Choosing Between a Great Life or a Long Life – Gaijinhan

Choosing Between a Great Life or a Long Life

Yoshiki was on Kinsma last night, and as much as I already know about X’s stories from following them since poly, watching their documentary, and reading Toshl’s autobiography, it is still interesting to hear it again and again. That, is perhaps the charm and beauty of X.

On the show, there was nothing new that hasn’t already been said in both Toshl’s book and X’s documentary We Are X. But one thought that comes to me each time I hear Yoshiki place blame on himself for hide’s death, is that I always wonder if hide’s life would really have been better had Yoshiki not invited him to join X.

For those not in the know, hide is the former guitarist of X, who died at a young age of 34, which is the age I’m at now. The stylistics of his name is all in lowercase, so it makes it a little hard to read but that’s not the point of this post.

X officially disbanded after their last live on December 31, 1997 due to the brainwashing incident of their vocalist Toshl, and just five months later, hide was found dead with a towel wrapped around his neck. While some reports suggest it was suicide, there was no particular evidence determining that it definitely was suicide. Besides, hide’s solo career was off to a great start and he was said to have called Yoshiki to say that he hopes that they can resurrect X again when Toshl returns. That towel was a well-known method among guitarists, called 牽引, that hide had picked up in Taiwan, to release the tension on his shoulders, and due to his state of drunkedness while doing that, it was said that he could’ve fallen asleep while doing the exercise and inadvertently killed himself. I digress (as usual).

Before Yoshiki invited hide to join X, hide had planned to give up on music and become a hairstylist instead. And Yoshiki felt that this invitation eventually led to the the latter’s death. In other words, the Butterfly Effect. Granted, had hide not become a musician, he might not have died this way. But it is interesting how we simply assume longevity is the default state of a person unless interfered to be otherwise. Who knows, maybe some other accident could’ve caused hide’s death even earlier, had he gone on to be a hairstylist, and Yoshiki actually extended his life. But it’s pointless to raise that hypothesis since it can never be proven.

I think a more worthy food for thought would be whether hide would rather have led a long life of normalcy or the short amazing life he had. Even today, young people who were born after his death knows about him, adores him, and enjoys his music. Music producers even went back to his works, took out his song that was never released, ripped out each single utterance of his more than 50 sounds of the Japanese language from his released tracks, joined them together with editing software, and adjusted the notes to match his singing style, and released it as a new album (with some 15 other tracks of his best hits).

What about you? Would you choose to lead a long normal life, or a short amazing one?

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