Dec 302010

Will Your Mystery Date Be a Dream or a Dud?

Thanks to Townspeople who played along with, in my opinion, the biggest dud of a Mystery Date to date, and thanks to Townsman dbuskirk for the album, which I believe he thought sounded like a trial run for Boston. But as someone pointed out, Flower Travellin’ Band‘s “Slowly But Surely” at least unintentionally delivered David St. Hubbins-worthy chuckles. This song was from 1973’s double-live set, Make Up. Don’t worry, as with all Revealed posts we’ll leave you with at least one more track.

The band, first known as Flowers, was founded in the late-’60s by Yuya Uchida, who by this time had become friends with John Lennon after touring with The Beatles in 1966. Inspired by the likes of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane, the band’s first album was, in fact, nothing but covers of their newfound-favorite psych-blues-rock bands. The album cover, as I learned while composing this piece, would have qualified for an old Last Man Standing/giveaway competition.


The Make Up tour, you will be interested to know, what recorded on a tour that, originally, was supposed to have featured the band opening for The Rolling Stones. The Stones had to cancel, however, because Mick Jagger was facing a drug bust. Lucky Mick! There are some other odd facts to be found about the band, including mid-’70s work with Frank Zappa, one guy doing a 1980 album with The Wailers, a 2007 reunion and 2008 reunion album, and a planned 2010 tour, which was canceled when one of the members died.

I know you want to hear more from this album. Why not a long track that showcases all the band’s musical strengths and emotional range?

Flower Travellin’ Band, “Look at My Window”

[audio:|titles=Flower Travellin’ Band, “Look at My Window”]

  8 Responses to “Mystery Date Revealed: Japan’s Flower Travellin’ Band”

  1. dbuskirk

    Glad you’re finishing up with my favorite song from the release, “Look at My Window.,” I think this might be the cut that summoned comparison to Boston, that mix of acoustic and electric guitars plus organ.

    I really like the band, but Steve captured the odd element, that it seems like the product of a foreigners serious, disciplined study of “rock” than spontaneously created music. Somehow I find the composition’s predictable construction and generic flourishes kinda cozy, like musical comfort food. Glad the Mod finally got around to this burning issue.

  2. misterioso

    Is it out of the question that they could be the descendants of Dutchmen who established colonies in the Far East in the 17th century?

    Really quite grim stuff. Egh.

  3. What I can’t get over, after researching this band, is the notion that John Lennon had some close, personal friend from Japan who I’d never heard of before. What’s with that? Did you ever hear of Lennon’s Flower Travellin’ Band buddy before now? The Wikipedia page I found on the band drops that fact like it was common knowledge.

  4. BigSteve

    A friend of mine’s father used to say “Interesting …. if true” in such a way that you could tell which one he thought it was.

  5. dbuskirk

    Supposedly Yuya Uchida met John when the Beatles toured Japan in 1966. He’s an actor to, he appeared in MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE, presumably with his good friend David Bowie…

  6. What you won’t find on the internets is the key role this band played in laying a foundation for popularizing Cheap Trick in Japan — which of course, led to to the seminal Cheap Trick At Budokan . . . and, ultimately, to the unfortunate . .. Dream Police.

  7. 2000 Man

    Jon Lord sounds kind of out of place in this song.

  8. jeangray

    They jus’ keep coming out of the woodwork.

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