All’s Well That Ends Well

X Japan’s two sold-out shows at the Tokyo Dome May 2-3 went ahead as planned, much to the relief of their fans.

Since the group canceled two other sold-out shows in Seoul last March, Japanese tabloids had been reporting that the reunited pop metal band was on the verge of imploding because of a disagreement between bassist Heath’s own management company and the organization that had been formed to handle X Japan’s much-ballyhooed and continually postponed world tour.

Yoshiki, the group’s drummer and leader, kept insisting that the two shows would go forth, and they did.

Some newspapers reported April 20 that Heath had already left the band and that Yoshiki was looking for a substitute bassist in time for the Dome concerts. But on the following day, Yoshiki lashed out at the reports, saying that he had “no intention of making Heath leave the band” and denying the recruitment of a substitute bassist.

However, the production organization did acknowledge that Heath himself had proposed that he leave the group, and that nothing had been “approved” yet.
Though Heath played at the Dome, his participation in the world tour has not been absolutely confirmed.

Two days before the Dome concerts, it was announced that Sugizo, the former lead guitarist for Luna Sea, a hugely popular metal band fashioned in the glittery X Japan mold, was now a permanent sixth member of X Japan.

Sugizo performed with the group at its comeback show a year ago and is basically indispensable since the group’s real guitarist, Hide, committed suicide more than 10 years ago, though his holographic image and recorded guitar parts are incorporated into the stage show.