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Arigato means thank you

Here’s Pete Makowski’s feature on Rainbow December’76 tour of Japan, originally published on January 29, 1977, in the Sounds. It is a rather long read, but well worth it.

The audience looked pretty ordinary until the band made their entrance. Then some kind of Jekyll and Hyde transformation occured and they became a seething mass of hysteria. Y’see, they like their rock hard ‘n’ heavy over here. (Kiss, Aerosmith, acts of that chrome plated genre are among the top attraction. Blackmore has an almost legendary status in Japan, Deep Purple having been one of the first heavy metal bands to break over there.
This was the first time I had seen Rainbow since Hammersmith and they sure sounded tighter… well looser… well, like a band. Their bombastic interpretation of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, with added ingredients, kicked off the show and after that, like a meteor let loose in outer space, nothing could stop them.
‘Kill For The King’ which followed has developed into something more than an exercise in loosening up collective limbs. ‘Mistreated’, really showed the progress made. Dio’s stunning vocal range sounded more confident, the backing was more solid. As Blackmore burst into spontaneous free form runs, Cozy’s drums clung on tightly to every single note.
For me it was a good introduction to the tour, culminating with an encore featuring Mr B’s guitar mutilation with an added bonus of amp and cabinets thrown over the side. This, as it turned out, was not an act of ecstatic joy. Blackmore was pissed off with the sound.

Continue reading in My Things – Music history for those who are able to read.

Many thanks to Geir Myklebust for digitizing and republishing this piece of history.

20 Comments to “Arigato means thank you”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    These old articles are great to remember good times in for a while, so thanks for posting. And it’s interesting to note that “Mac” was employed for the recording process from Munich. I dare say Leiber Uwe will have something to say ( a page or more likely ) about this comment made by the author…

    qt.”Blackmore and Co have proved to me, that the magic of Purple and Zeppelin can be equalled and taken further”.

    Let the fun begin !

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ok, that WAS a trip down memory lane. And I learned a new word: “rapscallion”.

    Pete Makowski was a diehard Bblackmore fan, I remember other articles and reviews from him, he was always waving the Ritchie flag.

    Those Japanese gigs were incidentally Jimmy Bain’s Götterdämmerung with Rainbow, he was unceremoniously fired upon return to England and then toured/played with John Cale and Ian Hunter’s Overnight Angels to make a living before forming Wild Horses with Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy.


    Bain had a real tuneful and pleasant power pop voice in case you didn’t know:


    Cozy Powell’s blisters, ah yes … He made mention of those still in an interview with the NME a few months later in 1977 when promoting the On Stage release (Ritchie of course couldn’t be bothered!), I still remember the hilarious, uhum, ‘drum stick envy’ picture that went with it.


    In typical Cozy tradition, mincing no words, he flatly stated – in the promotion interview! – that he didn’t really like the On Stage album “because it was the end of the tour and I was getting more and more knackered, it showed in my playing, I had huge blisters, we should have used earlier shows …”. [Remind yourselves: On Stage features the Man On The Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck / Man On The Silver Mountain (Reprise)-medley from the Tokyo 16 December 1976 afternoon show, Catch The Rainbow from Osaka 9 December 1976 and Sixteenth Century Greensleeves from the Tokyo 16 December 1976 evening show. All the other tracks are from the earlier part of the Rising tour in Germany.]

    I actually agree(d), compared to how I had seen Rainbow in October 1976, much of On Stage sounded a little lame/exhausted. The rigors of the road …

    The Kyoto gig is available on YouTube in surprisingly good quality, it was a spirited affair with Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line and The Shadows’ Apache all being played.


    And here’s the evening show from Tokyo in not quite as good an audio quality, but still decent, and musically excellent.


  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    That image of Cozy with those huge drum sticks is a classic. The drums are back indeed. Cheers.

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And what did Jimmy do after the Wild Horses split, but before joining Dio? You’d never guess: Play bass on the following three rather esoteric-eclectic sounding tracks (he’s not in the corresponding vids though) of a then young lass from East Wickham (Greater London):





  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I dare say Leiber Uwe will have something to say (a page or more likely) about this comment made by the author …

    qt.”Blackmore and Co have proved to me, that the magic of Purple and Zeppelin can be equalled and taken further”.

    Let the fun begin !”

    Naw, I went out of my way not to. Didn’t want to spoil it for all ye Rainbownites forever enthralled by tower-locked maidens, feelin’ wheels and runnin’ suns, aerodynamically challenged wizards and, uhum, painless freight trains – hey, whatever rocks your longboat!

