Sunday, September 22, 2013

Terauchi Takeshi: Musician
Below, I’ve translated roughly from Japanese Wikipedia about Terauchi Takeshi.  Also see English Wikipedia.

He was born on January 17, 1939 in Tuchiura, Ibaragi prefecture.  His father was a politician and also a successful businessman who managed movie theaters and electronic shops. His mother was a descendant of one of the original traditional schools of kouta singing and one of the shamisen schools, too.
He practiced playing guitar since he was five years old. He tried to make a guitar as strong as the sound of his mother's shamisen and used a telephone to make an electric guitar. For speaker, he used air-bombardment alarm device.  WWII ended in 1945.  When neighbors heard the sound, they hid away into their fox holes. He claims he made the first electric guitar. For a young boy, it was true because he hadn't seen any electric guitar in his life. A year before he was born, Rickenbacker had introduced the first electric guitar.
              Because of the sounds he produced and the neighbors' negative reactions to it, his father was arrested by the military police.  He was said to be disowned 10 times starting at age nine. (In my opinion, this is not technically disowned according to the dictionary.)  Anyhow, he improved his own creation of electric guitars and speakers further.  In 1949, he was using his own PA systems on stage.

His motto: if you don't play, guitar will make no sound.  Isn’t that a truth? He said that he hasn't yet reached the level of his mother’s shamisen expertise.
              He continued to play guitar and focused on making his guitars better.  His school work suffered.  His grades were low.  A rumor has it that his father made a school for him so that he could be admitted.
In his high school, father begged him to be number one just once in one subject, and if he did, he could play guitar all he wanted.  In response to this request, he studied frantically for six months and became number one in one subject only.  I don't know what subject was. Then father said, "You are able boy if you try." Father wanted him to study more. Takeshi replied, "Now we know I'm an able person if I try hard, so I quit." Teachers used to think he was no good, but now he proved himself, so his teachers started to say he was in fact a good boy. So this attitude of his made adults (father and others) angry.

In high school, he set up a mandolin club and won the NHK award for three consecutive years.  He entered Meiji University in response to Koga Masao’s recommendation.  Koga Masao was a famous composer, and he had earlier created a mandolin club at the university.  But Takeshi had to leave the school after only a week because of his father’s guidance.  Because of father’s wish, he then entered Kanto Gakuin University and majored in electronic engineering.

He was also the inventor of Yamaha Electrone, electric piano, as well as his electric guitars. Although he had made his father go through nightmare, I'm sure he listened to his advice also.

He was invited to Ed Sullivan show, but his schedule was too tight. Has any unknown artists refused an invitation to Ed Sullivan show? But he didn't refuse.  He simply couldn't accept it because he couldn’t turn down his promise. Also he was chosen as one of three best guitarists by a music magazine called “Music Breaker.” Other two were Chet Atkins and Les Paul.  Because I've translated all this info. from Japanese Wikipedia, I do not know how to spell some of English names. So, some could be in error. 

Jongara Bushi (Tsugaru Folk music)

Yokohama Concert in 1975:  Flying Guitar