Singled Out: Tokyo Rosenthal
The news has been full of stories of economic hardships, here and abroad, unfortunately for years now. Some are simpler then others, such as those simply losing their jobs, and others include a wide range of issues that not only encompass what has been caused by financial depression but issues that would and do exist even if the monetary climate was mild and stable. One such story caught my attention and led to the writing, recording and conceptual video of "What Did I Used To Be?", which is included on my latest album, "Tokyo's Fifth".
A Michigan native, who had been working on the assembly line his whole life was laid off, essentially fired. As the perfect storm of his demise unfolded, he found his home worth less then the mortgage balance and no way to continue payments regardless. As he lost his home the reality that he couldn't afford the exorbitant gas prices for his car hit him square in the face. Driving to search for a job in an area with poor mass transit became difficult. It also seemed that not only had his own job become obsolete along with the product he produced, but other possible employment from this area had been outsourced to the Philippines. Local retail had been outsourced onto the Internet as stores closed down around him. Credit was no longer available to him as his credit cards were shut off when he maxed out his line. Locally chaos ensued and it was every man for himself, not a friend to be found. He was told to reinvent himself. But he didn't possess those skills and he grew desperate. He began to wonder what he ever was and did he ever really exist. Finally, "He stared at his gun, asking himself, could this be the end?" He pulled the trigger, missed and survived to tell the tale and inspire my song and video.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!