Hideto Matsumoto (1964-1998), known as hide, was the lead guitarist and one of the major creative members of X Japan from 1987 until 1997. He is co-credited, often, with Yoshiki for beginning Visual Kei as an artistic movement, and while working with Yoshiki, encouraged him to sign the band Luna Sea to Extasy Records, which eventually led to their own success as a popular band. He was also primary A&R for Extasy alongside Yoshiki during its days as the biggest Visual label, and arguably The Man Behind the Man for much of Yoshiki's own work both with visuals and writing for X Japan and with developing the growing label and Visual scene. Writing songs such as "Joker," "Love Replica," "Miscast," "Celebration," and "Drain," he soon branched out into an enormously successful solo career that encompassed 1993 to 1998.Having been a hard rock guitarist with Yokosuka Saber Tiger and Dementia before joining X, he tended to prefer Hard Rock and Heavy Metal to ballads, notably being on record as saying Endless Rain was the only X ballad he truly liked to perform. In his solo career, he would do everything from jazz to Electronic Music to pop to Heavy Metal to gothicindustrial, often combining said styles wildly in songs or albums. He was one of the first true cyberpunk musicians, his promotional videos and live solo act, hide with Spread Beaver, would often incorporate cyberpunk or technological themes, and he defined his solo style as "digital kei." He would, near the end of his life, try to break into the American music industry with the band Zilch, which released one album featuring his works posthumously.Being a former hairdresser and stylist, hide was one of the most truly visual members of X Japan, continuing to appear with his trademark red-spectrum color hair, unique clothes and guitars, and Badass stage presence well into when the rest of the band had traded shocking attire for more traditional expensive rocker styles. With his solo career, he became one of the founding artists of the Eroguro Kei subgenre of Visual along with Kuroyume, and is even argued to have had somewhat of a hand in Oshare Kei's development with In Motion and his love for bright colors (though this is very much played up by Hiroshi Matsumoto in an attempt to cash in on Oshare).On May 2, 1998, hide was found dying. He was taken to a hospital, where efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was declared dead. The best comparison of what unfolded to something the Western music scene could be familiar with would be if Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley had died at the exact same time, of reasons no one could really ascertain. Yoshiki went into a deep depression and many years of mourning for his closest best friend and soulmate, and some fans committed suicide at the thought of being faced with a world without him. Many theories were and still are debated.hide's music is now the centerpiece of a Rock Opera produced by his brother and other musicians. It is called "Pink Spider," and if anyone reading has seen it, please launch a separate page for it and link it here.Has sadly been made into a Cash Cow Franchise. Also spawned a thriving industry of clones.Band Members
Abduction Is Love: Genkai Haretsu's PV seems to be playing the trope straight, but is actually subverting it - the love is the selfish need of the predator.
Accidental Hero: In at least two ways. In the first, he and his music tapped into the hopelessness and ennui of especially rural or "outsider" young Japanese of The Nineties in such a powerful way that he became a "spokesperson in effect" for the angst and suffering hidden behind the "ganbare" mask of Japan. In the second, a young fan suffering from a blood disorder, Mayuko Kishi, happened to meet with him and they formed a deep connection, to the point where hide seemed to see her as the daughter he never had and, on finding out he couldn't donate blood or bone marrow for her, became a strong advocate and financial donor for blood cancers and similar disorders, as well as bringing her onstage at his shows, helping her family financially, and visiting her regularly.
Accidental Murder: His suicide/accident can be argued to be this (in the involuntary manslaughter/criminal negligence sense) as well as suicide/accident, from known fact. His brother and manager Hiroshi at the very leastknew the state he was in and, instead of separating him from further alcohol and drugs and/or supervising him or getting medical help, allowed him to be alone while approaching alcohol poisoning and in an emotionally agitated state. How accidental this was may also depend on your views of Hiroshi's post-death monetization of his brother...
The Alcoholic: Alcoholism defined his life especially after 1990 or so, sometimes his works, and was part of why he died.
Angrish: "Doubt." Much of the song is arguably screamed in Angrish.
Anyone Can Die: One reason hide's death made such an impression and was such a shock. He seemed to be the least emotionally damaged ex-member of X at the time, had a public face that appeared lively and interested in life, and even seemed to be planning for the future in an interview he did the day before he died.
Apathetic Citizens: Oblaat is in part a furious and snarky (and prophetic, see below) denunciation of apathetic citizens, as is Bacteria.Doubt is aimed at apathetic, corrupt, and lazy leaders and politicians.
