Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why Gackt to me

Hey all... Andrea here. I'm Your ever adorable, sweet, kindhearted, and yet somehow still single, webmistress of this GACKT News Fan blog. I was also running the Myspace Gackt forum until myspace became too frustrating, and I moved it here and to Facebook.

Some of you GACKT fans may actually know me by my station persona DJ Mayu of J-Rock us! Radio

<-- me as DJ Mayu I was working on my radio station - J-Rock us! Radio and I was thinking of ways to make the show better.

That got me to thinking about how I got to be a J-Rock fan in the first place. It's been a while since I've talked about that time, so I thought I'd share that story with other GACKT fans. Feel free to share your stories as well.

I was actually introduced to GACKT in 2005 by a friend who was into J-Rock. I didn't really listen to J-Rock other than what I heard on Japanese anime. I listened to classical music mostly, and country. (yes country). Sometimes other artists that had any real talent and wasn't just manufactured. I also listened to a lot of musical theater, as I was a professional musical theater actress myself. Music is a big part of my life. Just not J-Rock at the time.

In 2004, my dad (who was suffering from cancer) had taken a turn for the worse and was in and out of the hospital. My grandma (on my mom's side) and my uncle (my mom's brother who lived with my grandma)... came to stay with us because my grandma wasn't feeling well. She ended up in the hospital around the same day my dad had to go to the hospital for one of his many episodes related to Chemo. When we had gotten home, had dinner and settled in for the night, my uncle had a massive heart attack and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

It was a stressful time in our life. My grandma was diagnosed with cancer, my dad was sick, and my uncle was in the process of having quadruple bypass surgery. In January of 2005 a former co-worker, a girl only one year older than myself at that time, died suddenly from a blood clot in her leg. I was attending her funeral, and it just made me want to hug everyone I loved. Her age also put things into perspective for me. It made me think about my own life and how I need to live more and love more.

So after the funeral I went to visit my grandmother in the hospital because I wanted to tell her how much I loved her. My mother wasn't there, I assumed she was with my dad or my uncle. So the nurses took me into the ICU room where she had been sent a few days earlier after developing complications from a stomach surgery they had to do. the nurses were very friendly, asking me how the weather outside was, was it still sunny, they said how sorry they were about my co-worker as my mom told them I was at a funeral, they told me my mom and my brothers had gone home and if I stopped by to have me call them.

once we got into the waiting area of the ICU, all the nurses cornered me like cops corner a robber. Their friendly expressions changed instantly. I knew I was going to hear something I didn't like, but I honestly didn't expect them to tell me my grandma died while I was at the funeral for my co-worker. unfortunately, that is exactly what they told me. They said my mom had tried to get ahold of me, but my phone was shut off out of respect during the service. I was very close to my grandma so I kind of lost it when I heard.

They hadn't taken her out of the room yet, so when I calmed down enough, they allowed me to go and see her one more time. It was odd because I thought I was in the wrong room. It didn't look like my grandma anymore. My grandma was full of life, she always seemed younger than she really was, she was so healthy, always smiling, her eyes always bright and cheerful. The person in that bed was none of those things. I just remember crying and saying how sorry I was that I wasn't there.

Everyone took it hard. She was a big influence on my family. It took a while, but we were starting to recover. My uncle survived his heart surgery, but he was taking a long time to heal. My dad was in and out of the hospital, but that was not unusual for him. One evening in May, my mom got a call that my dad stopped breathing and was put on life support. This wasn't new to us either. My dad had been on life support before. This was like the 3rd time. The next day I got a call from my brother at work. I needed to get to the hospital. They were removing my dad from life support, and this time, he wasn't going to be okay.

It was strange. My dad opened his eyes for a few minutes after the tubes were removed. He couldn't see, but he turned his head in the direction of people talking. He squeezed our hands to let us know he heard us. My brothers, my mom and I told him we loved him. his sisters were there with my uncles and they also told him they loved him. We knew from his eyes this was the last time we could say that. within minutes he slipped into a coma. We slept in the room all night. He was snoring. We knew deep down that he was already gone. His body was just taking time to shut down.

The next day, my aunts and uncles had gone back to the house to catch a nap. I went to the hospital cafeteria to get a snack. My brothers ran to get me and told me it was time. We all surrounded his bed as his blood pressure started to drop rapidly. Within 5 minutes of the warning signs, my dad took his last breath with my brothers, my mom and myself all hugging and kissing him goodbye. It's been 6 years, but even as I type this, I get a pain of emotion remembering that moment. My aunts and uncles arrived after he passed and they spent some time with him before we left.

when all was done, we went home to prepare the funeral arrangements. Everyone went into my dad's room where he had spent the last few years. It was like a hospital room. He had a hospital type bed with a side rail so that it would be too hard for him to fall out because the cancer made his bones brittle and even a small fall could do serious damage. He had his oxygen tanks where he left them by his bed, his bible by the bed side, he read it every night. Everyone wandered the room touching everything. I couldn't bring myself to go passed the door.

