It’s been a while! Happy to be back after a short hiatus. With 17 people currently in the Tokyo Record Style queue, it’s time to get going again, starting with the manager of Kichijoji’s HMV, Minori san who was introduced to me by one of the shop’s friendly staff (and singer-songwriter) Nozomi san, who I photographed a few months back in Shibuya with a copy of Workingman’s Dead! When I spotted her working on a recent visit to HMV KJ I felt obliged to come clean that I created, against my better judgment, and semi-clandestine video walkthrough of HMV Kichijoji while I was killing time to do the same at Coconuts Disk an hour later. I showed Nozomi san the video and she suggested running it past manager Minoru san, who turned out to be super vibed-out and way chill which made total sense when Nozomi added that he is also the shop’s “reggae master” which also, judging by HMV KJ’s killer reggae section, made even more sense. 

I showed Minoru the video on my phone and he said, with a cheeky smile and maybe a wink, “No Comment” which I suppose keeps him somewhere ambiguously within HMV’s press policy, and creates an even more loyal fan in me, and maybe you.

Minoru told me his first touch with reggae music was the Jimmy Cliff soundtrack “The Harder They Come,” made for the 1972 movie of the same name which has been said to be the vehicle that brought reggae music to the entire world, and that he explained to me was turned onto him by his older sister, Mako san, who is the founder of the famous 30-years-and-going-strong Sunset Live Music Festival in Fukuoka that is said to have helped put “Mentai Rock” on the map. Needless to say, music is Minoru’s blood. 

When I asked Minoru if he wanted to pose for TRS with a record, without hesitation he grabbed TWO highly-coveted original Derrick Harriott records (worth a small fortune and which I really enjoyed listening to this Saturday morning, particularly a cover of the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, classic, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” – also famously covered by the Fab Four!)

Finally, before thanking Minoru san for his kindest and sharing so much veteran shop-keeper knowledge, he showed me a little exhibition going on in the shop, stickers and other works by an artist, illustrator, and character designer who I was unfamiliar with, Yousuke Kihara, きはらようすけ. The sticker exhibition featured a handful of music-centric characters, including the “Kichi Reco Ukulele Brothers”, The “I Love Kabukicho Sisters” and an 7” homage to Public Image Limited’s “Live in Tokyo Record” (the original which I happened to see and snap a photo of a few weeks later at last week’s TRS Day at Garageville. There was even a sticker of Minoru san himself, but I MISSED the focus on it and have been trying to chase him down for month to re-shoot it, hence the long delay in Tokyo Record Style photos. Finally, I saw Minoru san again yesterday, but sadly he didn’t have the sticker with him …so I guess, I’ll give up, I just include the out-of-focus one in the series and encourage you to go see the REAL Minoru san for himself at one of Tokyo’s best record shops, HMV in Kichijoji! Great guy, great team, great selection, and great shop! 

More Tokyo Record Style on the way!

Derrick Harriott – Sings Jamaica Reggae
Label: Economy (2) – SECO 13, Pama Records – SECO 13
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: 1969
Genre: Reggae
Style: Rocksteady, Reggae

Derrick Harriott – Sings Jamaica Reggae
Label: Dub Store Records – DSRLP 618
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: Japan
Released: 2024
Genre: Reggae
Style: Rocksteady, Reggae

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