Archives » July 2006

  • A good laugh

    Monday 31st July 2006 - 3:15:34 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    I read a number of the comments on this site and got a good laugh. This particular one just has everything. It’s a real classic. I have stated my disdain for the Intelligent Design idea a long time ago. I believe it was discussed and tossed out a few hundred years ago. This is the current farce created to mock the current ridiculous notion called Intelligent Design. It has allowed a lot of uber Christians to show their lack of intelligence. Every religion has them. And they don’t represent the religion. But they do make for some damned funny reading.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Kapu - Forbidden | Comments (7)

  • Pee Wee’s Luau

    Wednesday 26th July 2006 - 1:07:26 PM
    Tags: , ,

    I was searching the Internet for video of the “Samoan Slap Dance” when I came across this video uploaded by good ol’ Mr. Bali Hai. A nice memory to share.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Retro Goodies | Comment (1)

  • Cocktail Geek god-send: Bagged Crushed Ice

    Wednesday 26th July 2006 - 12:07:37 PM
    Tags: , ,

    A huge part of my luau preparations and planning has revolved around the cocktails to be served. I feel a calling to correct the decades of evil perpetrated by slack bartenders who serve tropical drinks, even being so ridiculous as to call them “Mai Tai,” that are nothing more than sickly sweet fruit juice slop.


    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers,Polynesian Pop | Comment (1)

  • Hale Tiki Augusta local talk

    Tuesday 25th July 2006 - 11:22:42 AM

    I was wandering around the Internet and came across this local Augusta message board with a post about the closing of Hale Tiki. 

    After the middle of the second page it gets more into what needs to be done to develop their downtown. The talk about Hale Tiki was interesting though. It helps shed light on why the place didn’t work well there.

    Here are a few quotes:

    Yeah! What ever…..good rid! People been saying drinks were a complete rip off!

    A nice sentiment. Good rid? Typical rock throwing by neanderthals.


    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Polynesian Pop | Comments (3)

  • The secret to getting your house really clean

    Monday 24th July 2006 - 10:18:08 AM

    Keeping your house clean is a lot of work. Day to day you put dirty clothes in the hamper and dishes in the dish washer and wipe up messes on the counters. You straighten the house continually. But, really cleaning the house, often does not happen. When was the last time you swept/vacuumed the whole house and mopped the floors? When did you dust last? Scrub the tile? What about those stove eyes? Been a while? It’s just not what you feel like doing and so it gets put off again and again. Well, I have the solution. Throw a party. There is nothing like knowing dozens of friends and maybe even near strangers will be coming to your home for an evening to make you get down on your hands and knees and scrub. My god, how did the kitchen window get so dirty! My lord, look behind the refridgerator!  So, in our household, we plan regular soirees to force us to do the cleaning we generally avoid. The bathroom shines, the shelves in the fridge are clear again and the trashcan is minty clean. I highly recommend it! And for extra added bonus forced work, throw a party in the yard, so, you then have to get the yard in shape and you still have to clean the house too because they have to go through it to get to the bathroom.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder | Comment (1)

  • Ear Candy – A Touch of Tabasco

    Sunday 23rd July 2006 - 3:10:20 PM
    Tags: , , , ,

    A Touch of Tabasco
    You may recognize “I Only Have Eyes For You” from a Lipitor commercial. I love Perez Prado and I love Rosemary Clooney. Putting these two together was gold. Perez should have teamed up with more singers because it really brings his music to a new level. I wish they had done about 10 records together, but all we have is this one jewel.

    Billy Mure is coming back to Hukilau this year. His partner Debbie was Rosemary’s assistant for many years. The two of them knew and worked with about everybody in music it seems. If you want to know more about Rosemary Clooney, ask Debbie.

