Sunday, June 19, 2011

70's NCR IX Revisited by John Berger

On the Scene
For Sunday, June 19, 2011

By John Berger

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 19, 2011

Robin Kimura, left, founder and producer of the ’70s Nightclub Reunion dance concerts, talked with guest of honor Aiko Mendoza; her daughters, Aura vocalists Beverley Mendoza Orbello and Christine Mendoza Olanda; and Aura singer/musician Adney Atabay at ’70s Nightclub Reunion IX June 11 at the Ala Moana Hotel. A sold-out SRO crowd enjoyed more than five hours of music by five reunited local nightclub bands of the era. Aura capped a long-anticipated reunion performance with an emotional rendition of “If I Could” dedicated to their mother.

Clark Silva, left, a founding member of Phase VII, caught up with Frank Mendiola of the Kasuals. It was the first NCR appearance for Phase VII and the first time in more than 25 years that a majority of the founding members had played together. They closed the evening in impressive style. If the six original members of the Kasuals are ever able to synchronize their individual work commitments here, on the mainland and Guam, there’ll almost certainly be an NCR X.

Roy Yonashiro, left, recalled old times with Ann Gima and her husband, retro fashion fan Harry Gima. Yonashiro’s band, Natural High, reunited for NCR VI in 2009. Harry enjoyed the challenge of searching used local clothing stores for authentic ’70s fashions to wear at each show.

Ala Moana Hotel director of catering Candi Au, left, checked in with assistant general manager Ron Takayama and his wife, Ellen, while they were helping hotel staffers check tickets and issue ID bands.

Dennis Mendoza (Aura), left, Sandy Pascual (Phase VII), Hemmingway Jasmin (Phase VII), “Little Albert” Maligmat and Michael Mendoza (Aura) renewed old friendships outside the ballroom. Pascual, a founding member of Phase VII, and Michael Mendoza came back to Hawaii from the mainland for the show. It was the first time in more than 16 years that all eight Mendoza siblings had played together — and they commemorated the event with a limited-edition Aura T-shirt and a “Souvenir Time Line” booklet. Both items sold well.


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