EXPIRED: 10/17/09 – Kazuhiko Kato, 62, founded Japan’s glam rock sensation of the 70’s with his wife Mika on vocals, naming it the Sadistic Mika Band as a play on ‘the Plastic Ono Band”.
The band went thru several line-up changes. Future members of Yellow Magic Orchestra swept tru the band at some point.
Chris Thomas, a young producer who would later work with the Sex Pistols, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, and the Pretenders, produced the second album, Kurofune. It sold well in Japan. In the U.K., however, the album sold poorly, but received high praise from critics.
The Chris Thomas connection got tthe Sadistic Mika Band an opening gig for a Roxy Music tour. Recordings from these concerts were released as their Live in London album. This was to be the next big break for the band.
Instead, Kato and Mika divorced; She left the band, married Chris Thomas and moved to the UK, where she worked as a food researcher.
Kato later became a Japanese radio show presenter and a television personality. He had a successful solo career and has reformed the Sadistic Mika Band several times with different female singers. Two years ago a documentary was made on the band featuring a live performance. It was very well received.
Today he was found hanging in a hotel room in the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. He left a suicide note.