R.I.P. Joe Yamanaka

Less than 24 hours after writing an obituary for Conrad Schnitzler and here I am having to write that Joe Yamanaka has passed away today.

Joe will be best known to our readers as singer from classic Japanese heavy psychedelic rock band Flower Travellin Band. Emerging from the ashes of previous band The Flowers, the bands debut album “Anywhere” features the iconic image of the band nude on motorcycles, later used as the cover for Julian Cope’s Japrock sampler. Their second album, “Sartori” came joint first in Cope’s Top 50 from the book.

However, Joe had other sides to his career. He was friends with Bob Marley and replaced him as singer in The Wailers for five years. He had a very successful solo career in the far east and also acted in films, including working with director Takashi Miike. He reformed Flower Travellin Band in 2007 and released their fifth album “We Are Here” in 2008 but then Joe’s diagnosis with lung cancer halted further activities.

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