Tokyo Tower: Chapter 5
Tokyo Tower ~ Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom ~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
The music industry was booming.
A singles debut by one artist was very quietly put on the market.
“Tsuioku no Ame no Naka” (「追憶の雨の中」 Rains of Recollection)
Since moving to Tokyo in the summer of 1987, it had been 3 years. As for that particular artist, he’d shown a bit of improvement in various aspects during his time in Tokyo, but still his boyish dream remains unchanged. This was the 21-year-old Fukuyama Masaharu.
And this is the remarkable story of the 18-year old who set out from his hometown Nagasaki and became crowned “Radio’s National Treasure” in Tokyo 20 years later.
In betrayal of the Amuse Chairman’s declaration that, “You should take the same image as Tamiya Jirou,” my debut single was quiety moving ahead bit-by-bit within the Amuse Office.
My debut was different, though, from what I had originally wanted. From “a group of people coming together voluntarily to form a band”, it now became: “a band which was assembled solely for my purpose.” There was a vast difference. With due respect, it went against my principles. I wanted to be part of a band, but now I had to do it alone.
At the beginning, it was said that a major artist would produce my debut album. But when I heard the songs that were prepared for me, “This is not what I want at all!” I couldn’t even write any songs, but I had a very good idea what I “didn’t want to do.”
“Then what would you like?” came the question. I don’t think I knew what it was at that time. All I was sure of was: “This is not what I want!”
This arrogant, conceited and filthy-minded idiot created a lot of trouble for the people in the Office. And the person who took me under his wing was Shirahama-san (白浜さん) from ARB. “Since you say that, Fukuyama, why don’t you write a song yourself and see.” This might have sounded kind and easy-going, but it had a stern message behind it.
In fact, Shirahama-san used to be a counsellor at a youth correction facility in the past. He was very good at handling arrogant, conceited and filthy-minded young men like myself. When I showed him my work of confidence, he said: “Not bad, let’s arrange it and see how it goes.” That to me, was truly the “hand of salvation”.
What was my own responsibility, I could not push onto other people.
“Because this is not what I want”……”Because I want to do these things”……
As long as I was not yet able to come up with my own songs, these excuses would not work.
Having only had arrogant words to say to the songs that people had written for me up till then, it was imperative, this time, that I could compose a ‘good’ song that was acknowledged by others. It was Shirahama-san who taught me, how to “express myself with happiness and earnestness”.
To pay back Shirahama-san’s expectations of me, I tried very hard. Even when he had prompted me: “Are you sure you can reach this key?” well, not wanting to admit defeat, I stubbornly and irrationally insisted: “Yes I can, no problem!”
But I was indeed the arrogant, conceited and filthy-minded fool. Because of excessive strain singing songs that were out of my range, I developed a vocal fold polyp*. And…I hadn’t even had my debut yet!
Even before anything had started, I felt it was already the end for me.
The arrogant, conceited and filthy-minded idiot, who insisted on singing outside his range, was diagnosed to have a polyp growing on his vocal cords and had to go into the hospital. For a week after the operation, I could only communicate with pen and paper. It was no less than 3 months before I was able to sing again. Even so, the anxiety that swarmed over me every time I had to sing out loud, would not go away that easily. It took me a year, to be able to sing normally once more.
“I’ve got the worst of luck…” As I gazed at the white ceiling from bed, I couldn’t help thinking about this. Now that I finally had the chance to “Write your own song!”; now that I finally found what I really wanted to do, I had to be stuck on this hospital bed. I felt like everything I did had backfired on me.
I was still sulking terribly after I came out of the hospital, to the extent that I once got chewed out by Shirahama-san, “Stop acting like a spoiled brat, you idiot!”
Despite everything, I got my debut album “Dengon” (「伝言」Rumours) done at last. But after we finished the recording, the staff came up with a new proposal. They wanted to “release a single first, before the album comes out. But none of the songs are right for it.”
So I had to write one up in haste. That became my debut single “Tsuioku no Ame no Naka”, that was my “opening song”.
追憶の雨の中 Tsuioku no Ame no Naka (Rains of Recollection)
作詞/作曲: 福山雅治 編曲: 白浜久 Music/Lyrics: Fukuyama Masaharu Arrangement: Shirahama Hisashi
泣いてる空に 今も浮かびだす Even now, it shows up in the crying sky
Rainy Day 始まりの風景が The scenery of the beginning of a rainy day
ためらいもなく 二人過ごしてた Without hesitation, we had gone through them together
君が 僕を追い越すまでは That is, until you passed me by
いつも優しさに責められて I always felt pressured by your kindness
言葉ひとつで傷つけてた And would hurt you with a single word
求めあった日々は 陽炎みたいに The days we searched for each other are like a heat-wave
駆けぬける雨の中 But the rain that’s overtaken us
君の声もかき消され Has drowned out your voice
2人の愛も流されてく Washing away even our love
追憶の雨の音 The sound of the rains of recollection
見つめあったあの時も Is washing away
流されてく Even the times when we looked upon each other
And so it arrived, the day of my debut. I had not yet been notified of any jobs for that day.
“On 03.21, will they arrange a surprise debut party for me? A guest appearance on a radio show perhaps?
Or could it be, I’ll be going on TV!” ……I was very excited and looking forward to it.
When I went to confirm my schedule for 03.21 with the Office, the answer was: “Nothing”
Really, there was not a single thing planned for me on that day.
~ End of Chapter 5 ~
* Small growth on the vocal cords. For a better idea, check this out
Tokyo Tower Series
Chapter 1 (I / II) ………. Chapter 4 (I / II) ………. Childhood Chapter
Chapter 2 (I / II) ………. Chapter 5 / 6 / 7 ………..Mother’s Day Chapter
Chapter 3 (I / II) ………. Final Chapter (I / II)
Translated from Fukuyama Honne (Articles 492 & 493)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi Blog 2007.04.10 & 2007.04.11 written by Fukuyama Masaharu
English song lyrics based on translations posted here
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)