After 18 years of playing Sixties tinged rock ’n’ roll together, the 188.8.131.52’s, a Tokyo-based girl group, are enjoying their 15 minutes of all-American fame. The band landed their big break when Quentin Tarantino heard their album playing in a trendy Tokyo boutique, tracked the girls down and invited them to perform during a nightclub scene in his new kung-fu flick, “Kill Bill.”
“We’re a fun, happy and party- loving girls rock ’n’ roll band,” the trio explains via e-mail. They’re into Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Link Wray, Sixties surf and Seventies-era punk. And they’re crazy about Chuck Berry. “We would like to meet Chuck Berry,” they write. “We danced next to him at his concert.”
On the set in Beijing, and dressed in their own sparkling shift dresses à la the Shirelles, Saki Horio, Yoshiko Fujii and Sachiko Fujii gave it their best, playing their popular number “Woo Hoo.” The song was originally recorded by the Rock-a-Teens in 1960 and is included on the film’s soundtrack. The lyrics translate into any language — “woo hoo, woo hoo” — though somehow the girls manage to sound more like yodeling Swiss misses than Japanese rockers.
“We had a great time in Beijing,” they write. “We had no idea what was going on, but it was pretty cool watching the other scenes being shot, especially the fight scenes.”