Born December 13th in 1964, in Yokosuka Japan, hide was first introduced to rock music in his teenage years. Soon afterwards, he purchased his first guitar and while in high school, he started his first band, Saber Tiger. However, the band soon had to change their name to Saver Tiger as they realized another Saber Tiger already existed. While Saver Tiger stuck together for a few years, the youthful band members couldn’t seem to stay in the group for long and, like many young bands, the group ended up disbanding due to the constant switching out of members.
Their last live was on January 28th 1987, and it was shortly afterwards that hide joined X. hide was quite a favorite with X’s fans, thanks to his energetic stage performances, not to mention his contributions to X musically.
In 1993, in addition to his work with X (soon to be renamed X JAPAN), hide began his solo career. His first releases were the singles 50% & 50% and Eyes Love You, released on the same date in August. A year later, hide recorded and released his first solo album, hide your face, on which he played all of the guitar parts, including the bass, as well as provided all of the vocal work. During his solo tour to promote the album, the live band he hired would later become part of his main project, hide with Spread Beaver. His record label LEMONed, originally founded in the 1980’s, also got properly off the ground during this time, releasing and promoting artists that hide found to share his musical tastes and styles.
Three years later, in 1997, X JAPAN came to an end. hide returned to his solo project and also, around this time, started Zilch. Zilch was a band he had formed in Los Angeles, California, with musicians he had met there. With an industrial sound and lyrics entirely in English, hide was obviously hoping to reach out to international fans.
However, this dream was left unrealized as on May 2nd, 1998, hide was found dead in his home. There has continued to be a great deal of rumor and conjecture about his passing; fans may never know for absolute certain what happened to their guitarist. However, hide would’ve undoubtedly prefered to be remembered for his life and the pleasure his music brought to so many, than for his tragic death.
Pink Spider was the first of hide’s singles to be released posthumously. It rocketed to the number one spot on the Oricon charts and later won the Japan Viewer’s Choice award from MTV. The following single, EVER FREE, also sold very well.
Nearly a year to the day after his death, a tribute album was released entitled Tribute Spirits, featuring covers of hide songs by artists such as Hotei Tomoyasu, LUNA SEA, and Buck-Tick. In 2000, a museum devoted to the musician was opened in Yokosuka.
As is so often the case with musicians who’ve passed, numerous re-issues and unreleased songs have been presented to the public since May of 1998. This includes a slew of re-issues from hide with Spread Beaver in 2007 as well the use of a previously unheard guitar track from hide on X JAPAN’s I.V..
Official Website: