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"Sexy Suki, little geisha girl
Given every samurai a twirl"

Mötley Crüe - Hell On High Heels - 2000

He travels the globe from Australia to see the mighty Crüe perform on stage and off. On the day in 1998 that Mötley's 'Greatest Hits' was released, he was there in Canada soaking it up - live. In 1999 he caught a large dose of Maximum Rock in Japan, and now he's back in the land of sushi and the rising sun once more... this time for Mötley Crüe's '2000 Japan Tour'. Now YOU can experience the tour too, through the eyes and ears of Dr. Shinbone Starr, the rock'n'roll patroller, as he presents his entertaining saga - Nippon Patrol.

Chapter 5 - Oh yeahhhhh! Osaka! - 8 November 2000.

Well it's time to attend our second show of this year's Mötley tour, and the venue is certainly a lot closer to our hotel this time - only 2 subway stops. However, we still leave a little earlier, hoping to catch up with Jessica and utilise our passes to hopefully meet the band before tonight's show. It just so happens that the concert venue is basically right above the subway station, so it isn't far to walk tonight. Coming to the top of the stairs, there are people everywhere for tonight's sold-out show! This place is buzzing like you wouldn't believe! Immediately we head towards the desk where tonight's guest list is held to collect our tickets for the show, which also includes a stick-on guest pass (pictured below), which we don't really need due to our existing VIP passes.

We search around the venue looking for the doorway leading to the backstage area. We come around a corner and there is a young guy standing in front of a doorway with various pieces of paper in his hand. There are also a few people milling around, some seated on a leather lounge which is situated near the doorway - we figure we must be in the right place. We approach the door and show the guy our passes and motion towards the doorway. He doesn't speak English, but we can tell that he is telling us we can't go through the door. The paper he has in his hands has images of the various passes people will be wearing at tonight's show and where they can be used, and more importantly, where they cannot. As best I can, I begin to tell this guy that our passes allow us to get beyond that door, however he doesn't understand and insists that we cannot go past him. It even says on the paper next to the picture of the pass we have - "No Stage, No Dressing Room". Even after pointing this out to him, he still does not understand and we decide that it probably would be best to wait until after the show before we try again.

The venue for tonight is a multi-tiered theatre/concert hall which I'd guess would hold around 4000 people. Our seats are located in an open-boxed area just to the left of centre stage - we should have a great view of Sixx from here!! Time to set up the video camera. The seats are that close that I will have to make sure I am zooming out instead of zooming in. I set-up the tripod in the small stairwell so I am not blocking the view of the fans directly behind me. I'm all set up and ready to go but something is bothering me. Due to this venue being smaller, and the fact that the area our seats are in stands out fairly prominently, I get a funny feeling that filming tonight's show won't be that easy. Me and the video camera stick out like a sore thumb in this place!

Sure enough, within a few minutes of setting up, someone is hassling me about the camera. I try to explain to him that I have been given the OK by Mötley's management to film the shows - there was no trouble at all in Tokyo. I show him my VIP pass and he walks off to go ask someone else about the situation. Just as he leaves, Mötley's sound man Davie Kirkwood approaches and laughs and says to me, "You're not going to be able to use that thing in here!" After telling him that Jeff Varner from Left Bank said everything would be fine, he replied, "How would he know? This is Japan!!" Typical Scotsman! Haha! 

Now the Japanese guy who first started questioning me is back and points to the sound-desk up the back. Well, it seems that if I want to film this show, it's going to have to be from there. I guess something is better than nothing, so I fold up the tripod and organise the spare tape and battery. Just as I'm about to move, Will, Mötley's lighting guy, walks past grinning and greets us with, "Hey you fucks!" Hehe...

Bono & Shinbone hanging out with some local Rock Rock talentSo up to the sound-desk I move and set up my camera again, right next to Davie Kirkwood. Well I guess this gives me the chance to actually see what Davie does during the show, and to check out what equipment is being used. Within minutes, Frank Zappa's "Crew Slut" is playing, kicking off yet another show in Japan. The lights go down for the intro before Mick walks out to centre-stage to begin the familar opening to "Kickstart My Heart". No technical problems at all tonight either! I'm not sure if it's because of tonight's smaller, sold-out venue, but to me it seems that the audience is just as wild and enthusiastic as they were at the Tokyo show!

Tonight's set-list is the same as last the Tokyo show, expect for a couple of minor changes. "Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" was played instead of "Too Young.....". It was great to hear some classic Crüe from my favourite Crüe album "Shout At The Devil". The audience reacted well to this vintage tune as well. The other difference with tonight's set-list concerns the encore/closing performance. Tonight's show ended with "Live Wire" instead of "Shout At The Devil".

Festival Hall, Osaka - November 8, 2000
Kickstart My Heart
Same Ol' Situation
Primal Scream
Punched In The Teeth By Love
Dr Feelgood
Knock 'Em Dead, Kid
Home Sweet Home
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Wild Side
Hell On High Heels
Looks That Kill
Piece Of Your Action
Girls, Girls, Girls
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Shout At The Devil
Live Wire

After the show, we head back around to the door leading to the backstage area, to see if we might have some success this time around. Yoko from Rock Rock appears with a few friends of hers, all them wearing guest passes. There are a few people waiting around at this stage, including a Canadian guy that is here to see Mark - Sam's drum tech. He speaks Japanese so we ask him to do some translating for us. We explain to him where our passes can be used and that the young guy at the door seems to be confused. He translates all of this for us but the door guy tells him that he has been given instructions that everyone is to wait where we are currently standing. Looks like we are getting nowhere here, so we have no choice but to wait until someone that knows us comes out the door!

Soon, a lady wearing a 2-way radio device comes out the door and we ask her if Jessica is around. We show her our passes and she tells us that Jessica is downstairs, and that we are to wait where we are. It seems like an eternity before anyone else comes out the door - Mark, Sam's drum tech, comes out and greets his Canadian friend before retreating downstairs. We give a quick "Hello" and ask him to let Jessica know that we are up here waiting for her. About 10 minutes later Jessica appears, and apologises for keeping us waiting, although we understand that she was busy doing her job. I think we are more annoyed that we had trouble using our passes to get down to the catering area!

Shinbone Starr with Nobel - Bartender extraordinairre at Rock RockWe walk down the stairs and into what was the dressing room for Sam and the Crüe Sluts. In the middle of the room is a big road-cased wardrobe with a big SATD pentagram on it. For some reason I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it, perhaps it was because I was distracted by Jessica handing over a nice cold Corona!! I think I may have also removed a copy of the set-list while in this room as well - haha!! We then walk into the catering room where there is heaps of food on the table, mostly untouched. Since I haven't eaten all day, the thought of saving some $$ and devouring some of this stuff suddenly becomes overwhelming. Jessica says it's ok to help ourselves as the band has left the venue and the food just gets thrown out anyway. Within seconds I've opened up a loaf of bread and thrown on some cheese and whatever cold meats were there - a gourmet sandwich Osaka-style!!

It looks like things are starting to wind up at the venue, so we decide to head back to the hotel and then onto Rock Rock for the after-show party, but not before I've made another sandwich and grabbed another Corona (a "roadie" as we call them, as in "one for the road") to drink on the way back to the subway. The crew are heading to Hiroshima tomorrow while the band will remain in Osaka for another day. It turns out that our hotel is around the corner from the ANA Hotel - Hiroshima, so we agree to call Jessica tomorrow, before Mötley's staff attend a Japanese BBQ with the Japanese production crew. We exit the venue and make our way to the subway, arriving at Rock Rock almost 20 minutes later.

Sajee - Manager of Rock RockThere is quite a few people here tonight, many of them greeting us - the western strangers who they appreciate having in their bar. We have a few drinks and a I film some of the crazy action going on in the club. Buckcherry's "Lit Up" kicks in and I soon have the whole room singing along - everyone's here to have fun tonight! I thank my good friend Sajee once again for having us at his club. The hospitality here is second-to-none - 2 years in a row Sajee, Nobel, and Yoko, as well as the other staff, have looked after me and made me feel most welcome. After exiting the kitchen area, Sajee motions to the both us to come back in and you can tell by his "sign language" that he's offering a smoke - haha!! I politely decline and decide to kick back and check out the action. Meanwhile Bono has gone back into the kitchen and one of the guys collecting cover charge at the door rushes in there also. Bono appears about 5 minutes later after his session in the kitchen with the cook, Sajee, and the door-guy. We say goodbye to everyone, especially my fabulous female friends Yoko and Tomoko, it's not hard to love this place!!!!! What a great ending to our few days in Osaka - Rock Rock definately rocks!!!!!!!!! It may be a low-key club, but it's not hard to see why a lot of bands tend to hang out here when in town.

Tommorow, we're Hirsoshima-bound - this trip can only get better!

Catchya soon,

Previous: Chapter 4
Next: Chapter 6


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