Tiny Country Music Bar in the Nishi-Ginza section of Tokyo. Two minutes walk from the Suidobashi intersection. Chuck Miyage, a 72 year old Country fiddler, who was a mainstay in the Tokyo Cowboys band in the 1980's, spends two nights a week here backing up salarymen customer singers. |
It is a grinding routine job for Chuck who has spent his entire life playing Country music. He started playing during the Occupation at many US military clubs. In the late 1950's and early 1960's Country music became big-time and he played in bands in large nightclubs on the Ginza.
Since the 1970's Country music has shrunk to become only a small part of Tokyo nightlife. But there are still Country music afficionados who spend their nights at the few Country Houses that still exist here. The customers at Banjo are all business suit wearing salrymen who come here after work. It's a pricey place, one beer costs Yen 5,000. This seems to be the base price for the priviledge to sing a song with Chuck.