Health Woes

Amid all your warm wishes for the recovery of our health, we really, really hate to have to post this announcement, but knowing how full of sound and fury and wildly inaccurate information the internet can be, we consider it our duty to inform you in person of the publicly available facts as quickly as possible, so that others don't fill your ears with baseless freakouts and fearmongering.

First, thanks for asking, but unfortunately, we're not better. We're on the mend, but our condition remains serious, and for this reason, we are taking medical leave from the shopping service until the beginning of February, or further notice. Anyone with pending transactions - we'll deal with you. New orders must wait till February 1st. We have no reason to believe at this moment that we won't make a full recovery - it's just taking longer than expected. Anyway, don't worry about us too hard.

Instead, please send Mr. Sakurai all your good vibes!

Why? Because the remaining dates of the Guernican Moon tour have all been postponed indefinitely due to the fact that Mr. Sakurai was diagnosed with gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and needs to take time off to recover. No announcement has been made about the 29th at the Budoukan as yet, so it's possible that if he's recovered sufficiently by then, the Budoukan show may still take place as planned. However, I think y'all will agree that Mr. Sakurai's health is more important than any concert, and that if cancelling the Budoukan is the price of his recovery, it's not too high a price to pay.

Fans who bought tickets to the remaining Guernican Moon shows should sit tight holding onto the tickets until a decision is made as to whether the shows will be postponed to a later date or canceled outright. Don't assume cancellation - the remaining shows of the Utakata no Razzle Dazzle tour were postponed after the Great East Japan Earthquake, but then took place to great fanfare six months later. We think it's likely that Mr. Sakurai would prefer to postpone rather than cancel if at all feasible.

As far as the underlying causes of his condition, there are really too many potential causes of GI bleeding to be able to speculate, but two of the most common are ulcers and the stress related to heavy drinking, so let's just hope this is nothing more serious than a man who's not as young as he used to be working and partying a little too hard.

But whatever the cause of his illness, he needs all the good vibes you can send him. There have been an awful lot of bad vibes in Buck-Tickistan lately - an unprecedented level of crowd violence and fangirl vitriol against foreign fans, for one. Back when we started going to Buck-Tick shows, fangirls mainly pushed in the pit in order to get closer to the stage, but these days, strangely, they seem less interested in enjoying the show than they are in starting fights. In particular, the swath of fangirls including the bitchiest, most obsessive Japanese Acchan fangirls from the Tokyo area seem to have been taking it as a point of pride lately not to smile, cheer, dance, or show any sign of enjoying the music, while simultaneously attempting to punish all the people nearby who are daring to commit the terrible sin of dancing and looking like they're having fun.

How this trend got started, we can't guess, but we're quite certain Sakurai and the other band members have noticed - while the band's performance at Tokyo's Toyosu Pit was low energy verging on lackluster, and their performances at Kawasaki Club Citta' and the Fish Tanker's Only date at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo were solid but not really up to the band's full potential, the performances at more far-flung locations such as Osaka, Hiroshima, and Takamatsu were brimming with the band's usual gleeful energy, and it was easy to see why - the crowd was more into it. All you want to see when you're a performer is an audience who looks like they're enjoying the show, so holding up bitchy disaffection as the only acceptable posture for the True and Pure Acchan Fangirl seems awfully self-defeating.

I guess what we're trying to say is, if Acchan-chan caught some bad vibes, he caught them from his fangirls. And now it's up to us to send him good vibes instead. Close you eyes with us right now and imagine sending him a whole rose garden of loving, positive warmth and healing. We know he'll feel it.