I also found it hard to cry. I don't know if it was the shock of losing someone so close my my grandma, or the shock that he died at all... we use to joke that despite all his health issues, he'd probably outlive us all. But it felt like I had emotionally shut down. I was completely devoid of any emotion. I think that was probably worse than if I had felt the sadness I was meant to feel.

My dad was being buried in the state where he and my mom originally came from, and before we packed up and left, my friend told me to sit by myself somewhere and listen to this song. It was by an artist named "GACKT", and the song was Tsuki no Uta. I told her I didn't know Japanese and never heard of that artist before, but she said it didn't matter. just listen to it.

That night before we left, I did. I listened to every word, to the sound of his voice, to the sound of the orchestration. I didn't understand a thing he was saying, yet somehow I felt I knew exactly what he meant.

By the time GACKT got to "Kimi no daisuki na Tsuki no uta o", I started crying. All the feelings I should have felt but couldn't, all the sadness that was trapped inside of me waiting to come out, finally surfaced.

After listening to that song a hundred times and crying and crying, I started to feel better, I started to feel like I was healing. From then on, I searched for more of GACKT. I listened to every song I could find. GACKT ended up being to me, one of those musicians that transcended the language barrier. Even if you couldn't speak a word of Japanese, you still knew what he was trying to say. It was his voice, it was the composition of the music, it was the raw passion and emotion.

There is no voice equal to GACKT. He has a talent that reaches across the world to touch those who listen to him. I have met few true artists that are able to do that.

GACKT pulled me through many hard times. The untimely passing of my uncle who died a year after his heart attack, the passing of my pet rabbit and pet iguana, a serious car accident I was in that still causes me issues even today. Gackt's music helped me through it all. Tsuki no Uta, Todokanai, 12Gatsu no love song, Hoshi no Suna

His music celebrated the good times with me. Winning a singing contest, Getting first place for a painting I did, Getting a role in a musical show... GACKT was the main influence for the names of my dogs Dojo Kansuke and Yoshi (Princess) Yuu. His songs inspired me and made me smile. Black Stone, U+K, Vanilla...

GACKT also opened my eyes to all of the other great artists I love today. Hyde (Vamps/L`arc~en~ciel), Orange Range, Do as Infinity, GLAY, The GazettE, so on.

And if it wasn't for GACKT's influence... I'd have never started my radio station: J-Rock us! Radio celebrating the best music Japan has to offer (Which includes a GACKT special every Saturday). (which I actually have to update. lol)

I'll probably never meet GACKT, (Although, I admit he'd be my dream interview for my radio station.) I probably will never be lucky enough to see him perform live, I don't think I'd even get a response from him if I sent him a fan letter. So this little blog that I run is my way of saying "Thanks" since I'll never be able to do say it to him personally.

Through this blog I hope to keep English speaking fans in the know of all the latest GACKT news, and maybe even introduce new GACKT fans to all that is GACKT.

anyhoo. Thanks for listening to my story. It really needed to be told so others can understand why I devote my time as a GACKT fan.

Oh, speaking of... there is still time to Pre-Order Gackt's newest single "Episode 0" through CDJapan

The limited edition is $21.99 USD, or you can get a first press regular edition for $14.99 USD.

as always... please, if you love an artist, support them by buying their merchandise.


Donna's Ojibwe Art said...

Wow, powerful story, glad you found strength through Gackt's music. Gackt is an amazing singer, and still remains my favorite as well, 5 years after starting to really listen to Japanese pop & rock music.

Naoko said...

Thank you for your touching & powerful story. It made me cry.
I believe that you will meet GACKT one day and he will thank you for being a great fan. He is that kind of a person.
Keep up the great work!

Jinnifuru said...

I was looking 4 pic of Gackt and I happen 2 click on the recent pic of him and was sent 2 your page. WOW. Your story was so touchin I sent it 2 my friends. I live in indianapolis, been here yrs with my five kids, God sent me a young lady in my life that im so proud 2 call her my sister cause I have nobody else. We worked 3rd shift 2gether and she had her PSP with her. She show that I was down so she give me her PSP and said listen 2 some Gackt, he will make u happy, it was Fragrance. I was hooked. Then she start sending me videos Last Song and your first love Tsuki no uta. I 2 want 2 meet him one day or just c him. When im down and feeling alone, my kids cut on Gackt 4 me. LOL Im going 2 look up your radio station, like u said dont know the words but the music how it makes u feel just listening 2 it. It made me stop listenin 2 any other music just about. Im sorry 4 your lost and 2 let u know somethings do get better in time. Ive been threw it (mom, grandma, (uncle just passed SEPT 2011) KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND REMEMBER GOOD TIMES.