Spend a Day in Tex’s Tokyo

Australian singer-songwriter Tex Crick has been marooned in Japan for the past year of lockdown. Here's what he's been up to.

Fuji-San. Peace. 40,000ft in the air. 

I once had this idea to buy an old 747 and place it on top of a skyscraper. Turn it into a  restaurant. You just sit there and eat actual airplane food. Every day of the week would be  different cuisines and “destinations.” After the meal, the lights dim and you can sleep or use the in-flight entertainment. Basically just like being on a real plane, but you don’t go anywhere at all. 

Turns out there’s a restaurant like this in Tokyo. I went there. Not as true to the idea as I would  have liked. Just a few aisles of airplane seats crammed into a small room with actual decent  food… I could say a lot more about this but I won’t.

Here’s my studio in the attic. Nothing flash here. Enough to get the ideas out. I like working in the dark… The darker the better. Turn the lights low and get busy… 

Where’s my piano? There’s no room here for that here. If I get the itch, there’s a building in  Shinjuku that has about 30 small white rooms each fitted with a baby grand. You can pay ¥500  ($5 give or take) and let loose for 30 minutes. Soundproof with a key that locks… Now you’re  talking.

Always wanted to be a train driver. Look at all those fancy dials and buttons. This is shot through the viewing window from the last carriage. Marunouchi Line. It’s blurry, but you get the idea. Goes fast. No one talks on the train and the seats are heated. Serenity.

Crosswords. Only recently realized you can buy the New York Times at FamilyMart. Here’s Mars gettin’ busy. A nice way to pass the time and get your brain cooking over a  cup of coffee. Egg sandwich?… FamilyMart has the best of all the Konbini’s  (Convenience stores). Never had an egg sandwich until I came to Japan. My heart  skips a beat with every bite.

I’m obsessed. Seeing how it all works. Here’s my TR66 on the bench. Re-capping and  wiring individual outs… Everything’s well kept in Japan. The car boot sales are lined with perfect little piles of junk selling for next to nothing. The amount of pre-1970s  music gear I’ve seen still with original box and papers… You’d think it just rolled straight out of the factory and into this hustler’s time traveling car.

Stuck on a tune?  

Time for Somethin’ Else… An old “Kissaten” (Japanese coffee shop) just down the road.  “Music, Coffee, and Booze,” that’s their motto. Filter coffee is the standard here. Piping hot. These kinda spots are quickly disappearing on account of all the old folks running ‘em. Jazz and coffee go hand-in-hand in Japan, and I ain’t complaining.

My boot scootin’ baby is drivin’ me crazy  
My obsession from a Western, my dance floor date  
My rodeo Romeo, a cowboy god from head-to-toe  
Wanna make you mine, better get in line  

Roadside stop on the edge of Tokyo. I don’t know who the boxers are but they  put me in my place. I guess that’s what they were going for, whoever hung that picture up there.  

Okinawa sunrise. Every day a flaming star rises over the horizon. You gotta watch that thing and say it’s beautiful…Tokyo’s good and all, but when the city gets you down, do yourself a favor and get outta there. This is a picture of Mars down on a Japanese island close to Taiwan. Iriomote. The island has its own species of wildcat. Yama-Neko. Everyone eats Spam here. Respect.

(Photo Credit: Tex Crick)

From the small coastal town of Coledale on the south coast of Australia comes Tex Crick. Since appearing on the scene in 2013, Crick’s versatility as a keyboardist led him far and wide, making a name for himself as a cult figure amongst alt-music fanatics. With a modest reputation for performing alongside a diverse array of international artists, Crick has played with Kirin J. Callinan, Weyes Blood, Connan Mockasin, and Iggy Pop.

Tex’s latest solo release, Sweet Dreamin’, is out now via Mac Demarco‘s Mac’s Record Label.