Tuesday, May 08, 2007

297 days and counting

It's set, Saturday March 1, 2008, the 70's Nightclub Reunion IV. Okay, before we get to far into the future the 70's Nightclub Reunion III at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Room and the Garden Lanai, the bands on hand and the baby boomers in attendance proved to be a winning combination on Saturday May 5, 2007. The smaller room made for a fuller sound from the bands and gave those in attendance that cozy nightclub ambience we all experienced during the 70's. Some missed the spaciousness of the Ilikai Hotel but the general consensus was that the Ala Moana Hotel was real cool. The dance floor was packed song after song, the drinks flowed smoothly and all the nachos were gone by the end of the evening. All in all close to a thousand experienced the 70's Nighclub scene again. Now that's pretty cool!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The 70's Nightclub Reunion III

Number III finally took place at its new home at the Hibiscus Ballroom in the Ala Moana Hotel. Given the fact that the Hibiscus Room is about 40% smaller than the Ilikai Pacific Ballroom, Candy and staff did an amazing job to make use of every inch of space available to accomodate the large number of baby boomers who come once again came out of the closets to shake off the cobwebs to just "get down" and have a good time. Official doorman Irwin Santos estimated that there were about a thousand peeps jammed in SRO fashion last night, and by the looks of the always crowded dance floor and people sitting that is probably a good guess at this time. No event is perfect and there were those who felt the new setting a bit crowded, but for the most part most had a great time. My very good friend absolutely loved it and commented that it met all of his expectations and he thought the sound was better than in the bigger Ilikai Pacfic Ballroom.

But in all of this what really has made this reunion series possible are all the baby boomers and bandmembers out there who bought into and accepted the reunion concept. A reunion in the true sense of the word "reunion". As our bandleader and event promoter Robin Kimura always says and has said, "we try to do it for the right reason."

In addition to the general public who comes out for the event and the bands who so diligently put their time into their music, the reunion could not happen without the generousity of people like Mike & Sandy Irish who so willingly allow our band "Greenwood" and fellow bandmembers "Power Point" and "Phase VII" to practice at their secret warehouse in Kakaako. Special thanks also go to Warren Furuya at "Ad Signs" who did the official 70's Nightclub Reunion banner. That banner was sweet, the icing on the cake as they say.

More to come later, but Joy Waikaloa of the band White Light perhaps summed it up the best, "Robin, you sure know how to throw a party!!"

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It was just so cool!!!

Superman Irwin Santos put together this montage of the 70's Nightclub Reunion III on his webpage. For those who don't know, Irwin is the official doorman for the 70's Reunion. The combination of brains and brawn, all 291 pounds, Irwin has been a big part of the reunion series put together by Candy Au and Robin Kimura. Much aloha Irwin for all you do for all of us!! As the days go by and more pictures from the event surface we'll add more highlights. For now click on Superman Irwin's montage and the link icon below to take a closer look at what was happening one cool tropical evening in paradise. I think the vast majority there at the Ala Moana Hotel would agree that it was a pretty cool evening!!


Friday, May 04, 2007

The 70's Nightclub Reunion III

John Berger has followed the local entertainment scene for so many years. My friend remembers him from his days as a classmate of his at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. John Berger oozes the aloha spirit and is one cool guy. Here's his latest story that hit the newstands and internet today.

Article URL: http://starbulletin.com/2007/05/04/features/story01.html
© 1996-2007 The Honolulu Star-Bulletin | www.starbulletin.com

Vol. 12, Issue 124 - Friday, May 4, 2007

Asian Blend circa 1970

That was then, this is now
Greenwood, Asian Blend, Phase VII, Power Point and White Light will perform in "The '70s Nightclub Reunion III" Saturday night at the Ala Moana Hotel
By John Berger
Promoting an oldies party -- a "tribute to the '70s" or whatever -- is easy for a promoter willing to cut corners. Find someone who was in a popular band back then, maybe the lead singer, maybe a guy who didn't sing at all, hire journeymen musicians to put a group around him, and then hype the show as if the original band members were back together. Add a couple of new bands that play oldies, but weren't even on the scene back then, and maybe one of those groups that play generic oldies shows for conventions, and there's your show.

'70s Nightclub Reunion III
Featuring Asian Blend, Greenwood, Phase VII, Power Point and White Light
Place: Hibiscus Ballroom, Ala Moana Hotel

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $35; $40 reserved tables

Call: Candy Au, 955-4811, ext. 4250, or e-mail c.au@alamoana-hotel.com

Life would be a lot easier for Robin Kimura if he were that kind of promoter. But for his annual '70s reunions, Kimura won't put a pick-up band on the bill.

"You can't get one member of an original band and get professional musicians to put around him and call it a 'reunion,' " Kimura said. "That's not the right way to do it. It's got to be the real thing."

Which isn't easy.

