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Michael Devin's Blog
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  • 2011-10-30 04:49:56
    Beer Machine, Sniffin’ the Guinness, Japanese Crapper
    Whitesnake had a ball in Japan... we love Japan....so I’d like to dedicate this blog to all things JAPAN... 日本の !! はい。!!


    Japanese people are incredibly humble....incredibly honest... a culture of high integrity. I love it here. Such efficiency, too. There are vending machines in Tokyo that dispense beer! This is the beginning of a very beautiful relationship...off to a very healthy start... I wonder if this Beer Machine will fit into the guitar vault...


    And speakin’ of Brew...


    T.S. Eliot wrote that anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. This is why a cold Guinness comes in so damn handy...from time to time. Settles the nerves a bit before the Big Rock Show. I’ve been known to crack a tall one or ask for a "good head" when poured from the tap...good stuff...and DC likes to smell the Guinness after its poured into the glass, though he never imbibes... only takes it in through the ol’ olfactory. How do I know this? I know this because he’s sniffed a few of my Guinness...I believe the scent reminds him of his Mum...I may have just divulged way too much information about the man...sorry DC... but imagine a bushy-haired toddler DC lookin’ up at his Mum, sittin’ at the kitchen table, sippin’ a Guinness... that bushy-haired toddler then goes on to rock the world more than a few times over. I believe it’s also because he’s got some Irish blood, y’know.... a true connoisseur of dry stout porter, DC... some good ol’ Irish blood…


    Loudpark 11 Concert… blazin’ gig...awesome crowd...my first concert in Japan...I’m high on life. On the bill...Whitesnake, Limp Biskit, Arch Enemy. Tichy debuts his chopstick solo and his ginsu knife solo. Brilliant stuff happenin’ there. I do believe he’s the first drummer in rock history to incorporate chopsticks and ginsu knives into a drum solo. Next stop is meat cleavers and 12-guage shotguns...


    These shows in Japan....David has been giving so much of himself on stage....pourin’ it out...energy flyin’ off in layers...quite an inspiring thing to watch from where I’m standing. It’s like going to school all over again....except the homework isn’t a drag...and the hours are better... and the teacher is one of my heroes...


    Doug, Tichy, Gideon, and I are walkin’ the streets of Roppongi... 六本木 ...decked-out girls follow us in their high heels....lots of makeup...offering up massages...sake flowin’ like water on the streets...no law against drinkin’ on the streets...karaoke bars look like five-star hotels at first glance...it’s rainin’ in spurts...keepin’ things cool. The night is awash in color...bright light rainbows... flickering, flashing above and below...reflecting off the wet pavement...a surreal ballet of color and light... we’ve arrived. The nightlife in Japan is a livin’ thing....breathing in the heat and drizzle. Roppongi Dori is alive tonight…an explosion of attractions...


    Headed back to Hard Rock Café for the second time in one evening...excited in the nighttime…been enjoying the sake and tea….walkin’ by this sax player performing on the street, I recognize the tune she’s blowin’..."Giant Steps" by Coltrane…Tichy thinks I’m makin’ it up...we stop, have a listen… she’s really blowin’ on that horn…. Tichy asks, "Do you know Tenth Avenue Freeze-out by the Boss? By Springsteen?" She stops playin’... she’s puzzled... shakes her head...puts her lips to the reed and continues on with the Coltrane. We meet some Whitesnake fans...they join us for some madness...we make our way up to the bar at the Hard Rock. Tichy sits next to some Americans... starts yappin’ it up. After a while, I notice he’s eating their chips and salsa... ha... Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit. I try my best to discuss all things Rock with a pretty girl...she knows her history, shiny black hair past the ass...though I’m still not sure if I was talking to a man or a woman… either way, she certainly knew her Rock. And speaking of Rock...


    Doug is a Rock God here in Japan. Not that he behaves any differently. He’s still a very humble cat.... but I’m tellin’ ya...this guy...he can’t go anywhere without being asked for a photo or autograph. Me? People clutch their purses and wallets when I walk by.... if I’m with Tichy and Ruedy? People cross the street half a mile ahead. But Doug...they love him in Japan and rightfully so. The dude is a rippin’ player.


