Little did I know when I was chatting up Itaru (from the previous post) about Leon Russel, there was Tokyo Institution standing right behind me patiently waiting for me to finish rambling to say hello. If you have had kids in the last 30 years, you probably are familiar with the very famous TV show Eigo de Asobo – Let’s Play English, which like Sesame Street has a bit of a rotating cast of characters with a few major mainstays, and the person featured here has been THE mainstay of this series, and beyond, for a long as I’ve known it. Eigo de Asobo is synonymous with “Eric” (Eric Jacobsen) or as we call him at my house, “Eric de Asobo!”
A few years ago, a Boulder friend of mine (Dot’s Diner fam), the ridiculously talented musician behind the bands Thinking Plague, Hamster Theatre, and lord knows probably a dozen other bands, the enigmatic Dave Willey and I were speaking about Japan and he mentioned a musical friend of his in Tokyo that I might know, “Eric, I think he’s on TV.” I was like “THE Eric? Eric de Asobo, Of course, I know Eric. Who doesn’t?” Long story short, next thing I know I’m chatting with him on FB, a little star-struck, trying to get some PHOTOHOKU volunteer photo collaboration going a few years back. The stars could never quite align but we’ve stayed connected online but never met in person! Yesterday he runs into me on the street and recognizes me! We chat for 15 min before he invites me to his home, and next thing I know is we’re finding out that we both lived in Boulder, both went to CU, both know the same people and places and I just have an absolute hoot talking to, frankly speaking, a big inspiration to me.
Eric has used his creative talents and navigated his way to some pretty high notoriety and success. He’s one of the few well-known, beloved foreigners who carved out a cool niche in the public eye. And besides all the kids and TV stuff, he makes music for big kids like me, and he gifted me a few CDs which I’m really looking forward to listening to. During the pandemic, Eric wrote one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard called Weeping Willow. It’s just a little simple kinda hymnal but it’s so full of emotion and story, that it transcends its own simplicity, like a Bridge over Troubled Water, or like a Shel Silverstein poem. I’ll add the youtube link in the comments, grab it when you can. Thanks, Eric for the hang! Great to finally meet you!
Eric Jacobsen Band – Kind Awakening
Eric & the E-Jam Band
Eric’s Dance Pants
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