Things I regret about last night’s session include:

1. Calling the Chicken instead of Cantaloupe Island.
2. Putting stiff, coarse, nasal sounding GHS strings on instead of soft, pliant Thomastik-Infelds.
3. Not clipping my nails before playing.
4. Inviting my good friend to an event where I didn’t have time to chat.
5. Correcting the manager about paying me when I had already agreed to play for free.

Things I don’t regret:

1. Skipping dinner altogether.
2. Lugging my Mesa/Boogie to the gig.
3. Not changing shirt after lugging my amp.
4. Inviting my co-workers.
5. Not paying for my three shots of scotch.

Note: The hardest thing about last night was inviting my co-workers and performing for them. Playing music is really an intimate thing for me, so it’s more than just sharing my hobby. I’m exposing myself. Now I can’t go back to work and be a grumpy asshole. That would be like having sex with a colleague and then ignoring them the next day (which is actually considered good manners here.)


Nothing I have ever done in my life was stupider than forgetting about my own rehearsal on Saturday. I was on my way to the eye-doctor when Chiaqui called to confirm the location of the studio and date which was NOT Sunday like I thought. God bless her for getting date right, but the location wrong. Fortunately I was already dressed, so I after stuffing my guitar, cable and charts into a gig bag, I was on my bike and running to the station. Out of a three hour rehearsal, I only missed an hour. Chiaqui got there before me, and rehearsed the band through her arrangements of standards, so no time was really wasted. We didn’t have enough time to try Space Cowboy, but I’m sure that won’t be missed by anyone but me perhaps.

After the rain, my amp has new tubes, my bike has a new seat, my stomach has digested Jiro Ramen, and pants are gum-free. The only trouble is I haven’t really been practicing! Sure, I’ve played a few licks and choruses on my guitar almost everyday but I haven’t really done any WORK. Maybe I’m too complacent with my playing after Monday.

At least the new tubes from Mesa/Boogie have gotten rid of the awful noise from my amp. With the SPAX7 in V3, I can get just enough gain for the preamp to bark before inducing noise in the effects loop. My next experiment will be to swap in their 12AT7 in V3 and V5, and try one in the Tubeman which is also in need of a fresh tube.

Things are off to a bad start at it’s only 8:30am. Far from blaming it on the rain, my wife said it’s my fault her parents didn’t enjoy their trip to New York. The gum on my bike seat found it’s way in between my brand new pants, AND insulated North Face gear. Co-workers who think they’re smarter than I am are already trying to tell me how to do my job. I really need to get away from Chiba, this company and my wife.

Somebody put gum on my bicycle seat when I parked it at the station. Other than that, the last 12 hours has been great. After work, I headed into Tokyo for Peter Montgomery’s session at Bunga. When I arrived, it was just his trio so I was thinking I could get a private lesson from him. Some other musicians showed up soon after, but Peter was really cool and invited me to share the stage with him for Tenor Madness, Stella by Starlight, Feel Like Makin’ Love and Just Friends.

Getting to see a real jazz guitarist like him perform up close like that was a great experience, but I think he was also trying to keep me away from the ladies! As distracting as they were to my eyes, I was able to focus my ears and let my ideas flow, especially with a little help from some scotch. I had such a good time that I abandoned my original plan to leave early to get some Jiro Ramen. Yesterday’s curry was just fine instead.

Shinjuku station sucks at rush hour, but once out into the city it’s really alright (if a bit smelly.) I had to go up there for a rehearsal with the okama’s band last night. The humidity tired me out pretty quickly, so I couldn’t run up the escalators two steps at a time.

We got two new tunes to learn for tonight’s gig. They’re both much better than the stuff we did for the last one where we played chin-chinmeny chin-chin cheroo. I wanted to practice when I got home, but I was completely exhasted and had to be at work by 7:30 today.

My gear sounded great. I put the Thomastik strings on again — expensive but definitely worth it. The Boss PH-1 I found in the trash sounded great, too. That one’s a keeper. This time, I used my H&K Tubeman as a pre-amp through the line-in of the Roland JC-120 in the studio.

The trouble is it had TWO inputs in stereo, and I only got sound coming out of one speaker. This one seemed like an older model, though. According to the manual I found on the web, one of these is a mono input on newer ones. Hopefully that’s what I’ll be plugging into tonight!

Switching my bank accounts for direct payment of utilities is proving very troublesome. They have rejected my applications on account of little details like my signature, my hanko, my name in katakana and bank code crossed out. Today I applied to the gas co for the third time. Hopefully I got it right, but I smudged hanko ink all over my Uniqlo khakhis. No worries — I got a new pair for 1990yen on my lunch break. However, my half-black-butt is a bit big for the 76cm waist and the 79cm waist looks stupid despite the comfort and flexibility. There was also a slim-fit version of 76cm which I could barely walk in, but it looked kinda cool in an pencil-leg-punk kinda way. I’m breaking in the 76cm now, but I can barely fit my wallet in it. Does anyone know a good tailor, or brand with in-between sizes?