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By Michael Lara
Tokyo, Japan

“My sun…My sand… My surf…Go home! Go home!!! Hey man, you’re from the Valley...Get out of there! You’re from Tarzana too. Out!” Amazingly almost 30 years since the birth of this SURF PUNKS staple, the Valley of LA is getting strong swells from BILLY BOY ON POISON in their Japanese debut at the legendary FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL® just post their record release party at The Troubadour for their Drama Junkie Queen release party last month.

Comprised of footballer Davis Leduke (Lead vocals), SPAM® man Greg West (guitar, vocals), Johnnie Marr Jr. Ryan Wallengren (guitar, vocals) and tribal beat keeper Jessi Calcaterra (drums) with the addition of touring surfer/water polo extraordinaire Jacob Pilot (guitar), these hot five were happening in owning the White Stage at FUJI ROCK ® amid a moment of sunshine in the mountains of Niigata before the inevitable rain came in on Saturday.

Taking 20 with them in the adjacent hospitality area of the Naeba Prince Hotel®, BBOP spanned their globe in giving their own wide world of sports and more, SPAM® included:

Jacob: Hello.
Ryan: Hello...
Davis: What’s up?
Jessi: Check. Hello.
Greg: Yo-yo...
Jacob: That’s an iPod® with a mic?
THIRSTY: Yeah man.
Ryan: It records straight onto it?
THIRSTY: Indeed. Gotta like it.
Jacob: Yeah, I definitely do.
THIRSTY: (As multiple cans of Ichiban Shibori beer crack open) So, first FUJI ROCK ®, the bad weather (Thursday), it still could get nasty again...
Davis: That’s okay.
Jessi: Yeah, this place is very nice.
THIRSTY: So, here, this is a goodie bag...
Greg: You came with gifts (eyes awaking)?
Jacob: What?!
THIRSTY: Yeah, you guys got some prezzies coming.
Greg: Oh fuck yeah.
THIRSTY: But “Live Simply."
Jacob: Oh, I love C Street (A famed surf spot in Ventura). It’s a drive for me.
THIRSTY: You know what I’m talking about and of course Sycamore Cove, I body womped there. It’s a nasty break.
Jacob: Do you know that C Street is 8 foot right now? Today.
Jacob: I saw pictures today of it man (eyes all big).
THIRSTY: Right on so, what makes you live simply?
Jacob: How do we live simply... as a collective or individually?
THIRSTY: Either.
Jacob: Well, I live with my parents.

(credit: Ryo Kobuchi)

THIRSTY: Is that simple?
Jacob: I mean it’s not simple because it’s your parents you know, but I guess...I live simply by just staying single and staying away from women (grinning).
THIRSTY: That’s impressive that you can do that.
Jacob: I want to (smirking).
Ryan: He tries (laughing).
Davis: He tries (laughing).
Jacob: I try (laughing).
THIRSTY: Try? There is no try...Do or do not. Come on Yoda. Now you’re sporting an AEROSMITH® shirt and one of my all time favorite albums is theirs named ‘Rocks’ (1976), but what about for you because I mean, he (Ryan) looks like a young Johnny Marr.
Jessi: Yeah.
Greg: Yeah, yeah. He does.
Jacob: Totally.
Davis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
THIRSTY: Is Johnny your real dad?
Ryan: No he’s not. Mark Wallengren... (All laughing)
Jessi: Coast 103.5! (Big broad smile)
THIRSTY: But what about for you guys, to live simply, what is it?
Jessi: Life isn’t simple, but I think to keep things like as simple as possible. I have a scooter. I would say that and music and touring...
Jacob: We play music everyday.
Jessi: We let out so much when we play that I feel that keeps us sane.
THIRSTY: Right on. Now, I have 4 sets here, I didn’t know you went to a 5-piece. These are made in Japan, not China. And so now you have your own chopsticks.
Davis: Wow, thank you so much.
Greg: Yeah.
Jacob: Cool.
Jessi: Yes, thank you.
Ryan: Fuck yeah.
THIRSTY: My pleasure. Now, if you could break into any food, what would it be right now?
Jacob: Sushi.
Davis: I want some eel tempura.
Greg: I want some Japanese food.
Jessi: Yeah, we haven’t had any sushi since being here.
Greg: We’re all over that. We’re going to Tokyo in a couple hours.
Davis: Let’s get some fuckin’ sushi later man.
Ryan: Yeah, I feel like sushi.
THIRSTY: Well, now you guys are like a pool shark you know. When you go into a Japanese restaurant back in LA, wherever, you’ll be like, “Oh no, I have my own.” (All laughing)
Davis: Made in Japan.
Jessi: Authentic.
THIRSTY: Now, in this bag, there are various things here. Some of it are gifts for sure and some of it not, but um, I want each of you to take one item and then the questions start.
Jacob: Oh my God (grinning as the rest scream aloud).

