Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Stocking Fillers #2: M Modern Online Sale ...

Christmas is coming and the Secret Island Goose is getting fat!

Okay so you've bought the Whirlingturban dress, but what else is on the shopping list? Well here are a couple more gift ideas from the M Modern Gallery in Palm Strings...

Founded in 2003 M Modern Gallery specialises in Mid Century Modernist Art, design and objects. At the moment they have a fine sale with some fantastic seasonal savings. Here at the Secret Island we picked out two so Santa if you're reading this we'd quite like ...

"LIMBO MANIACS"  4 Color Serigraph Print on Paper Signed & Numbered  by DEREK YANIGER
24" x 12.5" Regular Price: $75    50% Off             SALE PRICE: $37.50 USD

Pirate Boy of the Caribbean by Shag. Designer: Span of Sunset - Shag      Dimensions: 10 Inches
Medium: Vinyl  Rarity: 500   Regular Price: $60 - 50% Off!    SALE PRICE: $29.95 USD

Wahine of the Week: Monica Renee...

Meet Ms. Monica Renee, sexy brunette who was born and raised in San Diego, Ca. She’s a professional Tattooed Print/Catalog model who enjoys Fashion, Pinup, Lingerie, and Swimsuit-based modeling gigs.

She’s been on the cover of just about every tattoo publication there is including Inked Girls Magazine, Tattoo Society, Deadbeat, and Tattoo Magazine. Monica has shot for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) clothing labels such as Affliction, Hostility, and Tapout as well as for brands such as New York Couture, Lucky 13, Coffin Case and PinUp Girl Clothing.

Here’s some fun tid-bits on Monica…
  • After unsuccessful attempts on getting signed with modeling agencies in LA, (apparently she had too many curves!), Monica chose to immerse herself in the Rockabilly/Pinup scene. This was where her curves and tattoos were embraced and eventually what led to her winning the Ink and Iron 1st annual Pin Up Queen in 2007. This win opened many doors and opportunities to model for various magazines and companies.
  • Monica is mainly of Polish descent but is also a mix of German, Irish, and French.
  • Monica’s beautiful tattoo collection includes her entire lower back, hips, full right sleeve, a large piece on her upper left arm, and a piece on her wrist.
  • She loves french fries, the color Red, lounging at her house, and is a horror/zombie-movie fanatic.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sandy Warner - The face of Exotica ...

If Denny, Lyman and Baxter are the sound of Exotica then surely the face must be Sandy Warner.

The girl who featured on sixteen Martin Denny sleeves was born on the 14th March 1935 in New York. While still in her teens, she appeared along with her twin sister, Sonia, in several B-movies and at least one A-movie, "The Human Jungle," in bit parts. Sandy appeared in several other films, including Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl" and Don Siegel's "Point Blank," and in episodes of "Perry Mason," "The Twilight Zone," and "The Fugitive."

Denny recalls ...
"She was a stunning model, extremely photogenic. She posed for at least the first dozen albums I did. They always changed her looks to fit the mood of the package."

It was a standing joke among disk jockeys that many of them discovered only later that there was a record inside the dust jacket. For all her exposure, Warner was able to pull one over on Denny himself when they first met.

He later recalled...
"I'm playing the piano, and right on the edge of the stage, there's a young couple sitting there, a very attractive gal. I finish the show, and she motions to me to come over to her table, so I did. She says hello, I say hello, and she says 'You know. we have a lot in common.' I say, 'How come'?' And she says, 'Well, I'm the girl on the cover of Exotica.' I looked at her and by God she was! She was on her honeymoon with her new husband. She was a model on at least ten of my albums, and on each one she has a different characterization, a different look and everything. A very stunning girl."

She also went on to appear as a cover girl for other artists as well as releasing an album of her own Steve Allen Presents Fair and Warner featuring liner notes by none other than Martin Denny. Unfortunately, Mayfair didn't see fit to invite Warner to as many return engagements as a singer as Liberty did as a cover model.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kahiki Collectables - Update

You might remember my previous post on the fate of the iconic Kahiki Tiki and Fireplace. Well the bids are in and the eBay auction has ended.

