‘Monsieur’ Kamayatsu, ex-member of ’60s rock band Spiders, dies at 78

Kyodo

Rock musician Hiroshi “Monsieur” Kamayatsu, who played with The Spiders at the height of the Group Sounds era in the 1960s, died of cancer at a Tokyo hospital on Wednesday, his office said Thursday. He was 78.

Monsieur Kamayatsu joined the Spiders in the early ’60s as a guitarist and vocalist. The band, which included Masaaki Sakai and Jun Inoue, went on to release such hits as “Ban Ban Ban” and “Anotoki Kimiwa Wakakatta” (“You Were Young Back Then”).

After the band broke up, Kamayatsu went solo. His “Waga Yoki Tomoyo” (“My Good Friend”), which reminisces about a rough and unrefined college friend, was written and composed by singer-songwriter Takuro Yoshida and became a runaway hit.

Kamayatsu’s office announced in September that he had entered the hospital the previous month to be treated for liver cancer.