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1. Char, who celebrates the 35th anniversary of his recording debut in 2011, is considered one of Japan’s most influential guitarists and an elder statesman of the Japanese music scene. He is noted for playing a Stratocaster, and he has done much to popularize the Fender Mustang® guitar in Japan. Born Hisato Takenaka in 1955, he took up guitar at age 8 after hearing the Ventures and assembled his first band, Fox, at age 11. Regarded as something of a prodigy, he was heavily influenced by the Ventures and the U.K. blues-rock of the Yardbirds, Cream, Free and Led Zeppelin.

Char started his career as a session player and backing guitarist while still in junior high school before forming Smoky Medicine in 1973 at age 17. He moved to the United States when the group disbanded, but returned to Japan and released his debut solo single (“Navy Blue”) and eponymous first solo album (Char) in 1976. A succession of pop-rock hits followed before Char formed seminal Japanese power trio Johnny, Louis & Char in fall 1978.

A prolific guitarist, Char released several solo and band albums throughout the 1980s and established blues and hard rock record label Edoya in 1988. He formed new band Char and the Psychedelix and acclaimed acoustic duo Baho (with Osamu Ishida) in the late ’80s. He also toured in Japan in 1999 with drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert in a one-off unit called CB&A, which released a live album in 2000. Solo covers album Tradrock was released in 2010, on which Char performed material by the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and the Ventures.


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  • Auxentiu

    these bands should be on different pages.

    1 Sep 2009 Reply
  • Auxentiu

    someone should find a way to differentiate the bands with the same name. in this case what has a japanese guitarist to do with a black metal band from US....

    1 Sep 2009 Reply
  • JJK-san

    This guy should be more known outside Japan!

    4 Mar 2009 Reply

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