Artistic Stimulation: hide was a heavy drinker, possibly an alcoholic, though no one really knows "why" outside of speculation, and this inspired his solo songs Drink Or Die and Lemoned I Scream among others. There is also a video clip where he's obviously enjoying some good weed. There are rumors of his using/abusing other substances, but these are best not discussed online unless one enjoys Internet Backdraft.
Attractive Bent-Gender: One of the earliest examples in Visual Kei, and the other one making up the more "androgynous" part of 87-92 X Japan (along with Yoshiki), in contrast to the more masculine Taiji, Toshi, and Pata.
Audience Participation Song: Audience participation LIVE. hide's lives often involved a great deal of audience participation and interaction, and the audience at memorial events will often sing along to his songs.
Author Existence Failure: When hide died, he had not yet finished his third album, Ja, Zoo, and many of his singles and other works hadn't been finished or released yet.
Ax-Crazy: A common theme in hide's photoshoots (there's even one of him as Chucky, and one of him as the main character of A Clockwork Orange) and occasionally in his lyrics.
The Band Minus the Face: Zilch tried to go on after hide's death, to rather limited success. Spread Beaver occasionally reunites for memorial shows and such. Arguably, X Japan's reunion is this, since hide was one of the three Faces Of The Band (the other two being Yoshiki and Toshi)
Bar Brawl: hide, along with Taiji and Yoshiki, were the biggest troublemakers in regard to the fighting and damage that X Japan caused in its earlier days. If running around a hotel fighting with the desk people for no reason at all can be considered under this trope...
Bi the Way: hide seemed to think "all sex is good sex."
Be Yourself: The overarching Arc Words and message of hide's work and life - be yourself, even at the cost it may take. The songs Pose and Pink Spider are explicitly about this, and Ever Free is a semi-deconstruction that reconstructs itself.
Breakup Breakout: hide became most famous after leaving Yokosuka Saber Tiger and joining X Japan, and his career only improved more when he went solo from X Japan to his own career.
Camera Abuse: One of hide's favorite stage tricks. Probably the crowning example would be in the video footage of the Chi to Bara/Rose and Blood tour with X Japan where he took a signature Burny Fernandes guitar to an expensive stage camera combining this trope, Rockers Smash Guitars, andTrash the Set all in less than five minutes. The monetary cost was probably over US $10,000.
Careful With That Axe: "DOUBT/Tell Me." Epic metal screaming in that performance of "Doubt." Also, on backing vocals for "Sadistic Desire" with X.
Cassandra Truth / Junkie Prophet: People who knew hide around 1997-1998 mentioned that he insisted on telling them a story about a nightmare he often had. About a massive earthquake, followed by a nuclear disaster. The song Oblaat also is a stinging prediction of a society of Apathetic Citizens under constant surveillance judging each other for the stupidest points while ignoring their own apathy and imprisonment.
Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Spread Beaver, hide's solo band, back in The Nineties. Of course there was hide, but Pata, Chirolyn, Die, Ran, Kiyoshi, and Joe all also fit the description.
Cerebus Syndrome: Zigzagged. hide's work was some of the darkest of X Japan including Sadistic Desire and Joker and Love Replica. At the beginning of his solo career, his stuff seemed like it was taking a lighter turn somewhat with Tell Me and kept the slightly lighter musical tone but exploited Lyrical Dissonance as the lyrics got even more dark and serious for the most part (aside from the Oshare In Motion, which is so much an outlier that some fans question if he even wrote it), and then played straight with Zilch, as his work with Zilch/his later solo works all increased both in musical and lyrical hardness and darkness.
Cool Car: The Fifties finned Cadillac with a few mods for The Nineties. It was a large enough car to do inside shots for the Ever Free PV with several members of Spread Beaver in the backseat, had his vanity license plate, and comparisons to the Batmobile have been drawn. It was even built strongly enough to be driven in reverse uphill into a tree and not be destroyed in the resulting accident with no severe injuries to anyone inside.
Cool Shades: His yellow wraparounds. Rather unique to say the least.
Cover Version: hide has done work on many covers, but the two most notable are "Ace of Spades" done at one of the Extasy Summits, and "New Rose" at one of his solo lives. "New Rose" is notably Covered Up since hide's version is likely the second most known to the version done by Guns N' Roses. "Light My Fire" by The Doors is also somewhat notable.