"If every member of a group wants to do it, but they all have full-time jobs and some of them are living in other parts of the country, it may not be possible for them to do it," Kimura said, discussing the challenges he faces every year in finding local club bands from the '70s whose original members are available and willing to play.

"Unfortunately we've (also) found that bands have had their share of disagreements and internal disputes, and sometimes it's burn-out -- some guys just don't want to do it again. Thank goodness for our group -- everybody except one member is here on Oahu, but even with that, trying to get a practice schedule with 10 or 11 guys is very difficult."

Phase VII circa 1970

Kimura's band, Greenwood, was one of the last to headline in Waikiki before disco technology put an end to the local cover-band club scene. Joining Greenwood for "The '70s Nightclub Reunion III" Saturday at the Ala Moana Hotel are Asian Blend, Phase VII, Power Point and this year's big catch -- White Light, headliners at the Tiki after the Dimensions broke up, and then at the Hawaiian Hut.
White Light was one of the few Waikiki club acts with a "girl singer" (as they were known back then) -- Joy Kamisato. She's now Joy Kamisato Waikoloa, and is one of the five members of the group who'll be there Saturday night.

Kimura had also been hoping to get the Kasuals. "Most of them are in Guam and they have full-time music gigs going on ... who picks up the bill if they all take a week off from work to come here to play one night?"

Still, all but one of the original members had agreed to get back together this year -- drummer Roger Jeresa was the hold-out -- but Kimura had to change the date and move the show when the Ilikai Hotel was sold out, and the Kasuals couldn't reschedule.

Greenwood circa late '70s

"We approached Aura on the first go-round (in 2005). Things just didn't work out, but they were able to make the second one. They were slated to do the third one, but then Vincent (Mendoza) got hired by the Society of Seven (in Las Vegas) and they lost their drummer, so they can't do it."
Kimura admits that he's wavered a bit a couple of times when he felt that "the effort was made, and the heart was in the right place." Nohelani Cypriano didn't return calls asking her to join the other three members of Rock Candy in 2005, but when Kuulei Fukumoto Park said she'd fly in from Japan for the reunion, and Janet Cooke Fischer agreed to come home from California, Kimura felt comfortable announcing that Rock Candy was participating.

Asian Blend has been through a predictable number of personnel changes since headlining at the Foxy Lady Too at the Waikiki Beachcomber in the mid-1970s, but with founding members Mitch Hazama and Jay Molina still fronting the group more than 30 years later, Kimura is proud to welcome them back along with Phase VII and Power Point.

"Power Point has five (of the original members) out of seven, White Light is five out of nine and Phase VII has two of the originals -- but I know they exhausted all the options trying to get the other five."

Greenwood, by the way, is represented by nine of the 10 musicians from the days the group played the Point After.

"Between the time we started on the high school level (in 1972) to the time we disbanded in '81 we probably had 40-plus members ... so what we agreed upon was that we would use the band that was last together at the Point After, which could be considered the height of our nightclub career (and) Wayne Nakamura, our original sax player, finally joined us this year, so we're taking the stage with 11."

Greenwood today consists of, clockwise from back left, Miles Uchida, Robin Kimura, Owen Kajiwara, Dwayne Higa, Brad Choi, Mark Silva, Randy Hoo, Curt Takahama, Wayne Nakamura, Steven Matsumoto and Michael Chock.

Asian Blend circa late '90s.

Article URL: http://starbulletin.com/2007/05/04/features/story01.html
© 1996-2007 The Honolulu Star-Bulletin | www.starbulletin.com

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Midnight Hour

It's gonna be worth waiting till the midnight hour as White Light will take the stage to close out the 70's Nightclub Reunion III.

Power Point at 11

Power Point has been a fixture since the 70's Nightclub Reunion I. They were there supporting the event from the beginning for the right reason. Power Point hits the stage batting cleanup at eleven o'clock.

Phase VII at Ten

Van DeGuzman, Hemingway Jasmin and their supporting cast take stage one at ten for their renditions of songs of the seventies.

9PM:It's time for a little Asian Blend

Fixtures at The Foxy Lady 2 at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, Asian Blend takes stage two at 9 PM with mainstays Mitch Hazama and Jay Molina plus powerhouse singer Pam Petersen and the DC Horns.

Opening the evening at 8 PM, Greenwood....

Greenwood during the days of the Point After.
The 70's Nightclub Reunion III official doorman "Superman" Irwin was good enough to blow up these pictures. See if you can recognize some of the players.

The countdown has begun....

Calling John Travolta in those angel's flight vest and pants cause the official countdown has begun. The groups have gotten the rust out and are now in cruise control mode waiting for Saturday to come for one cool tropical evening at the Ala Moana Hotel.

In two days it's showtime!! Dust off your dancing shoes folks, it's time to boogie 'cause "we're back!!!!!"

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