In JAPAN it seems clear from both what you’ve said and what Mick’s said that the majority of the time songs emerged from improvisation or jams (Mick wrote that he despised the word jam) but in the case of David’s solo work, post ‘Brilliant Trees’, which I remember reading David said was mostly jams-into-songs, say, a song like ‘Wave’, a song that to my ears sounds like song-first-jam-later, was it built that way? Yet its beat sounds like it started with you and so the familiar method continues?

I’ve never stated that JAPAN’s songs emerged from jams. The songs were almost entirely written by David, as in lyrics, vocals melodies and chord structures. The musical arrangements by the band then took those songs to another level, creating the band’s unique sound.

Steve, I was interested to see the pic of Richard and Mick in Fowey, 1981. Can I ask if you were there for recording? I’m guessing at the Old Sawmills? Would love to know the background to the photo as Fowey remains a favourite place of mine.

We’d set out on a UK tour and after a long drive took time for a walk down to the harbour. I can’t for the life of me understand now why we went together as it was a tour that very nearly didn’t happen due to internal wrangling.

Some clips of the last ever Japan gig (which was 33 years ago today!) have just been posted on facebook. Do you have any real memories of this gig (other than the dancing panda?) – as a band did you plan to make this gig ‘one to remember’, or was it just a massive sense of relief, that it was finally all over? And did you really believe it would be the final time the 4 of you played live together….

As far as I recall the only preparations were for Sandii and the Sunsetz to join us for the encore. The rest of the onstage shenanigans were not anticipated as it was a covert operation. It wasn’t a massive relief because we were performing well together and it was a fairly harmonious tour from the bands perspective. The audiences were incredibly responsive throughout and that was special, but we had played the material to death by that point and it felt like time to move on. There was a general sense of being done over by the business end as we weren’t personally making much money from the tour so all the hard work was lining the pockets of management, agencies, merchandising and record companies, but not the artists. Feeling let down by the industry did add to the sense of good riddance and I firmly lay the blame for that on management. From my perspective there wasn’t a significant sense of finality as I knew I would be playing and working with the same guys in many different forms for many more years and that it would be a much healthier way to develop artistically.