This month's bootleg is Rory Gallagher's performance in Tokyo, Japan in 1974. Although the date and venue is unidentified on the recording, it appears that this concert was at the Shiba Yubin Chokin Hall in Tokyo on January 23, 1974. This would be the start of the first Japanese tour by the Rory Gallagher band.
Tokyo, Japan's capital city, lies midpoint along the arc-shaped archipelago of Japan and faces eastward to the Pacific Ocean. It's sprawling metropolitan area is conprised of 23 city wards, 26 cities, 5 towns, 8 villages, and several Pacific Islands. With over 28 million people, it ranks as the world's largest metropolitan area. Tokyo was originally called Edo, a small fishing village that by the early 17th century had evolved into a powerful "castle town" under the iron hand rule of its feudal lord and shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Despite Japan's shutting its ports to the outside world, Edo thrived, quickly becoming the largest city in the world.
A showdown with US Naval ships under the command of Commodore Perry in 1853 ended Japan's isolationist policy and in 1867 the Edo Shogun resigned and control of the city was handed over to Emporer Meiji who moved his residence from Kyoto to Edo, renaming the city Tokyo, "eastern capital." Throughout history Tokyo has seen its shares of disasters, from the devastating earthquake of 1923 to the Allied Bombing in the second World War, but like the proverbial Phoenix it rises stronger each time..
Rory performed at the Yubin-Chokin Hall in Tokyo city on January 23, 1974 to start his first ever Japanese tour. Built in 1971, the building was a multi-purpose facility built in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Postal Savings system, the government run savings and loan program based in the countries post offices that helped reinvigorate Japan sagging economy. Japan built several of these facilities, placing them in its larger cities such as Tokyo and Hiroshima. In the 1980s, Japan experienced a concert hall construction boom and unfortunately the Yubin-Chokin Hall in Tokyo was demolished to make way for a brand new facility. The new concert hall reopened in 1988 and was renamed Mielparque Hall, although to many it is still referred to as Yubin-Chokin. Once again in the ever-changing landscape of Tokyo, new buildings replace the old, but there'll be no replacement for the likes of Rory Gallagher. Ironically, Rory's last ever concert appearance in Japan would be at the "new" Yubin-Chokin Hall on February 24, 1991, his tours of Japan coming full circle. So sit back and have a listen to Rory Gallagher in his prime, in a city far from home, and in a concert hall that while no longer there, lives on in the memories of those who once attended its memorable shows. To view pictures of Rory's 1974 concert at Yubin-Chokin Hall click HERE These photos were taken by Setsuko Matsumoto, Koh Hasebe, and Masanori Hotta for various Japanese publications.