BUCK-TICK’s Atsushi Sakurai’s “Let’s make a band, too” was the beginning of a legend | FRIDAY DIGITAL

BUCK-TICK’s Atsushi Sakurai’s “Let’s make a band, too” was the beginning of a legend

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Atsushi Sakurai, who boasted overwhelming visuals and charisma

Atsushi Sakurai of the rock group BUCK-TICK passed away on October 19, the band’s official website announced. He was 57 years old. The cause of death was brainstem hemorrhage.

According to the site, Sakurai-san complained of feeling sick during the concert “FISH TANKer’s ONLY 2023,” a fan club members-only live concert held at “KT Zepp Yokohama” on October 19, and was taken to the hospital, where he passed away that night. On the same site,

“This year marks the 35th anniversary of his debut, and he has been energetically performing. In September, he held a concert at his hometown Gunma Music Center to mark the 35th anniversary of his debut.

And just as we were beginning our 36th year

I am still in disbelief at the suddenness of this event, and my feelings are so confused that I cannot express in words the deep sadness of both the members and the staff.

The members and staff are deeply saddened beyond words.

Mr. Sakurai formed “Blame GO-GO,” the predecessor band of BUCK-TICK, in 1984. The band later changed its name to “BUCK-TICK” and made its major debut in 1987.

FRIDAY” closely interviewed the members of BUCK-TICK, who became known as “post-BOØWY (Bowie)” just one year after their debut.’ It was before their first concert at the Budokan in January 1989. I would like to look back on those days when Mr. Sakurai boasted overwhelming charisma.

The “BUCK-TICK Phenomenon” that occurred everywhere they went

The first time I saw them was at the end of 1988. It was at a certain studio. There were five members, led by Atsushi Sakurai. Four of them were from Fujioka High School in Gunma Prefecture, and were juniors of Kyosuke Himuro of BOØWY. After school, while waiting for the train to go home, they would all stop by one of the members’ house to listen to records. Eventually, they decided to form a band, and BUCK-TICK was born.

The enthusiasm of the fans was just amazing. When the band members finished singing their last song on stage, they would leave their instruments and run out of the venue. It was normal for them to run away in their parked cars without even stopping by the backstage area.

When traveling by train on tour, fans were restricted from entering the train platforms, creating the ‘BUCK-TICK phenomenon’ in many places” (editor of a music magazine).

In the year since their major debut in November ’87, the band has performed over 100 live shows and was nominated for the Newcomer of the Year Award at the 1988 Record Awards.’ In January ’89, he was preparing for his first concert at the Budokan. Sakurai describes those days,

Every day was a whirlwind, and as I went about my day-to-day activities, it was over in the blink of an eye.

Sakurai recalls, “Every day was a whirlwind. The title of “post-BOØWY” was just within reach, but then the incident occurred.

In April 1989, one of the members was arrested for violating the Narcotics Control Law by using LSD, and the band was forced to suspend its activities. There were whispers that the band might change their name and resume their activities, but at the end of that year, they held a comeback live concert at the Tokyo Dome, attracting 43,000 people and making a complete comeback.

At the end of “TOUR No.0 -FINAL-” on December 29, ’18, Sakurai’s,

“With all my heart, I want to express my gratitude.

The encore song was “Kodo” (Heartbeat). The encore song was “Kodo”,

I want to live if I am loved.

I want to live, if I am loved. A few days prior to this, after the December 9 concert, Mr. Sakurai complained of illness and was hospitalized for examination. The Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kyoto concerts were postponed, and this was his return to the stage. The audience was said to be unusually excited by this song.

I wonder how much the members and others involved in the band have wished for Mr. Sakurai’s recovery since the 19th. For now, we just want to pray for his soul rest in peace.

Atsushi Sakurai at that time, closely interviewed before his first Budokan live concert (January 6 and 13, 1989 issue)
Atsushi Sakurai (right) coming out of the recording studio during his hiatus (Nov. 17, ’89 issue)
A rare private shot of Atsushi Sakurai (October 23, ’92 issue)
Atsushi Sakurai giving an overwhelming performance on stage (Oct. 23, ’92 issue)
  • PHOTO Eiji Ikeda (1st right, 2nd), Toshihiro Nakaikawa, Koichi Kikuchi

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