The Music's Over

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Died On This Date (July 17, 2011) Taiji Sawada / X-Japan; Loudness

Posted by themusicsover on July 17, 2011

Taiji Sawada
July 12, 1966 – July 17, 2011

Taiji Sawada was a respected Japanese musician who is perhaps best remembered for his bass work with popular metal bands, X Japan and Loudness.  A gifted musician by his early teens, Sawada dropped out of high school to form his first band, Trash in which he played guitar until switching to bass a couple of years later.  He went on to play in a handful of other bands until joining X Japan in 1986.  One of Japan’s most influential hard rock bands, X Japan released several singles and one full length album before being signed by Sony Music in 1988.  Sawada played on the band’s first three album, including Blue Blood, which is arguably one of the best metal releases of the ’80s.   After leaving X Japan, Sawada was asked to join Loudness, playing on just one studio and one live album before departing to form his own band.  Over the better part of the next 20 years, he played in numerous bands including D.T.R., Cloud Nine, and the Killing Red Addiction, as well as his own projects.  Meanwhile, Sawada reportedly suffered from epilepsy and chronic strokes for many years.  On July 11, 2011, he was arrested after an alleged altercation with a flight attendant on a plane en route from Japan to Saipan.  Sawada faced federal charges in the United States as a result.  While in a holding cell, he allegedly tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a bed sheet only to be discovered by staff and rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced brain-dead and remained on life support for the next several days.  On July 17, 2011, Taiji Sawada passed away after being removed from life support at the request of his family.  He was 45.

Thanks to Chelsea Schwartz at High Voltage Magazine for the assist

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Blue Blood - X Japan

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