Yuya Uchida

Yuya Uchida

Highest Rated: 50% Black Rain (1989)

Lowest Rated: 50% Black Rain (1989)

Birthday: Nov 17, 1939

Birthplace: Kobe, Japan

Japanese singer Yuya Uchida proved his unwavering faith in American rock and roll as a rockabilly-styled singer in the late '50s and later as the leader of the acid-tinged Flower Travellin' Band, which enjoyed cult status on both sides of the Pacific in the early 1970s. Born November 13, 1939 in the Japanese city of Nishinomiya, he fell in love with Western rock and roll and the music of Elvis Presley in particular, both of which spurred him to leave school in his late teens and pursue a career in music. For the next decade, Uchida was a staple of the annual Nichigeki Western Carnival, which showcased Japanese music acts performing in the latest Western rock and pop styles; Uchida showed unwavering dedication to early rockers like Presley and Chuck Berry, and even cut a single featuring covers of "Viva Las Vegas" and "Roll Over Beethoven" in 1964. Two years later, he was chosen to perform as one of the opening acts for the Beatles' performance at the Nippon Budokan arena. The performance and his subsequent friendship with John Lennon helped to serve as his conduit to the Western counterculture scene of the period, and after seeing Jimi Hendrix perform in London, became determined to bring psychedelic rock to Japan. Upon his return, he formed the Flowers with several musicians from the "group sounds" scene - which merged Japanese pop and Western rock - and male and female singers. Their debut album, Challenge! (1968), featured covers of songs by Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane, among other Western rock acts, and drew media attention for its cover art, which depicted the band members in discreetly nude poses. Following its release, most of the band members either left the Flowers or were dismissed by Uchida, who then hired a new lineup he called the Flower Travellin' Band and stepped away from performing duties to serve as their producer. That iteration's debut LP, Anywhere (1970), followed along a similar arrangement as its predecessor, including a number of covers on its tracklist and another nude band photo for its cover, but adopted a heavier sound that would coalesce with their next album,Satori (1971). Their first LP comprised entirely of original material, Satori was issued in the United States and Canada by GRT Records and found favor among a select group of Western listeners who favored the more experimental sides of Black Sabbath. But the Flower Travellin' Band proved short-lived - the band would issue a live LP and a mix of concert and studio music before calling it quits in 1973 - and Uchida moved on to a variety of musical ventures, including recordings with the Ventures, live performances on bills with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and production duties for Japanese acts like Blues Creation and the Nichigeki Western Carnival, which he oversaw until 1981. He also dabbled in movies, appearing as either rockers or thugs in crime pictures like "Outlaw: Kill!" (1968) and more than a few "pinku eiga," or softcore romps, before gaining some critical respect as the commander of a Japanese POW camp in Nagisa Oshima's "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (1983) and in Ridley Scott's gangster drama "Black Rain" (1989), but drew more headlines for behavior that seemed designed to reinforce his rebel image: he was charged with marijuana possession in 1977, and arrested for allegedly threatening a music promoter with a kitchen knife in 1983. He would seesaw between benevolent and eccentric behavior for the next few decades, earning praise in 2011 for delivering emergency supplies to survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and then squandered much of that good will in the same year for assault and trespassing charges filed by a former girlfriend. Uchida recorded his final single, "Shekina Baby," with idol singer Rino Sashihara in 2014; four years later, he died at the age of 79 in a hospital in Tokyo on March 17, 2019.

Highest rated movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 71% Deadly Outlaw: Rekka Unknown (Character) - 2002
50% 55% Black Rain Nashida (Character) $44.9M 1989
No Score Yet 90% Zatoichi: Darkness Is His Ally Boss Akabei (Character) - 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Comic Magazine Toshiaki Kinameri (Character) - 1986
No Score Yet 33% A Pool Without Water Man (Character) - 1982

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Utakoi Munesada Yoshimine (Voice) 2012

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