Japan Tour 1976

Japan Tour December 1976

November 30th: Group arrive in Japan around midnight, and stay at the Tokyo Hilton. They stay there resting, waiting for the first concert which is on Dec 2nd at the Tokyo Gymnasium. Here the response is so wild that the group had to leave the stage after Kill the King, to let the crowd calm down a bit. On the next day the fan club are allowed to meet the group, though Ritchie wasn't present.

On the 4th, they all traveled to Osaka on the bullet train. The concert there on the 5th was more successful musically than the first one. On the 7th they played at Nagoya, where they dedicated Mistreated to the late Tommy Bolin, followed by a second concert in Osaka the next day. A third concert followed on the 9th, and one in Kyoto on the 10th. After two days rest and sightseeing they played Fukuoka on the 13th. On the 14th they played Hiroshima. Ritchie was in a bad mood during the day, and this showed in the music. Bay City Rollers played Tokyo! On the 15th the group returned to their Tokyo hotel to find it besieged by 500 fans, Rollers that is!

The next day Ritchie emerged looking sullen, and drove off for the Budokan hall in a white Cadillac. The others followed 10 minutes later. There were two concerts at the hall, an afternoon show being added after the first had sold out so quickly. The group all left Japan for Los Angeles the next day, except for Ritchie who left for England.

Unknown source

Tokyo Budokan Hall December 16, 1976

The hall was 80% full for the 3 o'clock show. The rather mediocre japanese support group got wild applause when they announced their final number. During the interval there was chaos, with everyone out of their seats. Rainbow came on and blasted through Kill the King. The show was almost the same as the UK tour content wise. Ritchie's version of Greensleeves was less dramatic though, and his solo before Catch the Rainbow was shorter.

At one point in this number he sacrificed his guitar to the Rainbow then bowed Japanese style. Man on the silver Mountain was maybe the best song of the afternoon, and Dio slipped in a verse from Starstruck.

It was followed by Light in the Black, and the crowd were beyond control. It sounds great live, much more force in it, especially the drumming. The Rainbow came back to life after Cozy's solo and the show was finished. There was no encore as this would have delayed the late show.

Rainbow were back on stage for 7:25. The crowd were twice as wild for this show, and I thought I'd be killed when Kill the King began, and people flooded to the stage. I was pushed to the front, and then dragged to the ground with half a dozen people on top. I screamed for help and some girls pulled me up, so I got out of the crowd and stood back. The show was wilder too, and a little louder. Ritchie did a Lazy intro to Silver Mountain and again this was their best number.

They substituted Stargazer for Light, and ran this into Still I'm Sad as they had done in the earlier show. The encore had Ritchie guitar smashing, and then a roadie came on pouring flour over the group. Ritchie poured stuff onto the crowd, and threw bits of guitar to the crowd. He also destroyed a machine from on top of his amps, and a big speaker, although roadies were seen dragging this on specially. They looked really funny all white faced. People threw streamers as the group did the last part of Do you close your eyes. Carey picked Bain up and carried him of stage. Ritchie waved, and they were gone.

June Kosaka & Mari Shimaoka