    And I’m fully aligned with the statement that even Rainbow were better than Led Zep, so there! 😜


  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The band Ritchie mentioned to Pete Makowski as progenitors of his guitar god act:


    (eat your heart out Jimmy Page, watch for the bow at 01:25)

    Noel & Liam fans should be in rapture about these guys:


    And of course there is an extended DP Family connection, how couldn’t there be?


  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ritchie trying to kill poor Jimmy at 06:21 although in Germany at least (the vid is from the 1976 – NOT 1977 !!! – Munich gig and was shown on TV at the time) this is generally verboten even with bassists at the receiving end, but what can you do …


  8. 8
    Gregster says:

    LOL !!!

    Leiber Uwe made this statement quoted below, & one word in it makes me laugh, as it allures to many interpretations, as it’s disguised quite well…

    qt.”I’m fully aligned with the statement that even Rainbow were better than Led Zep, so there”!

    The word “even” when used in this context suggests that both bands were perhaps “shyte”, but LZ being more “shyte” that Rainbow in Uwe’s preferences…

    I’ll only say that there was really only a handful of bands in the mid-to-late 1970’s that were even delivering hard-rock with any success, & even less were getting the radio-play unless it was a power-ballad of sorts…So we’re lucky that bands like Rainbow, RUSH, UFO, Scorpions, KISS & say AC/DC were delivering the goods…LZ were on sabbatical in that time-frame, & Queen were only delivering the good-stuff in concert, rather than on LP.

    So-be-it, but RJD had to sing about something, & RB encouraged the mythological aspects of lyrics for a tune as early as Burn…

    Peace !

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    Wow the Making Time song I know from the Green Bullfrog sessions, always wondered who those two writers were. You would think I would look it up & I cannot believe I haven’t at some stage. But that is why Uwe is here to remind us of ‘some’ good old songs occasionally. Instead of focusing on Deep Purple & The Beatles all the time, oh & The Who. Creation do sound a lot like The Who, The Kinks & The Beatles of course. A damn fine song though with a great chorus line & so true. ‘Why do we have to carry on, always singing the same old song”. Classic & the bow playing also. Damn Jimmy Page & his nicking ideas off everyone else. Cheers.

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    That Rainbow clip from 1976, excellent & a little while later what I missed at that time here in Oz. Thanks for the reminder Uwe & good quality too all things considered. Cheers.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Hey, I always “liked” Rainbow, what other friggin’ option did I have with Ritchie in it? Individual tracks were fine and the guy can play a solo. I saw the Dio line-up twice, the Bonnet one once, the Turner one twice (at one gig in Rüsselsheim they had to hilariously stop playing MOTSM and restart again because someone had cued in wrongly – that was a lighthearted moment, shit happens!), the Doogie one twice and the Romero one no less than four times.

    That I didn’t turn into a raving Rainbow maniac had to do with – I think – Blackmore’s narrow-minded vision for the band, I’m a guy who prefers the eclecticism of, say, classic Blue Öyster Cult with its five songwriters or Queen with its four to the repetitiveness of AC/DC which to me are like The Ramones or Motörhead, good fun for a track or two, maybe three, but seriously?

    Yeah, I actually like it if a track like ‘Coming Home’ and one like ‘This Time Around/Ode To “G”‘ share ONE album. Rainbow eschewed that type of playful diversity, it was all so goddam bloody-minded, veering from one phase observed with heads down intent to another:

    – First there was “We are committed to this adolescent dungeons & dragon thing and must be chest-beatingly male in our music at all times (and let Ritchie have his solos!).”

    – Then it became “Oh, Ritchie is running out of money, we need to be on the radio, let’s get a commercial outside writer in and maybe Ritchie can do something with the Rolling Stones’ Out Of Time and stick one of his trademark riffs before it while Roger puts a text about teenage groupies to it? (But let Ritchie have his solos!)”

    – And finally it all ended with “Can we not PRETEND to be an AOR band like Foreigner – with three Americans in the band -, but not really go all the way? (Oh, lest we forget, let Ritchie have his solos of course!)”

    That kind of sums up the history of Rainbow, give or take a few broken Strats and an initial trademark light show that proved audio signal-disturbing. You show me the part where they set out for new frontiers (except in electrical lighting). 😂

    Led Zeppelin, while I do like to pour derision on them here, have my grudging respect for their eclecticism and really doing what they want to do at all times. No Zep album repeated the recipe of its predecessor. III, Houses Of The Holy and In Through The Out Door were outright brave/devil-may-care at the time of their releases. My problem with the band is that exactly the two key elements that make them so beloved and adored by many leave me personally cold: Plant’s singing & lyrics and Bonzo’s drumming (I’m mostly fine with Page’s and Jones’ contributions). But of course they were and are hugely influential, especially in the US, while Rainbow’s influence was on a much lesser scale (but the Dio era is still detectable in a lot of Euro Metal today).

