When you’re Yngwie Malmsteen, you don’t need an invitation… even if you aren’t him.

Young guitarists these days have no idea how good they have it. The plethora of free videos on YouTube giving intricate details on how to play every conceivable style is an embarrassment of riches. It’s a far cry from back when our Japanese language writer and musician Seiji Nakazawa was young and had to rely on guitar magazines for his knowledge and training.

Among the many titles in Japan, Seiji especially enjoyed Young Guitar magazine. In addition to its tablature and articles explaining different techniques, it was also a window into the virtuosos of other countries: virtuosos such as Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen.

In fact, Seiji learned his go-to cover of “Far Beyond the Sun” note by note from its pages tirelessly until it finally all clicked for him. Back then he always dreamt of being in Young Guitar himself, but now he realized the only thing stopping him was fear – possibly some security guards too, but he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it.

So, with a flick of the wrist and deep knee lunge our writer let the spirit of Yngwie Malmsteen wash over him, transforming him from this…

▼ …to THIS!

Yngwie Malmsteen is one of the very few guitarists great enough to just walk into Young Guitar unannounced, demand coverage, and get it, so Seiji needed his help to pull off his most difficult mission yet.

After arriving at the Shinko Music Building in Chiyoda, Tokyo, where the Young Guitar editorial office is located, he first lunged in front of the door to mark his territory.

He then proceeded to just waltz in there like he owned the place.

▼ Seiji: “Hey.”

▼ Seiji: “Hey!”

At a crowded desk near the back of the office sat the magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Ueda, too preoccupied to notice Seiji’s nonchalant entrance.

▼ Seiji: “HEY!!!”

▼ Ueda: “Huh? Whoossat?”

▼ Seiji: “…”

▼ Ueda: “Is it some kind of Yngwie person?”

Deep beneath his Malmsteen facade Seiji was actually incredibly nervous and star-struck to be fact-to-face with the head of Young Guitar. Nevertheless, he had the editor’s full and very confused attention, and he had to strike while the iron was hot.

“Put me in your magazine.”


“W-What page?”



“What have you accomplished?”



“Well, I passed an audition for Andrew W.K., I was promised by Yoshiko Sengen that we would form a band in her next life, Yumi Adachi asked me to teach her guitar, and I got the OK to join Kotori Koiwai’s metal band DAW.”


“Yeah, but you haven’t actually done anyth…”




The editorial room fell deafly silent, the only sound that could be heard was a gentle glissando caused by Editor-In-Chief Ueda’s face sliding across Seiji’s fretboard.

Having skillfully diffused that potential rejection, it was time for Seiji to pull out the big guns and let his rockin’ do the talkin’ with some good old FAR…BEYOND…THE…SUUUUUN!!!

However, as it does every time Seiji grabs his pick, the reality of the situation came crashing down on him. He was sitting in the Young Guitar office, full of people who eat, sleep, and breathe guitar, and he thinks he is going to show them something new?

▼ Damn right he is!

After finishing his performance, Seiji wasn’t sure if he impressed them, or even if he was halfway decent, but he was proud of what he had just done. Twenty years ago while reading Young Guitar he never would have imagined he’d be sitting in their office, playing guitar for them.

He took a deep breath, raised his fist in triumph, and waited for security to escort him out of the building.

However, things took an unexpected turn. From a separate room in the back of the office a laugh could be heard, followed by a guitar playing. It wasn’t just any guitar playing though. It was powerful yet elegant, like a velvet rhinoceros. It was almost as if… wait a minute.

Seiji thought about it for a moment. He was in Young Guitar which has a long history with the real Yngwie Malmsteen, and Malmsteen’s new album Parabellum was set to come out on 23 July. It’s not at all inconceivable that the man himself is behind that door is…



▼  …not Yngwie!

But it was quite literally the next best thing: Kelly Simmonz!

Kelly Simmonz (born Kazuhiro Shimadzu) could probably best be described as the “Japanese Yngwie Malmsteen.”

It’s no exaggeration either, because when Malmsteen’s vocalist Mark Boals came to Japan in 2019 for the Trilogy Revival Tour, Simmonz was selected to faithfully recreate Malmsteen’s guitar work on the Trilogy album live.

Needless to say, Seiji was in awe.

Recently Simmonz has taken to YouTube to help educate aspiring guitarists young and old, especially during this time of limited movement. Now too, he was more than happy to give Seiji some tips and tricks in true Young Guitar fashion.

Talking with Simmonz about the finer points of Malmteen’s lightning fast techniques made Seiji realize that he had a lot to learn, but he came out a much stronger Yngwie than ever, and the two Japanese Yngwie Malmsteens took a triumphant pose together.

Oh, and Seiji’s dream of gracing the pages of Young Guitar? Let’s take a peak at the August issue which hit stands on 9 July. That’s not Seiji on the cover. It’s the real Yngwie Malmsteen, though it’s easy to get the two confused.

Inside, Seiji’s assault on the Young Guitar office was covered in detail with full of glossy photos of our own guitar hero.

Achieving this dream will certainly go down as a high point in Seiji’s life, and at this rate who knows? He may just cross paths with the real Yngwie Malmsteen someday.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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