The day we play Fukuoka I got up to take a run this morning. As is my tradition here in Hiroshima I go to Peace Park. Being just around the corner from our hotel makes it easy, and I also always go to the Hypocenter historical marker. Years back when I first came to Hiroshima, 2006 I think, we all went to Peace Park. When we were going back to where we had parked the van we walked down some little side streets just off from where the iconic building is in Peace Park and I saw this dark pinkish granite marker just on the sidewalk. It’s an unassuming marker being only a shade under 3 ft. wide and maybe a little over a yard in height, when I went to read what was on the marker it marks the very spot where the bomb blew up; the Hypocenter. The bomb blew up 600 meters above this spot, (roughly 1,500 feet) and it just drives home the point more deeply about what passed here. To think we all discovered this by accident while looking for the parking garage our van was in. I don’t think most people know it’s here. I go there every time now. The sun was out bright and it was a big change from the rainy conditions that was yesterday here in Hiroshima. This time I finally got to see all of Peace Park and it’s many memorials and markers. There’s one for all the children that died at that moment because with a large portion of the male population gone off in the armed forces fighting in the war, children volunteered to do the work for the daily civic jobs of city cleaning and some minor maintenance. There’s also the bell that is tolled every anniversary, August 6that 8:15 am. It’s a really spread out affair and today it’s teeming with school kids on field trips. They just kind of stare at me as I jog by mainly cuz’ I’m not wearing any kind of jacket. T-shirt and long work out pants and my shirt is wet with sweat. Always the sweaty one.
The drive to Fukuoka isn’t bad and we arrive at our hotel. We’re still in the same area we usually stay at in Fukuoka. The club being but only a 5 minute walk and at night this place is going to turn active. The club is a real small affair and it’s a sell-out. Doesn’t take a lot to get a sell-out but it’s done and I’ll take it. A sell-out is a sell-out. Tonight’s opening band is another big fan of mine and he’s been coming to see me ever since the very first time I played Hiroshima. Fujisaki san is another accomplished guitar player that has quite a bit of Stevie influence but he plays it really well. I also sit inside the club to watch him but I stay back against the wall because Fujisaki san gets quite emotional, like me, and I don’t want to really freak him out. I’m having fun listening to the band and so is the crowd. Fujisaki san loans me the plastic baffles he’s made to lessen the volume projection from the amps. It really helps. Plus they have his band name on them, Texas Trouble, and I’m playful at how I set them up. Most of the times I’ll set them upside-down so the words are upside down, to mess with the guitar geeks of course. They’ll be wondering if putting them like that affects the tone someway. I know that’s crossed their mind.
We get on up and start to tear into our show and its feeling good tonight. Before you know it the time has flown by and we’re getting back up to do our encore. This small but energetic and enthusiastic crowd has been great to play for. We load up, coordinate as to where we’re all going for the after gig festivities and when I’ve reached my time limit in the late night I bid everybody good-bye and I head back to the hotel. Stepping out into the crazy mix of revelers out on the streets tonight in this section of town I stand there and soak up the energy and vibe on the streets.
I love it here. Our last show is tomorrow – Saga.