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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Mauna Kea, Seal Beach, CA (restaurant)
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Mauna Kea, Seal Beach, CA (restaurant)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 1183
From: behind a cluttered desk
Posted: 2011-01-18 12:01 pm   Permalink


On 2011-01-18 11:16, rabbett wrote:
Aloha Tiki Members,
I came across this sight by accident but I wanted to comment on a topic, and ask a question if possible.
I know this topic was started over a year ago but since I was born and raised in Long Beach, and grew up going to most all of the restaurants/Nightclubs I wanted to clarify that the Eddie Bush you had mentioned is not the Ukalele player. The Eddie Bush that played throughout Southern California was a Steel Guitar player. That sea shell matchbook was signed by my father. I'm Eddie Bush's daughter. I graduated from LB Wilson in 1981.

So here's my question. Is the Holden that is referred to in this thread "Holden W."? Did he graduate
from LB Wilson?

Thanks for all the great memories!

Hi Rene,
Well... it's been a while! I'm used to getting things like this through Facebook so getting this through Tiki Central is a nice (& unusual) surprise! That's so cool that your dad was Eddie Bush. Interesting too is that his tenure at the Mauna Kea is or likely was the same year that you (& I) were born!

It was indeed in great part that growing up in Long Beach was the starting point Rene for my starting Tiki Farm. As you recall, Long Beach was one of the mainland hubs of the googy Hawaiiana-inspired architecture... Java Lanes, Mr. C's, all of the old apartment buildings down around Belmont Heights & Outer Belmont Heights... the inland "Millikan" parts of town had a lot of the old strip malls that were done up with Polynesian roof lines... older homes down on the peninsula... really mostly though were the streets of 3rd & 4th street where there was a mix of homes & apartment buildings. Do you remember those areas? Many were adorned with Tikis out front and then within the courtyards, lots of lush tropical growth, more Tikis and design "hits" that were tropical (stairwell adornments, tapa carved support beams, tropical outdoor light fixtures, etc.)

You should stick around TC Rene and gleen some of what is the modern day resurgent Tiki scene that is in part, thanks to icons like your dad.

I'd be happy to talk to you anytime and if you find TC (nickname for Tiki Central) of interest, it'd be my pleasure to bring you to one of the MANY So Cal Tiki events. The biggest one is Tiki Oasis which happens this August in San Diego. It's attended by 1000's of guests but the bummer is...

This year, it's the same weekend as our 30-year anniversary!?!

All the best - take care and reach out if you'd like!


Here's an interesting write-up on Rene's father...

Born circa 1937, died circa 1992.

Eddie Bush was Carl Mann's guitarist. Few guitar players have a sound as instantly recognizable as Eddie's. Bush was a supremely gifted guitar player, who sadly had a permanent wanderlust. This made him into a hobo wandering around the USA, playing wherever he could for money to eat and a bed for the night.

Eddie was five years older than Carl and before their first meeting in 1957, Bush had already been in the service in Hawaii and had played as a staff guitarist on the Louisiana Hayride. Bush and Mann were brought together by Jimmie Martin, owner of the small Jaxon label in Jackson, Tennessee. Carl already had his own band, the Kool Kats, when he auditioned for Martin in early 1957, at the ripe old age of 14. Jimmie agreed to cut a single with Carl, but he decided that he wanted to use Eddie Bush, Junior Vestal and himself as backing musicians instead of the Kool Kats, to achieve a more professional sound. The single, "Gonna Rock And Roll Tonight"/"Rockin' Love" was released in April 1957 on Jaxon 502. Carl paid all the session expenses himself and got 350 copies. So the record never stood a chance. Eddie also cut his own (vocal) single for Jaxon, "I'm Confused About You"/"Little Darlin'" (Jaxon 503), but like Carl's record, this one never got much further than the Jackson city limits. Both sides are pure country (nothing to write home about) and are available on the Stomper Time CD mentioned at the bottom of this piece.

It didn't take Carl Mann long to realize that he was heading nowhere on Jaxon. Carl formed a new combo with himself on vocals and piano, Eddie on guitar, Robert Oatsvall on bass and Tony Moore on drums. The next step for Carl and his new band was to approach Sun Records. Eddie and Carl kept going to the Sun studio with their demo tapes, but they never got anywhere until they hooked up with W.S. Holland, who would become the drummer in Carl's band. It was Cecil Scaife, Sun's promotion manager, who took the initiative to sign Mann. Though "Mona Lisa" was recorded in October 1958, it was not released until six months later, after it became clear to Sam Phillips that MGM was going to put out a version by Conway Twitty (which used the same arrangement). Carl's version reached # 25 on the Billboard charts. The follow-up, recorded in August 1959, was another revival of a Nat King Cole hit, "Pretend", which went to # 57. Both these hits bear the stamp of Eddie Bush's unusual guitar style. Many Sun sessions would follow, always with Eddie on guitar, but at the age of 17, Carl's career already began its downward slide. Unable to handle the rigours of heavy touring, he soon become an alcoholic. Unfortunately, the same fate befell Eddie Bush.

But in 1960, Carl continued to sell records in respectable quantities and in that year he even had an LP released ("Like Mann", Phillips International PLP 60). Four of the twelve tracks on that (excellent) album were written by Eddie : "Baby I Don't Care" (which Eddie also recorded himself later that year, Phillips International 3558), "I'm Bluer Than Anyone Else Could Be", "Island Of Love" and "Walkin' And Thinkin'" (also recorded by Eddie, but shelved until the appearance of Carl's Bear Family box-set in 1993). Bush shows himself to be a pretty good songwriter with these songs. With Carl, he also wrote "Crazy Fool", "Ain't You Got No Lovin' For Me", "It Really Doesn't Matter Now" and "If I Could Change You" (in this last case, Eddie sold his share to guitarist Kelso Herston). All pleasant, very melodic songs.

At some point there was a conflict between Eddie and Sam Phillips, of which the details are fuzzy. Eddie appears to have gone back to the Louisiana Hayride for a while to play with Carl Belew, but in the end he did return to Sun. As a singer, his vocal style was strongly influenced by Carl Mann's. Eddie also left a fairly large legacy of instrumentals at Sun, but his best work is in support of Carl.

After Carl left Sun in 1962, Eddie started drifting. The pair was reunited after Carl's return to civilian life after a spell in the US Army. Mann was signed by Monument Records in 1966. Eddie plays guitar on the A-side of Carl's sole Monument single, "Serenade Of the Bells" (Monument 974) and wrote the B-side, "Down To My Last I Forgive You". Every few years, Eddie would appear for a short while back in Jackson, but, despite Carl's best efforts, he could not persuade Bush to settle back in the area and, shortly after. Bush would leave again. After a very long period of time, during which Eddie did not return to Jackson, Carl finally found out that Eddie had died near Oklahoma City in the early 1990's. According to Carl he is buried in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. He will be remembered as one of the most original guitar players of the rock n roll era.

Acknowledgements : - Colin Escott and Hank Davis, Book accompanying the 4-CD Bear Family box-set "Carl Mann : Mona Lisa" (BCD 15713), released in 1993.
- Dave Travis, Liner notes for the CD "Hot Rockin' Music From Tennessee : The Jaxon Recording Company Story" (Stomper Time STCD 20). Released in 2005.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 1183
From: behind a cluttered desk
Posted: 2011-01-18 12:08 pm   Permalink


On 2010-09-17 12:03, tikiyaki wrote:
Alot of us Tiki Peeps were born in 63'...

Me, Holden, Bosko, Joe Banks, Soccer Tiki, 3 other guys in my band, that's just off the top of my head.
63' was a good year, but yea, once the beatles showed up, surf and Exotica got into a big wipeout.

Okay, while I'm still in this old thread I wanted to bring up something. A few years back, I'm hanging out with Jim & Bosko at Nick's Tiki Mag gig at the Bali Hai. We were talking about music - specifically old bands. We started naming off all of these relatively obscure bands that we all liked in years past, bands that if I mention them to 95% of the people I know, they've never heard of them. We were rollin' off a bunch of 'em to the point that the irony of our all knowing these same obscure bands kinda boggled my mind. I looked at Jim and said "what year were you born" - 63 he replied then I looked at Bosko and asked the same question - 63 he said. Then they asked me - 63 I said.

I feel older now than I did about a half hour ago.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 37
Posted: 2018-04-06 10:57 am   Permalink

Apologies for dredging up an old topic, but this thread (and in particular Sabu's post about his fantasy 1963 PCH Tiki Pub Crawl: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=33196&forum=2&vpost=554307) really inspired me to dig a little further into those "smaller tiki-themed restaurants and bars of Long Beach like the Samoa, the Pago Pago, and other places still waiting to be re-discovered".

The smaller places he mentioned included specific references to the Samoa (which I did a little digging on and posted about here: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=52739&forum=2), and the Pago Pago (which seems to have been part of a larger chain bigbro discussed here: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=32034&forum=2, although the Long Beach location doesn't seem to have its own thread yet), as well as images of ads for Jakamos (which dustycajun posted about here: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=41909&forum=2) and an ad for a restaurant called Keona (AKA Keona Club AKA Keona's). Keona does not appear either on Critiki or in Tiki Road Trip.

Interestingly, my research into Keona suggests that, despite the name (which seems to be Hawaiian for something like "the louse/mite"?), it may not have actually been a Poly-pop/tiki place after all.

According to this article about the current occupant of the space from The Grunion Gazette dated June 21, 2013, Keona operated from 1944 to 1990 - a fairly impressive run. http://www.gazettes.com/dining/profiles_in_dining/dining-profile-roxanne-s-expanding-into-speakeasy/article_426ff0b6-d916-11e2-ae66-0019bb2963f4.html. It was located at 1115 East Wardlow Road and owned by Chuck and Peggy Heckel. According to his obituary in the March 19, 1997, Independent, Chuck passed away in 1997:

I looked at a number of reviews and ads spanning several decades, and can't find any reference to any Polynesia/Exotica influence in décor, cuisine, cocktails, or otherwise.

(Short reference from March 1, 1963, Independent:)

(Ad from March 15, 1963, Independent:)

(Ad from February 28, 1964, Independent:)

(Ad from April 29, 1966, Independent:)

(Review from March 28, 1969, Independent:)

(Ad from September 17, 1970, Independent:)

(Short Review from June 29, 1972, Independent:)

(Review from April 26, 1974, Independent:)

(Review from December 28, 1975, Independent:)

(Ad from January 24, 1986, Independent:)

Their primary draws seem to have been menu items, including the opportunity to cook your own steaks...

...and a large, reasonably priced shrimp cocktail.

When their cocktail program was referenced at all, the only drinks mentioned seem to have been fairly standard daiquiris and margaritas (see April 26, 1974 review above).

There seems to be little ephemera out there, but their matchbooks are relatively easy to come by (in pink and green, in addition to this lavender). Note the lack of any Polynesian/tiki influence:

So unless others have evidence to the contrary, time-traveling Tiki fans visiting 1963 for Sabu's pub crawl can probably skip Keona.

The location is currently Roxanne's:

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