Photo/Illutration(c) 2018 “Hurry Go Round” Production Committee

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

A documentary film focusing on the last three months of the life of former X Japan member hide uses a previously unreleased vocal track to explore the meaning of the lyrics in his last single.

“Hurry Go Round” was theatrically released nationwide on May 26, and the song of the same name is played at the end of the film.

The legendary guitarist killed himself on May 2, 1998, when he was 33 years old and his solo career was going strong with such hits as “Rocket Dive” and “Pink Spider.”

Nearly 50,000 people attended his funeral at Tsukiji Honganji temple in Tokyo.

The documentary opens with actor Yuma Yamoto, 27, visiting hide’s grave in Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture. Yamoto retraces the footsteps of the guitarist in his quest for the meaning of the lyrics in hide’s last single, “Hurry Go Round,” that are inscribed on his tombstone.

The film is directed by Tomoaki Ishikawa, 43, who has been making variety shows, TV commercials and music videos. He had never before directed a film and had never met hide.

“It is a film woven by hide first-timers,” Ishikawa said.

One climax in the film is a sequence where Yamoto asks Hiroshi Matsumoto, hide’s 50-year-old younger brother and manager, a former bodyguard and others about what the rocker said the night before he died.

Their accounts reveal new details, including how hide was rushed to a hospital.

“They told me things they never told anyone before. I’m grateful,” the director said.

The single “Hurry Go Round” was completed after hide’s death by co-producer I.N.A., who used the musician’s temporary vocal recordings.

Ishikawa and other staff members asked I.N.A. for permission to use the authentic, raw singing voice in the film. But the co-producer initially rejected the request.

I.N.A. explained that it was necessary to improve the sound quality to make it an appropriate insert song for the movie, but he had no time to do so.

However, I.N.A. was intrigued by the project after seeing the director’s enthusiasm.

When he went over the sound files left in a hard drive, he found a file titled “hide vocal Take 2.” It was hide’s singing as if he were performing live on stage.

“I can’t help but feel that hide is saying, ‘Play this for everybody, will you?’” I.N.A. told Ishikawa in an e-mail. The co-producer also sent along the previously unreleased sound file whose audio quality was improved.

“If Ishikawa and other people hadn’t been enthusiastic about using the demo, I.N.A. would never have found it,” Hitoshi Anetai, 50, who works for Universal Music LLC and was in charge of publicity for hide, said. “Back in the day, we couldn’t store unnecessary data and kept throwing it away. It was a miracle that it was found.”

The late star’s new singing voice can be heard in an album titled “hide Tribute Impulse” released on June 6.

“I thought hide was a producer who was loved by everybody and led them,” Ishikawa said. “I hope this movie will serve as a starting point for people to refresh their knowledge of this great musician.”