All posts in “Don’t dream it”

The White Stripes Jack White and Me (A True Story)

(Photo at top: July 25, 2002. Left to right: George Williams, Jack White, Mike Rogers (me) and Meg White)


“Your regrets aren’t what you did but what you didn’t do. That’s why you have to take every opportunity.” – Cameron Diaz

 “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Many years ago, in my wild eyed and bushy tailed youth (was it the late eighties, or the early nineties?) I was the director and co-host of a late-night smash hit radio show in Japan called, “Channel G” on InterFM.

Channel G was a radical radio show that was modeled after the radio shows I loved as a teen. There were three shows that I can really remember that I actually would rush home to listen to (people do that to watch their favorite TV show, but for a radio show?) The three I loved were: Rodney on the Roq on KROQ in Los Angeles (he’s still on today!) The Frazier Smith show, and the The Young Marquis and Stanley also on KROQ. (Click those links to listen to Frazier and Young Marquis!)

Newspaper article about The Young Marquis and Stanley

Newspaper article about The Young Marquis and Stanley

You can hear snippets of the Young Marquis and Stanley at the link above. Here’s a youtube for Frazier Smith. Hint: You can’t believe anything this guy says. Hilarious stuff!

Anyway… I digress….

This is about a radical radio show I made in Japan called Channel G that was modeled after my favorites when I was a teen and early 20-year-old and it’s about the White Stripes (namely Jack White).

Channel G played radical new music and alternative underground sounds. As with my show today, What the Funday, I believe it is my duty to introduce brand new music and brand new artists to the unsuspecting world way before anyone else does.

To that end, we used to play a new artists that no one had ever heard of at the time. Some of those artists we played became really famous; most just faded to oblivion. One of those artists we did play that became huge, was a guy and girl duo called, “The White Stripes.” We played them constantly.

One day, by some stroke of fate, before they were even remotely famous, the “White Stripes” came to the studio and were guests on the show. They were so thankful that we were playing them and that we allowed them as guests on the show. We were happy to have them!

The White Stripes were Jack and Meg White. Some people said they were married. I thought they were brother and sister. Never was able to clear that up (not that it matters.)

Anyhow, after the radio show interview, I got the chance to talk to Jack.

While chit chatting about the rich and famous Hollywood starlets that we both hobnobbed with regularity, the conversation came to a punk band that I was the lead vocal for in the late 1970s. Jack asked me the name of the band and when I told him, his eyes grew wide and he blurted out, “I bought your record when I was 13-years-old! I love that song! I still have that record!”

I was pleased as punch. Thank god for punk rock! I’ve had several people in my life tell me that sort of thing.

He asked me why we quit playing. I told him about the band and how we were “one-hit wonders” and popular for about six months; we shot up like a rocket to quick fame in early ’79. But, as they say, what goes up must come down; we crashed to oblivion just as fast.

I told Jack of my regrets.

Let me digress again, and relate to you the story of how my band crashed and burned. I told Jack:

“Sometime in the late 1970s, several months before the Sex Pistols came to America, the Nuns – or was the the Avengers? I can’t remember… (anyway the band that opened for the Sex Pistols in San Francisco) contacted us and wanted us to open for them in a big San Francisco show. Of course the guitarist and I wanted to do it… but those two idiots (Er, I mean, the bass player and drummer) said, “Oh, we can’t play that day because we promised our friends we’d go surfing with them.”

Seriously. They said that! Morons! That was effectively the end of our band; I will never forgive those two dimwits for that.

But, I’m the biggest idiot in this scene, though. If I knew then what I know today, I would have kicked their lame asses out of the band right then and there on the spot. Then Phester (the guitarist) and I would have went to S.F. and played by ourselves. I would have stuck a bass guitar in a trash can and we’d have grabbed any drummer.

But we didn’t kick them out and we didn’t go to S.F.

Big mistake. I will always regret that.”

Like it says at the top of this article:

“Your regrets aren’t what you did but what you didn’t do. That’s why you have to take every opportunity.”

Jack White listened to my story intently. Then he said something to me that I will never forget. He said,

“Mike! It’s better to have punked and lost, then to have never punked at all.”

Is that cool, or what? Thanks Jack White! What you told me made everything that had happened finally alright.

Friends! Live without regrets!!!!!







TV quality 30 ~ 60 second video for your business? ¥70,000 ~ ¥80,000.

English? No problem!

ビ ジネスのウェブページ (フェイスブック,Youtube, Twitter、ブログ、会社のウェブページ)用テレビクオリティのビデオは(30秒)¥70,000 ~ (60秒)¥80,000 (English OK!) 

現役プロフェッショナルTVスタッフが作成いたします。もちろん、英語のビデオの制作も可!We have professional native English speakers on staff!

ROBOT55 はビジネス、商業、製品紹介動画の制作のみならず、アートや音楽の映像も創っております。ビジネス動画においてはウェブ動画時代の到来に合わせ、お求めや すい¥70,000という格安価格より承ります。ご予算に応じて皆様にご満足のいく高品質動画を制作致します。勿論インディー・バンド向けPV制作も行っ ております。よ!





At Robot55 we make video productions for businesses and services and products, but we also pride ourselves on making videos for art and music. Our starting price is ¥70,000 and we are sure we can work out something that fits your budget. Oh, and we love making band videos too!
Contact us!


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インターネットと小型ノート・パソコンの飛躍的進化のお陰で通勤とかしなくても在宅 勤務、或いはノマドスタイルで仕事が何の問題もなく出来る時代が到来しましたね。

それは体の不自由な方々に社会進出の門戸をより広く開けてくれたとも言えます。 Continue Reading…


うちの息子は子供ピアノコンクールで大変いい成績を残しており、受賞も何度かしています。とても自慢の息子ですが、大きな夢を叶える迄の道のりはまだまだ長く、これからだと思います。とはいえピアノ教師である妻と努力を重ねて既に叶えた夢も幾つかありますし、父親である私と一緒に努力して実現した夢だってあるのです。例えば一生残るプロ品質のYouTubeビデオ – そんな素敵なものを欲しがらない子供なんているでしょうか?

Continue Reading…

A Family Heirloom for ¥70,000? Create Your Child’s Performance Video That You Will be Proud of Forever!

My son has done pretty well at children’s piano competitions in Japan. He has even won a few awards! We are very proud of him. He still has a long way to go to achieve his dream, but there are a few dreams that he has already achieved; mostly by hard practice and dedication on the piano with his mom and teachers but there is also a few that he made with dad! I mean to say, what child doesn’t dream of having a professional quality video on Youtube to show and share for the rest of their lives?

I have made several videos over the years for my son as he has gotten older and it was through the production of these videos as well as the creation on the Robot55 concept, we have been able to come up with a way to make a video just like the one below for ¥70,000 ~ ¥80,000 complete (Ask about our cash discount special!) Normally, at most video production companies, things like this would run well past ¥150,000 or more. We can do it for 1/2 that price.

How do we create a family heriloom? And NO! I’m not talking about a video made by dad; I am talking about a professionally shot and edited video that is as good as anything you’ll see on regular TV! (Dad, we love you, and your videos are fun, but we are talking about the value of professional work!) In this particular case, the family rented a grand piano for practice for two hours before a big competition (¥5000 an hour to play a Steinway at Shidome – If you need more info, email us!) We arrived to video tape one under 4 minute song. Two cameras; one good performance by the child and a few others for extra shots. A quick edit and…. Wallah! A professional quality video that will make your child feel like a professional and it will be a family heirloom that will be treasured for years to come.

And, we had the final edit completed within 24 hours!

They are only children for a short time. Capture the moment.

Write to us at Robot55 and let’s talk about making one of yours and your child’s dreams come true!


NOTE TO PARENTS: After going through competitions and being a professional in TV and radio for over three decades, I can personally attest to the value of a real on-camera practice session…. And, no, I don’t mean dad with the family video cam; the kids won’t feel nervous in front of  dad like they would in front of professional video cameramen, lighting and sound people; this sort of practice (and then the subsequent viewing of the finished video by the parents and child) is invaluable for furthering the child’s skill and professionalism.

After all, aren’t they all dreaming of becoming professionals?


A Japanese Rock & Roll Ghost Story

“Don’t dream it. Be it.” – Tim Curry as ‘Dr. Frankenfurter’ from the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Last year, when I had a close call with death (please refer to: Near Death at the Hospital, Last Month! – Back in Humor, This Month!) I realized that I needed to start doing the things in my life that I have been dreaming about. So, I decided that I had to get my talented friends together and make a short feature film. I think there is a chance for us to build a Rock & Roll Cult movement that is famous around the world between now and the 2020 Olympics.

I want to be in the center of that movement. The movement involves Japanese culture, past and present, rock and roll music and animation.

To make things easier to grasp, I think it might be good to tell you, dear reader, the 4 key words (images) that I always want to keep in mind for all the films and projects we make: 1) 1950s Science Fiction, 2) Rock and Roll, 3) Horror/Ghost movies, 4) Tarantino.