Also, for what it's worth, we were at Zepp DiverCity on December 9th (yes, we have been following B-T despite our illness, yes it has been very difficult at times, but somehow life is so much easier when B-T are onstage, so we found the strength to carry on even if we couldn't manage to dance quite as much as we would have liked). In any case, we witnessed Mr. Sakurai's near stage collapse for ourselves, and all we have to say is, he's one tough cookie. He'd been looking a little off since the beginning of the show - missing lyrics, dancing less, though we doubt most people noticed it - but it wasn't until about halfway through the show that he started to look visibly ill. At first he hid it well, keeping it to less movement and longer breaks between songs, but once he left the stage to speak to a staff member, we could tell it must be something serious. His wan performance of Gustave was troubling, but somehow it hurt more to watch himself draw himself up to try and take on Rozen Kreuzer and growl out the vocal line perfectly despite the fact that he appeared to be having trouble standing. Each song grew obviously more difficult, and he spent more and more time in between songs wandering in circles, drinking water, or bending over and clutching his left side. During Imai's noodling before "Seven Deadly Sins," Sakurai picked up his handheld spotlight and flashed it aimlessly across the stage and the crowd, staggering in a slow circle as if at a loss for what to do and hoping that the light would guide him. And yet somehow, he sucked it up, and performed the song in its entirety, and even managed a little awa-odori dancing on Memento Mori before stumbling off for a much needed break.

Personally, we'd have been okay with the show ending right here. Had the people cheering for an encore not noticed what was happening? It seemed unfair to cheer for an encore, somehow - health is always more important than encores. But Mr. Sakurai is a perfectionist with a lot of pride, and in retrospect, it seems likely to us that he finished the show as much out of personal pride as out of reluctance to let the fans down. After a slightly longer break than usual, he returned for the sequence of "Reishiki 13gata Ai," "Guernica no Yoru," and "Tainai Kaiki," belting out each number with pitch-perfect aplomb, despite the fact that at certain points, he was once again obviously having trouble standing up. Fans were increasingly cottoning on to the fact that there was a problem, but still seemed reluctant to dance in support of Mr. Sakurai's bravery, shame on them.

Again, it would have been fine if they'd ended the show after the first encore - once you've played "Guernica," you can call it a show, right? But after another longer-than-usual delay, the band were back out and Acchan-chan was back with them, with a smile on his face, performing "Tango Swanka" with more energy than he'd shown since the first half of the set, and even deigning to service a few fans with the opportunity to grab at his outstretched fingertips.

"Sorry for causing trouble," he announced between songs. "I won't make excuses. All kinds of things happen in life... I won't go into detail. But thank you for the warmth of your applause and your cheers of encouragement."

As usual, the band concluded the show with "Kodou," which seemed even more appropriate tonight than on previous nights. Before leaving the stage, Sakurai strolled across the front of the stage in a semicircle, reaching out his hands and miming embracing the audience. See? He felt the good vibes already.


So that's what happened, and never let the Twitter nits tell you differently. But we admit, we'd been waiting for an announcement of this kind ever since Sunday. We understand that it's probably quite distressing for some of you to hear, and we're more than a little bit distressed ourselves, but look on the bright side: he's been diagnosed and he's being treated, and the Japanese medical system is one of the best in the world. It's much better that he should take the time off to recover than continue to push himself and worsen his condition. Something about his announcement on Sunday night makes me think that whatever happened didn't just happen out of the blue - but that might not be bad, it might just mean that he already knew about the problem, which with luck will make it easier to treat. Ulcers, for one, tend to stick around, but they also don't tend to be serious. A witchy friend of ours believes this is simply a necessary wake-up call to him to improve his health routine. Let's hope she's right, and send him all the good vibes in the meantime. Whether or not you believe it, this stuff works.

And while you're at it, send us a few good vibes, too, since we're sure that without a fully recovered Mr. Sakurai slinking around flashing his shiny hotpants at unsuspecting citizens, we will never recover enough to rise from our coffin and stalk the nighttime Tokyo streets for blood anymore, and what a shame that would be. For one thing, it would mean the end of NGS/Blog-Tick, and after nearly 13 years, it would be a damn shame to fizzle out just as the cute kittehs are finally multiplying. So let's hunker down and kumbaya and get the big bad groove back for a scintillating and salacious 2019.



As some of you have pointed out, we haven't posted in a while.  No, it's not because we hate you. And no, it's certainly not because we suddenly, after more than 15 years, hate Buck-Tick. Perish the thought! In fact, we'll tell you right now that, though we love all of you, we love Buck-Tick more than any of you, and that's a fact. So you'll just have to deal with that. But love being a renewable resource, luckily, we still have a few scraps of love to lavish on you before the day is over.

Or at least, we hoped. The only reason we didn't post sooner is because we'd hoped that by now, we'd be able to be posting again, but sometimes things just take more time than you wish they would, and there's nothing you can do.