(credit: Ryo Kobuchi)

THIRSTY: That’s what I’m talking about!
Davis: That’s a helmet! Put that on.
Jacob: Water fuckin’ polo man.
THIRSTY: Yeah! Get a picture of that!
Ryan: (laughing)
Davis: That’s awesome.
Jacob: Do I have to like strip down? (Grinning)
Greg: You wearing a Speedo®?
Jacob: No, I’m not. Oh man.
THIRSTY: So for you, we have of course both the World Cup® and winter Olympics next year in Vancouver as well. So for you, what is the mas macho sport?
Jacob: The mas macho sport?
Jacob: It depends what your definition of macho is.
THIRSTY: You take it however you like it.
Jacob: My favorite sport is surfing obviously, but I think macho like, football player, you drop your life expectancy when you sign up for the NFL® so I think, hitting each other, rugby, water polo, any sport where it’s no holds barred is pretty macho. But surfing is being one with the ocean. It’s more than macho, it’s more spiritual than macho.
THIRSTY: So if that’s the case, if you were not here at Naeba, what beach would you be at?
Jacob: Um, my home spot in Malibu. It’s like 8 foot now man. It’s really a rare time in Southern California.
THIRSTY: Yeah man, I know, I remember in the summer of ’95, we had a massive swell coming up and it was breaking on the top of Ventura Pier man.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
THIRSTY: The last 30 meters of it chopped down.
Jacob: Jesus.

(credit: Ryo Kobuchi)

