In preparation for his music festival debut, our reporter once again summons the spirit of a Swedish guitar hero.

When we last heard from our reporter Seiji Nakazawa, he was accepted into the band si,irene as they performed at a few shows in England including a music festival there. This was an unprecedented opportunity for Seiji, who has been paying his dues as an aspiring musician on the Japanese indie scene for about 12 years.

It was also a terrifying step to take in his musical career, taking him far out of his comfort zone of Tokyo clubs and deep into the foreign territory of London, England. Not only that, but England was a continuous source of rock, from the early days of the Beatles to the modern sake-endorsing-days of Ed Sheeran.

It’s in these high-pressure situations that Seiji likes to call upon the spirit of legendary guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen for support. Malmsteen’s prowess on the guitar is perhaps matched only by his ultra-confident persona characterized in his ultimate power move: the Malmsteen lunge.

In addition to the mental support being Yngwie Malmsteen provided, Seiji thought that by looking like him, the sea of record label reps and talent scouts in London would immediately gravitate towards him. Even when they found out that Seiji wasn’t really Malmsteen, he would still got his foot in the door, and that was half the battle right there.

The plan was so ridiculously simple it had to work! The only thing for Seiji to do was suit up and practice his lunges before boarding his flight to London.

On the plane, Seiji stared out into the clouds and planned how he would take England. He had heard that it was common for people to perform on the street there. However, if word got out that the Yngwie Malmsteen was playing for free on the street, there would be mass hysteria.

However, Seiji didn’t really know anything about London, such as where to perform on the street. He decided to start with the popular sightseeing locations such as Buckingham Palace…

…and Westminster Abbey.

He searched high and low…

…but couldn’t find a single street performer.

Seiji was beginning to feel confused. Surely he had heard that people played music on the streets in London, but after traveling around the city he was getting a big “no-performing” vibe.

He decided to ask an acquaintance who lived in London for about five years and told him “I think it’s more or less OK and people might even give you money.”

Seiji thought to himself, “Really?! London kicks ass.” With his spirits returned to high, he got his gear together, researched a good location, and set out to perform on the street.

The area Seiji chose was Victoria Station, which was said to be musician-friendly and had a nice plaza that ought to accommodate the hordes of rock fans who would gather to watch him. The ground was damp and clouds loomed overhead as he set up, but Seiji just dismissed it all as that “London weather” he had heard about.

Seiji’s hands began to tremble as he adjusted the knobs on his amp. He suddenly realized that, even in Japan, he had never performed on the street before. There was a whole new level of vulnerability to it, and the clouds seemed to be getting darker as he thought, “What the hell am I doing here?”

Just as he started questioning himself a hard rain began to fall. It was as if the gods themselves were telling him to reconsider this.

However, his momentary weakness faded away. Yngwie Malmsteen was a rock god and as such would not be pushed around by some puny weather god. This would be the kind of rock battle that made legends like Malmsteen. It was the power of Seiji’s rocking versus the very forces of nature, all in the heart of London where the lifeblood of rock flows.

He fired up his amp and started to play.

Angered by his insolence, the rain grew more fierce. His soaked wig began to stick to his face and his fingerboard was so wet and slick that he couldn’t be sure he was touching the right frets.

But he played on.

Seiji decided not to let the intense wind and rain stop him. He would continue to rock through it all until the very clouds begged for mercy and gave way to the nurturing glow of sunlight. It was just water after all, and no matter how bad it got, it could never kill him.

But it could kill his amp.

Right in the middle of Seiji’s signature Malmsteen solo the sound suddenly cut out.

▼ Seiji: “Jeff!!! Why aren’t you singing?”

Jeff was the name that Seiji had given his amp. “Come on,” Seiji begged Jeff, “Don’t do this to me now. Without your voice, I’m not Yngwie Malmsteen. I’m just some idiot fingering a guitar in the rain…”

But Seiji’s pleas fell on deaf ears as Jeff just sat there. His power light was still on, however, suggesting that Jeff could continue playing, but simply refused to do so.

“So that’s how it’s going to be, eh Jeff? Look, it’s Yngwie or the highway, so consider yourself fired, babe,” said Seiji, and with that his and Jeff’s relationship came to an abrupt end in England.

Jeff had served Seiji well in many difficult performances, in front of celebrities like Andrew W.K. and Non. To fire him now was a bold move for Seiji right at the crux of an important step in his musical career, and one which might come back to bite him later on.

▼ A video recap of Seiji’s tour of London as Yngwie Malmsteen

“Damn you, Jeff,” said Seiji as a single tear trickled down among the streaks of rain running down his cheeks, “Why did you make me do that?”

Seiji couldn’t say at that moment whether it was the right way to handle the situation or the wrong way. He just knew it was the Yngwie to handle it.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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