    This is one of my all time favorite records. Enjoy the download!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Music,Retro Goodies | Comments (6)

  • Vintage Hawaii Slide of the Week

    Sunday 23rd July 2006 - 3:09:27 PM
    Tags: ,

    I forgot to do this mid-week, so I am playing catch up. It’s been very busy here with preparations for next Saturday’s luau. Here is a beautiful image from 1963 of a rainbow over the Punch Bowl.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Hawaii Slides | Comment

  • Aku Aku Las Vegas Drink Menu

    Saturday 22nd July 2006 - 2:31:29 PM
    Tags: , , , ,

    The Aku Aku in Las Vegas has always been a sort of high point to me. Vegas and tiki. And knowing Bamboo Ben’s grandfather Eli Hedley put it all together makes it even better. Aku Aku ephemera is one of the few tiki things I collect.

    Menu CoverI just got this Drink Menu to go with my dinner menu. The image on the cover is the same as the dinner menu

    Page 1The first page has some of the branded glassware and there is a tiki bowl. I am a fan of the ice shell drinks. To make an ice shell (Kern Matie, GM of the Mai Kai taught me this) you first need a pretty round glass, like a wine glass. You put crushed ice in the glass and using a spoon, press it around the glass so that it makes a shell around the interior maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Put the glass in the freezer and let it set up. Then take the glass out and gently push the ice down on one side so that it comes up to make the shell and then press more crushed ice in the glass to line it again and refreeze.

    Page 2Here are a few more drinks. Makes me thirsty!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Cocktail Capers,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comments (2)

  • Hukilau 2002 video

    Thursday 20th July 2006 - 2:02:07 PM
    Tags: ,

    Hukilau logoI recorded very little video at Hukilau 2002. I was way too busy working my ass off and sweating! But, I put this little slice together and posted it on a site a long time ago that I had forgotten about. I have uploaded it to a new location that I hope will be more permanent.

    Download here.

    Can you spot Sven Kirsten? Love the 14 foot tall tikis by Mai Tiki!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Events,Polynesian Pop | Comment

  • Mickey Spillane is pushing up daisies

    Wednesday 19th July 2006 - 12:46:27 PM
    Tags: ,

    SpillaneMickey Spillane passed away Monday. I don’t know how I began reading his novels, but once I started, I could not stop. I’ve never read a book that kept me turning pages like his. And his writing created a world and genre that exist very vividly in my mind. Tough is defined in those books. If you have not read one of them, I highly recommend them. You have doubtless seen many old detective movies. These books put you in his head and introduce you to a New York sleaze and filth you always thought must exist. Doubtless these books fueled many an artist. I will never forget lines like “I pulled my heap to the curb.” The dames he discribes and I imagine are only closely realized in Vargas paintings. A classic. A series of classics.

    “I snapped the side of the rod across his jaw and laid the flesh open to the bone, I pounded his teeth back into his mouth with the end of the barrel … and I took my own damn time about kicking him in the face. He smashed into the door and lay there bubbling. So I kicked him again and he stopped bubbling.”

    “There wasn’t any kitten-softness about her now. She was big and she was lovely, with the kind of curves that made you want to turn around and have another look. The lush fullness of her lips had tightened into the faintest kind of snarl and her eyes were the carnivorous eyes you could expect to see in the jungle watching you from behind a clump of bushes.”

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Awesome 1966 home

    Tuesday 18th July 2006 - 8:32:28 PM
    Tags: ,

    Back side

    With Ms. Swanky in realty, we get the occasional opportunity to see some fantastic homes we can only dream about. Last weekend, the company had a get together at just such a house.

    It was built in 1965-66 by a doctor. The property is a bit out of the way, but the land was chosen for the incredible view. It sits on 33 acres, so, you won’t have to worry about neighbors crowding you ever.


    From the outside it has a certain modern look, but also a mountain lodge feeling. Inside there are a good many remaining touches of 1966 that just made me swoon. The porcelain and tile in the bathrooms was still mostly original and just fantastic. This, by the way, is how you date it rather exactly. Under the toilet lid of older homes is the exact date of manufacture.


