Wednesday, March 3, 2010

70s Swinger Tiki Idol Bubble Blower of Don Ho

A wacky, and slightly scary, memento from my childhood in Hawaii. Don Ho was, to us kids in high school, everything that was tacky and touristy about Waikiki. Best buddy and progeny of Hawaiian music royalty, Joe Moe, gave it to me as a laugh. Twist Don's head off, squeeze his powder blue leisure suit, and up pops a soapy ring so you can blow - what else! - tiny bubbles. Mic in one hand and drink in the other, plus puka shell choker, it's an exemplar of 1970s-in-the-islands. Of course, I came to appreciate Don Ho once I grew up and embraced the international pop culture impact of his singular career. My mother, who always vowed "lips that touch wine shall ever touch mine," became an ardent fan when Ho brought her up on stage to serenade her with a kiss...twice. Years later, I was thrilled to witness his widow performing a witchy, drunken, memorial hula on stage at the Waikiki Shell at the Cazimero brother's May Day concert. A group of gigantic, Tongan transgenders next to us screamed "Make 'A', make 'A'" as she fell on her okole three times. Bottoms up, Don! -- Keone Goss

For more freaky tiki Hawaiiana, hele on over to Swank Modern Design.