But I’m getting ahead of myself--let’s track back to review what’s happened to our boys over the past year!
The one with the men themselves chanting along with a crowd, "TSUCHIYA AND NAGAYAMA, TSUCHIYA AND NAGAYAMA!"
This time last year, Nagayan was in rehearsals for his upcoming show, Kono Ai Yo Kanau Nara Ureshii Yo, a work he penned himself--and given that Tuti wasn’t going to make the show itself, he was a horrible friend and didn’t do anything to make up for it.
Just kidding he went to watch rehearsals, writing of his experience: “This play is absolutely overflowing with words that speak of ‘Takashi-ness’; he’s really challenging himself here”. Indeed.
The reason Tuti couldn’t attend the show itself, though, was because he was going to be in the middle of his own show run, a musical called Dream High--and Nagayan, perhaps hoping to return the favor and offer his own support, hit up the senshuuraku showing with Satou Miki. Naturally, Nagayan took a shot, as did Tuti, but Miki was the one to really deliver the goods.
August was mostly quiet, unless you count Nagayan randomly posting a picture of himself wearing Decossam, his brand with Tuti that he hardly ever shows off anymore--but by mid-September, the boys were back announcing their second Guitar Friends event, to be held at the end of October. It became something of a tradition between to two to get together for practice at several points before the show and post pictures of their antics (like so), but come October 30, they were back with a blast! (1 2 3 4) It was also at this event that we were introduced to Haha Naru Takashi, a riff on Tuti's "theme song" where he interjects Nagayan's name into the lyrics instead of his own, or occasionally alternating with his own, making what one might charitably call a "Tuti Nagayan Anthem" of sorts XD It's been reprised at every GFM since then, so he must be enjoying the attention!
November, being Nagayan's birth month, brought Nagayan's yearly birthday event--and for the first time, Tuti was supposed to appear. Long story short, he didn't--but only because he had to cancel due to being due on set for a shoot first thing the following morning. As word put it, Tuti had wanted to come regardless (as he's had to miss several invitations in this vein before) but had been shut down by Nagayan himself. GJ, Nagayan--keep that boy employed!
Mid-December brought a bonenkai--end-of-the-year party--at Tuti's place (1, 2), just between himself and Nagayan, and just over a week later, the third Guitar Friends Meeting was announced, with tickets set to go on sale Christmas Day. That same day, Tuti dropped by to see Nagayan's currently running play, his first time to do so publicly in a rather long time. I'll remind people here that Christmas is a lovers' holiday in Japan :>
A week into the new year, and our boys were gearing up for their event, practicing hard (1, 2) with even their guitar teacher getting in on the fun. After a bit of last-minute prepping and a whole heck of a lot of snow, they successfully held the third GFM to great reviews.
On a random note, for anyone interested who didn't realize: Tuti became an uncle this past January, when his sister had a baby; see an endearing pic of the proud uncle here.
February quickly followed, and not wanting to be bested, Nagayan was the very first person to wish Tuti Happy Birthday, texting him at 9 PM the night before. As expected XD The pair met up in person a weekish later (presumably to start prepping for their next upcoming gig, since they were planning one for April)--and then on February 19, the two appeared as suprise guests at the Nekomaji Live (a group involving Iseki Yoshiko, TeniMyu/BuriMyu producer and close friend of the pair [she guested at the first GFM singing Bengara Koushi]). This was their very first time performing in front of a group of people not there to see them specifically (and therefore likely not to be as forgiving as their own fans for any slip-ups), but it seemed to go off well (1 2 3 4 5)
By the time March rolled around, they were ready to formally announce the fourth GFM, which they held just before Golden Week, on April 24--read a spazzy review here, or just gape at Tuti's and Nagayan's pictures from the event (1 2 3 4 5). But that wasn't the end of it by far: they recorded the encore song, a diddy they'd especially written for the occasion, and posted that shit to YOUTUBE:
Their promise: if the video gets 10,000 hits, they'll release a CD. As of my writing this review, it sits at 7,549--just 2500 hits shy of their goal only 2 months later. If you've got the time, give it a view and help their CD make its way to the world!
They also announced plans to have another GFM in August 2013, which is just around the corner, so hopefully that'll be just as successful as the last ones have been!
It's tough to imagine how these two managed to not only maintain a fast friendship but seemingly grow even closer over the past ten years, in a business that constantly forces you into close quarters with others, forcing you to forge bonds of trust and friendship (and sometimes more-than-friendship) before cruelly tearing you apart a month or so later, but these two have done it and don't look to be slowing down. If you'd told me four, five years ago that this is what they'd be doing right now, I probably would've slapped you silly--but it's obvious there's something tying them together, so we can only sit back and enjoy what they're choosing to share with us.
In closing, I leave with you a gift from the void of the internet found floating about where it likely shouldn't be: a recording from one of the GFMs (not sure which one) in which Tuti plays the guitar while Nagayan sings absolutely exquisitely (with Tuti joining him on the refrain toward the end). Give it a listen and remind yourself that this is all a product of a chance meeting early on a random Monday in 2003.
Here's to 10 more years, guys :)