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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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W

Much like monkeys, nautical decor, flamingos, and parrots the big boobed bleach blond bimbo has been a fixture of Tiki bars since Trader Vic first stuck one in a cage and hoisted her over the Seattle Outrigger bar. But are they really Tiki? Consider the following photos of Sabu The Coconut Boy's sister, Sabina the Melon Girl which were taken for a Lands End catalog:

Probably anyone who sees these feels a definite Tiki vibe of some sort, Sabina the Melon Girl definitely brings to mind fantasies of tropical shores and exotic culture.

But still, is a big boobed bleach blond bimbo like Sabina the Melon Girl truly Tiki?

Trader Vic, who introduced the big boobed bleach blond bimbo to the Tiki bar, said in a 1962 interview on the All About Town With Herman Harrymore radio show:

"Well hell no you won't see a gal like Caroline Lewis naturally occurring on some tropical island. But she has a qualities most guys like seeing in an exotic bar. Qualities like giant coconuts, legs that won't quit, and she's easy to talk to because she doesn't know all that much."*

This seems to be strong evidence that the big boobed bleach blond bimbo isn't really all that Tiki. Yet big boobed bleach blond bimbos became such a Tiki bar fixture it's almost impossible to imagine a true Tiki bar without at least one big boobed bleach blond bimbo in cage or lying on the bar or sitting on the juke box.

What does everyone else think?

*Caroline Lewis was Vic's first Girl in the Cage

B

On 2010-08-15 19:58, woofmutt wrote:

What does everyone else think?

Sabu is prettier

S

As long as there's boobs it's all good by me.

On 2010-08-15 20:43, swizzle wrote:
As long as there's boobs it's all good by me.

Really?

J

Woofmutt brings up a very good point which also has been on my mind as of late. This is a serious topic worthy of the general forum.

I think the more compelling question is: What the heck does classic Tiki-style have to do with burlesque (or non-Exotica cheesecake) ?

Is this Tiki Revival revisionism or can someone make an articulate case for this?

too many cars and burlesque girls
not enough Tiki around here.
don't they have their own scene?
:lol:

I'm going to break the Bilge rules and give a John-O a serious answer. Why am I breaking the rules? Because this is Bilge dammit and I can do what I want!

In short, Classic Tiki Style has very little to with Burlesque. It is for the most part, a Tiki Revival assimilation. Same with Hot Rod Culture, Shriners, Surf Culture, Mid-Century Modernism & Rockabilly. In my opinion, I think these flavors of nostalgia taste great together which is why you find EVIDENCE that they overlapped in the past occasionally too, but they were by no means bound together to the extent they are in today's Tiki Revival movement.

For example, if you look at a 1960s guide to night-life in San Francisco, you will find a veritible City of Sin where you could indeed go see burlesque dancers at the tiki-themed Hawaiian Room. However, you could also go see burlesque dancers and strippers at about half a dozen other clubs with other themes, such as the Chinese-themed Forbidden City. Same with the lunch-time lingerie model shows at Tiki Bob's and The Hawaiian in Long Beach. They weren't confined to tiki bars.

I think a trap we can also fall into is confusing Sven's term "Classic Tiki Style" with "Classic Tiki Lifestyle" or "Classic Tiki Culture", which as far as I know from all my research, never existed. There were no clubs of people in the 60s who shared a taste for Tiki architecture. There were no pilgrimages from various cities to meet at the Mai Kai because they were all rum-cocktail afficionados. A Kiwanis Club might have their meeting at the Tahitian Inn one month, but then have it at an atomic-themed bowling alley the next month. A Hot-Rod club might meet at Kelbos for ribs one week and at Pinks for hot dogs the next. If they were living a "Tiki Lifestyle", they wouldn't have known it and there were definitely no rules about it. "Tiki" was just one more fad among many where you could invest a little esapism-time.

