Saturday, May 03, 2008

"Banana Song in Colombian Bar" (Tokyo-1991)

I used to go out for a beer or two from time to time (here and there in Tokyo, but mostly in Shibuya) with a friend from LA, and one evening he took me and a few other people to this Columbian bar run by a Columbian man he knew (who later appeared in a bit part in a very bad movie here that I can't remember the name of). Visiting a place like that isn't as big of a deal now, but in 1991, bars run by foreigners were rarer, so it was interesting to go there on novelty value alone. We had a good time it seems - judging from the 10-15 minutes of video I took there (typically, I can remember standing with my video camera, focusing on the guy as he performed behind the counter, but I can't remember much of anything other than my time behind the camera. The conversations must not have been too interesting...) The video clip starts out on the street, then goes up the stairs, and once inside there's some... some... not "footage"... there are a couple of clips of the guy singing and playing a keyboard behind the counter:

My friend had shown up late that evening (he was pretty habitually late, come to think of it), and then we ended up staying past the last train, so we walked over to his place (he lived nearby, fortunately) and I slept there for a few hours and then I took the first train (5:00 a.m.) towards home in the morning.

How can I remember those details after seventeen years? I can't! Or more precisely, I couldn't, until I saw those parts again - in the video. There is a scene looking across a train station platform. My arm appears in the frame as I and the camera look at the time on my wristwatch as my friend walks up late & apologizing. Later on, there are video clips of going to a convenience store on the way to my friend's place; me looking very tired there before catching a few hours of sleep on the tatami; me half-asleep in the morning when I got up (I actually went to the trouble in the morning of setting the camera on a bookshelf, aiming it at myself, and videotaping myself sitting sitting on the tatami, half-nodding off to sleep for a minute before finally getting up); the early morning streets; the trains back... I used to videotape everything. While watching the tapes, the memories are roused.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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