Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tappy Returns to the Pink Lady

Bill Tapia played for the opening of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Now he just played for the (temporary) closing.
"In 1927, Hawai'i-born Bill Tapia already had a lifetime's worth of musical experiences under his belt. He was 19 years old and criss-crossing the Pacific Ocean playing jazz guitar for steamship passengers.

During a trip home to see his parents, though, band leader Johnny Noble offered him a few extra dollars to stay here for a special job: Playing on opening night of a new hotel in Waikiki: The Royal Hawaiian.

Last night, 81 years later, as The Royal Hawaiian prepared to shut down for six months and an $85 million renovation project, Tapia was back home, playing his first love, the 'ukulele, for hundreds of adoring fans in one of Honolulu's most storied musical venues, the Monarch Room."


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