So when you ask if Burlesque-in-Tiki is Tiki-Revisionism, you have to ask yourself, are you talking "Tiki Style" or "Tiki Culture"? If you are talking about "Tiki Culture", well it never really existed back then, so the whole Tiki Revival movement of today is essentially revisionism - or maybe more an "inventing" of a lifestle based on a really cool "piece" of 60s culture, ie "Tiki". The same person who went to a Tiki Bar one week might well be the same type of person who went to a Burlesque club the next week and a Shriner meeting the week after that. So a case might indeed be made that Burlesque fits right in to the "Tiki Lifestyle" and there's nothing revisionist about it.

However if you're talking "Classic Tiki Style", ie the historic, cohesive architectural/musical/decorative "style" and asking if Burlesque dancers were a key component of this style, then I would say No. This is indeed revisionism. I would say that the Hawaiian Floor Show with Hula Dancers is definitely part of Tiki Style, but not Burlesque dancers. They were not that common in Tiki Restaurants & bars.

But personally, it doesn't bother me that Burlesque has become part of the current Tiki Revival. To me it's one of the cool pieces of retro-nostalgia that mix well right now. It's more or less from the same era (unlike Jimmy Buffett), and we've taken a lot of the illicit sting out of it, (in my parents' day, good Christians didn't go to tiki bars OR burlesque shows). As long as we're choosing the coolest parts of 60s culture and they ADD to the enjoyment of Tiki as opposed to watering it down, then I'm ready to embrace it.

Similar movements have happened in the past. In the 1950s there was a flowering of "Antique Car Culture". Folks nostalgic for the innocent times of the turn-of-the-century latched on to the Horseless Carriage as a touchstone of this bygone era in much the same way we latched on to Tiki as our touchstone for the 60s. Large clubs of antique car enthusiasts were founded and they would drive their vintage Model-Ts, Packards, etc. en-masse on cross-country trips, visiting historic towns, having picnics where they'd dress in vintage clothes and eat classic American food, going to 1900s-style dances, driving in Founder's Day parades. Disneyland even had a day set aside each year for the antique car clubs where they could drive down Main Street, all in full costume of course. There were magazines devoted to the movement with memberships larger than Tiki Magazine. In them you could read re-caps to events very similar to Tiki Oasis, but taking place in historic town squares where you would listen to barbershop quartets and brass bands playing Souza instead of Surf and Exotica. And this movement wasn't restricted to just the men who restored these cars - it was embraced by women and children too. Costuming, cooking, music and dancing were just as important as mechanics to the lifestyle.

The Antique Car was the touchstone that pulled these nostalgists together, but the movement wasn't restricted or solely focused on the automobile. It revived many of the best parts of turn-of-the-century culture, and the Antique Car was used to weave them together. In the same way, I see the Tiki Bar and the Tiki Restaurant as a lynchpin and a venue that brings many kinds of 50s and 60s revivalists together. I see that as a good thing.

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-08-16 18:17 ]

W

Shuddup and show us yer sister!

Woofmutt - I forgot what you told me last time I asked you. Is Incest a sin or a pastime?

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-08-16 17:58 ]

J

It's interesting which late 50's early 60's sub-cultures complement the current Tiki Revival "life-style". Surf music, hot rods, rockabilly, burlesque all seem to apply.

What about the Beats ?? They originated about the same time that classic Tiki-style did. Let's start a "Tiki culture" sub-culture and call it the Tiki Beats. Rather than fezes we can wear berets, and have Tiki poetry/bongo recitals and perform Tiki modern dance numbers. Enough Tikiphiles have already usurped the goatee thing so we're almost there.

:D

[ Edited by: JOHN-O 2010-08-16 17:04 ]

I put these two hats on the wall at Frankie's cause the owner liked them.

glad they have a use...

On 2010-08-16 17:02, JOHN-O wrote:
It's interesting which late 50's early 60's sub-cultures complement the current Tiki Revival "life-style". Surf music, hot rods, rockabilly, burlesque all seem to apply.