The good news is that the Tiki has been sold for $890.22 or in the local currency here on the Secret Island  AU $923.66. I guess it was always going to be the more practical of the two buys. I can just imagine the Tiki standing proudly in its new spot, with loving owners, restored with the flaming red top knot back in position.

The Fireplace at twenty two feet in length has fewer applications and potential new homes and remained unsold  with a top bid of $16.50 (AU $17.12) after the reserve was not met. It is much harder to gift wrap, get under the tree and just imagine Santa's trip down that baby! It's future remains unclear ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Stocking Fillers #1: Whirlingturban Dress.

For eleven months of the year the only Christmas I think about is Christmas Island ... however for one month only the thought of what to buy Mrs. Tiki Sasquatch for Christmas gives me sleepless nights. What do you buy your Wahine beauty who already has everything?

Well this year I'm going to give it some serious thought and bring you the best gifts out there for fans of Tiki and Polynesian Pop. Starting today with a dress from Whirlingturban

The ladies at Whirlingturban have Christmas sewn up as they take all the stress out of buying the perfect dress for that someone special. You gift them a dress and then she picks the dress style, fabric and the size so that it picks her perfectly! That way she gets the dress of her dreams and the reduced chance of us getting the wrong size, shape, style again this year!

There are two styles which might interest readers of the Secret Island. The Dorothy Lamour pictured above is a classic sarong style dress and a "tribute to the design genius of Alfred Shaheen, the Hawaiian design god of the 50's.This dress is not only one of the most flattering dresses to come out of the 50's; it is certainly one of the most flattering designs of all time." 

Below is the Hawaiian  Heaven which is Whirlingturban's interpretation of Fredericks of Hollywood 1956 creation of the same name.

Whirlingturban Bombshell Dresses and Pinup Couture are made in a small, custom design studio surrounded by an orchid-dripping and dragonfly-humming tropical garden in exotic Bali.With a tiny staff of Bali’s best seamstresses, and with the help of local fabric dyers printers and weavers, they make garments lovingly, by hand, one at a time. They recreate "Vintage Greats"; the most desirable and hard to find styles, using hand work and construction techniques which are no longer practical on modern factories. They offer an array of sizes that only a small shop which can afford to cut one by one can offer, thus giving their customers a "Movie Star Fit".

Go on treat that special person in your life this year...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finding NEMO aka artist Mike Mendez ...

These stunning hand carved and painted sculptures are created by the mega talented hands of NEMO (aka Mike Mendez). I have to admit that I've been unable to find out much about the man behind the magic, however you can clearly see why he's so hot on the designer toy scene at the moment.


When you consider that the piece above "Hello Tiki Hello Kitty" measures just 6cm in height you get a sense of the detail involved! These hand painted and carved pieces don't last long after they are posted on the Tenacious Toys website so you need to stay in touch with what he's up to via his blog Nemo's Sculpture Studio and get to the newly listed items quickly! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Going APE ...

Tonight here on The Secret Island I've literally been going APE listening to Jungle Gems from the band by the same name.

"APE formed amidst the rocky shores and crashing waves of San Francisco's windward side in 1998. Eric Rindal had already successfully circumnavigated the world of instrumental surf music with his band The Swami's, but now he was restless. Like Thor Heyerdahl in Kon-Tiki, he set out upon a journey across the musical ocean, in search of adventure. For crew he signed on tiki carver Crazy Al, shameless pineapple fondler Mitch Tobias, fellow ex-Swami (and now leader of the Badass Chickenbones) Lane, exotic drummer Kevin Woodhouse, and Hawaiian steel & uke nut Frank Novicki (of the Waikiki Steel Works). Together they created the unique sound and look of APE."

In this clip APE perform Jumping Beans at Tiki Oasis 6 ...

If you enjoyed that then there is plenty more like that on this release. However one word of caution listening to Jungle Gems may result in the consumption of multiple Mai-Tais. Mia Huna Moku urges you to drink responsibly. Please do not attempt to guide an outrigger canoe while listening to this CD.

No download links as this is still very much available... so get your self to Bone Productions and pick up the sixteen track CD for only $15 cool bananas!

