Satoshi (Ronnie) Silvers died on the 17th of June, in 2011. He was crossing the road and was hit by a car which had failed to stop at a red light. Sure, he was not a household name, but he was in my household. Guitar player Satoshi Silvers was well known to Mr. Rockbrat, Cowboy Col and countless other fans in Japan and the USA, predominantly through his work with the Golden Arms, a Tokyo based band heavily influenced by Johnny Thunders and the New York Dolls. They existed right throughout the 1990’s. I was fortunate that I got to see The Golden Arms a few times, and became friends with them. In the wake of Johnny Thunders death, in the mid 90’s there was a small, but dedicated worldwide community of people who devotedly kept his spirit alive by playing music that was inspired by him. It was slash and burn rock ‘n’ roll, trashy riffs and a brimful of attitude. In the US, there were guys like Kevin K and Alan K, Rick Blaze, Jeff Dahl and the Trash Brats. In Germany there were guys like Nikki Sudden and Zepp Oberpilcher, France had Freddy Lynxx, and in the UK there was Brian Young. In Japan though – the torch was carried by a guy called Hiroshi Nakagome and his band The Remains. Pre internet, I corresponded by letter with Hiroshi, and he sent me some Remains cassettes and early 45s. The Remains morphed into The Golden Arms (go see the Sinatra film of the same name for reference) and they played around Japan during the latter few years of the 90’s. Satoshi joined The Golden Arms on second guitar, and he had a great style, and was a strong vocalist too. The band headed to Jeff Dahl’s studio in Arizona in late 97 and cut several tracks which would be released the following year as the band’s debut album, ‘Gimme Some Lips’. Stacked with Thunders style guitar, Satoshi Silvers really shone on this album, and he handled lead vocals on three tunes, ‘Fallin’, ‘Just Where You Are’ and ‘M.I.A’. ‘Just Where You Are’ in particular showcased what a good singer he was. When I was in Tokyo In 1998 and again in 2000 caught the Golden Arms live, at one of the Johnny Thunders ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ shows Hiroshi used to put on. The Golden Arms were great that night – as they always were live. I hung out with the band a fair bit and I remember getting up on stage and (drunkenly) sharing the chorus vocals with Satoshi on ‘Born To Lose’. I remember he gave me a ride back to the station. He was a genuinely nice guy. Whilst in Tokyo, I negotiated a deal with Hiroshi to release a new Golden Arms single. This 3 track EP was called ’Oriental Junk Sick’ and it came out in 2000 on Vicious Kitten Records. Over recent years, I lost contact with most of those guys, but I will always remember those days with great fondness. The Golden Arms were a great band, and Satoshi was a great rock n roll guitar player. May his memory live on forever through the rock n roll that he created. Rockbrat Radio will be playing a tribute show to Satoshi Silver next week. Look for details in the next few days. If you want to know more about The Golden Arms, go here.