with a troubled look.
"Well, I'm very busy now. Can you ask someone else?"
He was about to close the door.
Then, Susan spoke from behind me.
"Wait, listen to her, please!
She came all the way from Japan!
Only for a short while, please!"
He turned back and looked at me and Susan.
"Coming alone? But she's with you right now."
He said to Susan.
"No, no, no, I met her and became friends with her in Hamburg!
She was alone when she left Japan!
You must imagine what it meant for a Japanese girl who didn't understand German at all! She's visiting concert halls in Hamburg alone. So, please, for God's sake, give a little moment for her."

He said with bad grace.
"And, what is your question, then?"
I took out my flyers from my back pack.
"I am a singer and wanna join a heavy metal band in Europe.
So, if you come across any bands that are looking for a singer, please contact me."
Taking up the flyer from my hands, he read it.

After a short while, his face expression changed a little.
"So, you came all the way from Japan to Hamburg, just to look for a band?"
"Ok … do you have song materials of yours?"
I took out a CD-R from my backpack and gave it to him.
In the CD-R, some songs from my
Fairy Mirror days were recorded.
Taking that CD-R, he suddenly put it into a CD-player behind him.
Listening to it for 20 or 30 seconds, he said, "Not bad", and he turned up the volume.

Then, my songs got being played in the whole concert hall.
Susan shouted her pleasure.
"Saeko, can you believe this? This is your song!
All people in the hall are listening to your songs now!!"

After playing through the CD-R, he said to me.
"You have a good voice and, above all, a great courage.
I feel like showing respect to you."
He smiled to me.
"Can I keep this CD-R and some of your flyers?
If I come across a heavy metal band looking for a singer, I'll give them your material."
"Thank you very much!!"
He patted his hand on my shoulder and said, "Good luck!"

Some weeks after that, Susan flew back to the US and we eventually lost contact with each other. (Back then, there was no Skype, Smartphone, Facebook or Twitter, so it wasn't so easy to keep in touch overseas.)
Therefore, to be sad, I wasn't able to tell her when I later released my solo debut album.

But I gave a sample CD to this gentleman (maybe owner) of Markthalle.
"Do you remember me? I made this album! So, I would like you to hear."
"Of course, I remember you!! You were here with flyers!!"
With my album in his hand, he said, "You really made it! Congratulations!!"
"Thank you!"
"Well, you know, music business is a hard world.
There might be some ups and downs in the future.
But, no matter what may come, I want you to keep on singing, ok?"
"Yes, I will!"

This was the conversation I had with him, just before my flying back to Japan in 2006.

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