Steel Trappings

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Daniel's Restaurant

June 10, 2019 • Daniel TremblayEducation and Training

Last month my wife and I saw "Arlo Guthrie — Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert" at the Hawai‘i Theatre in Honolulu. It was a great venue and if you haven't ever heard the song by Arlo Guthrie do yourself a favor and listen to it online. It is about 18 minutes long and quite a history story. Toward the end it says that in order to stay out of the draft, say

…"Shrink, you
Can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant", and walk out
You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's
Really sick and they won't take him

And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and
They won't take either of them

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, singin'
A bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? They may think it's an Organization!

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day
Walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? Friends They may think it's a Movement…"

Demos on the beach
Bill Thompson and Daniel Tremblay on the Beach at Waikīkī

So what does this have to do with the steel guitar? Well, if one person goes to the beach and plays the steel guitar and lets others try it, some will think he's crazy, but if two people go to the beach they'll think they are just strange, but if 50 or more people go out and play everywhere and let others play the steel we will have a "Steel Guitar Resurgent Movement."

Maybe we can get back to over 200,000 people playing Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar like it was in the past (see page 187 of "Kika Kila, How The Steel Guitar Changed The Sound Of Modern Music" by John W. Troutman which I recommend everyone read to understand how important this instrument is.) I invite you all to go out and share your skill by letting others try running the bar across the strings and show them a simple tab, let them try playing and give them confidence they can also play this wonderful music. More than half the people I convince to sit and try say they plan to start playing themselves. I tell them they can take personal lessons from Alan Akaka through Skype at Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i or other online programs.

Let's start a movement. Let me know how you're doing and email me if you need some tips.

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Windward Mall, Kāne‘ohe (O‘ahu), Hawai‘i

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July 8-11, 2024 – 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM HST (Nightly Concerts)
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī (O‘ahu), Hawai‘i

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
July 12, 2024 – 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM HST
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī (O‘ahu), Hawai‘i

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival
July 13, 2024 – 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM HST
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī (O‘ahu), Hawai‘i

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Keiki Kine at Kahala Mall
August 17, 2024 – 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM HST
Kahala Mall, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

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Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
July 12, 2024 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM HST


Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival
July 13, 2024 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM HST
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Experience at Mauna Lani
November 15, 2024 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM HST


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HIMELE is a Hawai‘i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.