    There was a vintage intercom system through out the house, as well as speakers that ran to a central location to attach to a stereo.
    One bedroom had a pristine drop down ironing board. And there were these small “shelf” pieces around the fireplace.
    A simply lovely house with incredible potential. Built to high standards in 1966. Available with 10 acres for $890,000, or all 33 acres for $1,200,000. If you are interested in buying, email me and I can get you a tour of the place.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation | Comment (1)

  • Hukilau 2006 – Fort Lauderdale – Mai Kai

    Tuesday 18th July 2006 - 12:21:46 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    In 2003, 2004 and 2005, we rented about 35 rooms at the Bahia Cabana to Hukilau guests. This year it’s filled with Hukilau guests for the first time. That should make for a very great weekend.

    The Bahia Caban sits on the spot of the hanging of a pirate in Fort Lauderdale.

    The Mai Kai is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, and is still run and owned by the same family. It remains the number one “must see in my lifetime” destination for many. This is the best time to see it too. Filled with several hundred people who all walk in the place and never want to leave. People who relish the mood that takes them so very far away from normal life, to an oasis.

    Knowing that nearly every person you pass at the Bahia Cabana is a Hukilau attendee should insure meeting lots of new and old friends and a great time. Someone once said you could hold Tiki Oasis at a Motel 6 and it would still be an incredible time because of the people. This will be one of the best times, with some of the best people.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Events,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation | Comment

  • Bel Aire Motel – Clinton Hwy – Found

    Sunday 16th July 2006 - 7:47:20 PM
    Tags: , , , ,

    Bel AireThis postcard eluded me for a while because I had no information on it’s location. But a reader of my forums knew it and pointed me to the right place. I drove past there daily for a months now and didn’t recognize it.

    Bel Aire now 1

    It is pretty run down. But there are people there doing something. Likely not making it a motel. Now we know the location.

    Bel Aire now 2

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Knoxville,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation | Comment (1)

  • Ear Candy – Enoch Light – Reeds and Percussion

    Sunday 16th July 2006 - 10:00:38 AM
    Tags: ,

    Enoch Light - Reeds and PercussionI recorded this LP some time ago and had forgotten about it until it came up on my Winamp player. I made a playlist of every song on my computer, so everything gets played eventually. This makes for an odd mix, but not nearly as odd as when I made a playlist of every sound file on my computer. That was really interesting. Besides all the music, it would play Windows sounds for maximizing and minimizing windows. The real oddities were the sounds for games when “Arrrrgh!” and “Red Two ready to attack” would get mixed in. I’m the sort of person who enjoys that kind of crazy mashing of sounds. I bet many of you are too.

    This may only be one side of this record. I don’t have it in front of me to tell. I mixed in some exercises to help keep you fit in this swimsuit season. Download and enjoy it!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Music,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Vintage Hawaii Slide of the Week

    Wednesday 12th July 2006 - 8:27:04 PM

    Tongan Guide

    This image is from 1963 in the Polynesian Cultural Center. Here we see the guide for the Tongan gardens. I have never seen tapa cloth worn as a skirt, and certainly not by a man.
    Tonga TikiAnd here is our first sighting of tiki.

    Sign up for the Swank Pad mailing list and you can have the slide of the week emailed to you.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Hawaii Slides,Polynesian Pop | Comment (1)

  • Market for Trader Vic’s Cuban menus soars

    Wednesday 12th July 2006 - 10:03:57 AM
    Tags: , , ,

    Trader Vic's message to CastroI blame it on tiki newbies. About a week ago, one of the Trader Vic’s menus from the Havana location came up on Ebay. These were printed with a note inside, supposedly “hand written” by Vic himself, saying something about that stinker Fidel. I am guessing the buyer thought it was really written in Vic’s hand. The auction went for over $75.

    So, then this one just sold. And, suddenly everyone is trying to unload this rather common menu for huge profits and so you have this one, and this one, and this one.

    This menu is similar to the Don the Beachcomber menu that is so common because it was printed as a souvenir, and not actually used. They made them in large quantities.

