Alex Meets Japan's Biggest Rock Star
That's not an exaggeration. The man sitting next to me is Yoshiki, the songwriter / drummer / pianist for X Japan, which is one of the most successful bands in Japan's history. They're the subject of a documentary playing SXSW called We Are X, which follows their rise, fall, and resurrection. It's an unbelievable story that involves cults, suicide, and hairdos that defy the laws of gravity and propriety.
I first found out about X Japan playing Rock Band, and I became so obsessed that I modeled my drumkit in the game to match Yoshiki's, so meeting him was kind of amazing. I mean, he's a guy who wanted to record in the studio where Metallica and Kiss had recorded their album, but he couldn't get on the waiting list, so he bought the studio. That's rock star.
If you want to see We Are X and an intimate performance by Yoshiki on Friday at the Paramount, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could win tickets. (You don't even have to have a badge or wristband or anything.)