THIRSTY: Yeah man...Al right, next one!
Ryan: Fuck yeah! (With intensity)
THIRSTY: And you keep that (a water gun). And notice it’s made in Japan too.
Ryan: Wow...I thought that was a scope or something.
Greg: We’re gonna put alcohol in it later.
THIRSTY: Yeah, you should, you should. That’s a brilliant plan.
Now you just helped me: If you were going to fill that with anything, what would it be?
Ryan: Oh man...some fuckin’ whiskey.
THIRSTY: What kind?
Ryan: Jack.
Greg: Jack Daniels ®...
THIRSTY: That can be arranged. That can be arranged.
Greg: Our guy who is helping us here...
Jessi: He brings us bottles after bottles.
Greg: Whenever we run out, he shows up with more. It’s pretty sweet (big broad smile).
THIRSTY: There we are!
Davis: Oh shit, is this for football?
THIRSTY: Yeah, it’s for World Cup® man.
Davis: Soccer has always been a huge part of my life.
THIRSTY: So you played soccer?
Davis: I played soccer for like...fuck...13 years maybe. I stopped because I wanted to be a musician and I was like, getting sick of it, but I love watching it, the feeling of it...Soccer is just the best sport there is. Football.
THIRSTY: Yeah it is man. I was keeper. So I was like you ain’t getting into this hole biatch. So what about you?
Davis: I was a forward or midfielder. I was...I tried to score a lot. And I was fast, a fast runner. I used to do track. I have long legs.
THIRSTY: So since you are a footballer, if you could play for any club out there to guest and like, “And today, starring Davis Leduke as midfielder...What club would it be?
Davis: I’d probably say Chelsea, Chelsea Football Club®.
THIRSTY: And the position would be still?
Davis: Forward.
Greg: But you’d need to work out though.
Davis: Yeah, I literally haven’t played soccer in so long. I haven’t run in way too long. I was getting winded playing 40 minutes today.
ALL: Oh yeah!
THIRSTY: So, um, what is the sight you don’t want to see?
Jessi: I thought you were going to ask me who I would tie a blindfold on.
THIRSTY: Let’s hear both!
Jessi: What’s that guy’s name from SNL?
Greg: Andy Samberg.
Jessi: Yeah, Andy Samberg. But what’s the sight I wouldn’t want to see?
THIRSTY: Yeah. Like, “I’m not looking at that. I’m not going there.”
Jessi: Any of these guys naked...(All chuckling)
Davis: I haven’t gotten naked in Japan yet.
Jessi: Yeah, um, I would say...
Greg: You haven’t?
Jessi: Geez...something I don’t want to see...People not having fun at shows I guess. That’s something I hate seeing. Yeah.
THIRSTY: Well you all got everyone jumping up and down.
Jessi: Yeah, it’s awesome. I would never wear this here.
Davis: Mosh pit and everything...It was awesome.
Jessi: Of course, poor and all that, but we don’t want to get in too deep.
Greg: Is there more than one thing in here?

(credit: Ryo Kobuchi)

THIRSTY: Oh yeah.
Greg: What the fuck is this (reaching around in the bag)?
Davis: Yeah!
Jessi: Yeah!
Ryan: Yeah!
Jacob: Yeah! Greg got SPAM®!
Davis: That explains Greg in the band.
Jessi: Greg is SPAM®.
Greg: That’s horrible. I’d like another one (all laughing).
THIRSTY: The question, what is SPAM® to you?
Greg: Like I’m pretty broke, but like, I can afford better. Like CUP OF NOODLES®. Uh, um, I don’t know what’s in it.
Jessi: Just guess.
Greg: It says there’s pork, but...
THIRSTY: We all don’t know...It’s one of those mysteries of life.
Davis: What is SPAM®?
Greg: It’s kinda like liquid sewage, mixed with like beef, the fat part...
THIRSTY: Well now, I have one last gift for you all as you are going back to Tokyo...
Ryan: Dope.
Jessi: Ah cards...How did you know?
THIRSTY: I’m a mind reader...
Davis: Are those made in Japan too?
Jacob :Absolutely.
THIRSTY: Actually, Taiwan.
Davis: Oh. Well, thank you so much.
THIRSTY: My pleasure.

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Ryan: Right on.
THIRSTY: And it’s all about SPAM®. You know, you have to take this.
Greg: I know I have to eat this.
Davis: We’re going to get him wasted tonight and he’s gonna eat...
Jessi: All of it.
Ryan: He’s going to eat it raw.
THIRSTY: It’s going to be like Monty Python’s Meaning of Life...
Davis: Oh yeah.
THIRSTY: “I’m terribly embarrassed...I used the canned salmon.”
(All laughing)
Davis: And it’s gonna be another Monty Python when he explodes.
Greg: Yeah-yeah-yeah.
Ryan: (Laughing).
Jacob: And it’s going to be like the White Knight versus the Dark Knight.
Jessi: Yeah.
Greg: “It’s just a flesh wound!” (All laughing)

Far from any wounds and like that Boz Scaggs’ classic, “Lido Shuffle,” BILLY BOY ON POISON deliciously gave all one for the road and more on Saturday. Going for broke, giving full money to all they do, be sure to give a can of SPAM® to Greg when you catch them next. Make sure he eats it...His band mates will assist.

Condiments and more for the BBOP water polo team:



All opinions expressed by Michael Lara are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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