Dead Artists Are Better: Sadly so in hide's case. This is probably because of the rise of Visual Kei as well as the internet. Many western v-kei fans are curious and many v-kei artists have performed at the hide memorial summit. they look into who he is and instant popularity. With that said, had he lived he would have probably been as influential as Kurt Cobain, John Lennon or Elvis. It's obvious the Japanese viewed him that way.
Disability Superpower: Bipolar 1 was this for him in that had he not been bipolar he likely wouldn't have conceived of some of the Mind Screw nightmarish lyrics he did (which actually made for incredible music), likely would not have even considered half of his onstage antics and his public persona, and more. The "outsider looking in"/"uncontrollable emotions" view it gave him arguably fueled much of his work.
Drunk Driver: See the incident listed under Cool Car above - that crash was how hide lost his California driver's license (which it was amazing that he ever had in the first place), though it was never really known whether it was hide or Pata who was the drunk driver that time, as everyone fled and both claimed to have been driving.
Doomed Supermarket Display: There's one in the Misery PV. Which gets a shopping cart crashed into it and hide sitting in the middle of the debris eating some of it.
Double Entendre: From hide's solo career, the song Rocket Dive. The Performance Video is about spaceflight and in a "spaceship." The lyrics can be about finding hope in life or, to the overanalyst, bipolar mania. They're actually about neither... a look at the cover will tell you what the song is actually about.
hide's work in general heavily relies on wordplay, double-entendre, and the like. As a result, many translations of his lyrics can be slightly confused.
Driven to Suicide: Misery,Goodbye,Oblaat, and arguablyPink Spider, though the "suicide" in it is symbolic for jumping into a new life. As for hide in Real Life, there's a few theories that claim that he was driven to intentional suicide.
Drunken Master: Not as much of one as Pata, but very close - it's often impossible to tell his level of intoxication onstage watching him perform unless he makes a major mistake, and that's a rare occurrence.
Sometimes it was blonde with a pink or red streak in the early days of the band. Which could be confusing to n00b fans seeing a redhead... and therefore confusing hide and Pata, who had *entirely* red hair off and on from around 1989 to 1991.
Eek, a Mouse!!: hide was terrified of cockroaches. One time, he was with Yoshiki in a hotel room and saw one, which led to both screaming and running around until Tetsu from Lordi.5 (or Yoshiki, in another common telling of the story, or Taiji, in another) killed the roach.
Epic Rocking: hide's guitar parts in "Art of Life" and "Rose of Pain" with X Japan, and for almost all of his solo music, though "Oblaat," "Junk Story," and "Dice" are all some of the best examples. "Dice's" vocals are especially epic for the rapid-fire delivery and breakdown. His vocal parts on the Stab Me In The Back live version also qualify.
Erotic Asphyxiation: There is a common theory that his "suicide" was not intentional, but was actually this. Whether it was or was not, this is a good place to add the warning: never, ever, ever, EVER do this alone or drunk.
Finger Gun: Used in the "Death Hollywood" remix/live of Eyes Love You.: hide mimes a gun with his fingers, wildly aiming around the stage to the sound of FX gunshots, until finally pointing it at himself and falling to the sound of the last gunshot.
Flame War: Discussing hide's death and the circumstances of it has led to more than one raging flame war, to the point that it's almost considered Internet Backdraft especially when participated in by newbies or people in places where not everyone will agree on what is stated.
Also, whether hide or Toshi was Yoshiki's true love created possibly the biggest flame war of X Japan fandom's Ship-to-Ship Combat. It's also considered Internet Backdraft, especially if invoked with claiming hide killed himself to punish Toshi or Yoshiki.
Formerly Fat: One of the more sad examples of this trope. All of his family seems to be overweight to some degree (as exemplified in his brother, who is well over 200 pounds at this point), and he was mercilessly abused/teased in school for being a fat child and fat teen. As he hit his late teens, he discovered alcohol, bulimia, and possibly amphetamines. His weight dropped, he joined his first band Yokosuka Saber Tiger, and from then on felt that he had to maintain perfect thinness to keep the new life as something other than a target of abuse, and even when he had gotten to the point that no one would have cared had he gained weight again, his eating disorders and alcoholism had taken on a life of their own. It could even be argued that he was a "delayed bullycide" as in, someone so emotionally damaged from the childhood abuse and mockery that he resorted to the behaviors that would in part later on lead to his death.
Franchise Zombie: LEMONED, Lemoned Plant, and the entire hide "estate" or "empire." It can be argued fairly well that Hiroshi Matsumoto has no idea of what hide would have wanted for it, and is solely using it as a personal ATM to gain payment from fans and from artists who admired hide.
Freakiness Shame: hide is widely admired as one of the most absolutely beautiful paragons of Visual Kei by almost anyone in the scene on a basis of appearance and style if nothing else (trolls and anti-fans aside), and yet viewed himself as ugly and disgustingly fat, partially due to a severe eating disorder and childhood abuse and bullying.
Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Zigzagged. Sometimes hide could be far crazier and scarier than anything done onstage or that hide dressed like (when drunk and fighting for no reason but to fight, as in the hotel anecdote) and yet was the Team Mom for X Japan almost as soon as joining the band, one of the more calming influences in Yoshiki's life, often tried to help other bandmen as much as he hurt them in fights (and once actually avoided a fight that Yoshiki had picked and became close friends with Tomoyasu Hotei of Boowy as a result) and did some incredible charity work, specifically reaching out to sick and injured children.
Frivolous Lawsuit: Was in part the subject of one well after his death. In 2010, hide's brother Hiroshi sued Yoshiki over the use of hide's image in X Japan. The case was met with the judicial-language version of Flat "What." and promptly thrown out of court.
Gaia's Lament: Bacteria and Damage in part, as both called out the destruction of the earth and natural environments carelessly produced by human violence and human greed among the other reasons Humans Are Bastards.
Hey Lets Put On A Show: The hide memorial summit, as well as his annual birthday shows from other old bandmates.
Hot-Blooded: hide could often get very angry very fast, as a result of bipolar, alcohol, and possibly drugs. He got into arguments and fights quite often as a result.
Humans Are Bastards: A VERY frequent theme in hide's work. Genkai Haretsu,Eyes Love You, and Blue Sky Complex center around protagonists or the concept that humans are rapists/will happily take advantage of other humans. Junk Story was inspired by a molested child's diary entries. Oblaat was aimed at Apathetic Citizens who still found time to judge each other over petty issues living under constant surveillance, Damage,Bacteria and Doubt are all denunciations of politicians and leaders and similar, combined with Gaia's Lament and War Is Hell, and in Bacteria, humans are the bacteria killing the world.
Indecipherable Lyrics: Much of "Doubt," "Bacteria," and "Fish Scratch Fever." "Dice" is a little better, but the rapid-fire delivery pretty much necessitates having the lyrics there too.
Large Ham: hide could definitely have his ham moments.
Lyrical Dissonance: Hurry Go Round and Goodbye seem like quiet, slow songs. Both are ruminations on mental illness and death and reincarnation (Hurry Go Round about bipolar mood swings, Goodbye about death and suicide) Hi-Ho sounds like a cute proto-Oshare romp but the title itself is a pun referring to what the song is actually about: prostitution, both of the usual and mitsu varieties. Eyes Love You sounds like it's about love but it's actually about predation and being burned out with a possible subtext of Date Rape, and Genkai Haretsu which sounds like an upbeat summer rock song, is about Date Rape and necrophilia.
Lunatic Loophole: Played straight almost too many times to count in Real Life: he survived alcohol poisoning on repeated occasions, almost lighting himself on fire in a pyrotechnic stunt gone wrong, being in a rather large number of fights despite being short and scary skinny, sustaining a skull fracture and leg injuries in a fall, a car wreck, and that's just what's known about. Sadly, also subverted in Real Life in a horrific way.
Meaningful Name: hide = the concealment of his true self and his vulnerabilities and problems at an absolute surface level, with their only being able to be discerned with more scrutiny and/or personal knowledge.
Metal Scream: Backing vocals for Vanishing Vision and live "Sadistic Desire." The Doubt/TELL ME performance in his solo career, and any performance of Doubt.
Mohs Scale Of Lyrical Hardness: His credited works with X Japan were three 7 (Joker,Celebration, and Love Replica) two 8 (Miscast, and Drain) and one 9 (Sadistic Desire) His solo works could be anywhere from a 0-1 (Oedo Cowboys and Psyence) to a solid 9 (Bacteria,Doubt,Genkai Haretsu) and he hit 10-11 with some of his Zilch work (Sold Some Attitude,Fuctrack #6). Average is around an 8-9, for his love of Intercourse with You and some fairly twisted takes on it and for the generally dark themes.
Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually averages out around a 6-7 for his X Japan work, a 4-6 with some occasional drops to 1-2 and occasional bounces all the way up to 9 for his solo work with Spread Beaver, and 4-9 for his work with Zilch. See Lyrical Dissonance and the above though - even the songs where he's slower and that can't be classified as "metal" by any means are often fairly dark and deal with some deep and troubling issues - and when he goes to harder metal, the lyrics follow (his metal songs are all 8-9 on the lyrics scale above)
Motor Mouth: YES. So very yes. Enough that it might make one wonder how he can be so speedy... *cough*
My Nayme Is: It's spelled hide and pronounced hee-day in reference to his solo career. Do not capitalize it there, even if That Other Wiki does. In regard to his X Japan career, on the other hand, it is pronounced the same way but written in ALL CAPS as HIDE.
Outlived Its Creator: Zilch is a straight example (it outlived both hide and Paul Raven), but a more meta example would be pretty much all of hide's career and artistic output. As an example, the "Pink Spider" musical just opened in Japan...
Visual Kei itself is a straight example, as he was one of the predominant influences in many parts still existent in Visual Kei aside from the direct cloning attempts: he was the one who pioneered Genre Roulette and Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly as essential parts of a VK band repertoire, he (and COLOR) were the first to introduce the idea of hair colors other than black, brown, or blonde along with the over the top styles, why lead guitarist is such an important role in VK (as opposed to Western rock where it's usually vocalist), (along with X Japan itself) the idea of making Performance Videos or promotional videos art pieces themselves. Even artists who aren't directly or intentionally cloning him have drawn much from his influence on the scene.
Performance Video: While the technology of the time dates some of hide's performance videos, almost all are very unique and very artistic. The art of the video actually creates its own scene, its own comparison piece to the song for almost all of the songs that have a Performance Video. Especially interesting are "Misery," "Eyes Love You," "Genkai Haretsu," and "Bacteria."
The Red Stapler: Fernandes guitars (pretty much every one of his guitars was a Fernandes), Necromance (a shop in Los Angeles where he tended to buy jewelry and magickal items), and Mild Seven cigarettes.
"This isn't Getting Crap Past The Radar. This is crashing the crap through the front doors and out the back doors of the radar installation in an armored car with sunglasses-wearing flaming skull decals on every flat surface and a Hieronymus Bosch reproduction on the door, hood-mounted machine guns blazing, Motörhead blasting on the jury-rigged PA system, the tires leaving tracks painting sex and violence on the floor and walls and one arm hanging out of the window making a rude hand gesture."
Sanity Slippage: Arguably, his life from 1997 onward. The pressures of his solo career, his alleged drug use catching up to him, the pain of the band that had made him famous and his friendships from said band breaking up, and his increased need for alcohol all pointed to hide's being in somewhat of a downward spiral toward the end.
Sanity Slippage Song: "Drain" for X Japan, and solo: "Doubt," "Hurry Go Round," "Genkai Haretsu," "Breeding", "Lemoned I Scream," "Drink or Die," and "Sold Some Attitude"
Of course, the reason for this being the amount of influence hide had on Visual Kei and in rock music in Japan in general. Anything related to Visual Kei or similar genres, or written/made/produced by someone who is Japanese and was/is into 90s Visual Kei, has a high likelihood of a hide Shout-Out somewhere - much like the James Dean and Elvis PresleyShoutOuts that appear in some US media.
Smoking Is Cool: hide was a rather notorious tobacco addict, who once posted a blog whining about not being able to smoke indoors in California, and who would occasionally even smoke while performing. He provided quite the free advertising for his preferred brand, too.
Team Mom: Despite his issues, he was, according to everyone else, this for X Japan while he lived.
Too Much Information: How he died. If someone tells you "it was an accident," asking "why" may very well lead to this trope being invoked.
Trickster: Often seen as sympathetic to the Egyptian mythological deity Set/Seth due to his role as such in the art film "Seth et Holth" and due to a few photoshoots on this same theme.
Unstoppable Rage: Often as a result of consuming alcohol, and directed at some of the oddest targets. Being a hotel desk clerk was not safe when you had hide staying there...
The "Dice" live with the squirming nude men and women in cages and "Natural Born Onanist" from his solo lives, the lyrics to "Doubt," the live (and the album cover and possible meaning) of "Rocket Dive," "Fuctrack #6" with Zilch...