Saturday, May 24, 2008

Some things take a little longer to happen...Part One

As the 70's Nightclub Reunion IV event was coming to a close a really good friend of mine looked at me and said, "What a concept, what a concept." Candy Au and Robin Kimura for sure have come up with some concept. It's pretty amazing how all of this came about and so cool to see bands that played in the day reuniting for the right reason and how much people of our age group and even some younger ones enjoyed getting together for a blast from the past.

One of the really feel good stories to come out of all of this is the story of Glass Candle. As I talked to Glass Candle lead singer Doug Rivera I believe that he mentioned that he graduated from high school in 1969. Ah, finally the puzzle was coming together for me. Glass Candle was finishing up as a band in the 70's just as I was graduating from high school myself. So it was no wonder I didn't recall ever having seen them play, although the name Glass Candle in itself was like, "Wooh, Glass Candle". In the day this was the band. Icons in the Hawaii music scene in the day, these were the men among all the boys. They were what all of us wannabes wanted to be, and here they were in the flesh reunited on stage again.

From the Glass Candle soundcheck at about 1pm that Saturday you could just feel the vibes, feel the electricity. It was so cool to finally hear the band during their soundcheck and meet in person people I had always heard of and looked up to. And they did not disappoint at all. Not only great musicians and singers but they were so down to earth, respectful, humble and just good people enjoying the moment. Doug Rivera who was actually found about a week or so before the event told me, "I would never miss this opportunity to do this." But perhaps one of the coolest things to come out of all of this was Glass Candle bandleader Robert Shinoda writing in an email to our band's leader Robin Kimura, "If it wasn't for this we would probably have lost touch with one another and perhaps never seen each other again ever." Well, i paraphrase a bit here for a lack of memory, but when I saw that, wow!!!!! So true Robert and that was just soooo cool.

The Andy Bumatai Show

Andy's been on a roll with his talk show and our band Greenwood had the opportunity to be guests on his show earlier in the year to plug the 70's Nightclub Reunion IV. The standing joke all night or at least part of the night was that there were more people on stage than in the audience for the taping. Hahaha, the joke was on everyone there because with eleven members we did outnumber the audience. Pictured here are a couple of pictures I borrowed from Greenwood's official website. That's Candy Au who takes care of practically everything for the event with the rest of the band. Cool pictures!!! On a sidenote, can't believe this year is going by so fast.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On The Scene with John Berger

We've had the privilege of knowing John Berger since the high school days. Here's his column "On The Scene" from the Thursday, May 22, 2008 Honolulu Star Bulletin.

On The Scene
John Berger
Vol. 13, Issue 143 - Thursday, May 22, 2008

CANDLE TOPS REUNION IV: Robin Kimura, left, welcomed Glass Candle -- Bruce Imai, Bobby Gonzales, Kurt Kaminaka, Doug Rivera and Robert Shinoda -- moments before they headlined Kimura's '70s Nightclub Reunion IV May 10 at the Ala Moana Hotel. The oldies party was the first time in 33 years that Glass Candle had performed, and the overflow crowd got a great show as the five old-time members and a couple of young stand-ins played a 55-minute set of vintage 1974 hits. Imai and Gonzales shared duties on bass; Gonzales, Rivera and Kaminaka did most of the vocals; and the group summed it up perfectly with a blockbuster rendition of Edgar Winter's hit "Keep Playin' That Rock 'n' Roll."

Ann and Harry Gima dressed retro, although Harry said that he did not remember polyester making him sweat as much back in the '70s.

Wade Kuriowa, seated above, a founding member of New Experience, autographed a souvenir poster for Mary Perkins, left, and Linda Caracol as band members Macky Galbiso and Butchie Canencia looked on. May 10 was the first time in more than 30 years that New Experience played a reunion show. (Other New Experience members back for the night included Edwin Ramones and Rachel Gonzalez.) The '70s Nightclub Reunion V is set to rock the boat Feb. 28.

John Berger has covered the local entertainment scene since 1972. Contact him at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Breaking News

Hot off the heels of the most successful 70's Nightclub Reunion event ever, Reunion V is already in the works. The ever hardworking Robin Kimura has confirmed communications with Garrett Shirai that has committed the band Ashberry to be the closing act for Reunion V. Multi-talented Garrett Shirai was the leader of the band that in its heyday was the six-night band at the Sting nightclub which was located in the Princess Kaiulani Hotel. The band started off playing at such places as the old Magic Mushroom under the name Sage and later added female singer Karen Cartwright to front the band as they took on the six night venue at the Sting. As Ashberry takes the stage at midnight on February 28, 2009, the band should be comprised of five of the six original members who played that Sting gig in the 70s along with singer/model/actress/1995 Miss Hawaii winner Traci Toguchi who replaces original female vocalist Karen Cartwright. Here's Ashberry's tentative line-up which is quite impressive indeed:

Drums – Russel Niemi – Original member

Bass – Kyle Nakashima – Original member

Keyboards – Michael Soma – Original member

Guitar – Michael Aratani – Original member

Guitar – Garrett Shirai – Original member

Singer – Traci Toguchi (replaces Karen Cartwright)

Great going Garrett!!! Now this is pretty cool news indeed!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Courtesy of John Berger

Noone bar none has the memory of the local entertainment scene like John Berger . Just the mention of practically any name who has performed in Hawaii and John probably has a story to tell. Here's something written by John Berger as only he can about one of Hawaii's legendary musical groups of days gone by.

