Writer: Akemi Oshima
Website: Akemi Oshima’s Rock’N Roll Diary for Web
Translator: Bunny

Starting in Chofu’s Green Hall on July 1st was X’s Film Gig, so shooting for it was carried out on the outskirts of L.A., Long Beach Arena, on May 26th. A lot of Japanese media gathered in L.A., for news coverage. It gave an impression akin to something you would normally see to a gathering in a concert hall. “Is this Shibuya Public Hall? Budokan!?” so for an instant I was completely taken aback (laugh). However, for the authorized staff, it was a super tight schedule for two nights and four days. Though I had just arrived to L.A. the day before shooting, I would be on a plane to Tokyo the next day early in the morning on the day of shooting is an unbelievable handling of scheduling. However, I secretly without telling anyone, delayed my stay for three days. Because, previously, I had done a business trip to New York for two nights and four days (and with a stop in Washington), and after returning to Japan, my physical condition was thoroughly and completely destroyed. It’s such a pa~inful memory. When I returned, I told Utsumin and Satoshi-chan “It’s unfa~ir” while looking coldly at them so, I told myself in a bouncy happy voice, “Alright! I’ll do a 3 day vacation in L.A.!”. Although I said that, in the end, I wasn’t able to take scenic photos or the shopping that I looked forward to doing though… … ((oh Akemi, not with hide planning your vacation XD))

‘Tomorrow, where should we go play?’

Before and after the shooting, the members of X were really busy, so we really didn’t have free time to meet and talk, but those two days after, hide invited me out saying, “Tonight, after the photo check, various affairs and everything is finished, let’s go drinking!”

So then, that night at around 8:00p.m., I went to the studio where the guys were. I walked in the entrance and in the hallway, I ran into Toshi, who had started working on recording the song, ‘Art of Life’, unexpectedly.

Toshi: The day before, I really over did it for the Film Gig video shooting, so I’m really tired~

I could hear that his voice was cracked a little.

Toshi: Ma~n, after this everyone is going to drink right? You’re so lucky~ I have to work

And then Toshi disappeared into studio. When I went to the reception office, Hide, Pata and Heath were relaxing.

hide: I looked at too many images today, my eyes hurt.

He complained. It seems that the reporters that came from Japan to film had done over a thousand reels. And furthermore, the only had two days to check them all, so it was inevitable that his eyes would hurt huh~. And then after that, with the exception of Yoshiki and Toshi who were working on the recording for ‘Art of Life’, I went with the guys to a Japanese restaurant near the studio. Come to think of it, the previous year in August, I came to L.A. to collect data for an article, and when we went to eat, it was always at a Japanese restaurant. They were such fine Japanese men, weren’t they… … I had thought, it seems like their true purpose was to have Nihonshu and Japanese style sake with appetizers. It didn’t matter where in the world they went, their style really didn’t change at all I guess (laugh). And then, while drinking alcohol, accompanied with dinner, we would become lively while idly chatting, to Pata

hide: Tomorrow, should we go out and play somewhere?

hide said and began our conversation. His place that he lived in was a little bit separated from the rest of the member’s apartments and lately he didn’t really go out very often. It seems like he had found out that I had rented a car and his ulterior motive was to turn me into an Asshi-kun (a man used by a woman for his car) but even Pata did not seem to notice it yet at the time so this led to his day of struggle… … (laugh).

Me: So, where should we go?

Pata: Anywhere is fine.

Me: Ok, let’s go to Magic Mountain!

Pata: What!?

Me: I had gone once before, but, when I went it was Sunday and it was really crowded and I only got to ride three roller coasters!

Pata: No way. I don’t want to be a downer, but I hate things like roller coasters.

Me: Oh, I see… … (sniffle)

Magic Mountain, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are L.A.’s, big three most famous amusement parks. Furthermore, Magic Mountain’s roller coasters are generally the kind that you scream your guts out, so it’s an amusement park that’s really popular among young people. At that moment, hide who had been listening to our conversation from the sidelines

hide: It’s fine isn’t it, Magic Mountain! Let’s all go tomorrow!

he said. Heath too

Heath: Sounds good~

he says with a smug smile (the meaning behind this smile becomes clear the next day). And then

hide: Great! Tomorrow’s ‘Yubamangashira, Go to the amusement park in L.A.!’ is decided. Let’s all get together at my house tomorrow at 12:00, ok!

he said and with that, it was determined that we would go to Magic Mountain the next day. Pata who was motionlessly listening to our exchange

Pata: I’m going to pass during the day, so, at night, when you go out to drink, invite me out, and I’ll come ok?

he said so leisurely and yet… …

((Oh Pata, how wrong you are XD The next title is “After all, everyone is going!”))

As Expected, Everyone Is Going!

It was the next day at 12:00. In hide’s house, Heath and all 8 members of the staff had gathered. Usually to gather at this time is something that didn’t happen very often, but it seemed that as expected, everyone was looking forward to going to the amusement park. hide had woken up at 8:00am and had already finished eating breakfast. When everyone was settling down and drinking coffee, hide had said

hide: Let’s call Pata’s house. Even though he said this and that, when you’re the one left out, you’ll

feel lonely, so, let’s try to invite him out!

