Flipper's Guitar

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Flipper’s Guitar was formed in 1989 and disbanded in 1991. The band is renowned for making music that was both commercially viable as well as artistically significant. They were influenced by British 80s pop groups like Haircut 100, the Style Council and Aztec Camera, as well as indie dance and acid jazz. Oyamada later stated that his greatest influences were "the three Bs - Beck, The Beatles and the Beach Boys".

Regarded as progenitors of the Shibuya-kei music style and scene, Flipper's Guitar used elements of swinging 60s London, Brian Wilson, French movies, psychedelia, and other sources, using them to produce something original and fresh.

The band’s song titles often either namechecked their idols — Goodbye Our Pastels Badges, Haircut 100, Colour Field, or aped them. The Quizmaster from Doctor Head's World Tower treads a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism of Primal Scream's Loaded.

Keigo Oyamada started the five member band Lollipop Sonic during junior high school in 1988. The band changed their name to Flipper's Guitar when their first album on Polydor, Three Cheers for Our Side was released in 1989. The album was a commercial flop, but the band’s music was being featured in a movie and television drama.

Shortly afterwards, the band was reduced to the duo of Oyamada and Ozawa Kenji (nephew of composer Seiji Ozawa). Camera Talk was released in 1990 and went on to be their biggest seller. This was followed by a string of successful singles, a magazine column in Takarajima and a radio show called Martians Go Home.

Head showed Oyamada and Ozawa experimenting more daringly and successfully, and hinted at what was to come for Oyamada as Cornelius. Due to their influence, Flipper's Guitar has grown in stature in the years since its breakup. Although the band never achieved long term commercial success, it was instrumental in opening Japan up to a wide and eclectic range of music and fashion, which has now become part of the mainstream.

Following the demise of the band, both members pursued solo careers. Ozawa released the album The Dogs Bark But The Caravan Moves On,and Oyamada began recording under the name of Cornelius.



Oyamada was in the hospital recovering from a traffic accident when he first heard about the success of the first Flipper's album Three Cheers for Our Side.

After Flipper's Guitar broke up, the first thing Oyamada did was music for hair care product TV commercials.


  • Keigo Oyamada
  • Ozawa Kenji
  • Shusaku Yoshida
  • Yasunobu Arakawa
  • Yukiko Inoue



  • Camera! Camera! Camera!
  • Friends Again
  • Young, Alive, In Love
  • Love Train
  • Groove Tube


  • Three Cheers for Our Side! (1989)
  • Camera Talk (1990)
  • Doctor Head's World Tower (1991)
  • Colour Me Pop (1991)
  • On Pleasure Bent (1992)
  • Singles (1992)

Videos and DVDs

  • The Lost Pictures and Three Plus One
  • Original Clips and CMs
  • Love Train

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