Last Night Linda and I went to see the Legendary Don Ho perform at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. There was a mediocre dinner and then the show. The room held about 300 people and was about 80% full. I wasn’t expecting much, perhaps a few famous songs from his past and a few corny jokes.
He was fucking hilarious. First of all, he was drunk and kept drinking throughout the entire show. He sat at some sort of “piano/desk” which had the strange appearance of being an altar. He worse sunglasseses although the room was very dark and had white hair. A woman sitting next to me at out table said he was now 75 years old.
Almost every song he sang he made the audience sing along, starting with "Tiny Bubbles". It was of course, completely awful. Audiences come to these things to be entertained by a legend so they can go home and tell people they saw Don Ho, not so they can sing ackwardky mouth along the words of Tiny Bubbles.
After the song Don admitted that he “Totally hated that song”. The humor and jokes were either self-debasing, marijuana-based, or else completely off the wall. It was fucking surreal. Does anyone really want/expect Don Ho to tell 15 marijuana jokes in a row? Not me. He kept referring to it in the Hawaian word, which is pakalolo or something similar. Then he would tell stories about how much his good friend Willy Nelson smokes pakalolo from dawn til dusk and how he is completely normal.
Now I have thought a lot of things about Willy Nelson, none of them are that he is completely normal. I mean he’s a 70 year old hippie who plays country music. What is so normal about that? Most 70 year olds I have met do not travel the country in greasy long hair, evading their taxes, smoking grass, and singing songs about ugly women they fucked because they were too high and/or stoned to tell so at the time.
Before the end of the show, Don Ho played Tiny Bubbles again and had many musical guests, some of which were originals from the Don Ho show back in the 70’s which I watched a little kid. At the end he reminded everyone to “Tell everyone you know I’m still alive.”
Don Ho is still alive. If anything, its the rest of us who are probably dead.