As a major force in the Japanese punk rock scene, Ken Yokoyama has been stirring up mosh pits for the past 24 years. First in 1991 as a founding member and front man for Hi-Standard. Then in 1999 when he established indie punk label, Pizza of Death Records (where to this day Ken serves as president). And in 2004 as a solo artist. (1969年東京出身。。1999年にレーベル「PIZZA OF DEATH RECORDS」を設立、社長を務める。 Hi-STANDARD活動休止後の2004年にはアルバム『The Cost Of My Freedom』でKen Yokoyamaとしてソロ活動を開始。その後、ソロバンド通称・Ken Bandを率いてライブを行い)
Ken’s solo breakout album, The Cost of My Freedom (released in 2004), was followed by a succession of four more critically-acclaimed punk spirited albums: Nothin’ But Sausage (2005), Third Time’s A Charm (2007), Four (2010), and Best Wishes (2012), all released on Pizza of Death Records.
As headliner at the 2008 Dead at Budokan festival at Nippon Budōkan, 12,000 tickets were sold in a matter of minutes. Ken Yokoyama continues to be featured in the Japanese music press as a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and producer. In 2013 he was the main topic in a documentary movie of his life, Ken Yokoyama–Shippu Keiso Hen. Originally planned as a limited 1-week release in 60+ cinemas, the film attracted more than 30,000 attendees over a 2-week period. Ken’s guitar of choice…the Gretsch Falcon™.
Most recently, Ken's 6th album Sentimental Trash was released on September 2, and he has been featured in several Japanese music magazines with his new signature Gretsch Kenny Falcon guitar. And make note, Ken returns to Dead at Bodokan in March 2016!
Kent Aberle is the drummer for Kristian Bush of Sugarland. He has performed in every type of situation possible from the restaurant jazz gig, to the metal rock show, to playing in front of 150,000 people in China. Kent’s ability to be a groove chameleon performing all styles of music as well as his harmonizing backing vocal ability has made him one of the busiest drummers in the southeast and a first call for the Atlanta music scene for both live performance and sessions. Performing, however, is just one aspect of Kent’s career.
With a strong belief in the power of rhythm to shape lives, Kent has become one the most sought-after instructors in the Atlanta area. He also writes the "The Weekend Warrior" column for DRUMHEAD Magazine covering not only playing drums, but talking to future professionals about what it takes to pursue a career in music.
Kent has performed with a seemingly endless list of musicians such as Sam Moore (Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer), The Shirrelles (Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers), The Tokens, The Blues Brothers of Las Vegas, Gene Chandler (Duke of Earl), Chris Pierson (of TV show Rockstar Supernova), The Swear, Cherry Vallance, and Super Hooligan, Dr. Wu’s Rock and Soul Revue, and Poprocks, just to name a few!
On June 9, Kent presented a live, in-store clinic for drumming enthusiasts at Portman's Music Superstore in Savannah, Georgia and was introduced by Fred Gretsch. More recently, Kent and Kristian performed at the legendary Troubadour club in West Hollywood.
Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
MORE NEWS & EVENTS:
Bigsby at GuitArlington
Don't miss your last chance in 2015 for a free pit-stop check of your Bigsby-equipped guitar or free installation of a new Bigsby Vibrato! GuitArlington takes place October 17 & 18 and it's the last stop for Bigsby this year. Visit the Bigsby site for details on these free offers.
An Award-Winning Tribute To Chet Atkins
In 2014 we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the relationship between Chet Atkins and the Gretsch Company. Watch "A Tribute to Chet Atkins" a top winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards and read "Celebrating 60 Years" by Fred Gretsch.
German Guitar Heroes
Read Fred Gretsch's examination of an important part of history not properly being represented.
Find Gretsch Community events HERE.
Recap of Recent Events
Visit our RECAP page for details of other Gretsch events from 2015, 2014, and earlier.
Follow Gretsch on Twitter
Follow Fred Gretsch on Twitter
Follow Gretsch on Instagram
Remembering Bill and Sylvia Gretsch
September is a significant month in Fred Gretsch's family history. September 10 is the date on which his father, William “Bill” Gretsch passed away in 1948. And September 14th is the anniversary of his mother Sylvia’s birth in 1917. Both of these remarkable individuals played a major role not only in his life, but also in the legacy of the Gretsch Company.
Gretsch Greatest Hits . . . and Hitters: Phil Collins
Considering the enormity of Phil Collins’ success as a solo artist, it might surprise some people to learn that he first came to musical prominence as the drummer in a band almost a decade earlier. Throughout most of his career Phil performed his dynamic drumming on a Gretsch drumkit that was, to put it mildly, different from the kits of his contemporaries (and remains so to this day).
2015: FRED GRETSCH CELEBRATES 50 YEARS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS!
Back in 1964, Fred Gretsch experienced his own "revolution" while sitting in front of his family’s black-and-white television. He watched the Beatles’ first live performance in the US and witnessed George Harrison playing a guitar with HIS family’s name on it! Now in 2015, Fred is celebrating his 50th year in the music business. Stay tuned for news and reports from various celebratory events beginning with a "Brooklyn Bash" that took place at StreetsSounds NYC on May 30.
Gretsch Guitars is also giving away a one-of-a-kind guitar in honor of this momentous occasion. Learn more and enter!
JOIN THE CELEBRATION AT THE BELOW EVENT. USE #FG50TH TO SHARE YOUR PICS AND POSTS!!
*Cream City Music
Saturday, October 24, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Cream City Music in Brookfield, WI. Music by YOU. Instead of the typical performer/audience scenario, be part of the first-ever Cream City Music invitational players session! There's just one catch: you've got to play a Gretsch! Guitars will be set up and amps dialed in and ready for you to play along with additional instrumentalists to join the fun. Cream City invites YOU to play a Gretsch whether it’s your first time or if you’re already a seasoned Gretsch player.
Free and open to the public. Includes a meet & greet with Fred Gretsch, multi-media presentation, prizes/product give-aways, and more!
Use #FG50th to share your event pics!!
Past events were held at:
Street Sounds NYC, Brooklyn - May 30, 2015
Fuller's Guitars, Houston - September 19, 2015
Chicago Music Exchange - October 1, 2015
For all the details on the various Fred Gretsch 50th Anniversary events, visit our special 50th anniversary events page.