By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Tom Moffatt in control, minutes before the Eagles take
the stage at Aloha Stadium in November, 1995. Moffatt
has a long history of bringing in the largest acts to Hawaii.

Promoter extraordinaire

‘Uncle’ Tom Moffatt delivers the big acts

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin

"This is just unbelievable. It's so far beyond everything that it's just unbelievable," Tom Moffatt says matter-of-factly, calling from somewhere between his office and Aloha Stadium.

The promoter of the Michael Jackson concert has been commuting between his office and the stadium since setup work began last Thursday. His office has been ground zero for Jackson fans and celebrity hounds ever since word leaked out a day or two early that "Uncle Tom" was presenting the only American dates in the Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour.

"We've had people from France ordering tickets. Brunei, contingents coming from Guam, Germany, England. We've been getting calls from all over the world."

The show is the biggest concert event here in recent years. Few acts equal Jackson in record sales, high-impact showmanship, or sheer worldwide visibility. The ones that do don't come here.

"He is probably the most recognizable person in the universe right now, and his staff is the best in the business. They're very professional, they know what they're doing and they're very easy to work with.

"The only thing I'm sorry about is that we couldn't get tickets to all the people who wanted them."

Concert promoters have come and gone in the four decades that Moffatt has been a player in the local entertainment industry. Depending on how long you've lived here you'll remember him as one of the oldtime Poi Boys on the original K-POI radio, recording artist, actor and record company executive (Paradise and Bluewater are his labels).

The Moffatt archives are a cornucopia of music history and include photos of "Uncle Tom" in the company of just about every teen rock star who played Hawaii in the '50s and early '60s.

It was Moffatt who presented Elvis Presley in concert here in the '50s, '60s and '70s. It was Moffatt who established the viability of Aloha Stadium as a concert venue by presenting Cecilio & Kapono and Kalapana as a double-bill there in 1976 (the show reportedly sold over 24,000 tickets and was the local music mega-show of the mid-'70s). And it was Tom Moffatt who later put together reunion concerts by C&K and the original members of Kala-

pana as separate events at the Waikiki Shell - and recorded both performances for later release as "live in-concert" albums.

Moffatt presided over the recording and release of "Honolulu City Lights" - the Keola & Kapono Beamer hit generally rated the top-selling local recording since Statehood.

Moffatt and producer Frank Day define a highly successful local pop sound that resulted in a string of hits and Hoku Awards for the Aliis, Danny Couch, the Kasuals and the Krush.

Moffatt's biggest concert production before Jackson was the Eagles' "Hell Freezes Over" in 1995. The Eagles played the stadium for a single sold-out show. Jackson has sold out the stadium for two. Moffatt said, "I think we could have (sold out) another one, which for a community this size is unheard of ... Ending on a sold-out Saturday night is ending on a real high note."

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