    My suspicion is there is a lot more to the Trader Vic menu. Was he trying to make a case for ousting Fidel? Did he want that rum back in his restaurants? There must have been an agenda in that message on that menu. I’d love to know what he had in mind.

    And I’d love to unload one of these menus for $75!

    UPDATE: The trend is continuing to go up! $121! Clearly people are not reading my blather… This one I can understand. It is not the reprinted menu with the Vic anti-Castro slogan. It’s a real, 1958 menu from the Habana Trader Vic’s. Given that the official date of the end of the Castro overthrow was January 1st, 1959, that makes this an interesting piece of history.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Summer is over, let’s start Fall planning?

    Tuesday 11th July 2006 - 1:06:19 PM
    Tags: , , , ,

    How far into summer are we? Three weeks? Two? I recall the first day of summer was not too long ago. I am planning my luau at the end of the month and figured I might get another one in maybe in September. These days it hardly gets cold in October really.

    I bought tons of tropical plants on sale in the last couple of weeks. I got a few things like table clothes and napkins at the stores.

    But I went to get more stuff I had seen at Party City last weekend, only to find the summer stuff shelves looked like communist Russia. I went to Big Lots to grab one of those awful tiki buckets to put a drink mix in, and, where did everything go? Where are the racks of tacky tiki crap? I went to Hobby Lobby and was eyeing the plastic foliage and wandering the aisles, hoping to get a “notion’ when I saw the culprit. Fall. Yes, the fall decor of scarecrows and autumn leaves now occupied three large aisles! I had freaking missed the two weeks of summer! Fall is on us! I’ve barely finished off the hot dogs and chilli from the 4th of July!

    Know what’s worse? Freakin’ Christmas crap is out too!

    In this fubar world where the current fashions on the rack at Walmart look like what was on the rack (and I hated) in the 1970’s and I hear that 1980’s fashion is on the rise, I begin to wonder when current fashion will be the fashion and what that will mean. Baggy skater pants? But they are still wearing that! And we start Fall and Winter fashions and decor two weeks into summer. What’s current is from the recent past and catching up and what is in the stores is for the future, months away. Good god, what is wrong with this world? They can’t think of things to sell us fast enough!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder | Comments (2)

  • “Thunder Road” rum runners alive and well

    Tuesday 11th July 2006 - 11:51:32 AM
    Tags: , , ,

    Here in Knoxville is the place of death there near Bearden Hill, when the moonshine runner lost control. “Thunder Road” is a legend. There still (forgive the pun) is plenty of moonshine around these hills. But I have enlisted the aid of a buddy of mine, Traitor Vic, to run rum over the Appalachian mountains for me.

    For whatever reason, you can’t ship liquor to Tennessee for personal use. And for other reasons, you can’t get Demerara rum anywhere in Tennessee I have ever found with the exception of the pricey Plantation rum. My normal mule in Florida may not be up here before my luau at the end of the month, and you can’t ship it to Georgia either. So, it’s my luck that Vic is coming over the mountain for the luau. And he is bringing a bottle of Marischino Liqueur with him that he had managed to get his local store to carry. That fills a hole in my liquor cabinet. We had found a bottle of the stuff in Indiana on a buying trip for Hale Tiki decor and let it go to their bar. I made one round of cocktails with it for us on the return trip. It turns out Basement Kahuna could use a bottle of Demerara as well.

    We’ll load that mule up for the trek over the hills and have him avoid Bearden Hill. I’m pretty sure this is semi-legal…

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers | Comment

  • Vintage Tonga Room Tropical Drink Recipes

    Monday 10th July 2006 - 9:11:14 PM
    Tags: , ,

    Mermaid 2
    I bought this menu for obvious reasons. The drink prices tell me it’s pretty old. I love the graphics and I love the imagery of the Tonga Room.
    Tonga Side 1 When the menu arrived I was in for a surprise. I looked at the little description next to the drink, and it was the recipe. They were all the recipes! Indeed, as I actually looked at what was in my hands it does say “Tonga Room Tropical Drink Recipes.”