    Riding the Bullet Train from Tokyo to Osaka....traveling at about 180 mph...first time on the Bullet Train.. too cool. We need one of these in Los Angeles. Beautiful day...baby blue sky...giant cotton mountain clouds... DC is deep into a game of Scrabble on his iPad... the man’s mind is forever burnin’...Doug is gearin’ up for some interviews he’s got lined up....Tichy is playing Angry Birds in the seat next to me...Reb is enjoying a cold Asahi. Ruedy is stoic, silent in his black sunglasses. Everyone is munching...snacking on these little pretzel stick tasties... PRETZ. Flavored pretzel sticks. I think of a slogan... imagine someone like, say, John Stamos or Matthew McConaughey taking a bite of the pretzel stick and saying, "Now, THAT is one IMPRETZIVE pretzel!" Right? You with me? It’s a no-brainer. Million dollar advertising idea right there. Pretz Inc., make the check out to Michael E. Devin, Venice Beach, California.


    Backstage, getting ready to Rock-a in Osaka. What day is it? I’m a day ahead now... losin’ track....I ask some bandmates… Doug says, “It’s today and today you have a rock show to play.” Good enough for me…. today is today... Doug the Philosopher. I see Reb focused on his plate of food. Reb is really diggin’ the chicken wings here in Japan… the man can’t get enough wings... "Wings are my weakness", says Rebellious...he’s gonna be sad when we split Japan... I can speak on behalf of the entire band when I say we’re all going to miss Japan... ‘cause it’s true.


    After the Osaka gig the adrenaline is still pumpin’... Doug, Tichy, and I head over to Roc Roc...Osaka’s premier rock club... Limp Biskit’s in the house as well… needless to say there’s a party happening. A real shindig. Tichy takes over as DJ….no kiddin’... word is they never let anybody in the DJ booth, unless of course you’re THE DJ...but somehow, the Badger works his way to the turntable... what’s the first song he plays? A song by Boston, of course. Followed up with a hard rock frenzy that goes on for hours...we keep callin’ ’em out...he’s spinnin’ ’em....Doug hollars out a number by Rage Against the Machine and the place erupts into a dance party. Such beauties in the house tonight. At some point, I hear a familiar voice shouting... "I think it’s getting late, gentlemen. It is a school night." Must be our tour manager, Gideon, because none of these other rock-n-rollin’ maniacs could ever be that responsible in the face of loud music and free drinks...or that concerned with self-preservation... so we wind it down... cab it back to the hotel...dust ourselves off...wicked, fun night...


    Osaka, on walkabout. There’s a Tower Records still operating here. Haven’t seen a Tower Records in some time. Whitesnake Loud Park Eleven...our faces are plastered all over the magazines. Too bad I can’t read a word… I hope it says good things... we rocked it hard, I’m sure it’s full of positivity...


    At the supermarket in Tokyo with Tichy....open 24 hours...oh yeah, baby. What’s more delicious than a Zeppelin beer? Nothin’, according to Tichy. "Hey, where can I buy a case of this stuff in the States?" asks Tichy to the boy behind the counter. It’s true...Tokyo has a beer labeled, Zeppelin. I’m lookin’ around for the Black Sabbath Stout...nowhere to be found... AC/DC Lager.... nope.... Hey, any Whitesnake beer? Now that could be tasty... Whitesnake Beer.... a Blonde Ale...brewed in Britain...


