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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Promised my 11 year old son to take him snorkeling to Hanauma Bay when back from my European exile.
Found a cheap double deal that will dump us at the Ohana Waikiki Village. Am thinking to also save money on car rental and just take the bus to Hanauma Bay.
QUESTIONS: Gecko! You out there? Or does anybody have his contact info? Wanna get together!
And where else can one find good snorkeling (not diving!) in the Waikiki vicinity?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2003-07-28 09:36 ]

Sven and Diego. Try Sans Souci (sp?) in front of the New Otani. Last cluster of hotels before you go to Diamond Head. A lot closer than Hananuma(sp)Bay. If you go around the old Olympic pool, watch out for my friend the Eel! He hangs out in the depths of Walls! Must be 8' by now!! (it ate my camera 8 years ago when he was a foot!!!)Have fun!!!

Thanks for the tip Ben. Got Gecko's number from Weird Unc, much Mahalos for that too.
C ya when I get back.

GECKO posted on Tue, Jul 29, 2003 3:09 PM

Hey howzit braddah Big,

give me da ring when you get on da islands ya. I could go fo suck'um upz at LaMariana. I got a good spot to snorkle near da north shore fo free. We can hook up when you get here. Look towards talking tiki wit cha. Da first spotted geckos are on me. let me know if you need a ride to da hotel.


Well that was nice! Went snorkeling almost everyday, and thanks to gracious host Gecko discovered Sharks Cove, a really nice local spot on the North Shore.

Met my friend DeSoto Brown at the Bishop Museum where he is the archivist and where he contributed to the current Ku exhibit with a little display of Ku Tiki mugs and such, an important step in the acceptance of Tiki culture.

DeSoto was the first to publish a book on Hawaiiana with his 1982 "Hawaii Recalls", and he has since published and contributed to numerous publications, his last being "The Art of The Aloha Shirt" and the last two chapters to "Finding Paradise".

Went to TIKI'S Bar and Grill and met Kelly the Tiki enthusiast owner, who as the first Tiki collector had the foresight to buy and hang up a Shag copy, the Jungle Cruise one, by some little kid, very funny. Otherwise the place is done really well for a nouveaux Tiki joint, lots of Tikis by Leroy, some Bosko and Crazy Al, lots of Shag prints and contempo Tiki art.

The evening at La Mariana's was full of great singers and musicians, and I had about 5 different alcoholic concoctions, but for some reason not me but the guy on the table next to ours threw up all over the table.

Got to show Gecko the Hula Hut, last remaining unaltered Spencecliff venue (from 1970), but this was just peanuts to what he got to show me!:

Sunday we went to an afternoon dance for old folks at some bland 80s club called the "Blue Tropic", where several musician veterans were guesting in the band...there Gecko introduced me to no other than Martin Denny, and I saw him perform "Quiet Village" on stage.

To top that, we were invited to his condo in Hawaii Kai on Tuesday afternoon, where we got to look at his photo albums and listen to stories. I was so honored and moved by this opportunity, since Mr. Denny is 92 years old and is not going to be around forever.

Thanks Gecko, your ticket to a personal LA Tiki Tour is waiting here for you.

GECKO posted on Fri, Aug 8, 2003 4:33 PM

no worries! I had a great time showing ya da sites as well as learning a few new ones. I'll be looking towards that LA tiki tour next time I'm there.

I'm glad Martin Denny thought your book was awesome!! It was cool watching him say "Ya, thats the Luau in Beverly Hills, I've been there too" I have a pic of the both of you looking in the BOT that I'll try and post tonight maybe. The funny pic of the album he signed in your name to when it was saposed to be mine.

I'm glad I got to introduce you to Martin! It was cool to here you both talk about the mainland establishments that were once open.

BIG MAHALOZ for introducing me to Kelly the outgoing owner of the Tiki's Bar & Grill. He called me a yesterday and told me he likes my work and has a big job for me. So I'm meeting him at LaMariana monday evening to discuss how many tiki's, lamps and little tiki bars for the host....MAHALO SVEN!

eh tanks fo da phone call fo da heads up. I haven't been on TC fo eva! bizzy bizzy! Aloha everyone!

shootz Cuz


GECKO posted on Fri, Aug 8, 2003 7:36 PM

Here's 2 of the reasons why many of us here are hooked on this. Braddah Sven on da left "da high priest on writing tiki culture" and Martin Denny on da right "da high priest of exotica"

heres a great collectible one day fo'da next tiki generation and present...me
It's a Quite Village LP signed by Martin to Sven by mistake so, Sven cleared it up for me. Thanks Big Bro.


That's almost too damned much...two of my favorite celebrities in one spot! (even if Sven hates me for my political beliefs) ...actually three, but braddah Gecko was out of the frame...

Now now now, BK, I don't hate, I just don't understand...how this could happen...you know I wrote the book because I APPRECIATE America's charming naivitee towards other cultures...but that was 50 years ago...

Anyway, enough of that, your talents as Polynesian Pop hunter and collector (AND carver) are above (or besides) any political orientation, so no worries, looking forward to meeting you some day (in Chicago?)

