Japan Today

Musician Ian McCulloch flees Japan amid U.S.-N Korea tensions; show cancelled without notice

By Master Blaster, RocketNews24

These days many of us in Japan are going about our daily lives contemplating, “Exactly how much would Kim Jong-un like to fire a nuclear missile at Japan?”

He really seems to want to get one all the way to North America, and technically he’s at war with South Korea. But the former is still a heck of a long way away for his rockets of dubious quality to reach without getting shot down 100 times first, and the latter is a little too close to home.

That would seem to make Japan a pretty convenient target, and that belief that some people here may or may not have compared the North Korean leader to a rotary telephone certainly doesn’t help.

Still I didn’t think it was too bad until I read the news that British musician Ian McCulloch hightailed it out of here so fast he didn’t bother to tell anyone.

“Urgent Notice: To everyone planning to visit Ian McCulloch’s Japan performance, in response to the news that there is an armed conflict between the US and North Korea, Ian and his manager have left Japan without permission. We had to cancel today’s performance.”

For younger readers, Ian McCulloch was the frontman for Echo & the Bunnymen and he was to the '80s what Kanye West is now: an above-it-all, self-proclaimed “genius” whose exaggerated bravado is admittedly backed up by some pretty good songs.

Readers of the news were shocked and saddened by the singer’s abrupt departure. Some who also feel particularly vulnerable to what chaos may break out sympathized with his decision, but still did not excuse his rudeness to the event organizers.

“He made an understandable choice. This situation is constantly broadcast all over the world. Of course he would leave.” “I get it. I wouldn’t want to die in another country either.” “I get why he would want to leave, but why so secretly?” “He just came to Japan to make a buck. I wouldn’t want to get caught up in a war I had nothing to do with if I were him.” “Without telling the organizer? That’s just rude.” “I understand his concern…but slipping away secretly isn’t very cool.”

Others who are more desensitized to North Korea’s fiery rhetoric, didn’t understand his decision at all.

“He’s probably going to lose a lot of money.” “I think the probability of death by terrorism is higher where he’s going back to.” “Does he think Japan is North Korea?” “British intelligence is among the best in the world…. Maybe he knows something we don’t?” “He thinks Britain is safer?”

However, most comments accused McCulloch of not truly embodying the spirit of rock by performing in the face of danger.

“That’s not very rock-and-roll now, is it?” “He can’t call himself a rock star anymore.” “I think we are witnessing the birth of chicken rock.” “I don’t know if it’s rock or not, but it’s certainly unprofessional.” “Michael Hutchence would have never bailed on us like that.” “Not rock, man.” “Totally not rock!!! A rock star should not fear death.” “Bad form… say goodbye to your Japanese fans.”

One comment did, however, bring up a valid counterargument to McCulloch’s alleged lack of rock:

“Actually, suddenly leaving the country without permission is kind of rock when you think about it.”

Also, to be fair, McCulloch has been vocal about his desire to live (not uncommon among humans) even going on record about it with Spin magazine in 2008 saying, “I plan on not dying, but if I have to, I want to die in Liverpool.” At least he’s a man of his word.

Meanwhile the rest of us not-yet-rock stars in Japan will continue to hang out while sabers rattle, hoping both sides of this conflict can find some way to chill out.

Source: Twitter/@VINYLJAPAN via Itai News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Selfie love shown between South and North Korean gymnasts -- What do Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne, and Kanye have in common? They’ve all canceled on Japan -- Kim Jong-un clones on the loose, hiding out in China【Photos】

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For younger readers, Ian McCulloch was the frontman for Echo & the Bunnymen and he was to the ‘80s what Kanye West is now: an above-it-all, self-proclaimed “genius” whose exaggerated bravado is admittedly backed up by some pretty good songs.

Just like the author of the article I'd say too....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Leaving Japan without permission? What gall.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ian McCulloch IS a genius. Just listen to Echo and the Bunnymen in their prime. I don't see the point of this sneery, snotty aticle. Fair enough, report that he left Japan 'without permission' (oh, how very dare he) and the cancelled gigs, but no need for the attitude

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

What can one say about Ian McCulloch, he's a petrified, frightened man. Of course, if unable to flee and whimper uncontrollably panic -stricken in a corner, not beyond scrambling over women and children to secured a place on any available lifeboat.

McCulloch, should have fulfilled his obligations to fans and the promoter, before running for cover and closing the hatch ,

4 ( +6 / -2 )

more overreaction and fake outrage from idiots

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Master Blaster, huh. Crazy kids! "News" is a stretch for them. In my day, (when Echo was charting), this kind of "writing" would have been circulated with a copy machine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, please focus your comments on the content of the story.

without permission

Was he suppose to get permission from Abe or someone else of that statute?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Did McCulloch really require permission to leave Japan ?