    Miyazaki… located on the island of Kyushu...runnin’ rivers, silver ocean, green mountains. I can almost see California. From my hotel window on the 28th floor I see the ocean and she’s slammin’...she’s angry. The waves are three times the height of the vans passing by on the freeway. Post-flight nap time. Wakin’ up a couple hours later I wander the lobby like a zombie... this hotel is massive... beautiful slabs of marble....sprawling lobby... a cylindrical fish tank occupies the center of the bar... I think the fish are drunk...if these fish could talk. No Brothers in sight, I shuffle through the restaurant. I see Ruedy. He’s enjoying some Udon noodles and iced tea...I take a seat...damn, those noodles look tasty... I’ll take that with some sashimi, please. We talk about his family, there’s a storm brewin’ outside...lightning crackin’ through the night sky in long, contorted fingers. I notice Ruedy’s already working on a wifi connection. This man could be in the bowels of hell, the catacombs of Saint Callixtus, the top of Mount Kita, the vacuous recesses of the sweaty Congo, Ruedy will have a wifi connection within 15 minutes… 20 minutes, tops… that’s just how the man’s built. We enjoy our meal, I make my way back to a darkened room and watch the lightning touch the ocean...


    I’ve been part of Whitesnake for exactly one year, two months today… in Miyazaki...and what a year! It’s been a very juicy bite of life thus far... lots of thrills... soakin’ it all up... all in. I want thank all of you from the bottom of my beatin’ heart, for being such wonderful supporters, friends, fans, concert goers, rock ’n rollers, blog-readers, and all-night party animals. I’ve met some amazing people thus far. Truly. I’m having the time of my life out here on the road, I’m very blessed, being able to express myself for you each and every night alongside my brothers-in-arms, David Coverdale, Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach, Brian Ruedy, and Brian Tichy. Magical...


    Nagoya is really cool…. wide rivers… long bridges….lots of people walkin’ the street this afternoon. Gray skies and rustlin’ trees. Halloween decorations in heaps behind the shop windows... Jack-o-lanterns, witches brooms, cauldrons, ghoulish masks, black cats...that time of year again. I love Halloween. Favorite holiday. I love Japanese horror movies, too. Some of the best horror is produced here. Tense, psychological, and downright frightening. Some of my favorite Japanese horror flicks... Audition (Odishon) ...Carved (Kuchisake-onna)...Noroi (The Curse)...Dark Water (Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara)...do check ’em out, if that’s your thing.


    Sold out show tonight in Nagoya… hot show tonight! I got me a slight case of the flu... DC passes me a potion... main ingredient...snake venom, nonetheless. Drinkin’ snake venom backstage before a Whitesnake show... poetic.


    The boys in the band and I have been writing songs out here… none of which we could actually record and publish, due to their highly explicit nature… but they keep us laughin’ from airport to airplane to car ride to hotel. Should I share one? I mean...I could list some of the song titles, some of the words, but I mustn’t… I’ll just say they are some of the funniest songs I’ve ever sung…. And so what if they’re dirty…. If DC thinks they’re funny, you know they gotta have a little grit to ‘em. Maybe by tour’s end I’ll ask DC if I can let you in on it… ‘til then… you’ll have to use your imagination…. Bad, bad boys...


    The last show in Tokyo is truly a special one…such a boisterous crowd at the Blitz... considering the Japanese custom is to be on the quieter side during a concert, but not this group… wild, wonderful ending to a fulfilling romp through Japan.


    Two Cent Soap Box – Believe in yourself and believe in your rightful place here on Planet Earth and believe you are a powerful entity capable of creating Great Change...’cause you are. You’re beautiful and powerful and who you are is not what you do for a living. Love all Earthlings without prejudice. Thanks for listening. Two cents. Don’t shoot.


    Some of life’s greatest decisions are not made in board rooms, embassies, offices, or city halls… they’re made on the crapper. Invented by Thomas Crapper, according to DC...and what better crapper to have than one that is not only equipped with a bidet complete with water temp control, but also a seat warmer. Warm those buns! Come to Japan if for no other reason than to read the paper on a Japanese crapper. I can’t get off the toilet… I don’t even have to go... just chillin’...readin’...this is heaven. Maybe that’s sharing too much, eh? Ah, shit… no pun intended…I had to go there. DC, you’re right… nothing is sacred….


    私は日本が大好きです !! 私ミス日本 !!


    日本最高 !!


    DC says, "Where’s ya fookin’ blog, Hemingway!"... So there ya have it...


    Until next time, Kiddies....mind your Miso!


    Happy Halloween!


    DEVIN

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