American musician Jack Blades has been rocking for over three decades and has left his mark on several well-known bands before launching into a solo career.
The rocker has an extensive career and has been part of many successful bands, including Rubicon, Night Ranger and Damn Yankees gaining recognition for a few chart-toppers including "Sister Christian" with Night Ranger and "High Enough" with Damn Yankees.
Blades also lent his songwriting prowess to other stars including Aerosmoth, Cher and Ozzy Ozbourne to name a few.
With such a storied career, Blades has years of traveling and touring under his belt. He spoke to Fox411 about the one place that he yearns to return to time-and-time again, Japan.
The island nation in East Asia is a sought-after travel destination for many, but not too many get to experience it through the eyes of a rock star. Jack Blades gives us that experience:
Jack Blades: My favorite place to go is Japan. I love Japan. Night Rangers first started going there in early 1983. Actually, we broke in Japan before we broke in the states. The Japanese audience has always been with us, always been great fans. I just love going there and having days off and tripping around in places you would never, you know, that tourists would never go and I am a tourist at heart.
I’m a gypsy at heart, really. I love travel. All I’ve done in my adult life is travel anyway, so I love seeing new things finding out new things going to different cultures, discovering things and going out during the day. I don’t like to sit in my hotel room and watch a bad HBO movie. I’d rather hit the streets of a town and see what it’s all about. So, Japan is one of my favorites and I am talking about places way off in the country like Hokkaido, the islands north and the islands down below and outside of Tokyo and all around, places you wouldn’t normally find the tourists.
Fox411: Tell us about the food.
Blades: I remember one time we all went to dinner in Japan, I think it was in Tokyo and we were at one of those restaurants on the 95th floor of the second tallest building in the world or something like that, you know, it was crazy. So, we’re up there and we’re looking over the magnificent Tokyo, lit up at night which is more neon than you can ever dream. I was like, 'Wow, wow!' And we’re sitting there and the food is so fresh, the chef walks out and he’s got this big huge grill here and he walks out and he’s got this wicker basket and he takes off the lid and there are these large, shrimp that are kind of slowly moving around. They are so fresh, they are alive. The guy is giving us the thumbs up and we’re like, 'okay! We’ll see what this is all about.' You know, this is our first trip to Japan and our first intro to the culture of Japan. All of a sudden he puts these shrimp on the grill and one of them hits the grill and jumps right into my wife’s lap and we’re all like, 'Woah!' and everyone jumps up and you’re on floor number 85, your back against the window and you’re like, 'Woah!'
We go, 'When in Rome, we’ll do as the Romans.' So, we all just sat down, it was just like your heart jumped out the 85th floor. It was crazy.
Fox411: Imagine a bunch of rock stars freaking out over a shrimp!
Blades: Yeah, you’d think nothing would shock us and we’re acting like little kids, 'Ahh! There’s a shrimp on my lap.'
Fox411: Despite that mishap, how was dinner?
Blades: Dinner was great! It was the freshest food I’ve ever had in my life.
Fox411: What should people bring?
Blades: That’s a good question because Japan has everything. You don’t have to bring much to Japan. You have to dress for the seasons, though. I’ve been to Japan in August and it’s been so hot you can scramble an egg on the sidewalk. I’m telling you, brutally hot. So, really, check out the weather and bring the right clothes. I’ve been in there December and January where it’s so cold. You’re in Tokyo and it’s freezing and the wind is blowing. And I’ve been there in cherry blossom season in April where everywhere you walk and everywhere you go, there’s the sweet smell of cherry blossom which they call Sakura. Everywhere you look is just pink on the ground. It’s the most amazing, beautiful. It’s like Washington D.C. around that time
Fox411: Approximately, how many times have you been there?
Blades: 14 or 15
Fox411: Ah, the life of a touring artist.
Blades: Yeah! We all sit around and we’re planning a tour for next year and we’re like, 'When do we go to Japan?' Everybody in the whole band is like that.