Melisa Uchida
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Friday - October 28, 2005

If you missed John Brown’s Body last weekend - let me tell you a little something about these guys. Half the band is from Ithaca, N.Y., the other half from Boston. And their personalities are expressed through their hair-styles. Let me explain: Kevin Kinsella sings, plays guitar, and his Irish ancestry shines through in the red tones highlighted throughout his long beard. He doesn’t show much of the hair on his head though, opting to wear uniquely noticeable hats. Tommy Benedetti (drums) shaves his head, but has full facial hair, and Daniel Delacruz chooses to wear long sideburns. Christofer Welter is a tall, skinny blonde, the baby face of the group (trumpet, backup vocals and B3 organ); Alex Berman plays trombone and aketr drums, which are traditional Jamaican drums. He is Syrian and wears short hair, a full beard and always has a “hearty smile,” one of those smiles that makes you smile back without even realizing it. Scott Palmer (bass guitar) looks “kind of like a big grizzly bear” (Delacruz’s description); Elliot Martin (vocalist) is tall with dark skin and long dreads; and Nate Silas Richardson (keyboard, lead guitar and backup vocals) has a full Santa Claus-ish beard and long, curly brown hair. These are the men of John Brown’s Body - a top-charted reggae band from the East Coast. Kinsella and Martin grew up in Ithaca and have been friends since they were 12. Now in their early 30s, their home-grown band has grown into an international melting pot of voices, music styles and instruments that share the same message - the message to be righteous and to celebrate the spirit. “Reggae music is a celebration of history,” says Kinsella, and their music celebrates righteousness, freedom and action. The band is named after civil rights activist John Brown, who fought to end slavery during The Civil War ... More kool kats - Friends threw Dr. Tom Spheeris and Kara Siock an engagement party at The Wine Experience in Kapahulu.

The “to-be” newlyweds created their own Tom & Kara labels for both red and white. They named the red “Big Heads,” appropriate for the photo of their big heads plastered on it. Jackie Gill, wife of Outrigger paddler Walter Gill, planned the event with the help of Tom’s best friend, Hawaii Race Adventure founder John Henderson. Guests drank from the custom-made bottles; Southern Grill catered food. Model Giselle Pineda and boyfriend, pilot Rob Trauger, were among two dozen guests. Socialite Lance Rae is committed to brightening up Hawaii’s fashion scene and wore a tang-colored button-down-collared shirt with beige sport coat - he looked ohhh, so chic. This was a good-looking crowd. Both men and women were striking. New parents Kelly and Helene Echols looked radiant. Helene is what you’d call a “yummy mummy.” She’s thin and sexy and glowing, just months after delivering Slater. And regarding breast-feeding, well, let’s just say, Barbara Walters may not have felt comfortable at this party. A baby’s got to eat when a baby’s got to eat ... By the way, Dr. Spheeris and Kara will tie the knot June 24, 2006 at Niagara Falls ... The Wine Experience is a great place for parties, showers. Choose from more than 50 varieties of wine, from Chianti to Chilean Merlot, South African Pinotage or Australian Petit Verdot. Port also available. Approximate cost-$300/barrel, which includes everything you need to create 28-30 bottles of personalized wine. Design your own custom labels. Plus, no sulfites (reducing hangovers). Visit .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ...

Dr. Tom Spheeris and Kara Siock had their engagement party at the Wine Experience
Dr. Tom Spheeris and Kara Siock had
their engagement party at the Wine

The Society of Professional Journalists shedded their serious personas for a few nights of political satire at the Diamond Head Theatre. Gridiron 2005: Return of the Gridi poked fun at everyone and everything that’s made headlines in 2005. Cast included KITV’s Ben Gutierrez as Mayor Mufi Hannemann - as you saw on the cover. To make up for the height difference between the two, Ben walked the stage on stilts trying to reach Hannemann’s 6-foot-7-inch stature. TV, print and radio celebrities hit the stage in ways you wouldn’t see them on the 6 o’clock news. KITV’s Denby Fawcett, KHNL’s Minna Sugimoto and Paul Drewes, 93.1’s Justin Cruz, plus John Heckathorn, Cathy Cruz, Dan Cooke, Pamela Young, Kristie Guilotte, Bob Jones, Lisa Kubota, Robbie Dingeman, Kyle Funasaki, Louise Kim McCoy, B.J. Reyes and Jodi Leong were just a few of the participants. Award-winning singer and actor Randl Ask directed Gridiron 2005. Ask has performed for years on Broadway and was Matthew Broderick‘s understudy in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Artistic director Keoki Kerr played many roles including talent scout, coach and “moral compass” of the show. Scary. Just kidding! Norma Hirota ran all over town as the show’s costume coordinator as she’s done since 2001. And lots of other people volunteered their time and talent to raise money for student scholarships ...

Help kids train for the Junior Olympics by watching The Legend of Zorro starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones this Sunday at Ward Theatres. Yup, going to the movies will help the Oahu Fencing Center provide Olympic-level training programs for children who can’t afford to experience the exotic sport. There will be a Hollywood-style silent auction and prizes including autographed Kikaida photos and CDs and fencing equipment, including swords! Silent auction starts at 8:30 a.m.; movie starts 9. Tax-deductible tickets are $12.50; call 848-8880 by the end of today to reserve seats ...

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