Tears for Fears in Japan 2012 -Juli’s Experience

The Sunflower Club of Japan, one of the longest running (still active) Fan Clubs for Tears for Fears... established in the early 90s.

The Sunflower Club of Japan, one of the longest running (still active) Fan Clubs for Tears for Fears… established in the early 90s.

*Note from the moderator, Andye* This was one of the most detailed and fascinating accounts submitted by a fan for this 2012 Tour. I cried a lot when translating it. It was very touching. Our original goal for Japan was that they remain visible for the whole show… Let the band know they are there…show Curt and Roland that you showed up for the show. Have sunflowers, wear your fan travel shirts or something that will be representative of this ongoing #365TFF theme that we’ve kept for so long so they know the loyal people are present and accounted for. But it went far beyond any of that. Curt and Roland, for whatever reason of kindness, took time out to meet with them. We didn’t expect that at all. Those things can’t be promised. So, when it happened we were floored!! It is beyond a blessing and more than a sweet gesture. There are no words to describe how grateful we are as a team that Japan was received so well.

Please enjoy this blog post in “Juli’s words,” in Juli’s style. She is not a native English speaker but does a darn fine job relaying her info and it is so fun to read. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I have translating and helping her with phrases. Juli-Juli you are so loved!

Curt and Juli hanging out. Notice she was smart and wore her #365DaysAYearForTearsForFears Kerffuffle of Kooks shirt ;) oh yeah! She's was representing that night!

Curt and Juli hanging out. Notice she was smart and wore her #365DaysAYearForTearsForFears Kerffuffle of Kooks shirt 😉 oh yeah! She’s was representing that night!

Who is Juli? It’s my online name that I’ve been using for many years. I’m Japanese. A housemaker & freelance DTP operator. Before my marrige, I was a sales engineer and advertising person in an IT company in HITACHI Group (Please buy HITACHI’s merchandise!!). Of course I’m a huge TFF fan. For our honeymoon we went to Bath and London.

The TFF Japanese fan club is called “The Bible of Dreams, a Tears for Fears Fan Site.” It has been known in Japan since 1997 and is fan generated …and one of the oldest TFF fan site in the world. Some old famous TFF fans may still remember me & my site and all the activities we did. BTW actually I wanted to call it “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.” But at that time already there was “Johnny Panic’s TFF Home Page.”

After the TFF live show, 19th, Aug, I was sitting at the private area for the acts of Summer Sonic festival Tokyo. I was so nervous. At the very least, I wanted to fix up my makeup and my hair. I was sweaty,too! Except me, some Japanese old & true fans (All of them are my friends and we are called the Sunflower group) were waiting with me.

All of them were nervous like me, we were all shaking and asking ourselves, “Are we in dream now?” We all said yes. Then someone else said, “This is a dream that we can see Curt & Roland!!”

All of this happened like this… ::enter the dream like state, taking you back to day 1 where it all started::

After the press release said TFF will come to Japan this summer, I began to sound to TFF’s record company & Summer Sonic head office that TFF organize autograph session in Summer Sonic festival.

I’ve envied overseas TFF fans that were able to take pics with Curt & Roland. My hope was to give the same chance for Japanese TFF fans, too. But in Japan, for fans to come in contact with foreign Rock artists is so rare. It’s a very difficult thing.

I thought, in this festival, the musician’s autograph session is open well. Though typically young bands do it but big bands like TFF don’t it very often. Summer Sonic head office seemed to check up but as expected both of them didn’t give me answer. So sweet Andye AndinhaNiakan heard my demand and encouraged for us to keep checking and gave us some information in the marketing and media on who to contact and politely ask if a meet and greet was going to happen. I tried and gave up.

Then two weeks before the concert, I recalled that Curt & Roland have a privileges. In Summer Sonic area, every performers can walk around like the public. They can see other band’s gigs, something eat at food stalls (In Summer Sonic, food stalls are almost institution) and when they meet their fans, they can hold an impromptu dialogue with them.

If Curt & Roland do it, by any chance,we can see them…!?

Curt Smith Signing Autographs backstage at show

Curt Smith Signing Autographs backstage at show

Part II
Our meeting & greeting mission began. I made contact with Andye again. “Can we get together & may I ask Curt do autograph session somewhere in a quiet place?” She said she didn’t know but thought it would be nice…Fortunately, Curt & I had a positive exchange. We spoke to him in the nick of time.

