They came to play one of the biggest rock festivals in Japan, Summer Sonic. It is usually opened at two major cities, Tokyo and Osaka, simultaneously, then gets the two groups of bands swapped entirely next day.  This year the head liner of each group was Green Day and Beastie Boys respectively. Unlike the general idea about a rock festival, i.e. the event is usually held on a field outside the city, Summer Sonic is held in town utilizing exhibition/convention sites as well as stadiums. The ticket this year was $120 for one day and $220 for 2 days, which may seem expensive in the non-Japanese standard, but was actually much cheaper than another major rock event, Fuji Rock, which sold 3-day tickets only this year for as much as $330. The DKT/MC5 was going to play in Tokyo on August 7, then, traveling over 260 miles, in Osaka the following day.

I heard later that, during their brief off time before the festival, the crew visited an extremely busy shopping district in Tokyo called Shibuya, which an American correspondent once called "teen jungle".  I got restless to know Mr. and Mrs. Kramer went to a shopping complex called "Tokyu 109", which is a fortress of the Japanese teenage gal culture, a castle of the Japan Pop, where even I would have been awed to tread in. Apparently they were so impressed that Wayne hilariously mimicked the nasal pronunciation of the mystic words which the shop assistants (also teenage girls) were uttering as they strolled around in the shop.

The 2004 Summer Sonic-Tokyo was held at a place called Makuhari Messe, a gigantic convention center located near Tokyo International Airport, facing the Tokyo Bay. Adjuctant to the Messe is a baseball field called Chiba Marine Stadium, where the major acts like Green Day and Avril Lavigne played. Three stages, each with capacity of roughly 2000, were built inside the huge Messe structure and the DKT/MC5 played the Sonic Stage. Many food shops and stalls were open in the dim space offering an authentic atmosphere similar to a traditional Japanese festival style called "En'nichi".

I arrived there at around 3:00PM with a friend. The bands of our interest were only The Damned, who were scheduled for 4:30PM at the Mountain Stage, and DKT/MC5, so there was a plenty of time. The Damned was fantastic. They did more old songs I knew than I'd expected, so I could enjoy the show fully. The members I knew were Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian only (unfortunately no Rat Scabies), but, after all, these two ARE The Damned, so it was cool. Captain was so funny and fabulous, wholly testifying the reputation as "the most bizarre individual in the British Rock history".

Back to top
On August 5, 2004, when the 12th typhoon of the year changed into a tropical low pressure, the DKT/MC5 crew arrived at the Tokyo International Airport.  I was doing my day job that day, but as the clock hit 5:45PM, the expected landing time of their airplane, I was full of emotion thinking that the band on which I had focused so much for years, had finally stepped onto this small island in the Far East, for the first time in their tumultuous and checkered history.