I think if I can keep my mind, and my staff’s mind, on these images, then we will succeed in making the kinds of things that will be perfect to put 2015 ~ 2020 Tokyo into the minds of the fans of cult films and music… Because the Olympics and big money cash-ins amongst the politically well connected ARE NOT what we, nor Japanese people are about… At least I hope so.

Our story is about a struggling Rock and Roll musician who finds the tortured spirit of an old blues musician living in his studio. At night, when they are all alone, the two together make music that is unworldly in its brilliance, yet no one can hear it except the struggling rocker and the dead blues musician. It doesn’t have a happy ending… Or does it?

I wanted to make this movie on the level of quality of something like Quentin Tarrantino makes. Yes. Laugh now, if you wish; it is a ridiculous goal for us. Ridiculous or not, that is the heights we aim for.

To be the director of the movie, I asked Enrico Ciccu who has written and directed for some very fine cult movie productions in Italy. He has agreed to direct. Enrico is a difficult person to work with; but that’s the way I like it. Great artists are never easy people to deal with. Enrico wrote the screenplay and had a large hand in the making for this short film which was accepted at the Sapporo Film Festival: “Julie – Johnny Guitar.”

I think “Julie – Johnny Guitar” captures the essence of what we want to accomplish in the Rock & Roll Ghost Story: A Tarantino style full of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.

In any quality film, not only is the director a critical issue, but lighting is also something that makes or breaks the visuals – and therefore the suspension of disbelief – in a film. For the lighting of our movie, I recruited a guy who has been a good friend for nearly twenty years. He was my next door neighbor for ten years and he is now my lighting director. His name is Yuji Wada…

Oh, yeah, I guess I should also mention that Yuji Wada was the lighting director for many Sophie Coppola films, one of my favorites was the Hollywood smash hit, Lost in Translation starring Bill Murray.

lost inThe lighting in this scene is the feel of what I want. Yuji is the perfect guy for that. Need proof? Here, below, is a shot from our session on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. This is EXACTLY what I wanted.

ghost & pan

For our cameraman, I asked Ken Nishikawa who is a former BBC staff as well as director at TBS. Ken has worked on TV and film productions for just about every major TV station in Japan. He is a superb cameraman and brilliant artist. He also wrote the screenplay and is directing production for another Robot55 production entitled: Matsuchiyo – Life of a Geisha, which we will be going into serious production this spring. Here is the short trailer for that:

Finally, to put it all together, I needed actors who can actually perform and have a strong Rock and Roll image. Who better than one of Japan’s best rock and roll bands, “The Neatbeats”? Mr. Pan, lead singer of the Neatbeats, will play the part of our struggling musician. He is the hero, and failure, of our movie. He is the guy sitting on the right of the sofa in the photo above. The guy is just overflowing with Rock and Roll. He’s perfect!

Besides Mr. Pan, we also have several other famous Japanese rock stars acting in our movie. I am also in one scene acting as a guy who is drunk and almost dead from boredom. Here is that scene that was shot night before last on Jan. 26, 2015:

012615 camera set up

Robot55 movie shoot. On stage is the Privates. Table in front is Furukawa Taro and Tomomi Hiraiwa. Table behind (guy sleeping) is me, Mike Rogers (Brilliant acting, right?) Camera (far right) Enrico Ciccu (Director). Photo by Arai Osamu.

The editing for this film starts next week. As we progress, we will post updates. I may be acting dead in this photo, but I am going to die a happy man when this production is finished and it is world-quality and as good as anything Hollywood makes. It is one thing, a first of many, that all of us; Ken Nishikawa, Enrico Ciccu and me, have dreamt about all our lives.

Like the good doctor, said, “Don’t dream it. Be it.”

shoot 4 guys

Photo from the set of “A Japanese Rock & Roll Ghost Story” Left to right: Mike Rogers (sitting in front), Enrico Enrico Wtmm Ciccu (standing), Ken Nishikawa (kneeling in middle), Mr. Pan (sitting on sofa laughing). (photo by Osamu Arai)


There is also a boom of English language videos and productions coming to Japan and Robot55 aims to be a key player in making viral videos for the foreign market that comes to Japan. Why not? We have people who live and work professionally in this market in TV and video production as well as guys who have made many commercials and smash hit (and cult) TV and radio shows.

I am confident that there is no other company in Japan who can touch us for that market; making viral videos in English for the foreigners coming to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. There is a cult and cutlure boom coming to Japan in the next 5 years.