    Tonga side 2Tonga ZombieStraight from the Grog Log, these were the recipes I had made before, handed to me by Beachbum Berry. Here is the “Tonga Room Zombie” I had made not too long ago. I recall it’s stiff punch. I had 3 or 4 and was well lit.

    RoomThe Tonga Room is still in San Fransico and everyone says it is worth seeing, but not so well worth staying, even for a drink.

    Tonga color pcHere it is in its Technicolor hayday, and in its 1940s glory.
    Tonga bandw

    Give it a visit when in the area. 

    And what’s “Pinky” in the Honolulu Cocktail?

    UPDATE 7-12: I just noticed in the illustrations they use the cherry as a sort of anchor for the garnish. They are wedging the the rim of the glass between the cherry and orange slice to keep it in place. The cherry also seems to be speared a little off-center to give more meat to hold it in place. I’ll have to remember that. 

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Cocktail Capers,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation | Comments (6)

  • Ear Candy – Hawaii Calls

    Sunday 9th July 2006 - 12:46:57 PM
    Tags: , ,

    We’ve been preparing for our luau for weeks now and with just 3 weeks to go, I am getting in the mood. Something about this weekend has me melancholy. I yearn for the islands I have never been to, and likely will never see. Never see? Yes. My Hawaii existed either 200 years ago when Captain Cook was unknown, or, 50 years ago, just after statehood. A fantasy I suppose. I changed the way I do this, as I figure it is easier to do one single downlaod than a bunch. I also included a playlist so you can hear the tunes as I would like to have you play them.

    Starting with “Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village” or some such long title to a classic Webley Edwards LP. I love this record more than you will ever know. And Ray Kinney is the best. I think I like him more than Alfred Apaka.

    Next, from Elvis TV show, “Aloha from Hawaii” is a little tune that plays as we tour the island and see E land in his helicopter, etc. Elvis loved Hawaii and the Hawaiians love Elvis.

    More Webley Edwards, talking to Haunani about “Beyond the Reef.”

    This is “Beyond the Reef” by Elvis, sort of. It actually features Charlie Hodge on the lead. Charlie was Elvis closest friend and he used to live here in East Tennessee and perform with Lou Vuto at Memories Theater. A really sweet, wonderful man.

    Here is a tune by Haunani, “Tomi Tomi”. She has that deep voice that has been a Hawaiian standard.

    Now Arthur Godfrey talks about the islands and their wahines.

    My favorite singer, Ray Kinney with his version of “Little Brown Gal”

    And a closing from another Webley Edwards LP.

    Hope you enjoy this short venture to the islands that exist in my heart.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Music,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comments (2)

  • A note about the photo at the top of the Swank Blather

    Friday 7th July 2006 - 10:23:31 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    Sands Sign This is a picture of the sign at the Sands on the day Dean Martin opened for the first time on the main stage. I had a little fun with it and added myself. I love that Martin Denny is in the second room that night. Classic crooner and the king of exotica on the same bill. Awesome! I make note of this for one simple reason. The Sands is destined for the wrecking ball. This home of the Rat Pack and of course the Aku Aku restaurant, which Bamboo Ben’s grandfather helped create, is being torn down so that it can be made ginormous. Go visit while you can.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Googie,Polynesian Pop,Retro Preservation | Comment

  • The Sven Tiki

    Friday 7th July 2006 - 9:53:56 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    Sven TikiHere I am in the Hapa Haole Hideaway, enjoying a “Sven Tiki,” page 83 of Intoxica. That’s hot webcam action! I finally have the all important orange juice to complete this recipe. My first thought looking at the recipe is, an ounce of grenadine can’t be good. But, I trust the Bum, so I pushed onward. I eased up on the lime a bit. Maybe 3/4 ounce. It was fine and would have been fine with a full ounce of lime juice. I ended up giving it a 7. I liked it. I’d drink it again. I liked the club soda tingle in it. But, it didn’t have a certain depth and rich rum aroma that I need to give it a higher score.

    Personally, I’d take a tip from Sven’s German roots and find a recipe with the appropriate sounding Van der Hum in it. Cheers to Big Bro and the world of tiki he has fostered! I can’t wait to give him a big ol’ hug at Hukilau in October. Can’t wait for the new book on Witco either! Get it while it’s “cheap.”

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers,Polynesian Pop | Comments (2)

  • Tropical drink home brewing

    Friday 7th July 2006 - 3:13:24 PM
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Dr. Cocktail exorts those who make their own versions of cocktail elixirs this month. In October, Hukilau will have a mixology seminar headed by Beachbum Berry. At his side will be a few friends of mine whose drinks I have imbibed with pleasure: Pablus, Kuku Ahu and Basement Kahuna. Thes guys have the drive for perfection that has caused them to make their own liqueurs when the original stock has dried up.

    Basement Kahuna is a drink detective. Months after being at the Mai Kai last, he hands me a drink at Coon Tiki and asks how it compared to their “Black Magic.” He had been deducing the formula in his lab and thought he found the correct concoction. I think he is right. He’s reproduced a few of their recipes and made some great ones of his own.

    Pablus tends to make his drinks in gallons. Crates of fresh fruit from the groves and it all comes together. He is a great soldier in the quest for perfect Falernum, and has indeed made his own! It was he who put together the great Falernum tasting of Hukilau 2004. He even sings songs he has written about Falernum and cocktails with his band The Crazed Mugs.

    In my bar I have a bottle of Pimento Liqueur made by JTD and have sampled that made by Ahu. He has made his own Passionfruit Syrup, Grenadine, Pimento Liqueur, and tried his hand at Falernum and any number of mixers. Ahu has a background as a chef and brings that huge knowledge to bare on the drink making.

    These guys have a great wealth of mixing knowledge, talent and taste. There are only a handfull of us who spend the hours and dollars to make our way through all the recipes in Berry’s books. These guys are some of the best.

    And besides the seminar, you can check out their work in my room at Hukilau on Thursday night as the Fraternal Order of Moai host their bar there. Look for the guys in the blue Fezes.

    In the mean time you can catch me and Ahu enjoying the Kahiki’s head bartender’s drinks at the Hot Rod Hula Hop 2 this August in Columbus. If you live near me in Tennessee, you can maybe get invited to my luau this month where I and Basement Kahuna will make a lot of classic and new tiki cocktails for my guests. And as always, visit your local tiki bar and encourage the classics!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers,Events,Polynesian Pop | Comment (1)

  • Polynesian Pop culture trumps the real thing

    Thursday 6th July 2006 - 12:18:09 PM
    Tags: , , , ,

    Target tikisTarget TikiTarget has a line of outdoor and garden stuff this year called “Mai Tiki.” I’m sure Wayne Coombs is furious! Thay sell a couple of styles of 3 foot plastic tikis for your yard.

    Big Lots Big Lots has a new line of tiki stuff including these plastic statues which draw their images from Disney design, plus they have plastic cups that copy the classic Leilani mug seen in this picture.

    It seems the people who design the new items are not looking to Polynesian cultures for their inspiration as much as they are looking at old tiki mugs and vintage bastardized Polynesian Pop culture.

    So, it was very fitting to see in the news that United Airlines will begin serving Trader Vic’s food and, most importantly, Mai Tai’s, on their flights to Hawaii.

    There is plenty of room to complain about true Polynesian culture being usurped by Americanized Polynesian culture. But I am glad to see vintage Poly Pop being promoted and 1950’s and 1960’s Hawaiian icons coming back in style, rather than the very bland American culture that washed away the traces of uniqueness that used to define Hawaii. At least bastardized Polyneisan culture has some roots in the original.

    Now if they will just get the Coco Palms back open as it was when Elvis was filming there…

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers,Existential Fodder,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Vintage Hawaii Slide of the Week

    Tuesday 4th July 2006 - 12:08:41 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    This is the first installment of a new feature here on the Swank Pad. To sign-up and receive the slide of the week in your email, click here.