I have never presented a request for permission to leave Japan when traveling back to the UK. Or maybe never realized so?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Did McCulloch really require permission to leave Japan ?

Probably there's something in his contract that says he's not allowed to up and off without fulfilling his obligations (the performances he signed up for and that tickets were sold for). It would be whoever else signed the contract that he would need to get 'permission' from.

I imagine the promoters are already lining up the lawyers.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What a pus. The situation isn't close to being critical here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My criticism of Ian McCulloch is overly harsh,more out if disappointment, I really feel that one should stand firm when faced with adversity. Ian McCulloch should have performed the concerts, It is a test of character.

Hi Cleo, the lawyers won't waste any time proportioning culpability whilst lining there pockets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no reason to evacuate Japan due to "tensions" with North Korea. Nothing is going to happen. In a month from now an attack from or against North Korea will be added to the long list of disasters that never happened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't say I blame him. Trump is so unstable there is no knowing what he'll do - he may very likely start a war in the upcoming days. And there's a good chance that we'll be one of N. Korea's first targets if he does.

It's not at a level where I'm ready to leave yet, but that level is there no doubt. I'll pick up with the family if I feel it's a better option.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"... in response to the news that there is an armed conflict between the US and North Korea,..."

So where did Ian and his manager read or hear that a war started?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow..the Vice President of the United States is willing to go to Seoul but he can't stay in Japan....

Moderator: He is coming to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For younger readers, a journalist used to be a writer who presented facts of events minus the Look-how-cool-I-am snark behind a pseudonym.

Amen, and also journalists were people who gave the news without trying to be it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe he read Abe's scaremongering story on JT.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ian who?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Flyjin again? Reminds me of 2011 - gaijins fleeing Japan = bad, whereas Japanese secretly fleeing to Hawaii - nobody says anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A bit melodramatic and it slightly embarrasses me to read of a Scouser behaving this way.

That said, given a similar situation where a Japanese performer was fleeing an abunai foreigner country, I think the Japanese public in general would be very forgiving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hear the faint and fading sound of clucking....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He probably didn't know Mike Pence was on his way thus we are ALL safe (for now) yeahhh! Seriously what a weird, ignorant call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Headline should read, "Kim Jong Un successfully scared the 1st human outside NK..... Ian McCulloch."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bunny Mac. One of the heroes of my youth. My money is on Mac beating a hasty retreat for chemically-affected reasons...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Run, wuss, run! See wuss run!

0 ( +0 / -0 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

never heard about

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My company has to notify a number of customers of my whereabouts, also giving notice if and when I wish to leave the country. This contractual stipulation applies to other team members too. I was not aware of the obligation until today because company administration support handles this on my behalf. Ian McCulloch not only could be in breach of contract but criminally culpable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is anywhere really safe anymore !?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not very professional of him, huh?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

He will wait unti-il.You give yourself to hi-im.

Or he might just scarper on the first plane out. You never know, do you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did he make any more in Japan, after all - it is rather an expensive place to live.

There could be many reasons for this departure, as he said, he wanted to die in Liverpool.... I guess he got word that the NK's are going to attack Liverpool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today 09:13 am JST Wow..the Vice President of the United States is willing to go to Seoul but he can't stay in Japan.... Moderator: He is coming to Japan.

I'm refering to Ian McCulloch, not Pence. And the fact that Seoul is a far closer and more likely target of North Korean attack than Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh Rocketnews - why dear god are we reading that fake news outlets stories on Japan today ?? I'd thought that this site had grown up to compete with the likes of the Japan times ???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did he refunded the money or disappear with it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a soft, nancy boy. He probably has more chance of being caught up in a terrorist attack in Liverpool than he does of dying in some US-NK battle. He certainly has a much higher chance of being run over and killed in a traffic accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Flyjin? surely he wasn't really scared of a nuke attack? Bunnyman indeed. Herbivore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Knowing Bunny Mac, the explanation is simple. Waking up in a 'stimulated' condition, he would have read some internet news and freaked out, accelerated by his chemical inbalance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does not surprise me. I want to remind everyone that a lot of big names avoided coming to Japan after 3.11 for no reason at all. Oh yeah. Radiation. What a bunch of jerks.

Can anyone remember the big name that DID NOT CANCEL and the one that came to Japan first after it all went down?

Lady Gaga. Never forget. She has bigger huevos than all the others put together. She is hard-wired that way.

In other news, I saw this comment. "compete with the likes of the Japan times" I have nothing libelous to say about the Japan Times, but let's just say that, for several decades now, I have only read it when it is free. And every time, I got what I paid for. I can also honestly say that I have patronized JapanToday advertisers about 30 times as much as JapanTimes advertisers. That statement is worth something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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