Flower Travellin’ Band

From: Tokyo, Japan

Flower Travellin’ Band were a Japanese rock band that was formed in 1967. Connected to Japan’s counterculture movement, Flower Travelin’ Band were noted for their mixture of early heavy metal with psychedelic and progressive rock. Although receiving wide acclaim from critics, the band never managed to achieve commercial success. They separated in 1973 to pursue individual careers.

The band initially started as a side-project by Yuya Uchida when he returned to Japan after visiting his friend John Lennon in England. It was during this trip Uchida was introduced to artists such as Cream and Jimi Hendrix. Yuya wanted to introduce a similar sound to the Japanese, and formed to Flowers as a cover band with various sounds, musicians and two vocalists; male singer Hiroshi Chiba and female singer Remi Aso. They released the album Challenge! in 1968, comprised of mainly covers (there was only one original song). The album’s cover created some controversy in the Japanese media as it depicted each member posing naked.

After the release of the album, Remi Aso and Katsuhiko Kobayashi (guitar) relocated to the United States in 1969. Yuya dropped all the remaining band members, except for George Wada (drums), recruiting Hideki Ishima (guitar), Joe Yamanaka (vocals), and Jun Kobayashi (bass), and formed the Flower Travelin’ Band. The band’s first releases were backing jazz trumpeter Terumasa Hino on the single “Crash” followed by the mini-album Anywhere in 1970.

At Expo ’70, Flower Travelin’ Band were spotted by members of Canadian band Lighthouse, who liked what they saw, suggesting the band move to Canada. Flower Travelin’ Band quickly recorded their first original album, Satori, which was released in 1971. In December 1970, they relocated to Toronto where they performed with Dr. John and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They performed four large concerts with Lighthouse in 1971 at Ontario Place. They also recorded their second original album in Toronto (Made In Japan) and were approached by GRT Records.

In March 1972, the band returned to Japan for a show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. In 1973, they were billed to perform with the Rolling Stones throughout their Japanese tour. Unfortunately, all shows were canceled when Mick Jagger’s visa was rejected due to a drug conviction. They released a half-studio, half-live album titled Make Up and performed at Maruyama Park in Kyoto. This would be their last convert before a long hiatus. Over the next several years, Yuya became involved in numerous projects and each member went on to individual careers.

Flower Travelin’ Band officially reunited on November 25, 2007, recruiting Nobuhiko Shinohara (keyboards). 35 years after the release of their last album, the band recorded 2008’s We Are Here. They performed in New York City in November and in Canada the following month. In March 2010, future tours and productions were halted when it was announced that Yamanaka was diagnosed with lung cancer. He passed away on August 7, 2011 at the age of 64.

~ Wikipedia

Feel free to use our Facebook page to discuss & ask any questions you have about this artist, a fellow PsycheHead is sure to have the answer.

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1970 single Columbia LL-10135-J

  • Dhoop