COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC ROLLER DERBY
The members of the Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby league are here lacing up. The league is having a fundraiser at Anna Bannana's on Saturday night -- the Punk and Roll Show. Bands Busekrus, Commando, Amberlin Rose, Aim for the Heart and the smokin' Hell Caminos will perform.
Mass transit with makeup
A popularity surge in roller-derby competition has resulted in a new Hawaii league
Once you've heard the sound, you'll never forget it -- the susurrating rumble of dozens of grumbling skate wheels rocketing across booming wood, the sound of a sky full of tiny bombers, swelling and cascading due to the Doppler effect as the herd of skaters go around the track. Roller derby. Remember? It's back. Just when you thought it had gone on the shelf with "Kansas City Bomber."
THE PUNK AND ROLL SHOW!
Time: 8 p.m. Saturday
Place: Anna Bannana's, 2440 S. Beretania St.
The sport has been revived with a grass-roots, come-from-behind attitude, and interestingly, it has been co-opted by the ladies. Women's roller derby is thriving in mainland communities, with team names like Gotham Girls, Lonestar Rollergirls and LA Derbydolls, with an accent on the rrrrroller, as in grrrrrls.
The Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby league is having a fundraiser at Anna Bannana's on Saturday night -- the aptly titled Punk and Roll Show, featuring bands Busekrus, Commando, Amberlin Rose, Aim for the Heart and the smokin' Hell Caminos, and you're likely to see a young lady or two on skates.
Only a month old, the Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby already boasts not only more than a couple of dozen skating women, but they just scored their first major injury, a broken ankle on the young lady who calls herself Death By Design. The DIY spirit of the newly evolving amateur leagues is evidenced by the fact that the skaters "own" their own team.
On a technical level, the Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby is currently a "flat-track" team. Will the elaborately banked wooden arenas come back?
NO LESS than legendary sportswriter Damon Runyon helped popularize the term "roller derby" back in the Roarin' Twenties and Depressed Thirties, when the simple horse-race and endurance aspects of the sport gave way to team formations, "jamming" and the satisfying oomph of physical contact.
Although roller-derby popularity swelled and receded like tidal waves over the years -- thanks not only to radio and television, but to our appetite for crack-skull spectacle -- the current ladies-only version is mostly focused on athletic ability.
And on the admittedly cheerful possibility of seeing sweaty hard bodies crack up like bumper cars. Now THAT'S entertainment.