What about the Beats ?? They originated about the same time that classic Tiki-style did. Let's start a "Tiki culture" sub-culture and call it the Tiki Beats. Rather than fezes we can wear berets, and have Tiki poetry/bongo recitals and perform Tiki modern dance numbers. Enough Tikiphiles have already usurped the goatee thing so we're almost there.

:D

I think if you asked Derek Yaniger, he would say the Beats definitely mix well with Tikis.

J

BTW, excellent post Sabu !!

Now I just have to decide whether I want a style or a life-style.

I think alcoholic style sounds better that alcoholic life-style.

TM

Sabu, your post should be required reading around here. As good of an explanation between classic and modern tiki as I have ever read. Though I like certain elememts of Tiki culture, my heart will always be more with classic tiki style.

J

That's why I reposted his argument under the General Forum. Does that kind of cross-posting break TC protocol?

Sue me. :D

S

That was absolutely perfectly put there Sabu.

Ben, I saw that picture several times and didn't notice the hats. I did, however, notice the paper umbrellas :lol:

Oh, great post Sabu...you see John-O - there IS a way to write a lot in a post and actually make it enjoyable for people to read, instead of making them want to cut your typing fingers off.

*"...You see John-O - there IS a way to write a lot in a post and actually make it enjoyable for people to read, instead of making them want to cut your typing fingers off. *

Huh?

"...I reposted his argument under the General Forum. Does that kind of cross-posting break TC protocol? Sue me."

As I understand the laws and regulations of Tiki Central***** it doesn't break any protocol as you're starting a new thread derived from an off topic thread that developed in another thread.

I would suggest that anyone who has an off topic query or pondering that was sparked by a thread always voice those thoughts in a new thread in the first place.

Why?

Because of what happened right here. This thread was mainly to celebrate how proud Sabu the Coconut Boy's family is about the recent success of their only daughter Sabina the Melon Girl. So we're all marveling at Sabina the Melon Girl's many skills and her asset when up pops a pondering that really wasn't bilge material. It should have been up on deck with all the first class topics, not down here in steerage with a thread like this.

Simple way to begin a useful new thread inspired by another thread:

"While reading the discussion on Trader Vic's irregularity in the Was the Mai Tai Originally Made With Prune Juice??? thread I thought about the prune danish they used to serve at the Sunday brunch at Haole Joe's Aloha Hole in Los Feliz. I had heard that the prune danish were baked at the Tropical Flours bakery and..."

That way info is searchable, Tiki Central is more useful, and time wasting threads with pictures of big boobed bleach blond bimbos (sorry Sabu) tweaking the "nipples" of a couple straw hats can remain devoid of useful content.

*****Which I was just going over while preparing to sue you.

J

On 2010-08-16 22:38, kick_the_reverb wrote:

...you see John-O - there IS a way to write a lot in a post and actually make it enjoyable for people to read, instead of making them want to cut your typing fingers off.

Hey... I use those same fingers to pick up my cocktail glass. Like last week at Smuggler's Cove.

It's all cool...

is Humu pregnant?

she looks a lil' fuller...

Are John-O and Humu an item or just happy to see each other? Inquiring minds want to know :wink:

J

Or just both really drunk....

:D

Or jus plain ol happy people and photogenically correct. (pc)

HJ

The nice lady on the previous page is attractive but way too classy for this writer.

"Are Big Boobed Bleach Blond Bimbos Tiki?"

In this opinion, no, but brunettes with "equipment" are "made to be Tiki," they only need accessorizing.

[ Edited by: Haole Jim 2010-10-07 20:36 ]

T

Well depends, .....maybe on how many times you've been around the block....? Jennie Lee 1955 or maybe you're trying at home... 11307x4c9e5dc8 but then again....sometimes definitely...! 0674b8333303ddf0ce808a36cd573d3b

Yes. Next question.

For some reason THIS causes some trepidation... 976x4c689a4f[7273]

and no matter how "in theme" those busty blondes may be kitted out... bluehawaiTEXTEDi

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