Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet, along comes Buddhist monk/YouTuber Kossan1108 with a startling cover of AC/DC‘s Thunderstruck.
Thunderstruck has become something of go-to destination for the web’s providers of unusual covers over the years, with versions being performed by a baby, on the traditional Korean instrument the gayageum, and on the stylophone. It’s been given a bluegrass makeover by a group of Finnish musicians, adapted for bagpipes, performed in the style of Bach, been given the synth-pop treatment, and upgraded to include a rather brilliant “white trash washer rhythm section“.
Now Kossan1108 has created his own version, which starts with a reasonably meditative drumbeat before bursting into life as our Buddhist pal attempts to recreate Brian Johnson’s original vocal. It climaxes with a gong just before the five-minute mark, and the remaining three minutes of the video are given over to quiet meditation. We hope you join in.
Kossan – real name Kazutaka Yamada – has kept himself busy over the last year, filming himself playing versions of songs including Queen‘s We Will Rock You, The Beatles‘ Yellow Submarine, Metallica‘s Enter Sandman and, in a clear stroke of brilliance, The Ramones‘ Teenage Lobotomy.
Kazutaka appears to be resident in Tokyo, although he formerly lived in New York City. He’d become a familiar figure in Manhattan, roller-blading through traffic to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he’d chant in the same four lines of a Buddhist prayer for hours on end.
“New York is a very quick and noisy and a crazy place,” he told the New York Times in 2007. “I think sometime people need to calm themselves down. I believe my chanting works for that.”
The same year he was interviewed by My Eyes Tokyo, and said, “When I came here, I was broke. Everything is expensive in New York so I couldn’t hang out. I hesitated to even take subways. I enjoyed nothing but practicing the sanshin [a Japanese banjo-like instrument].
“After coming here, I started to practice it almost everyday then I could play several songs in October. One day I went to Central Park to practice outside. When I was playing the sanshin on a bench, a guy gave me a dollar. I was surprised because I didn’t expect that at all. I was playing it there only because it was a nice day.”