Wahine of the Week: Kay O'Hara

This weeks Woo Hoo Wahine is the stunning Kay O’Hara.

Kay O’Hara is a beautiful buxom blonde with a look deeply inspired by one of her heroes, Marilyn Monroe. Her specialties include Retro and Modern Pinup, Cheesecake, Old Hollywood Glamour with an emphasis on sexy Garters, Stockings, and Nylon Tease. Kay is what you get when classy, vintage-style erotica meets modern, sassy flair!

  • Kay loves the military! Having sent post-cards and letters of support to deployed soldiers for many years, she taught herself html and then produced a website dedicated to the heroes of the Armed Forces. offers deployed troops access to her online pics. Reminiscent of the old WWII pinups, Kay O’Hara’s Operation: Pinup is dedicated to boost morale support.
  • Kay is not just a pretty face! She is also a published writer in the genre of romance fiction and dabbles in poetry as well.
  • Besides being gorgeous, a talented writer, and web designer, Kay is also a business woman, proud mother, and wife!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    London Calling ...

    The jungle drums are beating a little faster here on The Secret Island as your very own Tiki Sasquatch has been invited by the delectable Aubrey London to make contributions to the brand spanking new Aubrey London's Tiki Lounge. Its such an exciting venture and I have to say that I'm over the Moon of Manakoora to be asked and have the opportunity to have an input.

    Aubrey is someone I have a lot of respect for in the web design and pinup world so I'm just hoping that I can do her blog Aubrey London Pinup justice!

    UPDATE: Aubrey has launched Pin Up Photoshoot Packages with Yellow Bubbles. You'll be amazed what you'll get so if you're in the San Francisco area follow the link.

    Kahiki Collectibles ...

    In the words of Critiki ...
    "Kahiki Supper Club is a legend in the tiki world - a massive polynesian palace in the frozen land of Columbus, Ohio. Kahiki founders Bill Sapp and Lee Henry started work on the Kahiki after their bar, the Grass Shack, burned down on this site in 1959."

     They built the Kahiki for more than $1 million (about $7.3 million today), however having fallen through the hands of several owners the Kahiki closed it's doors for the last time in 2000...
    "The Kahiki's building was a classic example of midcentury polynesian pop architecture, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Despite this, Walgreen's purchased the building and bulldozed it. Some of the interior decor had been stored in a warehouse, and there was talk of the restaurant reopening in a new location. The potential for that seems to have ended: some of the decor was installed in the frozen food factory; the Kahiki's last owner, Michael Tsao, has died; and many of the remaining artifacts appear to have been sold at auctions."
    Perhaps the most striking features of the Kahiki other than its A Frame were the Moai heads guarding the entrance. Standing over sixteen foot tall each had a red "topknot" which sat atop the head and spewed fire from a gas burner...

    While on the inside was a twenty two foot Tiki fireplace complete with glowing red eyes, as featured in this Shag painting ...

    ... and the essential book Tiki Modern!

    Interestingly both of these Kahiki icons are up for grabs and could be yours at the right price!

    Kahiki Moai Head - eBay Auction.
    Kahiki Fireplace - eBay Auction.

    Both show some signs of damage when they were removed but both deserve to fall into the hands of someone who will love and cherish them and return them to their former Tiki greatness... how much for postage to The Secret Island!?!

    "No restaurant with a fire-breathing stone head has ever captured the hearts of Columbus quite like the Kahiki.The Polynesian eatery took Tiki kitsch to the max with an aviary, indoor thatch huts, umbrella-topped drinks, waterfalls and the deep thrum of drums." Elizabeth Gibson.
    "At the point when the last great Tiki bar closes, someone will open a new one and everyone will say these are great. It's a shame we always seem to realize too late how much things mean to us." Frank Decaro.
    The loss of cathedrals of Tiki like Kahiki make the fight for bars like the Tonga Room even more important. The fight continues...

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Leo Addeo More Hawaii in Hi-Fi RCA Records 1960...

    Here's another classic slab of wax from Leo Addeo and his Orchestra. This was the second installment following his first effort Hawaii in Hi-Fi in 1959.

