“8 In The Morning, Buenos Aires”
by Yoshioka Masaharu
March 1973, Buenos Aires, 8 am in the morning:
13-year-old Japanese boy moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina due to his father’s job. He attend international school there and 8 o’clock every morning chauffeur picked him up to send school. Chauffeur always turned on local radio that played so many American music which captivate his mind.
Everything was so new and was a big culture shock for 13-year-old Japanese boy because this place was his first out of country experience. He couldn’t speak local language nor pick up the word.
One morning, radio played “Summer Breeze” by Seales & Crofts then “Oh Baby, What Would You Say” by one hit wonder Hurricane Smith who once was a engineer for Beatles and produced early Pink Floyd records and then came a song which gave him a quite impact. Medium tempo song leading by light touch electric keyboard first sung by male vocal then into female vocal and came another male vocal.
He recalled. “I felt so strongly something special happening there. Totally different type of music which I never experienced before was there. I felt something new was beginning to happen. I couldn’t picked up who sings that particular song because of DJ’s Spanish-accent called Castellano not Espagnole (Spanish). DJ might say “something wonderlue” or like that. But I remember that moment very vividly. Air that I breath, smells I felt, temperature, pictures that I saw from the car windows at exactly 8 o’clock in the morning in Buenos Aires. I was 13 and knew nothing about the world. But I felt something from that song. So since then, every time I heard that song that took me to that morning in Buenos Aires. I also remembered DJ played “Stuck In The Middle With You” by the Steelers Wheel after this.”
That song was, as you already know, Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”. He continued. “These flow of four songs made impressed on me but especially the third song. To day, I think it is little bit of funny that 13-year old Japanese boy felt something like that in Buenos Aires of all places. (smile)”
March in Buenos Aires is the season toward to the winter. He said “Gradually it became winter. My family moved to Argentine in that March so that’s the one of the reason I remember that so vividly. Everything was new to me, then.” The song “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” was remembered in his memory with gradually changing season with chilly air.
March 2003, Tokyo, 2 am in the morning:
At one of my regular soul bar (Bar where soul music are played nicely. Unique culture found only in Japan.) in Tokyo. That day there were only me and him as patron at dimly high ceiling bar. It was slow night, so we could make some suggestions to DJ. My company had paper-sleeve, digitally re-mastered version of CD “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” he just bought. He handed it to DJ and said “I love this “Creepin”, great song isn’t it? Could you play from track number 5?” While Stevie’s voice was from speakers, as watching the jacket, he begun to talk about this Buenos Aires story.
He remembered. “Back then I only knew about Stevie with “Superstition”. So I had no idea about who sung this “You’re The Sunshine Of My Life”. Even though later I got to know that was Stevie, it’s hard to believe two singers were same because both songs are totally different.”
“First Finale” continues from “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” to “It Ain’t No Use”. He said “I love this one, also. This song make me teary, too.”
As Stevie sings “We’ve got to say bye… Why’d we say goodbye, I’m crying…Seems that we just don’t want to do it…I guess we ran out of fluid…”, even though if you wouldn’t understand the meaning of lyrics (for most of the Japanese people, English lyrics are hard to understand), you would feel the sadness of the song itself. That’s another Stevie’s magic.
“It Ain’t No Use”, another killer ballad, closing with the word “bye bye baby”. As Stevie sung that word, DJ who must had been listening to our conversation played “You’re The Sunshine Of My Life”! I could easily imagined that moment this keyboard came in the song surely took him to that morning in Buenos Aires . Music between the lines of time and places. Stevie is bridge between those.
December 2003, Saitama Arena 6 pm in the evening:
I and he and other “soul-mates” were among 20,000 attendees of Stevie’s live in Saitama Arena. 30 years after he was shocked by “You’re The Sunshine Of My Life” in a place of more than 7,000 miles away from home, he saw Stevie in live for the first time ever. 13-year-old boy then is now 43-year-old-man and couldn’t express how he was impressed by his all time idol’s live performance. He didn’t hesitate to wet eyes when Stevie was singing his favorite songs, and of course he sung “You’re The Sunshine Of My Life” along with Stevie when he let audience sung. He said “I felt in him something big like universe and Thank God that I’m alive”. I agreed.
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