Hajime Tachibana, former member of the music group Plastics and one of the people behind the worldwide popularity of Tokyo street culture, and Jun Takahashi, aka Jonio and designer of fashion brand UNDERCOVER, talk about Tokyo, fashion and music in this series which consists of six parts.

Hajime Tachibana (HT): When did we first meet?

Jun Takahashi (JT): I guess when I was a member of the Tokyo Sex Pistols (cover band of the Sex Pistols).

HT: When was that?

JT: 1989 or 1990. When we participated in Vivienne Westwood’s show in Aoyama, Tokyo.

HT: Right, with Hiroshi Fujiwara, Miyako Koda and Kan Takagi.

JT: We wore collectors’ items such as World’s End and Seditionaries. Vivienne Westwood was in Japan for the show. I was still a student and didn’t own anything from the brand, but Hiroshi invited me.

HT: I didn’t realize that you were still a student. NIGO as well?

JT: I was a second or third year at Bunka Fashion College. NIGO was in the year below me. I met Hitomi Okawa of MILK at Vivienne’s show, and a week after that, she took me out because she said she found me interesting. We’ve been friends since.

HT: I met Hiroshi through Hitomi. Hitomi had a good eye for discovering young talent be it male or female. She would take them to Tsubaki House and other places and introduce them to new people.

JT: When I went out with Hitomi, Tsubaki House was already closed down. We would go clubbing, often to four places in one night. Places like GOLD in Shibaura or Picasso.

HT: Where’s that place near Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku?

JT: Milo’s Garage (currently Club Wire).

HT: Oh right, they had “London Nite.”

JT: I brought records by Kensho Onuki to “London Nite,” which allowed me to enter the club free of charge. I met Hiroshi there, and he told me that my clothes were fashionable.

HT: Oh really, laugh.

JT: I used to dress like Johnny Rotten. I knew of Hiroshi through magazines and the like. I came to know him in person at clubs, and that is how I got invited to Vivienne’s show. I met you for the first time at the show. I’ve loved punk music since I was in junior high, and I had heard about you through your work as the Plastics.

HT: I wasn’t really the clubbing type so I guess our social scenes didn’t overlap.

JT: I went to one of your solo exhibits with my friend Fumiya Fujii.

HT: In 1992, ten years after I left the Plastics, I released “Bambi,” and I think I met you around the time I was making this. I started holding solo exhibits in the 90s. I held my first one relating to typography in 1992, the DEPT exhibit the following year and the application tour in 1995. The lithograph exhibit was held in 1997, and the same year, I asked you to design the stage costumes for the new band “LOW POWERS.”

JT: Has it been that long?

HT: I ask you to design T-shirts and such anytime I start a new band or work as a DJ. By the way, who were the members of the Tokyo Sex Pistols? Was NIGO a member?

JT: On bass was Hikaru Iwanaga of Bounty Hunter and on guitar, Katchin of DOGDAY AFTERNOON. NIGO sometimes performed drums in place of our regular member, who mysteriously didn’t show up for one of our gigs. Sometimes Toshimi Watanabe of TOKYO No.1 SOUL SET would play drums for us too.

HT: We’ve never performed at the same live house though.

JT: Well, we were only a copy band (laugh).

To be continued into 2/6.