Burning bright
Glass Candle reunites for a popular Waikiki dance party
By John Berger
Robert Shinoda has been the leader of Nueva Vida for so many years that he doesn't often talk about the years back in the '60s and '70s when he was the leader of Glass Candle.

''70s Nightclub Reunion IV'
Place: Hibiscus Ballroom I and II, Ala Moana Hotel
Time: 8 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $40 reserved seating, $35 open seating; includes nachos bar.

Call: 944-4330

From humble origins as a group of 12-year-old intermediate school students with one song in their repertoire, Glass Candle grew to became a major presence in the local nightclub scene in the early 1970s. Shinoda recalls it as "a great time for us."

"It was a real fun time, and a creative time. We made a lot of friends, and it was just a great joy to come (to work) and do that every night."

Talk about a "blast from the past," Shinoda and six other members of the group will play a club gig together for first time in 33 years this weekend when Glass Candle headlines Robin Kimura's "'70s Nightclub Reunion IV" dance party at the Ala Moana Hotel.

Kimura's band, Greenwood, will be joined this weekend by returnees White Light and Power Point, plus New Experience and Glass Candle.

Although several local musician/promoters have presented oldies shows and reunion parties in recent years, Kimura exclusively presents bands that actually played in Waikiki in the '70s or early '80s.

A group photo taken during the Glass Candle's heyday.

GLASS CANDLE made the Waikiki requirement with ease. The roster this weekend includes founding member Bruce Imai, plus Bobby Gonzales, Kurt Kaminaka, John Morioka and Doug Rivera. Garin Poliahu will be sitting in on drums for the late Frank Marcella, and young guns DeShannon Higa and Larry Cook are reinforcing the brass section.
Shinoda was pleasantly surprised by the response he got when he contacted his former bandmates.

"They were totally into doing it. Pretty much across the board, everyone was quite into it, " he said.

Back in the day, Glass Candle was not only one of the best Top 40 bands on the club scene, they were the first to produce a full-length oldies show of music from the '50s and early '60s. The group took their cues from Sha Na Na, which had been a hit at Woodstock, and the film "American Graffiti," which stoked the "oldies but goodies" craze nationwide.

Shinoda and the guys got permission from the club to perform as Robbie & The Rockets at midnight on Wednesdays -- one of the slowest slots of the week. During that gig, Shinoda became a beatnik named Robbie. The Rockets were Bobby Chico La Bomba Gonzales, Doug "Rip Off" Rivera, Scooter Marcella, Kent Naka (Kurt Kaminaka), Moondoggie (Dirk Van Nordheim) and Little Lawrence "The Enforcer" Trela. The show became so popular that they added a second one with entirely different material.

One of Rivera's favorite memories is the response that the Rockets got before the show opened.

"We were at Frank's high-rise apartment doing a cappella practices of those '50s songs, with all the open patios on the other buildings, and people were coming out on their patios applauding," he said. "It's memories that you're happy to have."

When Glass Candle broke up in 1975, Shinoda went on to a mainland university to study music, Rivera joined Liz Damon's Orient Express and Gonzales became a founding member of the Fabulous Krush.

Looking back, Shinoda says it was the fans who made that time so special.

"We were just doing what we loved to do -- making music -- and to have all those people come and enjoy that with us, that was really rewarding. To me, that was the best."

In the words of "KnightMoves808".....

Here's a review of this past Saturday night's 70's Nightclub Reunion IV by "KnightMoves808". "KnightMoves808" review plus his reviews of other happenings in Hawaii can be found on the webpages of the event's official doorman "Superman Irwin". Cool review.

70's Reunion Commentary 5/10/08
« on: Yesterday at 09:17:01 » First & foremost kudos and I mean choke kudos out to Candy. The band line ups has gotten better and the space efficiency at the event compared to last years' was evident. Only a few songs were duplicated in relation to being performed amongst the bands, but hey its a FIRST da buggahs nevah play "Mustang Sally!" Thank Goodness!

For 1st timers of Greenwood observers, I agree wholeheartedly that they are a very much fine tuned musical machine! Familiar hits kept coming with precision and promptly one after the other. None of this pause stuff while one fidgets on the dance floor waiting for the next number. Thats a sure sign these fellas had their mojos on kick-ass mode and not cruise control.