    This week’s image is on the Beach at Waikiki at The Reef, 1963:

    Waikiki BEach 1963

    Check out that hat! Is that a flying fish coming over her head?

    Waikiki hat

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Hawaii Slides,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Kahiki made clothing?

    Monday 3rd July 2006 - 12:49:34 PM
    Tags: ,

    KahikiOne of the great tiki temples of the era was the Kahiki in Columbus Ohio. I keep an eye out for ephemera from the place on Ebay all the time. The Moai mug is very common, but the clothing sold by bad spellers just drives me crazy!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Existential Fodder,Polynesian Pop | Comment (1)

  • Fear, the TV appearance

    Monday 3rd July 2006 - 12:39:24 PM
    Tags: , , ,

    Traitor Vic posted about being inspired when he saw Devo on Saturday Night Live way back when.

    FearI had a similar SNL moment when Fear played on October 31st, 1981. This was monumental. They played at John Belushi’s insistance. The audience was brought in to thrash and that too was allowed only because Belushi insisted. They destroyed the set. Ving said some things you can’t say on television. It was beautiful. Because of that performance, punk was banned on the show for a decade. I recall Lee Ving saying “I’ll give you a dollar to be my friend” to the audience and spitting on people. It was crazy and exactly how I felt. I had been in the sub-culture for a while and listening to U2, B-52s, BauHaus, etc., and when I saw Fear, I knew this was my music. My voice.

    Ah, to be a punk in the Reagan era…

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Music | Comment

  • Tiki Gardening

    Monday 3rd July 2006 - 9:44:50 AM
    Tags: , , ,

    Not to be confused with Tiki Gardens, the theme park in Florida. It’s a natural extension of the tiki lounge in your home, to add tiki gardens in your yard. If you live in Florida or south Georgia or the Carolinas, etc., this may be fairly easy. If you live north, it gets tougher, but it’s all the more rewarding. I also say it’s in the true spirit of tiki to create a tropical oasis far from the tropics.

    I suggest starting your search at Hardy Tropicals. They specialize in a variety of plants that can thrive way up into Canada! I have bought a lot from them this year and I am very happy with the plants and the info they send with them.

    This year Home Depot and Lowes have both brought in a much greater variety of tropicals including carrying hardy Gardenias past the Spring, which I have not seen before. With these sources I now have six types of palms in the yard, and 3 types of banana trees. Some will have to winter in the basement, but many are hardy and I plan to get more hardy stuff in the future.

    Banana TreeThe extra cool thing is that these big stores are getting in a lot of tropicals and then marking them down. I got this banana tree for $23. They only got it in the store a week ago and now it is 1/2 price. It’s huge!

    MonsteraSo visit your large hardware store’s plant sections regularly and look for great deals on cool tropicals. Maybe you’ll find a 2 foot Monstera labeled as a Philedendron for $3 too!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Existential Fodder,Polynesian Pop | Comment

  • Ear Candy

    Sunday 2nd July 2006 - 11:05:02 AM
    Tags: , ,

    First, in the holiday spirit, I offer one of my all time favorite musical directors, Henri Rene’s “The Swingin’ Stars and Stripes.” Henri Rene’s music is not all “out there” like a Equivel. He holds it in control and puts a little something extra in there that rewards your listening.

    From Stars and Stipes to Stars of Strippers, I give you David Rose – “The Stipper.” That’s America!

    From Stippers to Sunset Strippers, Mel Henke has his way with the tune on “77 Sunset Stripper.” Love his stuff. It’s over the top!

    As always, Bring Home the Coke. Sparkle Neely Sparkle!

    And be sure to bring ice on your travels this holiday to relieve the burns and bug bites.

    And for your adventures, Mel Henke’s “Adventures on the Highway” which plays on his theme for Chevrolet “See the USA in your Chevrolet.”

    Enjoy the Holidays!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Music,Retro Goodies | Comment

%d bloggers like this: