Saturday, May 13, 2017

Led Zeppelin, Bowie, Queen, the Stones, and More... 25 Fascinating Photographs Capture Rock Stars As Tourists in Japan in the 1970s and 1980s

When Led Zeppelin arrived in Japan for a 1971 tour less than two months before the release of their fourth album, it was a time of great excitement for the band and for rock ’n’ roll in the land of the rising sun. Zep was one of the first big Western groups to visit, and the lads were welcomed with open arms during their five-gig stint—the more so after their September 27 benefit show for victims at Hiroshima. The city’s mayor even bestowed on the band an honorary medal, leading the ever introspective Jimmy Page to ponder: “It made me think long and hard about the concept of war and its concentrated horror.”

With its reputation for gracious hosting, a hip and young population, and number of large cities, Japan may be the ideal location for any band’s foreign tour. And if you were a visiting rock star in the 1970s or 80s, there’s a good chance your publicist would have scheduled you for a photo shoot with local photographer Koh Hasebe. Hasebe worked for Japanese music publisher Shinko Music and, starting with the Beatles in 1965, he photographed just about every major musician to visit Japan. “It was just as Western artists began to visit Japan, and I somehow became the go-to guy to document tours,” Hasebe recalled in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview.

The band ‘Japan’ on a rainy day in Kyoto, Japan, in February 1981.

David Bowie at a press conference in Tokyo, April 5, 1973.

Van Halen posing with roller skates in the Osaka Castle Park, Osaka, September 1979.

Kiss are presented with flowers by women in kimono at a welcome reception in Tokyo, March 1977.

The Police in the city of Kurashiki, Okayama, January 1981.

Led Zeppelin on a day off in Hiroshima, September 1971.

U2 at Shinjuku Central Park, Tokyo, November 1983.

Santana at Dazaifu Tenmangu, June 26th, 1973.

Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, and Ian Mclagan of The Faces drinking sake at a reception for the band in Tokyo, April 1974.

John Fogerty and the Creedence Clearwater Revival being entertained by Geisha at a dinner in Tokyo, February 1972.

Led Zeppelin at a shrine in Hiroshima, September 26th, 1971.

John Lydon in Akasaka, Tokyo, June 1983.

Kate Bush in Tokyo, June 1978.

Queen in the hotel garden, Tokyo, April 22, 1975.

Queen in a Japanese garden, Tokyo, March-April, 1976

Kiss, Tokyo, 1978.

Suzi Quatro and Len Tuckey, Tokyo, 1978.

Talking Heads, Kyoto, 1981.

Queen strolling in a Japanese garden, Tokyo, April 22, 1975.

The Police's Andy Summers, Tokyo, 1981.

John Fogerty, Tokyo, 1972.

Carlos Santana in Kamakura, 1974.

Led Zeppelin on a day off in Hiroshima, September 1971.

Steven Tyler in Kyoto, 1977.

Queen and Misa Watanabe in Tokyo, February 13, 1981.

(Images © Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images via Timeline and Rolling Stone)

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