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Flower Travellin' Band

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Tokyo, Japan (1969 – 1973, 2008 – present)

Flower Travellin’ Band are an esoteric psychedelic rock / heavy metal outfit from Tokyo, Japan, first active from 1969 and early 1970s until 1973, consisting of Akira “Joe” Yamanaka (vocals), Hideki Ishima (guitar), Joji “George” Wada (drums) and Jun Kozuki (bass). As of January 12th, 2008 they have officially reunited.

The band was initially organized by Japanese entertainer and entrepreneur Yuya Uchida as The Flowers, a cover band, and featured two vocalists - male vocalist Yuya Uchida, and female vocalist Remi Aso, who was touted as the Japanese version of Janis Joplin. Their first album consisted of covers of Western pop songs. It was primarily notable for the fact that all of the band members appeared nude on the cover, including Aso, which was considered scandalous at the time. However, after the “Flowers” album, Uchida lost interest and Aso drifted away.

Meanwhile, Hideki Ishima and Joe Yamanaka bumped into each other in Shinjuku after departing from their respective GS bands (Hideki from The Beavers, and Joe from Four Nine Ace) and decided to start a band together. The result was a blues band called Mystic Morning. Uchida attended one of the concerts and decided to pick the two up for a new project which he wanted to be an “international group, one that could have appeal outside Japan.”

Their first release as Flower Travellin’ Band was a single collaboration with famed jazz trumpeter/composer Terumasa Hino entitled “Crash.” The B-Side is a sitar-laden track called Dhoop.

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