Music History

That time Kate Bush went to Japan to make a watch commercial

While Kate Bush is one of the most reclusive performers in history, there was a time when she could be lured out of her house to do the odd thing. Seiko, the Japanese company best known for making watches, somehow managed to convince her to make a Japan-only TV spot back in 1978, just as her star was rising.

In the days before the internet, many stars went to Japan to do endorsements, confident that none of their fans in the West would see that they’d, well, sold out and were shilling for some corporation, an ultra-taboo thing back in the 1970s–especially for an avant-garde artist like Kate.

Here’s the final product.

If you’re interested in some Googling, here’s a list of other artists who cut similar deals:

  • Harrison Ford (Kirin Beer)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme (Black Black Gum)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (Boss Coffee and Suntory whisky)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (Alinaman V Energy Drink, among others)
  • Arnold Schwarznegger/Bruce Willis (Kowa Coffee, among others)
  • Madonna (Takara sake)
  • John Travolta (also Takara sake)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38346 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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