Without going into too much detail, we'd like to inform you that the reason for our silence is health related. Don't worry - it's nothing life threatening. We expect to be back up to full speed within the next month or so. How can a non-corporeal being get ill, you ask? The answer is simple - there are a ton of bad vibes floating around out there. Fall afoul of them, and the might sap all your energy for blogging and leave nothing left over, till you can trounce them just like Sailor Moon! We promise that we'll post as soon as we are able. In the meantime, anyone with good vibes to spare, please send them our way. They will be gratefully received.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and take good care of yourselves. Good health is a pre-requisite to just about everything.


Tour Pamphlet Extravaganza

For our first shopping service post in a long while, we're pleased to bring you a truly massive load of Buck-Tick tour pamphlets and other books, many of which we've never had the pleasure of offering on here before. As always, orders are on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you're interested in purchasing any of these items, send us an email at themadaristocrat at gmail right away! If you can't pay right away, don't worry - we're happy to put items on reserve for a up to a month. Now let's look at the goodies!

HYPER Psychedelic Buck-Tick Mook

HYPER, a compendium of photos, interviews, and band history published around the time of the Taboo tour, is possibly the single weirdest book Buck-Tick have ever released, and boy, is that saying something! The first half of this book tells a trippy story in few words, with many bizarre photo collages. The second half includes interviews, more trippy collages, and some precious photos of the young band members goofing off behind the scenes. Not to be missed! Aside from a few bent pages at the bottom front corner, the book is in nearly perfect condition. Rare and out of print.
3500 yen.

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale) 

Hoshino Hidehiko's code of life!

Toll's spirit is leaving his body!!

 Now Acchan-chan is going to join him!

Ooh, flesh!

Zomg, stripping!

Hallelujah woo yeah!

There are a lot of jewel collages in this book. This is just one of them.

Cover you and smother you with ornaments of gold...

Like it says.

The band members in their feckless youth.

Omg long-lost Buck-Tick manga!

"Sex... Sex... R & Sex." Said Acchan-chan at age 22.

Shapeless Mini-Book

This miniature Buck-Tick book may be small, but it contains almost 100 pages of choice full-color photos from the band's early years through to around 1992. The second half contains interviews with each band member on a different topic, but if you can't read Japanese, this book is worth it for the photos alone. In perfect condition. Rare and out of print.
3000 yen.

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Holy crap that's a big B-T!

Homo-eros with Hoshino Hidehiko!

Hipster guitar in the fallen leaves! Plus blue hair! (You gotta have blue hair!)

Yutaka with a Giant Bass!

Imai was doing it before Acchan-chan! Cat cat cat cat cat's!

Two Acchan-chans on the couch with a big Acchan-chan Eye in the Sky.

Sexy Beast Hide didn't start being a #sexybeast yesterday, you know!

Darker Than Darkness Tour Pamphlet

Very large, hardcover tour pamphlet from the Darker Than Darkness tour contains 40 full-color pages of gorgeous, uber-goth closeup sexy arty glamour shots of the band members, interspersed with uber-goth arty photos of various interesting objects on fire. If you are really goth and into arson, this is the pamphlet for you! If you're really into long-haired Acchan-chan, this is also for you! Unfortunately the binding is broken (too much drooling over Acchan-chan), but aside from that, the book is in great condition - no stains, tears, wrinkles, or scratches. Rare and out of print.
3500 yen.


COSMOS Tour Pamphlet

Softcover, LP-sized tour pamphlet contains 32 full color pages of really trippy photos of the band members and various drug-related objects, such as ash trays full of cigarettes (but smoking is bad for you!)  It also contains 48 black-and-white pages full of candid photos of the band members goofing around backstage and on the road, including humorous commentary (written in Japanese, of course.) This is probably the largest collection of behind-the-scenes photography of Buck-Tick ever printed, so if you love your band members makeup-free, drunk and giggling unawares, you need this. For serious. Great condition, rare and out of print. 4500 yen.

This is what the color drug photos look like.

In the candids, Toll has a beard, and Sakurai has a smoke-beard (but smoking is bad for you!!!)

Sakurai and Imai brave the dangers of the convenience store to buy some pre-packaged underwear.