I wrote again to Andye. She answered first saying she understood it is the promoter who grants those wishes, not always the band. But he maybe can see just a few? She didn’t know if Curt can see us (Andye reminds people she is not TFF staff, she is fan like us. Happy and at shows.) but hopes that maybe he would. There were some fans who were furious with us about our plans and we had fights. I don’t want to talk about it. From all of this I learned who I can trust and who are really true fans of the band.

Finally I assembled them & asked them simple self-introductions by English on my BBS. If Curt saw it, he’ll understand a little about them. I sent my all contact informations to Andye too. My cell phone number and my husband’s ones. Andye was quick and responsive to me. She says, “Please decide your clothes & your land mark for the day of the show so Curt will know who to look for.” I selected blue TFF KOOKs fan T-shirt & decided to bring the suggested Sunflower for gig.

582009_444009945638612_389243554_nAndye advised me “The current day, you must keep front row position and you need to have something in English that says “This is Juli from Twitter” so he knows who you are. You can hold it during the show. He will see you in the audience.” I still couldn’t feel easy. I bought a big false sunflower like bouquet and pasted lots of Swarovski rhinestones on it like rain drops.
My husband took a video of me in that I wore blue TFF KOOKs fan T-shirt and had my “Super Shining Sunflower”. I read aloud the message for Curt and Roland in my clumsy English (BTW I’m bad at English especially hearing & speaking are horrible). Needless to say Andye sent the video to them (I really can’t thank her enough!).

Waiting to see the band...holding sunflowers cause they are...The Sunflower club...now that's CUTE! This is the only region where our crowd plan worked.

Waiting to see the band…holding sunflowers cause they are…The Sunflower club…now that’s CUTE! This is the only region where our crowd plan worked.

In Japan, only a bit Japanese true TFF fans have known about this plan. One of them believed in me completely, and worked hard at full blast (I can’t thank this person enough,too). But for the initial period of time,  one of them (He’s my old friend so we can confer each other without any reserve) critisized that my plan was loose and would not work. But when he saw Joycee’s (Joyce PhilsKoosk) pics on the meeting and greeting in Philippines,he changed his thought. Because in Joycee’s pics, Curt and all of them were shining happily… I continued with the plans I had already set up and how the band can have quick meet-up for Japanese TFF fans.

I made a list:
Selecting meeting place, advance booking, saving contact informations of all members, deciding the sign of meet-up… Almost all meet-up members were my old TFF mates or my closely TFF mates. I selected Sunflower as the land mark for meet-up members and asked them “When you go to Summer Sonic Festival, please bring Sunflower.” This is how we became the “The Sunflower club” later.

At the last minute I talked to them about the secret meeting and greeting. Because I didn’t feel sure of myself. Can we see with Curt at somewhere at Makuhari Messe (The venue of Summer Sonic festival in Tokyo) really? Is this really going to happen?

They Sunflower club was so surprised to know we may have chance to meet them. But deep down we were doubtful. My health became bad. I thought “My health goes bad, then no one can do anything…I began this. I have to make sure it goes well.”

KC&CO17th Aug things got worse. I passed out suddenly. I dropped in a spin. It was like severe car sickness. When I moved my body a little, I threw up violently. I was carried to a emergency hospital by ambulance car in night with my husband. My husband posted this news on FB. Andye & my friends worried about me so much (Thank you all!).
Even Curt seemed to know it from Andye, too. If I couldn’t go to Summer Sonic, who can wave my super shining Sunflower instead of me? My husband promised me that he would wear my TFF-T shirt and wave my Sunflower if worse came to worst.

(Japan Fans and Kerfuffles like to jam out to this song and Julie Julie of course)

KeepCalmI was examined, after all diagnosed as peripheral vertigo. I had to get hospitalized only overnight (Lucky!). But ENT doctor forbide that I would go to TFF Live!!
As might be expected I was about to give up all. But anyway I need to moderate our meet-up and need to search the place where we can see Curt at Makuhari Messe.

A note from Curt encouraged me so much. Then, I remembered someone adviced me “Use earplug!” So, my husband …Makuhari Messe! At the near station,we joined together some the Sunflower club members. The consult hall where TFF would play was called “Sonic Stage”.The capacity is about 10,000 people. By the way there were four stages (One of them was outdoor stage). But at the same time y with TFF, on the Mountain stage, Garbage and New Older gigs were scheduled. So many listeners had to pick between…TFF or New Order.

We choose the appropriate place soon. I took a pic there and sent Curt by Twitter. If he can’t find the place, someone staff of Summer Sonic will tell him where is this.

In Sonic Stage was so cheerful. Lots of food stalls. The stage of Japanese comedians. Bar,disco.kids room…At the souvenir shops of Summer Sonic official goods we bought TFF merch (Only T-shirt. I regret!). But! When I returned there after 30 minutes, I was surprised at the bottom of my heart. Because there was the new white tent.”The dispensary” I felt “Summer Sonic Festival is alive!” .

It changes as occasion may demand in a day. My husband and The Sunflower club members are surprised in turn. But my husband made a settlement proposal. “Juli, is there any way to tell Curt where you are?” I began to worry I would have been a true trouble for poor Curt and his i-Phone. I continue to send him notes where we are.
All of this excessive messaging by me could have been avoided if these interconnected social media phones would let me send pictures&location on all platforms. Our wait time of The Sunflower meet-up was approaching. Tentatively, we went to a cafe in the hotel New Otani Makuhari. Most of members gather together here. Of course they had sunflowers as we were supposed to.

225036_338784329547925_470509806_nI saw they were chatting as if they were an old acquaintance. I thought we don’t need to do self-introduction. But I divided out nameplates to them that I had bought and asked them to write their names by English. If we can see Curt, he can call their names. At that time, my cell phone ringed. I still don’t say about that person’s name, but that was…”YOU KNOW WHO”!!!!

Meanwhile, There was the buffet lunch style, but I couldn’t have a lot of food. I was the host so, I had no time to go for tasty dishes! To tell the truth, I wanted to enjoy snacks and cakes and drinks more… When I pinch my second sandwich, my cell phone rang. I heard the tense voice. “Juli, I’m at near station but I got lost. I don’t know how I go to toward Makuhari Messe!!”

“Calm down!” I shouted but she has got confusing already completely.

“Can you figure out where is Makuhari Messe?”

“Never!”

“STROOTH!?” I’m sorry for her. But we were surprised very much that she arrived at the near station but couldn’t find Makuhari Messe. It’s the same situation as or simular situation to someone arrived at Trafalgar Square at London and asked “Where is the statue of Admiral Nelson?”

Probably she was so tired (She enjoyed Summer Sonic TFF Live in Osaka,too) was so feeling heat and was excited so much. And her heart would have beating certainly…”Beat of the Drum”! Just like my heart…

Anyway, now it’s only one of episodes about “The Sunflowers club”. My husband took the phone and for a while he was hearing where she was. He stood up and said.”I’ll meet her at the station!”

Manami's Art from the show...

Manami’s Art from the show…

After a few moments, he brought her into our meet-up. I stood up and offered her a firm and respectful handshake. “How do you do? It’s very nice to meet you at last…MANAMI”. Our little party warmed up but at 14:00 we went our way. “Next time, see you all again at Sonic Stage!”

Some of them went to see their favorite artist’s gig. I then sent Curt our location. My husband & I rested at cafe in Makuhari messe for a while. Then the battery of my cell phone is weakening…then I get message from Curt!! They are coming here now! And he asked me if I would be holding the sunflowers! What a relief! I informed all the Sunflower club members.

On stage, we listened to some tracks. I only remember “Pictures of You” by The Cure,”Ashes to Ashes”.That was David Bowie version.
About 19:10(Japan time). The lights burst bright! The audience broke into a loud cheer! Then…I saw Curt & Roland directly for the first time in my life. I was surprised “Gee! This intro is…Badman’s Song!!”

“Heard every word that was said that night…” Roland’s powerful vocal hit me. Then Curt is getting close near our position…I threw around my “Super Sunshine Sunflower.”Please Curt! It’s me, Juli! Curt did found it. He saw us & my sunflower certainly. At that moment he smiled so brightly!!! My husband,my members and I did thumbs-up in a spontaneous way. Various feelings swirl through my body.My heart is beating so fast. Our dream comes true? Can we see him in real by any chance? And yet,how charming your smile was, Curt!! I became fascinated with him instantly and I can never forget that his smile.

Pucker Up Roland ;) -leave this picture right her, please do not throw it around on fan walls...this was used with permission.

Pucker Up Roland 😉 -leave this picture right here, please do not throw it around on fan walls…this was used with permission.

Roland seemed in the best of spirits. He has been smiling ravishingly, too. My sunflower also brighten his face. I’ve loved his melancholy aspect and have drewn lots of drawings of this aspect of him. But I never knew that his smile was so dazzling… Instantly, my love for them grew more than it already was. I found new magnetic sides to both Curt and Roland …to see them indeed was beautiful like Andye said. The second song was “Sowing The Seeds Of Love”.The audience warmed up so much already. BIG chorus!

When Roland sang “I Love a Sunflower”, I lifted up my sunflower high. Later my hubby said me. “Roland was amused by that!”

!!!THE SET LIST!!!

1.Bad Man’s Song

2.Sowing The Seeds Of Love

3.Change

4.Mad World

5.Memories Fade

6.Everybody Loves A Happy Ending

7.Billie Jean(Michael Jackson)

8.Advice For The Young At Heart

9.Everybody Wants To Rule The World

10.Pale Shelter

11.Break It Down Again

12.Head Over Heels

13.Shout

There were all over Japanese True long time TFF fans. They have waited TFF fir 27 years. When “STSOL” played everyone grooved so much. Almost all of them could sing Almost all of TFF tracks.

When “Break It Down Again” began (Roland made a profound bow) I was so surprised…the audiense sing together! Next “Head Over Heels”, our excitement reached fever pitch. The falsetto of Roland was excellent! The last track,of course Roland didn’t need to sing “Shout” by himself…every fans were singing louder than him.

Both of Roland and Curt were at their finest. We could see lots of their smiles. My sunflower played outstandingly. When Roland played his guitar, I waved very very often it to him (was that an inconvenience to him? We always fear that). Always he noticed and smiled really sweet smiles.

Curt has certainly spotted somebody in this picture... taken at San Fran show by Carri D.

Curt has certainly spotted somebody in this picture… taken at San Fran show by Carri D.

When in gigs we want to believe very offen that musicians can see us,I want to believe it, too. Of course, I also did it to Curt very very often. And he smiled back to me. To tell the truth,I don’t know whether Roland also has known about “The Sunflower plot?” I asked Andye if Roland knows to look for our Sunflowers. She says she does not know. But at least Curt knew who was shaking the shining sunflower for them.

Because my cell phone was dying I could only send one last note to the Sunflower club, “PLZ assemble the place where I took the pic!”  However it was my fatal error, accordingly. A TFF fan who I’ve known only on the Net hailed me. So when a woman came near us, I assumed she’s also my TFF fellow on the Net. But it was absolute my misconception. She said to me in Japanese. “Are you Ms Juli? I’m a staff of Mr. Curt Smith. He asked me ‘Please manage that she and her fellows can see me somehow.’ Will you come with me?” At first I didn’t understand what she said. My husband told me again and I understood. She then brought us 6 wrist bands for back stage.
I checked if all members are with me. We are now 6 members… But OMG! Manami and Maurin are missing!!

TanyaTakesAPhotoMeeting Roland..it was so difficult for me to explain his character. We worry we are a bother but he smiled and let us hug him. From Curt, I got lots of kindness from him. His sensitivity to us was beautiful. I never forget the last handshake with him. At that moment I touched his hand I felt like he understand us and knows our innocent intention. I don’t remember, much else, it became a mysterious blur. My husband says I began to scream to him to “Get Manami and Maurin!!” and I am so sorry. I admit I made this blunder. About Manami, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this. Anyway without them, how could we possibly see TFF without them? But the interpreter says “We can prepare only 6 wrist bands.” Who will be coming with me? But anyway ,we should assemble members as early as possible!My husband phoned Manami. Other member searched leftover members and I tried to contact with Maurin.

SunflowerClub2Roland

Roland and Juli pose for a picture… again, let this stay here…do not download and repost, thanks! 🙂

The interpreter backed in the back stage and brought on 7 wrist bands (Many thanks! I was a squeaky wheel). One member left the spot too soon. My husband succeed to put through Manami. He beaconed her to hurry and come over. But I couldn’t find Maurin at last. Later I found her poor tweet, “Where are you all?”
Maurin, I’m so sorry!!!! I can’t believe this…

At this point we were 8 people. Immediately my husband gave up his wrist band and decided to wait outside so the others can go in. “I’ll wait for you and will be at Rihanna’s Live to watch them set up for her show. Meet me there afterwards. I could barely say thanks to him before we were whisked away to meet the band. Members and I passed through what looked like a bar. There weren’t any other Japanese except us. We were so nervous. We imagined many others would be there but it was just us! I think no one has forecasted such situation really,except Manami and I.

If you haven't heard any of Roland's jokes...you haven't lived. Here he does a hard core, "They won't forget this one..." sort of prank... as one person said, ...we love Roland. There's only 1 like him in the world

If you haven’t heard any of Roland’s jokes…you haven’t lived. Here he does a hard core, “They won’t forget this one…” sort of prank… as one person said, …we love Roland. There’s only 1 like him in the world

One of us(My most old TFF fellow), seemed cool and relaxed. I wanted to be this way, but she looked alive when Curt appeared at a distance.Each of us looked to each other to fix our make up. We were all nervous saying to each other, “I wanted to fix up my makeup!”
“Me,too!”
“That’s too baad! I’m shaggy-haired!”
“I’m so sweaty!”
“Will Roland come with Curt!?”
I said, I have a feeling, “He’ll come, too”
I’ve had this strange confidence about it.
Because he knows about me and my weird TFF fan site,surely!

Then, Curt appeared on the scene with smile like the Sun. Just like Andye said, he is even more handsome in person. We ll stood and greet him with applause. “Nice to meet you!” We hugged him in sequence. But when we found the person who comes after Curt, we just panicked and froze. There he was “The Legend Man, Roland Orzabal.”

“WoW, Juli! It’s him!”
“Juliiiiiiiii! They are here, Curt and Roland…”
Members screamed individually.
Because in the next breath, I glomped him.
I don’t even think I introduced myself to him.
But one of members told me later that they said, “That’s Juli.” To Roland so he would know who was hugging him.
Roland respond “Ohhh!”
One of members mailed me later. “If I was woman, I could hug him like you!!”
To this day I can still feel their hands and his body. Curt is very firm and fit. Roland is strong and sturdy and when you hug him and he speaks you can feel his operatic voice in the hug. It echoes through his very nice body.
I hugged him around his neck and I had someone take a pic of him and me. Then autograph session and photo session began. Female members breathed down Curt’s and Roland’s neck so male fans couldn’t even get near them. I regretted that I couldn’t talk to them. I lost my notebook for communicating in writing. I wanted to write down what I wanted to say. I can write English but speaking is hard.

A clever female member wrote about her love to TFF in advance, entered it in her smartphone and showed Curt and Roland. They read it heartily. Roland seemed to read aloud it. Except one, we could speak English barely. We had admiration for her good idea. We wished we had done that. I heard a rumour that Roland seemed to kiss on someone’s cheek…but she doesn’t seem to remember it. Who was that so lucky person? You know …giggle giggle! I remember at first Roland stood alone and paced like a butterfly. He made me think of Mr. Bean with a wine glass. (Sorry Roland, it was interesting to watch you thinking)

We then took group picture and I stood right next to Curt. I still remember how he took me by the shoulders gently. And damn if that picture didn’t turn out because the SD card became corrupt. Fans, I warn you, when you get ready to take a picture make sure you have more than one camera and take 2 to be safe.
Suddenly Roland left, the secret meeting and greeting was over. At parting, Curt shaked me by the hand.He watched me, sincerely. I felt that he wanted to remember me as the symbol of Japanese TFF fans. In Japan, meeting and greeting with foreign Rock artist is SO RARE!! If TFF will come to Japan again, probably we can never see them again in such grand style. When we went out ,my husband got close to us. “You are too late!” Really? I felt almost bad for a moment… But I had no energy to feel anything after finishing this gorgeous event and threw myself into his arms! My working hour was over!

Show compilation from entire festival

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2 comments on “Tears for Fears in Japan 2012 -Juli’s Experience

  1. Please let me add the tale told at a later date.Thank you so much to read my text,you all!

    -The epilogue-
    Epilogue…
    At last,I have to confess you all.
    OMG!! I was fascinated with Curt! What should I do,I can never forget him!!
    I went to see Twitter.There were Carri-D. and Joycee by chance.
    I consulted them about my one-sided love.
    This is my tweet.
    “@PapaSFans @wattsjoyce @QtCDior28 Hi,Joycee & Carri & Andye!! What should I do? I fell in love to Curt.I can’t forget him!!! X-O”
    Carri answered.
    “@Admiral_Juli @wattsjoyce @PapaSFans Welcome to the club.He’s quite the dreamy one.Mr Debonaire, Smooth to the fullest GREAT Man, Father, and ONE in a Milli Artist”
    Joycee answered.
    “@QtCDior28 @Admiral_Juli @PapaSFans i do understand. My advice: Kiss your hubby 267 times, enrol @ a gym, make yourself busy w/ Zumba xo”
    and
    “@QtCDior28 @Admiral_Juli @PapaSFans Last advice: Do not keep the pen @curtsmith used in signing your stuff. It’ll drive you crazy ”
    I acted to them advice,needless to say!!

    Thank you so much,Curt.
    Thank you so much,Roland.
    Thank you so much,Andye.
    And Thank you so much,everybody who helped us…

    Wish to see you again,someday.

    Juli Nelson.

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