Hawaii

The Yacht Rock gig in Hawaii was pretty incredible.  Basically, we traded a five day vacation for an hour of music (split between two gigs!), plus we met Kenny Loggins!

I brought my family along for this one, our first vacation in several years.

Thursday:  First time on a 747.  Very cool.  It's a nine hour flight, during which I watched Guardians of the Galaxy, Unbroken, and Silver Linings Playbook.  I tried to watch Birdman, but I couldn't get into it.


The view from our hotel room at the Prince Waikiki Hotel, looking out over the marina.


The first day (afternoon) was spent acclimating ourselves to Hawaii (the time change kind of squashed us).  We walked a bit down the Waikiki Beach, ate, and went to bed pretty early--it was unavoidable.

Friday:  Beach day #1!


We had lunch at a place called the Goofy Cafe, down the main drag from our hotel.  They specialize in local organic food, and serve breakfast all day.  Here's my french toast with pineapple, bananas, and papaya, which I washed down with a pineapple and banana smoothie.


After lunch, we walked down the main drag past lots of high end stores and restaurants.  At the other end of Waikiki from our hotel, we found these incredible trees growing on the edge of the beach.


We ate dinner near our hotel and checked out the Hilton's koi fish.


Friday night at sunset, there were fireworks over the beach.  I have no idea what we were celebrating, but it looked beautiful.


Saturday:  A short beach day.  We went to a state park to the west of the marina.


The Island Hoppers/Magnum P.I. helicopters would occasionally fly by on tours.


Sing along!



After lunch, it was time to go to work.  Our gig in Hawaii was short and sweet, backing up Mickey Thomas and Steve Augeri, opening for Kenny Loggins.  As I was heading to soundcheck, I got a text from our sound engineer/tour manager Kip.


I hadn't brought any saxophones (I hadn't brought anything other than my compact flash card for one of my keyboards, in fact), so I couldn't do it.  Kip even tried to find a saxophone for rental, but none were available.  Based on the set list, it probably would've been on Your Momma Don't Dance.

Kenny Loggins' soundcheck.  The way they progressed through their check left us with the impression that they don't play together very often.

We got to hang out with him for a few minutes before we took the stage.  It was surreal.


Our turn to soundcheck.  We played at the Hawaii Convention Center--a pretty big room.  I think there were five or six thousand people in there.  The slap of sound from the back wall was almost a full second of delay.


The gig was intense, mostly because we'd never met Mickey Thomas, and though we'd rehearsed his four songs (all Starship songs:  We Built This City, Jane, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us, and Sara), we hadn't played them in over a week.  It took an immense amount of active concentration--wish we could've been more relaxed!  Mickey seemed really cool about everything and sang great.

Our show was ruined for me when I failed to transpose my keyboard down a half step for Nothing's Gonna Stop Us and played three or four horrible notes in the wrong key.  I was pretty miserable after that.

The Steve Augeri/Journey stuff was easy for me as there was barely any second keyboard in the chosen songs (Any Way You Want It, Separate Ways, Faithfully, and Don't Stop Believin').  I mostly just sang background vocals.

When I came off stage, Kenny Loggins told me I was awesome, though, which made me hate myself a little bit less.  His show was pretty cool to see.

After the show, he even posed for a quick picture with my wife.


Sunday:  Pearl Harbor day.  We took an all day tour that included the U.S.S. Arizona, the U.S.S. Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the U.S.S. Bowfin.  Well worth it.


Kenny Loggins was also on the Arizona part of the tour.  He recognized me and gave me the nod.  Very cool.





A Japanese Zero at the aviation museum.


Aft torpedo tubes on the Bowfin.


Monday:  We rented a jeep and checked out a little bit of the eastern and northern parts of Oahu.



Scenic vistas.


Incredible beaches.


Fantastic drives through the mountains.



After lunch, we'd planned to find a good beach for boogie boarding on the north shore, but the only place we found with any waves also had lots of rocks.  The pieces of the plane were no longer there (same beach!)



On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Dole Plantation.  Fields and fields of pineapples.


 More koi fish.


...and, of course, lots of pineapples.


The other part of our Hawaii gig was a fifteen minute disco medley (Carwash, I Will Survive, You Should Be Dancing, Disco Inferno, and YMCA), accompanying a group of dancers.  We had rehearsal Monday afternoon.  It went well, and I buried a little bit of my shame about the Starship disaster.

Tuesday:  The medley was quick and painless.  I also liked the fact that the gig ended and I got  to stand up and walk away--no gear to pack up.  That has never happened to me before.


For our final hours in Hawaii, we went back to the beach for some paddle boarding.


We began the long flight home at 4 PM Tuesday.


Sunset over the Pacific.


Crossing the California coast in the middle of the night.  This is San Fransisco or San Jose, I think.


I watched 12 Years a Slave and the movie about Roger Ebert titled Life Itself.

We landed in Atlanta at 6:30 AM.  Hello jet lag.

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