Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Hawaii's Lanai Boy, Then and Now

Lanai

Flashback to December 1990. I'm a high school senior in Hawai'i, listening to the radio when KIKI "Hot I-94" starts advertising a holiday-themed promotion to make wishes come true. It's mostly a chance to give a few down-on-their-luck folks some money to make it through the season. But I come up with another idea, which would be free for the station: Make my dream come true to be a DJ on the station. What the hell, I thought, maybe they'd let me show up and do it. (I had gotten the bug earlier that year while doing some DJing that summer on KTUH, the University of Hawaii radio station.)

To my surprise, they said yes -- and offered to let me do an hour show on a Friday night during the "Lanai Boy and Jimmy the Geek" show. (It was late December, so they probably figured no one was listening on a Friday anyway). Lanai and Jimmy basically gave me the board for an hour as I played commericials, the pre-determined playlist (remember Stevie B?) and read a few liners. It was a blast. Above, a shot of me with Lanai Boy from that night.

In the decades that followed, "Lanai Boy" became just "Lanai" and forged a long-running radio partnership with Augie Tulba. But more recently, he was part of the "Aloha Plate" food truck team that won Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race."

A few weeks ago at the LA Street Food Festival, I ran into the Aloha Plate food truck, and there was Lanai. I went over and told him about the time I met him in the studios of I-94 nearly 24 years ago. An updated pic:

LA Street Food Fest

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