My two favourite Japanese artists are Pink Sapphire, an all girl hard rock/ J Pop band from the late 80s, early 90s, and one Steffanie Reiko Borges, more commonly known as Steffanie. Born in San Francisco in 1961, but raised in Hawaii, Steffanie was American Japanese who made a name for herself in Japan, firstly in the late 70’s as a J POP artist, before she moved more into the hard rock/glam metal terrain of the early to mid 1980s. In the early 90’s she famously replaced Keiko Terrada as lead singer of Show-Ya, Japan’s best known all girl metal band. Steffanie released two hard rock albums and both are worthy of your attention. ‘Hideaway’ from 1985 and ‘Pink Noise’ from 86. Some background though first. Steffanie had music in her blood, as she is the daughter of Hawaiian jazz singer Jimmy Borges. She began her working career in Japan as a model for advertising and TV campaigns. She started her singing career recording two singles between 1977 and 1978 and an album of pop songs in 1978. In 1982, under the name of ‘Stevany’ she sang the theme for the soundtrack of the anime movie Andromeda Stories. During the ‘80s, she changed her image and musical style, switching over to hard rock and melodic heavy metal and producing those two excellent hard rock solo albums mentioned earlier. Both albums were recorded in Japan and the albums were released by Warner Japan. The ‘Hideaway’ album from 1985 is killer. It contains such great songs as ‘Rock The Planet’, ‘Hideway’ and ‘Survival In The Streets’. Pink Noise from 86 was also great, and contains the classic, “Burnin’ Up the Night”, one of my favourite Steffanie tunes. This was the first single off the album. The Coop cover, “School’s Out” b/w “Change of Heart” was the second single off the album. I found this 7” whilst rummaging for records with the Rockbrat in Japan, but alas, I’ve since sold it. Original copies of both these albums go for good money on eBay. Jeff Northrup played guitar on both these albums. Incidentally, in 82/83, Northrup played lead guitar with Billy Thorpe’s touring band, touring the United States and Australia with Thorpie. The band also included drummer Frankie Banali. Not too sure if Banali came to Australia though. Northrup also toured with Steffanie and appeared on several of her television appearance and videos, many of which can be found on YouTube. In the late 80’s she also worked on songs for the anime series Urusei Yatsura and for the movie Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love. In 1991 she replaced singer Keiko Terada within the all-female Japanese metal band Show-Ya, using her full name Steffanie Borges. She remained in the band for six years, performing a highly media covered concert in North Korea in June 1991 and recording with Show-Ya the single “Flame of the Angels” in 1992 and the album Touch the Sun in 1995. She left the band in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles in the United States with her husband Randy Juergenson, who had worked with her during the recording sessions of Touch the Sun. She has since retired from the scene and lives in Tarzana, California. In the immortal words of Molly, do yourself a favour and check out some of Steffanie’s albums. (Hey Rockbrat – if you spy any Steffanie 7”s or her two elusive albums, send ‘em the Cowboys way).