Jaywalk Say Sayonara to Vocalist

Jaywalk, Nakamura Koichi

Rock band Jaywalk announced today that they have officially kicked out vocalist (and Eric Clapton lookalike) Nakamura Koichi (60). The singer was handed a 2-year prison sentence, suspended for four years at the Tokyo District Court last May for drug use and possession. The band’s management agency, Freeway, said in a statement, “Nakamura Koichi’s drug case has caused trouble for fans, (record and management) companies, and society at large. We will be taking separate paths from now on.”

Nakamura was arrested in April 2010 when Tokyo Metropolitan police found a small amount of “kakuseizai,” or stimulant drugs, in his parked car in Nishi Azabu. They later found quantities of marijuana and cocaine and drug paraphernalia when they searched his home.

One of Japan’s premier rock bands, Jaywalk debuted in 1981 and had their first major hit with “Nanimo Ienai – Natsu” in 1991. That single sold 1.8 million copies, earning the band an appearance on NHK’s annual “Kohaku Uta Gassen” New Year’s Eve concert. They have remained active over the last two decades, but their most recent single was in February 2010, before Nakamura’s arrest. He was previously arrested in 2007 for having an army knife in his car, in violation of the Firearm Control Law.