This was a typical example of hide’s kindheartedness. However, for Pata, it seemed that 12:00 in the afternoon was too early, so when we called him, he didn’t answer the phone. So then,

hide: Huhh, how troublesome. Oh well, let’s head over to Pata’s place and kidnap him.

he says. Such a forcible and aggressive remark is really just like hide. So then, The eight of us got into that super huge 1958 Cadillac that hide had purchased in L.A. and headed towards Pata’s place. In this car, you can make more room by taking out/pushing back the seats so it is so big that even nine people could sit comfortably in it. My beloved car could only seat five people and previously I had hide, Kyo, J, Pata, etc., it was so packed and was a miserable event, so this time around, it was really agreeable. As we traveled to Pata’s place on the freeway, we discussed with each other, “how are we going to get Pata to come out?”

And So, We Dragged Pata Away!

Not long after, we arrived at Pata’s house in the suburbs of LA. Pata was freeloading at the house of Stan Katayama who was solo engineer and there these small houses were lined up around a pool so it was a cute apartment. When we wandered around the front, the door was open and the screen door was shut. It was a quiet atmosphere that you would hardly think that this is L.A., a place famed for being a city of crime. hide and Heath stood lined up in front of the entryway,

“Pa~ta~chan, let’s play~!”

they said in the same way that an elementary school kid would come to invite his neighborhood friend by calling him out from inside his home.

hide: No one is coming out huh. But there is never a time when he isn’t home, so he must be there.

Heath: I’m guessing he’s sleeping on the 2nd floor.

hide: Let’s break in, force him against his will and abduct him.

Heath: hide, we can’t do that! Other people live here, and besides, we are in L.A. not Japan, you can’t do that here!!

hide: Is that so? He~y, Pata~! Come ou~t, wake up~!

The two of them were yelling “wahh wahh”, and at last, Pata who was rubbing his sleepy eyes came down from the 2nd floor.

Pata: I had thought it was so noisy outside, and as expected here you all are, huh. If I ask you to please leave me here as I am now, are you going to get angry?

As expected, he seemed to know why we came to visit him suddenly.

hide: Don’t be like that! We came all this way just for you. Just come with us.

However, hide himself immediately opened the door and rudely entered the house. Pata, seeing that, felt as if he was in danger and laid down on the sofa. On opposite ends of the sofa were hide and Heath, trying with all their might to provoke Pata into coming out. Oh… … here I go again, leaving myself out so that I don’t get disapproval from everyone, though I’m writing truthfully; but there was another person who went with those two and was enthusiastically persuading Pata to change his mind, me (laugh).

hide: Pata-cha~n (only at these times do we ever call him –chan), let’s go play!

Pata: No way! Where do you think you’re going in broad daylight like this?! ((….are you a vampire Pata!? XD))

hide: A fun place.

Pata: If it’s roller coasters, I won’t go! Because I really hate them!

hide: If you say things like that, even I will hate them too!! You may hate them, but, even so, if you just keep avoiding them, in life you won’t progress! (What kind reason is this… …) ((Yes hide, what kind of reason is this!?! XD ))

Pata: Even if that’s true, it’s still useless! Yesterday I stayed up late watching the F1 video and I’m still sleepy! I’m begging you so please let me sleep until tonight! ((wtf reason is this!?!? XDD))

Pata-chan was being unusually stubborn this time. Even if hide and Heath pulled and pried him off of the sofa, Pata would be trying to bite into the sofa to keep from going. So then, I had to use my trump card you know~ Which is,

Akemi: Pata-chan, let’s go drink beer!

those magic words. I thought that there is no mistake that it was the same thing as Japanese theme parks and Magic Mountain would definitely sell beer.

Akemi: Drinking beer under the sun light is quite delicious right.

I said

Pata: Hn, that’s a good idea huh. ((just like that!?!?))

Pata’s mood behavior had weakened. And gradually got up from the sofa.

Pata: Anyway, since I just woke up, have some tea for now.

He said. Since Pata was finally determined, both hide and Heath looked really happy. After everyone drank tea with Pata, our troupe had once again began heading for the theme park.

(Later… … However. For some reason Magic Mountain doesn’t sell beer. It seems that in amusement parks, alcohol is banned from being sold. Thanks to that, that day, all day, I was continued to be cursed being called “Great Liar” and “The Root of All Evil”… …*dejected*)

Well, for some reason or another, the gloomy Pata a few moments ago had become in very high spirits in the car. While we were looking in the guide book,

Heath: This roller coaster looks interesting huh?

he said after researching the map without another idea to go off of. hide who had only been once before said

hide: it’s a coaster that’s made of wood and looks like it’s broken and it’s scary! ((maybe Apocalypse?))

He explained to everyone.

After everything, the car had arrived at Magic Mountain. Adjacent to the parking, you can see these enormous roller coasters towering above.

“They’re huge… …” everyone was at a loss for words.

At that moment, the time had been about 3:00pm. The sun was blazing and it the temperature was quite high, but Heath..

Heath: I’ll take a jacket with me since we’ll be here until midnight.

so, at first everyone was full of motivation. On the other hand, Pata who was just walking around the parking lot a bit,

Pata: I didn’t get much sleep so the sunshine hurts my body. ((…..what!?!? XDDD))

he was quick to make complaints.

Well, from here on out what’s going to happen… … it will continue in the next issue!