Steve's Childhood Memories and More

Interviews with the band and ex-members

Steve's Childhood Memories and More

Postby heartofdavid on Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:42 pm

From an article in “Viva Rock” by Seiichi Hoshiko, 1985. The translation was provided by a fan named Masumi and printed in Bamboo 8 (Japan fanzine, this issue from early 1986) – some awkward phrasing probably due to the translation.

I've seen a couple of other articles of this type, done from Steve's point-of-view. They all mention pretty much the same things, in more or less detail. Any comments in parentheses are mine.

Childhood Memories of Steve Jansen

When I think of memories with my brother David, I remember well our summer holidays. We were on good terms and played together. I hardly remember playing with my sister because she is much older than I am. But I played with David; mischief, adventures and everything every child wants to do.

But when I was 12 or 13 years old, the world seemed so different to me. I hardly remember what I did at the end of my school days. I asked my mother about that but she said she didn’t remember because I had been touring once I left school.

I was always with David, playing in the street, riding bicycles, playing musical instruments and so on. I think of David as my friend. Compared with him, I think I was a sociable child. David was quiet and shy. I liked to make others laugh.

I don’t remember wetting my bed. (I assume this in response to a question, lol.)

I was very timid when I was a small child. When I was 4 I started going to school. My mother used to take me there every morning. When I realised she was going home and leaving me, I cried and followed her. I stopped crying as soon as she said, “I’ll tell dad!” David had no problem going to school. We didn’t go to school together because we took different classes. I think he gets along with my mother better than I do, and I do with my father than he does. Our parents are a very happy couple. I’ve never seen them argue.

David and I sometimes skipped school pretending to be ill. We rubbed and rubbed our eyes and pretended to have hay fever. We didn’t like school at all.

We enjoyed watching TV and we collected models of spaceships – these were our treasures.

I was not good at playing sports but I wanted to be a member of a football team at our school. When I was 7 or 8 at last I was able to be a member of the team. My father was very pleased to hear it and came to see me playing one Saturday morning. But our team lost, the score was 11 to 0. I stopped playing football then.

David and I played fencing for a while. It was a very interesting sport.

When I was 13 or 14 I took tennis lessons only because the students involved were allowed to play in the park without a teacher supervising. I didn’t play tennis at all, I would just chat with some friends. And I can say the same thing about swimming. I tended to skip lessons pretending to be ill. I can swim a little in the sea but I can’t in a pool. I wish now I’d taken those lessons.

David and I used to go places riding our bicycles. One day we went to a garden where I strange man lived. We found a lot of rubbish in an old shed. David tried to touch something from the outside through a broken window. He cut his arm and had to have 16 stitches.

David and I sometimes fought. I didn’t like to fight. When we did, our mother whipped us. But that was better for us because my father was really terrible. When we did something that made him angry, we would hide in our room. We would hear his footsteps coming towards our room and were very scared. When I was hit, of course I cried and got angry with my parents. The reason I fought with David was…”This is mine!”…”Your piece of cake is bigger than mine!” It was because of silly jealousies.

I was good at English, Maths and Drawing. I was poor at French and Geography.

When I was 12 and David was 14, we became interested in music. So we saved and bought some records and they were very precious to us. We made a rule not to buy the same records; we shared them. Then we wanted to play musical instruments. Since that time I’ve thought seriously about music. In 1973 we formed the band and practiced. At first we had a difficult time finding places to play (practice). So for the first 6 months we played in our house and for the next 6 months in Mick’s house. We played for 2 hours every day. It was very noisy and my sister got angry, especially with the sound of the drums. After that, we practiced on the third floor of Mick’s father’s butcher shop.

I got my drums when I was 13. My parents bought me second-hand ones. I was very pleased when I got them; they were delivered at night and I sat in front of them smiling until morning. Before that, David and I played guitars, but we needed rhythm to compose. I stopped the guitar when I got the drums.

My first love was when I was 15. The first sexual experience was very thrilling. I liked the process. Of course I did everything that every lover does.

When I was younger I didn’t have an ideal type of woman. David and I have different tastes in women. He and his girlfriend Yuka are well matched. They want the same things in life – I think that’s nice.

David is serious – he usually takes things seriously. Sometimes I think he is too nervous but there’s no need to worry.

David and I are very like each other essentially. So it’s hard to find the differences between us. When we talk with other ex-members of Japan, we realize that only David and I talk about all the same things. That’s funny.

I played on David’s new album (would be referring to Gone To Earth), not as his brother but as a musician playing his own part. Of course I played the drums so that my brother would like them. I sometimes have different ideas for his songs than he does but I make it a rule not to play differently than what he needs.

David and I meet about 12 times year and chat about each other’s present situations and serious things. We are like friends.
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Postby ellyn sylvian on Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:45 am

Wonderful article. Shows a great brother bonding thing.
(Pity I don't have that with my sister :( )
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Postby Steerpike on Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:42 am

Thanks, as always Heart of David. I always enjoy seeing these "old" articles, especially any interviews with Steve as there were never that many around and I'd no pals who could translate the Japanese magazines for me. :D
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Postby krausy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:54 pm

very cool article---thanks for sharing.

Some of the comments he made are hilarious. I sometimes can't imagine them being normal kids, but they were. I guess we all go through that stuff. Continents may separate us, but we are all basically the same.
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Postby godisinthesilences on Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:47 am

wow that really is a great article. Very detailed about their relationship as children. Steve definitely seems more relaxed than david. I think I can very much relate to david's "nervous" behaviour. I think it may be a pisces thing... or a pisces thing combined with the whole art thing plus the not fitting in. Not really sure....
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Postby New Romantik on Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:23 am

Aww...how sweet! I love childhood stories! :D
Sex at 15? I'm jealous. Talk about adolescent sex!!!
That's he and Robert Smith alike...same age.
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Postby Cheery Cherry on Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:22 pm

Thank you so much, HeartOfDavid, for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it. I didn't know much of anything about David, Steve, Rich, Mick and even Rob, until I found this board. It's sooo awesomely cool.
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Postby BeehiveSecrets on Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:46 pm

David and I sometimes skipped school pretending to be ill. We rubbed and rubbed our eyes and pretended to have hay fever. We didn’t like school at all.

awww *squeezes steve* such a cutie
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