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May 15, 2011

Tetsu Yamauchi and his family are fine

Exclusive news on Faces bass player from his friend musician Alan Merrill.

posted by Mike Walton

With the recent terrible news that came out of Japan, many of us at SMILER were worried for the safety of ex Faces bass player Tetsu Yamauchi.

It didn’t help that Tetsu was not mentioned in any of the recent Faces reunion news, and apart from the odd snippet of news about a rare guest appearance, we have not had any real news about Tetsu for years.

Well now SMILER has some exclusive news on Tetsu from his friend musician Alan Merrill, who has also let us share some great up to date photo’s taken in November last year.

Alan told us: It's a pleasure to share with Faces fans the news that Tetsu is alive, well and happy. He in a good place in his life, living with a young daughter and wife who adore him.

First of all, I have heard from Tetsu very recently, and he and his family are fine. He is living in a small town in Japan where he is very happy.

I saw Tetsu last November 2010 and we had dinner and talked for many hours about the past, for example things like Paul Kossoff and the lead up to Tetsu joining Free. I was there in the mix in Tokyo when all this started, in '71.

Tetsu will not speak to any press. Seriously. He will not, period.

Any band reunion (Free/Faces) situation would be an affront to his current lifestyle, which is humble and very religious. In fact, Tetsu considers me weak for still being in the music game. He considers it juvenile and vain. For people who are needy of approval.

So given this, I think you can understand why he didn't want any part of a Faces reunion situation. It could be said that Glen Matlock is the opposite of Tetsu; Ambitious, still chasing the rock n roll dream. Nothing wrong with that, it's just that Tetsu is past that phase of his life.
The chapter is closed.

I can say that when we got together last November we sang Free's "Travelling In Style" together, with Tetsu singing the high harmony, and he was spot on. He co-wrote that song, and it's been covered a lot. We sounded great together, and it was just like old times. In London we used to jam together at his flat for hours mid seventies.

In order to understand Tetsu, I'm afraid you'd have to have been born Japanese, or at least lived there for many years as I did. He really is only interested in things spiritual, and has no interest in stardom or the big stages, although he will make a surprise appearance in Japan sometimes, unannounced, at a small venue for fun.

Alan Merrill sent a clipping from Melody Maker, August of 1975, around the time the Faces broke up:

He explains: There was nearly an Arrows/Faces merger. The recordings were good, but Mac joined the Stones for a tour and Tetsu left for Japan.

For more information on Alan Merrill and some great pictures of Tetsu and Alan from years gone by visit Alan’s brilliant and highly informative web site

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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