Imai says, "no photos, yo!"  Too late.

Hide makes goggle eyes at Acchan-chan.


Kyokutou I Love You / Warp Days Tour Pamphlet

This glossy, LP-sized tour pamphlet features a shiny metallic silver cover and lots of large photos of the band members, including a whole series of making-of shots from the set of the Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete PV. Unfortunately, the previous owner of this pamphlet didn't keep it in a safe place, and it has suffered minor water damage and some ripped pages. Luckily, the rips don't really mar any of the photos inside, but given the damage, we have lowered the price accordingly. Aside from the rips, the rest of the pamphlet is in excellent shape. Rare and out of print.
1500 yen

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Closeup on water damage.


Check out that fishnet stocking he's wearing over his pants! Congrats, Acchan-chan. It may have taken you fifty years, but at least now you know that the stockings go under the pants and not the other way around.

Mona Lisa Overdrive Tour Pamphlet

This glossy, LP-sized tour pamphlet features lots of large photos of the band members in all their 2003 cyberpunk glory, plus a lot of live photos, and a few salacious black and white backstage shots. In perfect condition, and as big and shiny as any fan could desire. Rare and out of print.
3500 yen.
Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Smoking is bad for you!

Drinking is bad for you! (Eyeliner is not bad.)

Back bends are good for you!

 Cyberpunk AF. (Or should we say Cyberpunk AS?)

Devil and Freud Climax Together Pamphlet

This pamphlet doesn't have that many pages, but what it lacks in page count, it makes up for in deep, stupendous color, and creative fold-outs featuring the band members and the factory nightscapes they love. Perfect condition, very rare and hard to find.
2500 yen.

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Foldout of the band members

Factory nightscape foldout with tour credits

Acchan-chan lounges seductively in a cyberpunk interior, hoping to get some androids to dream of him instead of electric sheep for once...

Now Hide's trying it, too.

Imai doesn't want to be left out, either!

Tenshi no Revolver Tour Pamphlet

This artsy black-and-white tour pamphlet was all the rage on the internet when it was released, but has since been lost to time... until now! If you like your Buck-Tick dressed to the nines and lounging on artsy architecture, you'll never stop drooling over this one. Perfect condition. Rare and very difficult to find.
4000 yen.

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Ever have those days where you put on a tuxedo and then just lie around doing nothing?

If not, you should try it sometime.

Ohh man remember how swanky Imai looked with this hair & beard combo?

Acchan-chan gears up to pull something out of his top hat. What do you think it will be?

Toll's thinking about how, if Hide were wearing a skirt on those stairs, he could look up Hide's skirt.

Toll: "I wish I knew how to play piano." Sakurai: "Not even my cats are as lazy as I am."

DIQ 2011 Pamphlet

For those of you who don't remember, the DIQ 2011 was the retrospective show in which Buck-Tick played one song from each album they had released to date, in preparation for their 25th anniversary and the founding of Lingua Sounda. Those of you who've seen the DVD of this show may be unable to recall anything besides Imai's ugly blue shirt, however, you should be pleased to learn that there are no ugly blue shirts whatever inside this magical little pamphlet full of photos of the Buck-Tick members inhabiting a gothic fairytale house! The textured paper made this one hard to photograph, but we assure you that it's in mint condition, and ever so much better looking in real life. Rare and out of print.
4500 yen.

Front cover (LP record not included - shown for scale)

Back cover.

Sabbat PV redux: Buck-Tick are back in the Gothic House.

The Czars of Buck-Tickistan are ready to take on the world!

Imai toys with a magical mushroom (as usual)

Hide: "Hey girl, come sit down with me!"

REAL Rozen Kreuzers have Rozen Wallpaper.

Mood: sideburns, brocade, and blue pants. #ootd

Mood: who told you I smile? Smile? Not me. Look at how goth this mug is! Don't you dare take my goth card away. Grrr... #scowl4life

Mood: my jacket matches the stained glass windows!

Mood: Hey girl, wanna come and touch my rose garden?

C'mon. You know you wanna.

But if Hide's offer didn't look appealing enough, Acchan-chan is ready to open your Magic Box.


Again, all queries should be addressed to themadaristocrat at gmail.