GECKO posted on Sat, Aug 9, 2003 7:50 PM

Hey Bigbro, check your private message thing. I miss placed your email address.

Seeing that picture almost made me cry, well I had tears in my eyes. That meeting needed to happen. Only wish I was a fly on the wall.

Hey BigBro,
I dig your Primo beer aloha shirt. That's the same color as the one my grandfather bought me when I was in sixth grade. Good choice for your encounter with the high priest of exotica.


holy cow Sven

martin...sitting and listening to martin in person...DUDE!

thanks for posting you guys...this is a rad thread indeed! i hope you had a blast in Hawaii...wish i could take my little girl and hit the islands for a spell of dizzying beauty myself!

counting the days until the Tiki Ti is open again...these hundred degree days just drag ass...we'll have to get together some day soon Sven...maybe i can coax you into cruising over to our new place and mixing up some serious mai tais while i burn the fish on our lovely patio grill???


You know where I got that Primo shirt? At the coolest place for shirts in Honululu:
At SEARS (in the Ala Moana mall).

They have reprinted it in ALL the colors (and sizes), even the curry colored one. I saw it there four years ago and passed because I had gotten so much other stuff, so I was glad to still find it being manufactured.

ALSO they still had those great "Iolani Executive" baby blue and white (or caramel) lounge shirts with the lace inserts (100% Polyester!), and the three quarter sleeve shirts from "BeauTiki", exact replicas of the originals.

Otherwise I was quite dissapointed with the development of Aloha shirt culture in Waikiki.
Granted, there are a few stores that have those vintage silk shirt reprints, with beautiful classic patterns, but for my taste they are too "nostalgic", 40s and early 50s style. I like the more modern abstract 60s and even 70s patterns, preferrably with Tikis.
But there were no Tiki shirts found to be anywhere (xept one or two bad noveaux Tiki mug mixed shirts), just tons and tons of generic mediocre prints in the tourist stores, while the "hipper" stores/labels like Quicksilver and LocalMotion (who a while ago came up with a cool design here and there) had gone the muted palette route, a la Tommy Bahama (Yuck), with these monochrome grey/navy green colors, which to me is NOT what an Aloha shirt should be like, it has to be loud and saturated in color.

And there seems to be a loss of knowledge of cutural sources with the pattern designers, very little, and if so, bad, interpretations of the old Tapa and other Polynesian patterns, as if no one knows to look at Oceanic Art books anymore...

On 2003-08-11 11:52, bigbrotiki wrote:

You know where I got that Primo shirt? At the coolest place for shirts in Honululu:
At SEARS (in the Ala Moana mall).

ALSO they still had those great "Iolani Executive" baby blue and white (or caramel) lounge shirts with the lace inserts (100% Polyester!), and the three quarter sleeve shirts from "BeauTiki", exact replicas of the originals.

Yeah, Big Bro, you are so right! I have a cool old avacado, turquoise & white barkcloth shirt that has a "Sears Styled in Hawaii" on the label. I used to be embarrassed that my dad worked for Sears in the tower in Chicago, but not anymore... besides he was a buyer for all those swanky 60's style lamps that we covet now. I am having a hard time convincing my dad that the pole lamp in not "the ultimate in bad taste!"

I picked up one of those powder blue Iolani Beau Tiki "wedding" shirts the other day at the D.A.V. for $5.00. It is in excellent shape, so I wonder if it is newer, instead of vintage.

Suicide Sam had on one of the Iolani caramel Executive Lounge shirts at the International Tiki Day Party at Bax's. Very Hip. You were missed.

I spoke with Don Ho after the show on Sunday in S.J.C. He said it was a real good time and it was good to see all the young people out there enjoying the Hawaiian/Polynesian style music. (That was before he slipped me the tounge...NOT!)
-Pearly Shells

[ Edited by: Alnshely on 2003-08-11 12:51 ]


It is our duty to revive the spirit of the loudest, most obnoxious Aloha prints we can conceive!

We all have missed you! I'm sure you've had a great time with N and DH on ITD (and of course with the little savage in da island.)


PS: I need a 'world famous' Mai Tai!

On 2003-08-11 15:18, Atomic Cocktail wrote:

It is our duty to revive the spirit of the loudest, most obnoxious Aloha prints we can conceive!


We all have missed you! I'm sure you've had a great time with N


and DH

NOT as much as expected...we both actually regretted not having gone to Baxdog's, arrrgh!

(and of course with the little savage in da island.)

...what does this allude to? Is this another euphemism for "little man in the boat"?


PS: I need a 'world famous' Mai Tai!

Come on over! I have a fabric I want you to transform into a garment....!

That's funny you bought it at Sears in Ala Moana because that's where my grandparents took me to get mine.
When friends or relatives would come from the mainland, we would always take them to Sears to buy Mu-Mus and Aloha shirts. They had the best selection at a good price. No lie.
How odd that Don and Vic have left the International Marketplace, but you can still have an authentic tiki experience by shopping for aloha wear at Sears.

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