    I'm not sure what the Hula Maiden is looking for on the sleeve ... but I can kick back, listen to this and hope it's me! ;0)

    A1 The Sheik of Araby
    A2 Isle of Paradise
    A3 Near You
    A4 Song of India
    A5 Harbor Lights
    B1 Third Man Theme
    B2 Moon of Manakoora
    B3 To You, Sweetheart, Aloha
    B4 Song of the Islands
    B5 Red Sails in the Sunset

    Enjoy Leo Addeo's More Hawaii in Hi-Fi.

    Richard in Your Mind Candelabra

    Listening to the radio here on The Secret Island heard something strangely familiar amongst all the other stuff. It was a track by a band from Sydney Australia called Richard in Your Mind which features a very Quiet Village-esque bass line.

    Having done a little digging around about them it would seem that Richard In Your Mind are full of inventiveness and spark, offering up genuinely odd, mind-bending music, the kind as likely to veer off into a hip hop verse as it is an extended sitar workout. They once described their sound like this

    “Live it’s just your standard guitar/bass/drums/vox/synth/sax/harmonica/megaphone kinda thing, but in recording we love experimenting with heaps of stuff like harmonium, sitar, tabla, juju shaker (with a voodoo curse), gongs, bells, samples and any toy that makes a cool sound. Then we just put delay on everything…”

    Love this record sleeve on so many levels!
    Four years after starting out, the newly expanded five piece has reccently offered up "My Volcano", their keenly awaited second lp. With stand out tunes like this they are sure to capture imaginations here and on the mainland!

    Triple J Unearthed - Richard in Your Mind.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Derek ... new print and reissued book with a free print...

    Derek Yaniger is up to no good again, making me put my hand on my pocket for things so awesome that I can't refuse! First cab off the rank is a print taken from one of Derek's favourite paintings. "Wail On" ia a collectable four color silk screened serigraph printed on colored heavyweight archival French paper and measures 15.5" x 16.5" all signed and numbered by Derek in a super limited edition of 65.

    Here on The Secret Island one of my favourite books is Wildsville. Its a great book worth having on your bamboo coffee table for sure. Only available on eBay and Amazon after going out of print the good news is that its back. However this time it comes with more than just the eye candy inside ...

    If you buy now you will also receive a collectable digital 10" x 8.5" print titled "One Armed Bandit" free!

    And thats not all twenty lucky people will also receive an original sketch! What are you waiting for go get yours NOW! 

    Derek Yaniger Art @ Mister Retro - Swell Merchandise.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Harry Owens Polynesian Holiday, Capitol Records. 1956 ...

    For your listening pleasure today I have for you Harry Owens and his 1956 release Polynesian Holiday.

    Harry Owens credits Hawaii with his rebirth in 1934 when he first sailed past Diamond Head on Matson's S. S. Mariposa. Owens came to the islands to lead the orchestra at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. He met several knowledgeable native Hawaiians and learned a great deal about their culture, embraced it as his own, and transcribed many ancient and 20th century Hawaiian songs which had never been written down before. Through the years, Owens became one of the grand cheerleaders for Hawai'i as he took his band and troupe, usually including Hilo Hattie featured in the You Tube clip, all over the mainland.

    "All Hawaiian, all the time" was his philosophy and he followed it at regular engagements at Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel Coconut Grove nightclub, the Mural Room at the St. Francis in San Francisco and on television with a regular hour-long program all through the 1950s. He wrote his biggest hit and signature song, "Sweet Leilani" upon the birth of his first child and, when used in the Paramount film Coconut Grove, his friend Bing Crosby made the song a worldwide hit. Over the years, Owens composed many hapa haole songs, many of which remain popular today. He is credited with composing some 300 songs and made over 150 records for Decca alone.

    The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts awarded Owens the 1987 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award for his substantial contributions to the entertainment industry in Hawaii.

    The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts awarded Owens the 1987 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award for his substantial contributions to the entertainment industry in Hawaii.

    From 1956 this rather nice album of Pacific songs still sounds rather lovely today. Enjoy Harry Owens Polynesian Holiday.