Hello there Steve! I was curious to know what setup Mick used for his bass throughout Japan to create his signature sound.

Anyone who knew Mick could tell you he was much more concerned about food than bass equipment. I’ve no idea what he used apart from a fretless WAL (preceded by a Travis Bean) and Trace Elliot amps, but I think that’s all it took. In the studio I believe he often went D.I. which leaves even less to ponder. I think we can put it down to technique?

Mick fine dining
Mick fine dining


Cheers Steve. Was curious about your music in relation to Bill Nelson’s . Did you attend a Be Bop Deluxe show at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, in early 1976, with David, Mick and Rob ? Did you have a favourite BBD LP, single, song or solo Bill material that you particularly admired, anything you admired in his playing, arrangements, singing ? All the best, A

I think I did attend the show in 1976 although it’s a vague memory. I thought BBD were a really interesting band at the time and the album ‘Sunburst Finish’ seems to be the most memorable for me. I liked the dynamic guitar-based arrangements that were equally really accessible songs and Bill was a great, understated front man. I’ve met Bill a few times in various circumstances, most recently at a concert we performed together for Harold Budd in 2005. Bill performed on the one Yukihiro Takahashi tour that I didn’t, in 1983 I believe, which I was sorry to miss.

I took these images when recording Masami’s album ‘Rice Music’ at Air Studios in … 1981 or 82 … not sure which.

Hi Steve, Listening to Corridor reminded me to query whether or not you use ‘field’ recordings in your work. Without wishing to pull back “The Great Oz’s” curtain I wonder what your approach/techniques are ? Whimsically, I imagine surreptitious i-phone/tascam recordings being made in clock museums…or just the refrigerator hum at midnight !

Sometimes there is an element of that but more often than not sources are from studio recordings, outtakes etc. Some of the sounds on ‘corridor’ are actually fragments from recording in Sweden for the EXIT NORTH project. Or another example is the occasional bass rumble on the track that starts at about 30 minutes (formerly known as STER_01) which is something I had of Mick Karn fumbling around on the bass during an improv session, testing that the bass is switched on, so it’s all rather random, but when you collate these various things together along with environmental noises etc. (and it is very time consuming finding compatible parts, not just throwing anything into the mix) things start to take on a life of their own.

Funny you should mention ‘hum’ though because I was considering the title ‘Corridor Hum’ but when I googled it it showed up as a special effects sound for Doctor Who not too dissimilar to the sounds I might have used on the album, so not a good idea.


Hi – corridor sounds interesting. Did you have installation music for the Japan showing of “through a quiet window”? Also if we go back to 81/82 when you had the photo exhibit at the Photographers Gallery London did you have any accompanying music then. If not do you wish you had done with the benefit of hindsight? Thanks.

Including music as part of an installation really depends upon the venue being suitable. The Photographer’s Gallery ’81 exhibit was very small indeed and also a shared space which made it seem rather functional. The ambience wasn’t very refined. The current exhibition in Kyoto is actually in a major department store and therefore probably wouldn’t be a suitable environment either. The gallery at Cape Breton Uni is the first real suitable event (apart from the Parco exhibition in ’81, except that was a mixed media event along with Mick Karn’s sculptures) at which there is more of an immersive aspect to it. Hopefully it works well.


Hi Steve, I’m thrilled to see the news of your installation at the Cape Breton University Gallery this summer. Since Cape Breton is considered out of the way for even the hardiest of us Canadians, I’m curious as to how this one came together?

This was orchestrated by curator Greg Davies. Formerly with the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario when he first contacted me regarding an exhibition, Greg subsequently move onto The Cape Breton University Art Gallery in Sydney, Nova Scotia where he was then in a position to coordinated a second event (which actually became the first).

Jansen Invite ver 2 front copyJansen Invite ver 2 back copy


Hi Steve I have been to your photo exhibition at Isetan in Kyoto .I had a wonderful time with friends from FB and your exhibition took me back to my youth. I think you have been taking so many pictures since you started. How did you decide which pictures you use for this exhibition and is there any reason for having chosen Mick’s pictures most (8 including group pics) ? I’d like to thank you for all your music and photographs. Having them to enjoy has made my life so much better. KK&TT

Thank you!! The selection of 20 images in the exhibit are amongst my personal favourites from my book ‘Through A Quiet Window‘ and because this exhibit is located on the men’s floor of the ISETAN store I generally chose images that displayed how the band members styled themselves during those years, interspersed with various others.  Mick was probably the most colourful dresser in our band but he also enjoyed toning it down sometimes with more classic styles.


Hi I have just received the two sets of postcards which are fantastic. Can you tell me a little about the two previously unpublished photos? Thanks. Jon

‘Loom’ (top left) was taken en route to recording sessions at Genetic Studios in the UK, it actually appeared in one of the JAPAN tour programs (presumably the final one) therefore it was published at one point.

‘Don’t Go’ (top right) was taken in Hong Kong, possibly the Marriott Hotel, on the final JAPAN tour which would have been in ’82. These shots were taken at the same location: 1  2

Art Postcard Set