The one group dat delivered the knock out punch was PowerPoint! OMG! Hard core funk bringing dat ol'skool flavah in thru our pores and out thru our soles. Ohio Players hits and the like was churning out faster than an adjustment to boxers and briefs! They was on y'all! To the delite of island visitors and many, they didn't just go beyond the usual retro box, they set the standards for next year! Dats what I'm talk'n about, don't be just play'n 70's....bring it back baaaaad to da bone and funk in some Parliament, GQ, and true dance playahs! Folks these fells didn't need no choreography, hell they was groov'n to it cuz they was in daZone!

The only low light was the lights in the ballroom was an irritant for most since it was a skosh too bright. We're boomers not disabled Hey did someone mention missing fog and DUI lites?

Kudos as well to the sound folks. Only the last group appeared to waiver in vocal clarity. Compared to the years before, this nite's was mighty mighty!

Ahhhh Tiny, the booming personality behind dat voice. Quick on his feet and faster on the mike. There were some "air space" but nothing that Tiny couldn't handle. Me thinks if he paired up with a female co-host, it would add to the ambience. Speaking of, whats a costume contest without dancing in them? Just flashing back to da days...

In closing, met Robin of Greenwood. Never really met him prior to this night, but lemme say that in the course of my crossing paths with those in this industry, few have that spiritual energy that resonates such as his. I am honored and moved by his acknowledgement. My brother, you are kindred as well and your efforts will always live on in many of our hearts.

All in all, most stayed till the end unlike the prior ones. The collective energy was reciprocated and then some!

This was much more fun than the Old School Funk & Soul event. Word!
Back to top « Last Edit: Today at 07:46:40 by KnightMoves808 »

Monday, May 12, 2008

The people behind the scenes......

So much work goes on behind the scenes for the 70's Nightclub Reunion......Robin Kimura was continuosly in touch with Robert Shinoda for over three years before Glass Candle became a part of this year's event.....Candy Au works out all of the nitty gritty details for the function from ticketing & seating to staffing for the evening....Irwin "Superman" Santos keeps up the official website and keeps himself in prime shape as the event's official doorman.....Tiny Tadani helps to keep the event fresh in the public's eye.......and last but not least there's Mike & Sandy Irish who generously continue to allow our band and other event bands to practice in their secret warehouse in Kakaako to prepare for the event (from left to right that's Sandy Irish, Mike Irish in the center & friend)......a big thank you to all of these people who make the event that's what I call real cool!!!!!

Now this is totally insane......

Glass Candle was the last performing band at the 70's Nightclub Reunion is well past midnight......did someone forget to tell these people that it's past their bedtimes? check out the 70's Nightclub Reunion official website for photos of the event......the website is the brainchild of Irwin "Superman" Santos who is and has been the official doorman of this event....Irwin and his gang of photographers have over 2,100 photos of the event at photos Irwin and gang!!!! ......check the photos to see what crazy things they caught you doing.......thanks Irwin......thanks guys are cool in my books.....


OK, OK, I Confess......

the pictures here were borrowed from blogger Rodney Lee who blogs under "Midlife Crisis".....thanks Rodney!!!! the way, did you know that there's also a Hilo band that goes by the name "Midlife Crisis" and they have the distinction of having the local version of Mick Jagger complete with skin tight longjohns with a pair of bbds over them? ...........anyway, check out Rodney Lee's May 12, 2008 blog in the Honolulu Advertiser under "" where he is a "Featured Blogger"......Rodney blogs about the 70's Nighclub Reunion IV event and can be reached at "" ......Interesting read and comments from other bloggers as well.........Those are cool pictures Rodney.....from top to bottom the pictures are of Doug Rivera, Bobby Gonzales and Robert Shinoda of Glass Candle, the boys of Power Point dappered up in their Elton John-like outfits (really cool), Joy and the rest of White Light, the New Experience with many of their founding members, Greenwood and last but not least the famous disco ball....hehehehe......more to come later....

it's been a long time......

can't believe it's been about a year since i last posted something......sheesh.....where does the time go????.......a lot of things have happened since one of them being the 70's Nightclub Reunion was a real cool tropical evening in paradise for sure and if you were there you know what a blast it was......number IV in my opinion was the best reunion to date bar none and really was what a reunion is all was so cool seeing the guys & gals who were staples in the 70's nightclub scene all under one roof.....hats off to Robin Kimura and Candy Au for really making this all happen, to all the participants and to all who came to be a part of this event......the event has gotten bigger & bigger and the swell in the wave is building......there are bands literally coming out of the woodworks, so many that it looks like 2009 will mark two events in one comment for now, the picture? none other than the closing act for the 70's Nightclub Reunion IV, Glass Candle....more to come later, but it was one very cool tropical evening at the Ala Moana Hotel this past Saturday, May 10, 2008.....

A Passion for Jazz! History of Jazz music origins, styles and musicians featuring photo gallery, timeline, festivals, webcasts, piano & guitar chords, scales and online lessons. Hit Counter
Web Site Counter