When Yellow Magic Orchestra came to New York, this guy that used to write for The Soho Weekly News, Roy Trakin, had an idea to interview Yellow Magic Orchestra and DNA together, because Ikue was Japanese. It was kind of a goofy idea because they were this super pop, major label juggernaut, and we were like this little downtown band. And when we met, it turned out that Ryuichi had already heard the DNA records and really liked — he said, “I love the guitar sound,” and along with his — Ryuichi has always had an interest in the avant-garde alongside his interest in pop music and soundtrack styles and stuff.


And first time I went to Japan, he invited me to play on records, and I became really good friends with him and his then manager Aki Ikuta and I stayed longer than — I stayed on past the end of the tour and did various other projects, and that was just the beginning of the friendship. And I worked on Beauty. I invited Ryuichi to play with Caetano, and to record with Caetano, and then in the early 90s he got a label deal, and he asked me to record a bossa nova record, and I said I can’t — I don’t really want to make a bossa nova record, but I’ll make a ballad record or something like that, and that was Subtle Body, so he was actually also my label for a while.

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