30 Years of Music and Memories

The music of Cecilio and Kapono brings back the days of peace and love for their longtime fans

Friday - August 05, 2005
By Moon Yun Choi
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Cecilio Rodriguez and Henry
Kapono have gone their
separate ways, but continue
to get together to play for
C&K fans, who are like
an extended family

It has indeed been a “lifetime party” for Cecilio & Kapono. The legendary duo — Cecilio Rodriguez and Henry Kapono Ka‘aihue — attribute their popularity over the years to their music which evokes feelings of love, hope and happiness. For them, their concerts are about C&K getting together with their fans to have one big party.

And the party continues with a concert to celebrate the release of their new live CD and DVD recordings titled Lifetime Party — 30 Years of Friends, Vol. 2.

The musical releases are a follow- up to the first volume which marked their 30th anniversary in 2003. They’re performing at Kapono’s at the Aloha Tower Marketplace Friday and Saturday. Kapono’s is Henry Kapono’s restaurant and concert amphitheater.

Sitting at the outdoor bar of his club, the breeze blows softly through Kapono’s long, wavy hair. His other half, Rodriguez, arrives with his guitar. Kapono is soft-spoken and reserved, while Rodriguez is gregarious and animated.

“I think the music that we do is the kind of music that reaches out and touches you … I think that’s what kept it going. Our songs are songs of love, of hope, of happiness … I think that’s why people come (to our concerts) because we can take them to a place that perhaps they’re not in right now. Maybe their life is kind of a struggle for them, and we can take them to this nice place where it’s all smiles and pleasant and wonderful,” says Rodriguez.

“Our old fans have been with us for so long that we take them back to where we were when the songs first came out. We’re all having a good time. Love, peace and happiness were what it was all about in our generation. Our songs take us to that place,” says Kapono.

Vol. 2 includes songs that couldn’t fit into the first volume. Fans go down the C&K memory lane again with such songs as: Judy Blue Eyes, Six O’clock Bad News, Summerlady, Life’s Different Now, I Love You, We’re All Alone, Home, Gotta Get Away, Here With You and the rare Hawaiian treat, O Makalapua.

The DVD features the C&K “Goodtime Picks: C&K Live in Concert,” “Hanging with C&K Backstage,” “Interesting C&K Facts” and “Fans Doing C&K.” With the years, Rodriguez says wistfully, hopefully they’ve become wiser. He admits they’re certainly older, but their music remains unchanged.

“Everybody loves the oldies. (Our fans) have been following us for 30 years, and they love that period of time (when) we were all having a good time. Those old songs are still in their hearts and with them. Every time we play, it’s fresh again,” says Kapono.

Rodriguez explains how they were basically the soundtrack for the ’70s where babies were born to their music and people got married and graduated school to their music. Then Kapono playfully adds, “People made love to our music.”

With a “no kidding look,” Rodriguez says, “Yeah, babies were conceived to our music. We’ve had stories (where) people have come up to us and told us that.” Holding his hand up, Rodriguez jokes, “‘OK, don’t tell us anymore.’” He then laughs raucously.

Thirty-two years is a long time to be together, and C&K say it’s the fans who drive them to continue. “They want to hear us. They want to see us. They want to be with us. We get together for a party … that’s what the concert is all about. It’s like an extended family. We call them friends of C&K, but basically they’re our fans out there,” says Rodriguez.

And they’re seeing new generation of fans.

Kelly Boy DeLima of Kapena says his son recently bought a C&K album. “As a little boy, I listened to C&K albums when we used to go surfing on the North Shore. It’s timeless music. They’re our favorite group.”

They’ve both gone off and done their own solo albums, but they’re surprised when, as solo artists, they are treated like a

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