Prologue "1998 May 2, Death of HIDE"
That day, YOSHIKI sat on the driver seat of his own luxury car.
Usually he let his assistant or a secretary drive, himself sitting on the rear
seat. He is also often harassed by his work mobile, so even in his car he is
usually very busy. But that day it was different. There was still enough time
until night for the recording. There was no need to hurry for the collection.
Since it takes nearly 30 minutes to the recording studio in North Hollywood when
you take the freeway, YOSHIKI started to drive an unusual way.
Evening May 1st 1998, the sky over Los Angeles was clear. The place was flooded
by sunshine. While looking upon the blue sky which expands from above the
windshield he enjoyed short drives.
Suddenly the inter phone of the car rang.
Since there were just a very few people, who knew the number from the car inter
phone, YOSHIKI could easily remember who's on the other side of the headset.
But the voice wasn't the one of Amy, it was a young staff from the studio.
YOSHIKI responded quickly with his question to the staff.
"I asked Amy for the number. I'm calling because there was an emergency in
Japan. As it's extremely urgent I want you to call me back on this number now."
It was the number of a new acquaintance.
Listening to the strained voice of the staff, the blue sky vanished in front of
Someone of his own family or the staff from his company must have been involved
in an accident. Or there is some trouble at work. When YOSHIKI turned off the
call, he couldn't wait to arrive at the studio. He quickly called back the
number he was told. The handset answered immediately.
YOSHIKI asked very quite.
The voice of his acquaintance was very low. There was just one sentence that
reached YOSHIKI's ear.
"This morning, HIDE died."
Probably the words of the acquaintance still continued after that. But YOSHIKI
wasn't able to hear more of it. He wasn't sure when the call was over.
HIDE is dead?
While those words repeated in YOSHIKI's head many times, he didn't know where he
was himself or where he went.
HIDE is dead...
In the moment when those words came low-voiced over his lips the circuit his of
thought was cut off.
He had to think about something desperately, but he didn't remember what it
His fingertips on the wheel were cold and his both eyes stared into the West,
pierced by the white ray of the sun.
He wore a black t-shirt and sports-like training pants. The body sitting on the
comfortable seat was frozen, becoming unstable, like drifting on the deep sea.
YOSHIKI who was breathing heavy opened the window. The way to the studio which
the he'd seen hundred times before, now seemed like an unknown scenery from the
After a while he found himself on the road, recognizing he was senselessly
driving to and fro. Crossing the alley again and again and it was useless to go
back to the highway. He continued driving along an unknown way for quite some
minutes until he had to park at the shoulder to take a deep breath, vacantly
starting to think about credibility of what he just had heard.
Something happened to HIDE. What might have happened to him? He must have been
involved in an accident. Nevertheless, he still couldn't understand the
situation and should he believe in the word "dead"? The information might be
sophisticated and he is maybe not dead. No, he was sure it was like that.
On the other hand YOSHIKI knew, this acquaintance would not deceive him.
What the hell happened?
Clasping the wheel with his both cold hands, he anyhow had to ask himself
whether he really wanted to reach the studio.
As he restarted the motor behind the wheel he turned toward the highway without
hesitation and could take the freeway which leads to the studio. However, he was
unable to restrain the slight shudders that let his body tremble again and
again. After another 30 minutes the well known parking area of the studio
stretched in front of him. As he opened the door and ran to the entrance of the
studio, he announced his arrival to a staff via intercom. When the staff, who
came to pick him up, opened the massive wooden door he proceeded along the
gently curved corridors and in the same breath rushed into his own office.
Without even sitting in his chair, he called the X Japan manager who was in
Japan. In Japan it was about 10a.m. at the morning of May 2nd.
While the calling tone was ringing, YOSHIKI kept thinking once the fact had
become explicit he could be relieved and continue on his recording. He could
hear the familiar sounding voice of the manager. This voice seemed to be as
close as coming from the room next door.
YOSHIKI spoke quite hastily.
"I just got a call from a friend of HIDE. But I really can't understand what
this was about."
Ah okay, I just got in contact with him. This morning, HIDE passed away.",
the manager continued with a cold voice.
At about 7:30 a.m. Japanese time on May 2nd, HIDE was found sitting, hanged
with a towel on the door knob, in his own room in Minato-ku Minami Azabu. HIDE,
who had lost his consciousness, was found by his girlfriend he lived together
"Oh, I see, ... "
YOSHIKI was unable to speak on. HIDE's girlfriend also was an old friend.
He was brought to the Hiroo Hospital by an ambulance while his cardiac- and
lung function had stopped and even a longer cardiopulmonary resuscitation
At 8:52 a.m. his death was recorded.
In consultation with his family the funeral will be prepared very soon and a
media conference should be hold soon. YOSHIKI, who quietly listened to the
report, then finally squeezed out the words: "I'll come back to Japan."
Yoshiki quit the call. Both hands leaned onto the black writing desk and both
lost all their strength. He slumped back into his chair which was covered with a
huge black fur. And so he desperately cogitated.
First of all, he should cancel the engineers, who were planned to come for the
record this evening. After he asked a staff to get in contact with them for the
cancellation, he called Amy by himself.
"I want you to book the next flight to Haneda Airport right now."
The flight was prepared for the next day, May 2 at 1 p.m.
Before long YOSHIKI went back home, and sat the whole night unmoved on his couch
in his wide room. Absent-minded he was surprised that reality didn't develop.
"It's impossible that HIDE is said to be dead."
YOSHIKI remembered his cheerful voice at the international phone call he made
just 1 month ago.
"YOSHIKI! How are you?"
Like always HIDE had started a rather buoyant small talk.
"What are you doing right now?"
YOSHIKI, who was producing Shiyouko, daughter of Takeshi Kitano, talked about
completing the great works in addition to the song he made.
"Actually that became quite well."
"Ah. That's great."
Nothing about HIDE had changed. He didn't mention the business at all.
With that he concluded the call.
That was also why he couldn't understand the meaning of his death when it was
YOSHIKI recollected the image of the mischief-loving HIDE, his eyes half closed,
raising his voice and being convulsed with laughter.
At the X period, with YOSHIKI or HIDE as instigator, the members easily behaved
mischievously and surprised friends and the staff.
During a tour in Japan like a high-school student, in the ryokan room he started
a pillow fight, or was joking around with the others, or bothered a friend.
Maybe also this time HIDE came up with a broad joke.
When he scared the people around him, he always planned to show up in front of
everyone with a proud face.
To HIDE it was an easy thing to do a mischief. Thinking about that cheered me up
at least a little. And one couldn't even be able raise anger against him. If he
did trick me, I'll never forgive him. In the moment I meet him, I'll punch him
right in his face.
YOSHIKI hadn't slept a second when he was picked up in the morning and his love
for his close friend had reduced his anger.
Yoshiki, who had a shower, attired a white chemise and a black jacket, wasn't
frightened at his own pale face when he was looking into the mirror.
Without having breakfast, regretting the time he got on the car of this
assistant and was brought to the Los Angeles airport.
When he arrived, he immediately checked-in at the ANA counter and went into the
lounge. The pupil behind his sunglasses didn't see the scenery in front of his
eyes but caught the friends who were waiting in Tokyo.
HIDE, please wait!
While thinking like that, YOSHIKI let his body sink into the rearmost sofa,
while wishing that everything is just a very sick joke for him, he just imaged
the shape of HIDE he will see at the arrival gate.
He crossed the boarding gate. The first class seats in the plane where
surprisingly crowded. With no excuses he battled his way with full strength. And
he allowed no one to stop him.
The takeoff had started. While he felt how his body was strongly pushed into the
seat, in front of his own eyes YOSHIKI could just see the smiling HIDE.
When the aircraft was finally in a horizontal position the drinking service had
started and YOSHIKI ordered a mineral water. He didn't want to eat. He was able
to pass the 12 hour flight with just his water.
In the next moment watching the NHK news on the screen in front of him, his eyes
were fixed on it. Those news were broadcasted on May 3rd at 7a.m. Japanese time.
Wearing the headphones, YOSHIKI was wide-eyed when he looked at the ticker on
"HIDE of previous X-JAPAN suicide"
Now he just had to realize that everything was true.
The news continued. "Ah!" YOSHIKI exclaimed and he was just able to cover
his face with both hands. The laughing face of hide, which was burned into his
mind suddenly shattered into pieces and vanished then.
He rounded his shoulders and put all his power in his body. He was biting hardly
on in lips and squeezed his own throat to kill his voice. Otherwise he would
have screamed out a high-pitched scream. Sunglass tears did not stop the pot
from the bottom of wiping them away several times the streams of tears from
under his sunglasses just didn't stop.