(1964-1998), better known as hide
(yes, spelled all lowercase, and pronounced "hee-day"),
was the guitarist
of the extremely
Japanese big hair band X Japan
. A fan of KISS
since he was a
took the makeup-and-long-hair bit further and
became essentially androgynous
; in many of his (striking)
publicity posters you might well be excused for thinking he was
In addition to his work in X Japan, hide
the solo albums "Hide Your Face
" (1995) and "Psyence
After X Japan disbanded
on September 22, 1997, hide concentrated on his solo career,
both with the group Zilch and his formerly anonymous
backup band. But for the first single after X Japan, the backup
band was finally given a name: Spread Beaver, making the name
of the entire group hide with Spread Beaver. Alas,
hide committed suicide by hanging himself on May 2, 1998,
putting a quick end to this wonderful(ly named) band.
His funeral was attended by over 50,000 fans, at least two of
whom killed themselves afterwards.
hide with Spread Beaver's first and last full length album,
"Ja, Zoo" was released posthumously in November 1998, and
the rest of the band went their separate ways afterward.
The names of some of hide with Spread Beaver's other works are,
if not quite as chuckle-inducing, then at least equally bizarre.
The group's second
single was called "Pink Spider" and came in a 3" CD single case
painted like a bar of chocolate and emblazoned with the inscription
"DARK CHOCOLATE WITH PINK SPIDER!". More apt in describing the
group, though, would probably be the song Space Monkey Punks from Japan.
And no, I'm not sure to what extent Matsumoto-sensei was aware of
the connotations of his chosen name, although "Hide Your Face"
(with a matching album cover) makes it pretty clear that he was well
aware of his own name's English meaning, so I would not put knowledge of
the classic game of Hide The Sausage beyond him. (Then again,
despite the seeming yonic connotations of the name, Pink Spider merely
tells a strange story of a spider wanting to hitch a ride on the
wing of a bird.)
CDs and singles by hide with Spread Beaver still circulate in
Japanese used record stores like Recofan, and the legendary
Spread Beaver: Showing the Vaginal Area
bootleg T-shirt continues to cause consternation and/or amusement
among visiting gaijin. You can still probably buy one in Harajuku
or other classy shops like Violence Jack Off.
http://www.live.co.jp/hide/ (official site)
http://www.tomobiki.com/wagaku/artists/hide.htm (excellent bio, with pics)