Uncle Tom’s Gabbin’

Tom Moffatt
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Wednesday - August 13, 2008
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Tom and Loretta
Tom and Loretta

DON’T FEEL BAD if you’ve never heard of him, most people haven’t. But for someone who’s spent his whole life in the music business, Sid Bernstein was one important fella. So much so, that when I heard he was about to celebrate his 90th birthday I decided I had to be there, even if I had to travel to New York City on a muggy day in August ... When a flabbergasted Sid answered his door, I hand-delivered a box of Leonard’s malasadas! The look on Sid’s face as he bit into that first malasada made the long journey worthwhile ...

Sid became a Leonard’s fan during the same period in the ‘60s that Hawaii embraced his group, The Young Rascals. Of course, that wasn’t Sid’s biggest group. You’ve probably heard of this other group he managed. They were known as The Beatles, and Sid was the guy who introduced the Beatles to the U.S., highlighted by their sold-out Shea Stadium concerts…


It was a special thrill being with Sid at a Sunday night concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (on the site of the Woodstock Festival) when his birthday was honored before several thousand cheering fans ...

The day before, I visited backstage with Loretta Ables Sayre after enjoying her performance as Bloody Mary in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Lincoln Center Theater. The smash revival is sold out for weeks ahead! Much has been written about Loretta and the other major stars of the show, but I was especially impressed by Matthew Morrison, who portrays Lt. Joseph Cable. After we were introduced by Loretta, I was surprised when Matthew mentioned that he was no stranger to Honolulu - he worked one summer as a background vocalist for Don Ho at the Reef Hotel’s Polynesian Palace ... After enjoying miso/matzoh ball soup (you read it right!) followed by a delicious seafood meal at Manhattan’s Red Eye Restaurant with The Stylistics’ manager and longtime friend Jack Bart, Sid had to take me to his favorite - the 2nd Ave Deli - for real matzoh, and wished that Eddie Sherman was there ...


Coast to coast: Stopped in Tinseltown to visit another good friend, Glen A. Larson, master of prime time television (creator of Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and Magnum P.I., among others). After a fast but fabulous couple of days in the Hills, it was time to return, quite happily, home ...

This week in 1959: The $28 million Ala Moana Center opens featuring The Slipper House, Foodland, Sears, Longs Drug Store, Bank Of Hawaii, Honolulu Paper Company, Shida’s Babyland, Mode O’Day, Woolworth’s, McInerny’s, Uyehara’s Service Station, Carousel and Chandler’s French Room ...

The No. 1 record in Hawaii is: The Three Bells by The Browns ...

 

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