The memorial ceremony for HEATH, the bassist of the legendary rock band X JAPAN who tragically passed away from colorectal cancer on October 29 at the age of 55, took place on November 28 at Spotify O-EAST in Tokyo's Shibuya district. YOSHIKI, the band's leader, took the stage to express his gratitude and memories, shedding tears as he bid farewell to his dear friend.
During the flower offering ceremony, YOSHIKI began by expressing his appreciation to the fans and fellow musicians in attendance. He reminisced about the over 30 years since HEATH joined X JAPAN and reflected on their journey together.
YOSHIKI shared a poignant memory from approximately three months ago during his final show for the "EVENING/BREAKFAST with YOSHIKI 2023" in TOKYO JAPAN. HEATH made a surprise guest appearance, and YOSHIKI recalled the unexpected joy of that day, never imagining it would be their last meeting.
The news of HEATH's passing reached YOSHIKI while he was in New York. Visibly emotional, YOSHIKI addressed the crowd, contemplating the difficulty of moving forward and expressing regret over not acting sooner. He acknowledged the challenges faced by X JAPAN and admitted questioning himself about why he didn't act sooner or why he assumed HEATH would always be there.
YOSHIKI then conveyed a message received from HEATH's family: "Someday, we'd like a memorial concert. We entrust everything to you, YOSHIKI." He interpreted this as a commitment to moving forward for HEATH and the announcement of future events in his honor.
Closing the ceremony, YOSHIKI performed a special rendition of X JAPAN's iconic song "ENDLESS RAIN" on a piano draped with a red carpet, symbolizing HEATH's contribution to the band. After the performance, YOSHIKI stood before HEATH's portrait, offering a silent prayer before leaving the stage.
The memorial event, attended by approximately 10,000 fans during the day and later by around 100 industry figures, featured a striking visual tribute with red roses reminiscent of X JAPAN's imagery. YOSHIKI fully funded the event, honoring HEATH's wish for him to take charge, and attendance was free of charge.
This farewell ceremony provided fans, friends, and colleagues with a chance to celebrate HEATH's life and contributions to the world of music, leaving an indelible mark on the history of X JAPAN.