Fighting War with Rock ‘n’ Roll
During the conflict in Vietnam from 1964 to 1975, popular music was widely available through radio and audiences stretched on both sides of the Atlantic: from army barracks near Saigon to Woodstock and peace protests in Washington DC. Some of the greatest rock singers in history including Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen have made historical references to the US involvement in the Vietnam War through their music.
Destination Asia Vietnam has created a program that delves into Vietnam’s musically connected past.
Our program kicks off with a trip to Guitar Street, an alley lined with both good quality and knockoff copies of iconic acoustic and rock guitars. Our guitarist guide, Kevin Gallarello, provides a rundown on 60’s rock stars and their iconic instruments, with explanations on the meaning behind some of their songs. As we browse and chit-chat with shopkeepers, Kevin will play a few songs that were popular during the war.
Later in the day we visit a local Vietnamese café playing Trinh Cong Son music (a Southern Vietnamese composer who wrote melancholic songs during the war). Our guide will explain the lyrics to those who are curious while we enjoy a coffee. Kevin also plays a couple songs as the acoustics in this café are great!
Last stop is at the rooftop of Caravelle ‘Saigon Saigon’, where we all enjoy a sundowner cocktail or ice cold beer and snacks that were popular with the iconic hotel’s guests in the 60’s and 70’s.
Rocking out at Fuji Rock
When you think of a music festival, your image may be that of young twenty-somethings running wild on a beach or in a muddy field. Fuji Rock takes place in Naeba (which strangely enough is nowhere near Mt Fuji) and is Japan’s unique take on music festivals. Make no mistake, this is not a small affair—every year Fuji Rock attracts some of the most popular bands and singers in the world. Previous impressive headline acts include; Oasis, Bjork, Coldplay and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. However, as with everything that Japan borrows from overseas, it is improved and refined to an extremely high standard that puts other international music festivals to shame. Attendees from previous years will be sure to regale you with tales about fast-moving queues, acts starting exactly on time and Japanese festival-goers staying behind after acts finish playing to pick up any and all litter! This year’s festival takes place from July 26th – 28th and Destination Asia Japan is happy to assist with tickets and transport for your party-going clients.