Getting The Band Back Together
In the 1970s, Robin Kimura belonged to Greenwood, a “full time, part-time band,” and played in nightclubs on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Today, Robin, who works for Renton, Wash.-based Kenco, a manufacturers’ rep firm that covers several states, once again leads his band, this time playing at the 70’s Nightclub Reunion, held at a Waikiki area hotel.
“Back in the ‘70s, our band was willing to play in nightclubs on Waikiki Beach on the nights the house bands weren’t playing,” says Robin. “We played four nights a week at different clubs and had a great time. That’s what I mean about being a ‘full time, part-time’ band.”
Greenwood disbanded in 1981 after a nine-year career, but decided to reunite in 2005 after a friend and manager at a Waikiki hotel asked Robin if the band could get back together and play at the hotel.
“My first thought was to create a high school reunion theme, so I contacted bands from my high school days, but the idea didn’t go anywhere,” says Robin. “So I thought, ‘what about the nightclub days?’ I looked in my black book and started making calls. I got five bands together, and that’s how we started the Nightclub Reunion.”
Of the 10 original Greenwood members, nine were able to participate in the reunion.
“Fortunately for us, most of the guys were still playing music, for example, in church bands,” says Robin.
For the first Nightclub Reunion, there was no budget, but still 600 people attended. The event was covered as a feature story on television.
“Halfway through the night, people were coming up to us and saying, ‘when is the next one?’ Robin says.
However, exhausted from organizing the first reunion, Robin wasn’t sure about a second one. But after realizing how successful it was, coupled with all the fan support urging him on, Robin decided to make the reunions an annual event.
Each year the reunions get a little bigger and 950 people attended in 2008. The most recent event, held this past February, sold out well in advance and had a standing room only crowd. It was so popular that another one is scheduled for later this year.
“Beyond my wildest dreams, I never imagined this kind of a celebration and event. Our band is more popular now than we were back in the ‘70s,” says Robin.
Audience members are typically in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Many dress in attire from the ‘70s: leisure suits, platform shoes and sequined shirts. Not only does the event bring band members back together, but it has given the attendees the chance to meet new people their own age, too.
“The reunion has helped people to connect,” says Robin. “It’s a safe and fun venue for people to get acquainted. It warms my heart to provide an innocent escape for people, allowing them to go back to a time when life was simpler.”
Gretchen Roufs, an 18-year janitorial supply industry veteran, owns a marketing and public relations company in San Antonio. To suggest someone you think should be featured in “Freetime,” contact her at Gretchen@GretchenRoufs.com.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by CleanLink.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of CleanLink.com or its staff. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines.