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, was a popular Japanesemarker musician. More commonly known by his mononymous stage name hide ( ), written in all lowercase letters by the artist, he was primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the popular heavy metal band X Japan from 1987 to 1997. He was also a successful solo artist and co-founder of the United Statesmarker based band Zilch.


Early years (1964–1984)

Hideto Matsumoto was born in St Joseph's Hospital, Midorigaoka, Yokosuka, on December 13, 1964. He entered kindergarten in 1968, studying English for three years, followed by an enrollment in Yokosuka Tokiwa Junior High School. He was first exposed to rock and roll music at the age of fifteen, through the album Alive! by Kiss. In the same year his grandmother bought him his first electric guitar, a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

On March 11, 1980, Matsumoto graduated from Tokiwa Junior High School. He then entered Zushi Kaisei Senior High School in Zushimarker, Kanagawamarker, where he entered the school's brass band as a club activity. He quit the band soon though, because he was assigned the clarinet, while he wanted to play the trumpet. After this, he concentrated on guitar playing and in 1981, formed the independent band Saver Tiger. A year after their founding, they started playing shows at live houses in Yokosuka, such as Rock City.

In April 1983 he started attending cosmetology and fashion school at the Hollywood Beauty Salon in present-day Roppongi Hillsmarker, from which he graduated with outstanding results in 1984. Later that year he took a nationwide examination and successfully obtained a beautician license. In July 1985 Saver Tiger released the self-titled EP. In November, the band contributed to the Heavy Metal Force sampler series, which would also include songs by X Japan later on.

In 1986 the group changed its name to Yokosuka Saver Tiger to avoid confusion with a similarly-named band from Sapporo. Their first appearance with the new name was on the sampler Devil Must Be Driven out with Devil. They continued to perform in live houses and night clubs such as Meguro Rokumeikan, Omiya Freaks and Meguro Live Station.

X Japan (1987–1997)

Hide joined X Japan (then called X) in 1987. He became the band's lead guitarist and occasional songwriter, composing songs like "Celebration", "Joker" and the single "Scars". Shortly after the release of the album Art of Life, the members of X Japan took a break, to start solo projects. Around that time, the group also dropped most of its original visual kei aesthetics, the exception being Matsumoto, who would still perform in wildly colorful outfits and with his trademark pink hair.

Solo career (1993–1998)

In early 1993, Matsumoto was featured on the sampler Dance 2 Noise 004, with the song "Frozen Bug", which he recorded with Inoran and J of Luna Sea. He also starred in an art film titled Seth et Holth, along with Tusk of Zi:Kill. In 1994, Matsumoto oversaw the production of the first release on his own label Lemoned (founded in 1989), an EP from the band Zeppet Store. In the same year, Hide recorded and released his first solo album, Hide Your Face. In addition to songwriting, he played most of the guitars and bass on some of the tracks, and provided all lead vocals. The cover art was based on a mask designed by Swissmarker artist H. R. Giger. The album's musical style differed significantly from the speed metal anthems and power ballads of X Japan, leaning more towards alternative rock. Matsumoto then went on the Hide our Psychommunity Tour, for which the live band was hired that would later become part of his primary project, Hide with Spread Beaver.

A second album, Psyence, was released in 1996, also followed by a tour, Psyence a Go Go. After X Japan disbanded in 1997, Hide formally titled his solo project "Hide with Spread Beaver". He also formed a second band, named Zilch in 1996, which, apart from him and Spread Beaver percussionist I.N.A. was composed of Americanmarker and Britishmarker artists, such as Joey Castillo (formerly in Danzig) and Paul Raven of Killing Joke.

Personal Life

He had a younger brother named Hiroshi. As you can see in the dvd His Invincible Deluge Evidence, Hiroshi was his chauffeur until his last days. He took hide's ashes with him to throw them in Santa Monica's Bay, along with a bottle of wine.

There are also some pictures over the internet [82025][82026]that show Hide with his brother and a little child, who may be his nephew.

At an TV interview on May 1st 1998 (one day before his death), he said he had a girlfriend[82027]. Reports say that hide was with a girl at the time of the fatal incident, so she may be his girlfriend.


The grave of Hide
Hideto Matsumoto died on May 2, 1998. After a night out drinking, he was found hanged with a towel tied to a doorknob in his Tokyomarker apartment. Three fans died in copycat suicides, of the 50,000 people who attended his funeral in Tsukiji Hongan-jimarker, nearly 60 were hospitalized and about 200 received medical treatment in first aid tents. Later that month, the single "Pink Spider" was released, entering the Oricon charts at number one. The song would also receive that year's MTV Video Music Award in the category "Japan Viewers Choice". Sales were also strong for the follow up single "Ever Free", while those of a single released previous to his death "Rocket Dive" would also see a substantial increase. American Journalist Neil Strauss commented on the trend saying that: "In just a few weeks, pop culture in Japan had gone from mourning Hide's death to consuming it."

While authorities deemed Matsumoto's death a suicide, several of Hide's friends and colleagues stated that they believed it to be an accident, among them X Japan co-founder Yoshiki Hayashi and former X Japan bassist Taiji Sawada. This notion is supported by the fact that no suicide note was left and Sawada theorizes in his autobiography, that at the night of his death, Hide may have been practicing a technique to relieve upper back and neck pains which guitarists can suffer from continuous use of a shoulder strap. The technique involved was practiced by the X Japan members during their touring days and required the use of a towel and a door knob or handle. According to Sawada, Matsumoto may have fallen asleep in his intoxicated state, becoming caught and strangling himself.

Zilch bassist Paul Raven commented that Hide was "under a lot of stress", due to recording schedule for the Ja, Zoo album. He went on to question the ultimate degree of Hide's involvement in the finished record, stating that only three songs had been completed before he died. Ja, Zoo was released in November of the same year with the artist listed as not just "Hide" but as "Hide with Spread Beaver", making it the only original studio album to bear the "Hide with Spread Beaver" handle. The Zilch debut album 3.2.1. was also released and the group continued to perform and record for several years. While they never achieved mainstream success in the United Statesmarker one of their songs was included on the soundtrack for Heavy Metal 2000.

The Hide museum in Yokosuka
On May 1, 1999, a tribute album was released, titled Tribute Spirits. It features covers of Hide songs by several bands (such as Buck-Tick, Luna Sea and Oblivion Dust) and solo artists. A Hide museum opened in Yokosuka on July 20, 2000. It remained open, past its original three year plan, for five years before closing its doors on September 25, 2005.

As with many other late musicians, re-issues, compilations and previously unreleased portions of Matsumoto's work continue to be published, the most recent being several singles, re-released on May 2, 2007, the ninth anniversary of the artist's death. The remaining members of X Japan recently reunited and recorded a new song, titled "I.V.". It contains a previously unused guitar track by Hide. On July 8, 2007 Yoshiki Hayashi announced to be in talks with several musicians regarding a Hide tribute concert set for 2008, in order to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his former bandmate's passing. The Hide Memorial Summit was held on May 3 and May 4, 2008 at the Ajinomoto Stadium, where X Japan, as well as many other bands, performed. Hide's image (taken from footage of the Art of Life performance at the Tokyo Dome in 1993) played alongside X Japan during their performance of "Art of Life". This was made possible by the use of Musion Eyeliner hologram technology.


At the outset of his solo career, Hide experimented with instrumentations very different from what he usually had access to in X Japan. The song "Psychommunity", for example, has four guitar tracks and employs a full string section. As another example, his song "Blue Sky Complex" features guitars in drop C tuning, a trumpet section, and an organ.

The title track of his second album Psyence is a big band/jazz composition with full brass, other songs on the record explore genres such as reggae, industrial rock and glam rock, with varying uses of guitar effects.

Instruments and songwriting are less experimental on the Ja Zoo album, most songs featuring a fairly conventional instrumentation of two guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. Traditional piano and violins do, however, make an appearance.


Hide was rarely seen performing without a Fernandes guitar. He owned a repertoire of signature models as well as standard models. His signature models are still available for purchase today. Hide often utilized the sustainer feature that came equipped with his guitars, and is heard on many X Japan songs. Aside from guitars, the majority of amps and effects were never publicly mentioned. Hide was often seen in the early 1990s using Peavey amplifiers on stage.

Spread Beaver

Hide's live band featured the following musicians:
  • – guitar
  • Kazuhito "Kaz" Iwaike (岩池一仁 Iwaike Kazuhito) – guitar
  • Hiroshi "Chirolyn" Watanabe (渡膕弘 Watanabe Hiroshi) – bass
  • Daijiro "D.I.E." Nozawa (乃澤大二郎 Nozawa Daijiro) – keyboards
  • Satoshi "Joe" Miyawaki (宮脇知史 Miyawaki Satoshi) – drums
  • Kazuhiko "I.N.A." Inada (稲田和彦 Inada Kazuhiko) – percussion, programming

X Japan guitarist Tomoaki "Pata" Ishizuka also made several live appearances with the band.


Solo/with Spread Beaver



Live albums


With X Japan

With Zilch


  1. As seen on the Art of Life 1993.12.31 Tokyo Dome and Dahlia Tour Final 1996 video releases.
  2. As seen on the Alivest Perfect Stage video release.

External links

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