Dead Heads Land

Look for this sign above the door and you know you’re at Yukotopia.

Tonight I visited Yukotopia Dead Heads Land Night Club where its fifteenth anniversary party is in full swing, featuring Sandy Rothman, a masterful multi-instrumental player from Berkeley who had played at the grand opening and the tenth anniversary festivities as well. Sandy played in several bands with Jerry Garcia, and sings with the same kind of friendly, slightly sardonic, laid-back delivery for which the Dead are known. The three other players live in Tokyo. Lots of joy emanated from the stage during their sets and the audience loved them, too.

Meet Roku Uehara, the club manager and sound engineer, Yuko Tsukamoto, the club owner, and their friend, Masahiko, the official club photographer.

After Sandy and the Anniversary Band played their acoustic sets, the Warlocks played a couple of electric Grateful Dead sets and the audience danced.

Everyone in the room at least swayed in their seats to the band, but most were full on dancing.

Yuko’s got all kinds of Grateful Dead items for sale—books, DVDs, CDs, Jerry Garcia dolls, tie-dye t-shirts, and posters.

Dead head tie-dye on the ceiling.

Poster for this week’s events.

Yuko and I enjoyed our dinner at a sushi diner just down the street from the club, with this cool, super slow conveyer belt that circled three sushi chefs who constantly replenished it with dishes of sushi. Each dish cost $1. Not everything in Tokyo is expensive, it turns out.