Rockabilly Rivalry at Yoyogi: The Strangers vs The Lebels

Yoyogi Park, Harajuku. Men in tight jeans, leather jackets, and worn out boots form a circle as they grind to the music and rock their pompadours. They are dancing to the pre-fame Beatles’ cover version of Ain’t She Sweet but it sounds different. I then realize it is not Lennon singing because the words are in Japanese.

These are The Strangers. On Sundays, Yoyogi Park becomes their stage and they never fail to build a curious crowd.

Watching from a short distance are The Lebels, another group sporting the same 50’s rock-inspired style. When they get their chance, they put their own music on full blast. Their taste is milder:  Chubby Checker’s The Twist.

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