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Wow the Making Time song I know from the Green Bullfrog sessions, always wondered who those two writers were. You would think I would look it up & I cannot believe I haven’t at some stage. But that is why Uwe is here to remind us of ‘some’ good old songs occasionally.”

    Yeah, but dumb know-it-all Uwe forgot about it being a track on Green Bullfrog too, an album he doesn’t listen to very often! Thanks for the enlightenment.


  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    It very well could possibly be one of the first ‘metal’ riffs. That chugga chugga chugga chugg bit, very heavy indeed. 1966, hmmmmmmmmm, even before Hendrix. Wonderful it is & with that chorus a winner it is. I always liked the Green Bullfrog version but the original song is a killer. Thanks for that. There was life before Blackmore, Page, Iommi & Hendrix. Cheers.

  14. 14
    robert says:

    The article mentions Mac (of Queen fame) as the recorder of the shows in Japan, but I thought Martin Birch would have done that. He had done the same thing for Made in Japan 3 years earlier.

  15. 15
    Andrew M says:

    @2. I’d completely forgotten about Wild Horses. I saw them once in London (The Marquee, perhaps) because the drummer’s father worked with my stepfather and gave me two tickets. I don’t think Jimmy Bain was playing with them then.

  16. 16
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @14: Martin Birch is credited as the producer. That probably meant he was in charge of the entire recording project. It’s not unlikely he had an engineer come along with him. Mack worked at Musicland Studios where both Deep Purple and Rainbow recorded to I guess everyone knew Mack.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Reinhold Mack produced, engineered & mixed Sabbath’a Dehumanizer album. A very ‘industrial’ heavy sounding album to my ears with some mighty fine songs on it. He worked under Tony Visconti in his early years and is apparently connected in a
    ‘support’ engineers role to the Stormbringer, Come Taste the Band & Rainbow Rising albums from what I have read. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And DC’s first solo album White Snake too. Could very well be that he went to Japan for the Rainbow On Stage source material.

    If you had an album produced in the Musicland Studios in Munich at the time, you were bound to run into and likely work with him, he was the resident producer/engineer.


    Lore has it that Reinhold Mack also implemented some good old German “Ordnung & Disziplin” during the Rising sessions:


    Overseeing the sessions was Deep Purple producer Martin Birch. Having worked with Blackmore’s former band during their most turbulent periods, the Zen-like Birch was a calming influence. He was also a black belt in karate, which gave him an assurance that came in useful when dealing with strong personalities.

    Also on hand was Musicland’s resident engineer, Reinhold Mack. Apparently the German-born Mack would alleviate tensions by arriving in the studio dressed in a storm trooper’s uniform and barking out orders to the band. “I did this only once,” says Mack. “Ritchie always asked me about WWII stuff – as if I would know. So me and my assistant rented the gear and stormed into the control room cussing and shouting, almost scaring Ritchie to death. Fairly good acting on my part.”



    Ok, I now have a vivid picture


    of my countryman Reinhold and his assistant “alleviating tensions” during the recording of Rainbow Rising. 🤦‍♂️

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    I am not a fan of Mack’s production & engineering on the Dehumanizer album. Well the drums at least (here we go again). A trashy horrible’ industrial’ sound if ever there was one. After having Cozy’s sound on the previous two albums & Eric Singer’s on the previous two to Cozy’s & then suddenly to Vinny Appice’s sound, eeeek! Obviously they wanted that style to permeate the album as the Sabbath musicians were after a really dark aggressive sounding album. There were no more lyrics about dungeons & dragons (Uwe & his sayings eh & I can see him celebrating big time in the background) & the emphasis was on present day social issues of a sort. Evangelism, computers etc. That is my first known full on experience with Mack’s work, with him in control of everything. I have sort of grown use to the sound of Dehumanizer. It was just so different at the time. Military almost, so yes Uwe, it was hardcore & belligerent production & engineering indeed. Cheers.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    To be fair to Mack: He was variable and also responsible for one of the most successful early 80ies AOR albums, namely Billy Squier’s Don’t Say No.





    All those tracks sound great and tailor-made for US FM radio.

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