LOUDNESS: 'Last Memorial Birthday' To Honor Late Drummer MUNETAKA HIGUCHI

A "Last Memorial Birthday" in honor of late LOUDNESS drummer Munetaka Higuchi will be held on December 24 at Aoyama Sougisho in Tokyo, Japan. The surviving members of LOUDNESS will attend the event, which will coincide with what would have been Munetaka's 50th birthday.

For more information (in Japanese), visit the band's official web site.

Higuchi passed away on November 30 following a seven-month battle with liver cancer.

After Higuchi was diagnosed with liver cancer in April, the band put its activities on hold while the drummer underwent treatment. In October, the band's official web site reported that his condition had worsened, even after more than half of his liver was removed.

Higuchi was also the drummer of the rock band LAZY, going by the nickname of Davy, according to Tokyograph. The group disbanded in 1981 and Higuchi co-founded LOUDNESS the same year. LAZY reunited in 1998. Higuchi was also active as a producer, handling artists such as Mari Hamada.

LOUDNESS utilized a session drummer — Kozo Suganuma, a member of one of the most popular fusion bands in Japan, FRAGILE, and a former member of DED CHAPLIN (featuring LOUDNESS singer Minoru Niihara) — for its "special guest" appearance at MÖTLEY CRÜE's October 26, 2008 concert at Saitama Super Arena.

LOUDNESS recently released a four-disc DVD set entitled "The Legend Of Loudness - Live Complete Best" in Japan through Tokuma Communications. It features footage spanning the band's entire career — from the early 1980s through 2008 — including the periods when it was fronted by Michael Vescera (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, OBSESSION) and Masaki Yamada (EZO).

Japanese TV report on Munetaka Higuchi's passing:

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