Friday, February 13, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 97)

97. "Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd"
Artist: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Year: 1994

Try saying that one even one time real fast!

When I was residing in Japan, I had this pal named Takahiko. Wine, women and song (and English football) made his world go 'round. Well, not wine. More like Sapporo beer. Takahiko had an aunt and uncle that owned a hole-in-the-wall sushi bar where we would spend our Friday evenings eating, drinking and entertaining the uncle as he prepared sushi like a master. The uncle was a real character. He was happy-go-lucky in all aspects of life except when it came to his lady. She was a miserable creature that hated to see him crack so much as a smile with this gaijin (foreigner). With the exception of football, the sushi master was into the same things as his nephew. He was particularly obsessed with Hall & Oates and the movie 'Basic Instinct.' Due to Japanese law, there was a certain famous (or should it be infamous) scene in that film that was censored. This incensed the sushi master, and it always made me laugh as he discussed the movie with a seriousness normally reserved for high art while using two fingers to describe the movements of Ms. Stone's legs.

When it came to music, particularly from the UK, Takahiko really knew his stuff. This was pre-Internet. So, to practice his English, during the week he would plow through music magazines and quiz me about the bands he had read about. "Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd" (or "Girls Doing Each Other's Hair") was the first single from the Welsh band. They would go on to have some success in the charts with a much mellower and less strange sound, but their claim to fame was ultimately being the band with the most UK singles in the top 75 to have never broken into the top 40. Takahiko and I loved this song. I have this great memory of a late night at the sushi bar, after many beers, when Takahiko had the sushi master play this one as we sang along to the English part. "There's no need to worry," Takahiko would scream. "Why's that Stevie?" the sushi master would reply. Then we would all chime in: "'Cause we ain't got school in the morning, no, no, no, no." All of these shenanigans went on while the sushi master's wife scowled and scrubbed dishes. As Casey Kasem used to say, I would like to make this one a long-distance dedication. Thanks goes to Takahiko and his uncle. Your hospitality will never be forgotten.

5 comments:

Walter said...

Nice story. It reminds me the time I spent a couple of weeks in Japan. Seem like you had a great time there. And btw. a great forgotten song.

charity chic said...

As Walter says a great story Brian - an American and a Japanese bonding over Welsh music!

Anonymous said...

Heck... this is an undertaking! Looking forward to seeing how this list progresses
Swiss Adam

Scott said...

Great story Brian, although can't get the hilarious image out of my head of the sushi master trying to describe Sharon Stone's leg movements. Sapporo beer always brings back fond memories of some wonderful evenings in the 90's in Glasgow's legendary Sub Club, as it was the only place in Glasgow at the time that sold it.

Brian said...

Walter, Good to hear from you. My Valentine's Day post has a power-pop band that I'm wondering if you know. Check it out if you can.

Adam, I thought I didn't like much from the '90s so this would be no problem assembling. I was wrong. The toughest part of the list are the ones near the end here. They could be easily swapped for the songs sitting on the sidelines.

Scott and CC, As you would expect, it's the people and their strange goings on that I remember most from my time abroad.