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Japan – 1991

For this week’s historical video we visit Japan! But first, let’s start connecting some of the dots between the recent series of video posts …

In 1986, we taped the TNN (Nashville Network) New Country” TV show in Nashville, as a result of the reunion of the Hoppens with John Hall after a 7-year separation. The “Grown Up Children” album was our foray into the concept of “Country Crossover.” That version of the band included Bob Leinbach on keys.

The experiment was rather short-lived and we took a break near the end of 1987.

Back in May, we invited you to “view” our show at the Bearsville Theater in 1990, which was the reconvening of Orleans after a 3-year sabbatical. Actually, this was an audio-only YouTube broadcast of that show (whose recordings birthed our Orleans LIVE: Volumes 1&2 CD set) but also contained some retrospective video commentary that John and I (Lance) had done specifically for that online event. That version of the band also included Bob Leinbach, along with relative newcomers, drummer Peter O’Brien and Paul Branin on sax and guitar.

Larry, John, Peter, Bob, Lance (not pictured, Paul Branin)

This video post is first half of the show, performed at Mielparque Hall in Tokyo (there’s more than one). We also played Osaka, Yokohama, Okinawa and Hiroshima.

You can find the 2nd part of this show HERE.

And you can find the 3rd part of the show HERE, supplemented by some “home movie” footage from my SONY camcorder for a look “behind the scenes”.

I remember riding the bullet train (very cool :-), the awesome fast-food soba stands en route, eating sushi for brunch every day, and neon EVERYwhere! Our hosts (and there were MANY) were most gracious, the tech crews were impeccable, and the audiences were beyond enthusiastic … and very well-versed in the music of Orleans! They loved us … and we loved them back!

As a personal addendum …

In the early 90s, there were not a lot of Orleans gigs. I had moved to Nashville in 1989, when we were not working at all, to become a part of the then hit RCA band Baillie & the Boys (that’s a whole ‘nuther long story). That band worked all the time, beginning with a 40-city tour opening to Billy Joe Royal and Country icon, George Strait. As such, I was unavailable.

On the few Orleans gigs that did happen, Woodstock local Jim Curtin subbed for me. The one memorable exception was an afternoon show we did outdoors in the plaza of the World Trade Center twin towers. I went out of my way to make sure to be there.

I was with Baillie & the Boys up until April of 1991, which is when this tour of Japan happened. Upon our return, I began my 20-month tenure as band leader for Suzy Bogguss as she rose in prominence to win the CMA’s (Country Music Association) Horizon Award in October ’93. Amazingly, she then decided to take the next 6 months off and, when she returned to the road, I had already returned to Orleans full time.

In 1994 we did a second tour of Japan, recorded the Analog Men album for the Japanese market. We then went on to do the Can’t Stop Rockin’ Tour of 1995 (Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar) and record the Ride album. Which brings us to the video post of Orleans as trio in 1996.

And that connects ALL the dots for the decade 1986 – 1996!

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