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Monday, January 13, 2014

BEACH BOYS: HAWAII 2014

Last night was like a combined reunion and return to my roots.  First dinner at Chef Chai, a Thai Fusion restaurant:


I'm here of course because of the Beach Boys concert tonight, which will happen across the street in the Neil Blaisdell Arena:


Above is the poster given to ticket holders.  Next door is my high school, McKinley.  A couple of blocks Ewa-Makai of Chai's is where I grew up, Kakaako.  

That whole block now occupied by the Arena


and Concert Hall, in my youth, was a monsteresque fenced-in estate of the Ward (the street is named after this family)  Sisters.  There were some frightening stories that kept people out of the property.  Here is how the Ward Estate looked:


Anyway, I had Chai's $40 special with a Conundrum Chardonnay, a Junmai Ginjo sake of some sorts and a Sterling Meritage.  Chicken with peanut sauce, ahi katsu, goat cheese and curry with pineapple won tons and duck tacos:


With the king salmon kabayaki I had a Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon:


Can't say much good about the first two courses, but the salmon was excellent.  Just before my dessert, in came John Michael White and his dinner party, and they sat right in front of me.  After a while John noticed I was alone so invited me to sit at his table:


Bruce, Qi and John.  This was like a Chaine reunion.  I enjoyed their champagne with my gorgeous heart shaped white chocolate gelato truffle:


After some chit chat, which went on past the Beach Boys opening number, we walked across the street.  The Beach Boys were of course another reunion, for I was here in this same arena fifty years ago, as explained in my posting two days ago (scroll down to it).  As John's eighth person did not show, I was asked to be with them.  Turned out that my seat was around the second row but quite a bit left of theirs in row four, which were close to the middle right in front of the stage.  Thanks, John!  I wonder what their tickets cost, as my unused one set me back $81.  I mention this detail because the 1964 Beach Boys concert here cost $3 downstairs and $2 upstairs, where I sat.  According to the Consumer Price Index, that $3 ticket should cost $22.20 today so prices certainly have escalated.

Well, they sung all their favorites and a half dozen I never heard before:


Mike Love above is the only original (1961) left, although to the extreme right, Bruce Johnston (he wrote I'll Write the Songs, made popular by Barry Manilow), in the palaka looking shirt, became a Beach Boy in 1965:


John Stamos (who also played drums, is probably more famous as Blackie on General Hospital--that was in 1983...he began his first gig with the Beach Boys in 1984 and now and then still performs) is to Love's right, and here below they are with a friend who just appeared on stage (notice how many hands there are):


John Cowsill (who also was on drums) of the 60's Cowsills sang Help Me Rhonda:


Their final song was Fun Fun Fun...and this was a really fun evening.

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