"I want music to be continuously natural in the future. Music nowadays seems to be too mechanical oriented, well formatted. I want to feel people, human, nature, grooves, souls in music."
Nobuyuki Yasunari: A Trip to Fillmore
Nobuyuki Yasunari is the owner of Fillmore Trip Café in Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan with lunch, sweets, dinner, beers, and good 70's Classic Rock music! It is a cafe that brings taste of San Francisco in 70s, Hippy, Rock & Roll, Motor Bike, and psychedelic groove. Anybody can enjoy its good food, drinks, and fully customizable cake. Come and drop by and will take you to the Fillmore trip!
Nobuyuki Yasunari born in mid 60s and raised with nothing but Rock & Roll music. Educated and influenced by sister. She taught him what to listen and what to wear. Deeply impressed by the movie, Easy Rider which opened his eyes to Harley Davidson. Ever since he was 25 years, Nobuyuki have been crazy about Harley Davidson. Nobuyuki met his wife thanks to Harley Davidson and Allman Brothers Band. He’s grateful what he have found in the course of his life and this experience gave him an opportunity to open up Fillmore Trip Cafe.
What do you learn about yourself from the Rock n’ Roll culture?
Rock’n Roll has always been part of my life. With its culture, I have learned freedom of life. It opens up many opportunities, meeting many people, traveling many places such as US. It gives me many opportunities which probably people in general could not have experienced. I have had such great time with people, places, culture, fashion, visiting Duane’s memorial places, following Allman Borthers Band concert all over the places and get to know band mate. It also gave me chance to open clothing shop, Laid Back, in the past. It opens up new life with Harley Davidson. I cannot imagine my life without Rock ’n Roll music and culture. I think that it is what brings me where I am.
What does the “On The Road” mean to you?
Good question. It is excitement of life. I guess it is life itself. As I mentioned earlier, the music brings me many things and it constantly bring me back “on the road.” Through my life journey, I could meet with my lovely wife. With her, my life is full of excitement, happiness, and great journey.
"The music scene here in Japan are dominated by contemporary pop music. It is my regret as well that blues music is not matured yet." (Photo: Nobuyuki Yasunari front of Fillmore Trip Cafe)
How started the thought of Fillmore Trip Cafe?
When I was running clothing shop business, Laid Back, I always wanted to run a new business named after Fillmore. Fillmore itself means a lot to me, it is Fillmore East and/or Fillmore West where many great musicians played wonderful gigs. I highly appreciate and love that places and I honor musicians like Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Doors, etc. I also like Bill Graham. So, I wanted to create a place where people can “trip” to such places instantly. That is how I came up with an idea of Fillmore Trip Cafe. I want to show and share what I experienced in these places through my care.
What characterize and how do you describe cafe’s philosophy?
Like I mentioned earlier, I want people to feel vibes of “Fillmore” when they are in my cafe. So, I basically play music classic rocks that brings people to Fillmore and let them feel joy, excitement, and thrill of music. I believe there is something in music created by above mentioned musicians and it is incomparable with current pop music. I believe there is soul. So, that characterize my cafe and philosophy. I will never play music like One Direction!
Are there any memories from Fillmore Trip Cafe events and parties which you’d like to share with us?
Wow. It brings back all memories. I cannot forget the first day that I opened the cafe as well as annual anniversary parties. All the good friend that I have got to know music get together at my cafe upon anniversary parities, play small gigs, share good foods, good laughs, etc. Sometimes, friends come to place with motorbike all the way from far places. It is one of my happiest moment in my life. My cafe gives me chance to appreciate my friends and family.
"I cannot imagine my life without Rock ’n Roll music and culture. I think that it is what brings me where I am." (Photo: Nobuyuki Yasunari with his wife & Dickey Betts backstage)
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past?
I guess it is probably some of kind of chaos and craziness in good sense. I hope you understand what I mean. Music nowadays seems to me too organized and well behaved. I miss some looseness of the music back then.
What are your hopes and fears for the future of Rock?
I want music to be continuously natural in the future. Music nowadays seems to be too mechanical oriented, well formatted. I want to feel people, human, nature, grooves, souls in music.
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
That would be very simple for me. I want Duane Allman and Berry Oakley come back life again! That would be so awesome!
Make an account of the case of the blues/rock in Japan. Which is the most interesting period in local scene?
It is difficult question. I guess there are many good blues musicians in Japan, but, since it is not major scene here, all these good musicians have tough life in their music career. The music scene here in Japan are dominated by contemporary pop music. It is my regret as well that blues music is not matured yet.
What are the lines that connect the legacy of Rock n’ Roll culture from United States to Japan?
What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the road trips with the motor club?
We usually have New Year touring in very very cold weather. A few years ago, good friends of mine got hospitalized after the touring because of coldness. It was kind of fun. Also, every time we go out road trip, somebody always small machine troubles, and it always bring good laughs.
Why did you think that the Allman Brothers music continues to generate such a devoted following?
I guess it is probably same as Grateful Dead. They always bring unexpected performance and groove in jam. There is not one single concert which is exactly the same. It makes you trip different places. I think that keep attracting people.
Where would you really wanna go via a time machine and what memorabilia would you put in?
Oh, that is an easy question. Going back to 1971 at Fillmore East where Allman Brothers Band played! I want the coricidin slide from Duane. I want him to come drop by my cafe and talk all night about music and everything.
How you would spend a day with SRV? What would you say to Jerry Garcia? What would you like to ask Duane?
If it is possible, I would like to see three of them on the same stage and play music. That would be so awesome. I want to keep listening their music. If I could, I want to ask Duane what he would think about current Allman Brothers Band and Dickey Betts.
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