Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Guitar God Can Out-shred Yours

News that tickets were on sale for Eric Clapton's showdown with Jeff Beck at the Air Canada Centre on February 21 got a couple of hombres next to me in a neighborhood bar debating the age-old question of who really is the greatest rock guitarist of all time. Loud arguments were made on behalf of Clapton and Beck as well as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and a few others. When the debate quickly deteriorated into a squabble about Tony Iommi vs. Randy Rhoads, it suddenly seemed pointless to chime in with Takeshi "Terry" Terauchi. No amount of explanation about the Japanese eleki icon's awesome technical facility nor his wholly unique minyo-rooted conception which involves the best bits of Chet Atkins, Nokie Edwards and Link Wray was gonna convince anyone who hasn't heard Terry-san rip that this dude from a GS band called the Bunnys deserves top ranking.

Heck, I wouldn't have believed it myself if I didn't get past the cover image of our Mosrite-strapped man posing seaside in polyester flares and Wallabies on 1974's Jongara Shi Bushi (King) LP to hear the outrageously nasty Blaxploitation soundtrack-style jams Takeshi was capable of kicking out. Since stumbling onto that album by entirely by chance a couple of decades back, I've consistently been impressed by his playing on everything else I've dug up, right back to his early country & western picking sessions with Jimmy Tokita and the Mountain Playboys circa 1960 and some odd stereo test records which you're not likely to see listed in any discography.

Trust me when I tell you there's no shortage of material to document every phase of his prolific career with the Blue Jeans, Bunnys and beyond but the one record that probably best showcases his jaw-dropping chops and awesome creativity is Rashomon, a collection of music inspired by the writing of Japanese novelists Ryunosuke Akutagawa (who wrote the story upon which Akira Kurosawa based his 1950 cinematic classic Rashomon) and Shichiro Fukazawa which Terauchi recorded with his Blue Jeans crew back in 1972. Fortunately, someone over at the Lucky Psychic Hut blog has kindly ripped their long out-of-print vinyl copy which you can check out for yourself right here.

1 comment:

  1. The link to the "Rashomon" tracks is broken, so here is a link to said tracks: