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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, November 16, 2000

By Ronen Zilberman Star-Bulletin
Greg Hickey, Benny Rietveld, Sonya Mendez,
Peter Bond, Marti Kerton and James Figueira ham it
up outside the Wave Waikiki.


Put another dime in the
jukebox, baby, as Wave
Waikiki celebrates its 20th
year and the crazy '80s

Where are they now?

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin

PETER Bond was at Wave Waikiki on opening night only because he was a Squids fan. "When (Squids) got the gig I went over to see what the new club was going to be like.

"I wasn't even in a band at the time so I had no idea I'd ever play here but we got (Hat Makes the Man) together this was one of the places that we wanted to be playing, absolutely.

"We ended up staying the rest of our lives."

Hat Makes the Man became the Wave's houseband within two years and remains one of the most memorable of the many local bands that played there. Bond and three other members of the group will take the stage tonight along with most of Sonya & Revolucion as the Wave celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Courtesy of Sonya Mendez
Rietveld, now touring with Santana,
and Mendez in a 1982 photo.

The party opens at 10 p.m. and will likely conclude with an all-star jam by as many of the old-time Wave musicians as can fit on stage.

One of them certainly will be James Figueira. He was too young to get into the club when the Squids were playing there but recalls that "about 10 of us would park our butts on the sidewalk outside the club and dance to every song."

After he was old enough to get inside, Figueira eventually got the job running lights for Hat Makes the Man. He decided he liked performing and after putting several bands together found a winning combination with The Love Gods and became a Wave headliner in his own right.

"The '80s were a wild and crazy time. There was a lot of musical freedom and all the bands added to the legacy of the wave," said Sonya Mendez, whose band Sonya & Revolucion took over the headliner spot late in 1981 and remains one of the top three local bands to play the Wave when new wave was new in the '80s.

File photo
Hat Makes the Man, from left Byron Lai, Peter Bond,
Marti Kerton, Frank Orrall and Matt Miller,
as the group appeared in 1985.

For the event, Mendez says she'll be singing Joan Jett, Pretenders and Talking Heads songs, "just like we did in the olden days."

"We" included some excellent musicians. One of the original members of Revolucion was bassist Benny Rietveld who left the group in 1982 and moved to the Bay Area. Rietveld played with local bands, then spent two years working with Sheila E. and two years with Miles Davis. He joined Carlos Santana's band in 1990, took a break in the mid-90s and rejoined Santana in 1997.

"The last year (with Santana) has been exciting but it was always really fun and our ethic hasn't really changed that much. We always just go out there and jam; now it's just more popular," Rietveld says.

"I have a lot of great memories (of the Wave)," he adds. "I started off playing rock 'n' roll and I was heavily into jazz.

Being in Sonya's band reminded me that music is still about communicating to people no matter what genre it is. It was a good transition. All the music can feed itself (and) the way you get progression in music is from the cross-pollination. I think it's just great."

Rietveld returns to Hawaii periodically to play jazz with the Outtakes but tonight it'll be strictly early '80s new wave rock as he joins the other Wave veterans on stage.

 | | |

Where are they now?

Bullet Sonya & Revolucion

Chris Bovard lives in Pennsylvania; did not return.
Michelle "Mimi" Conner lives in Waimanalo but is not expected to perform.
Greg Hickey lives on the mainland but he'll be there tonight.
Sonya Mendez still is a full-time musician; Chica Tropica and World Wide Groove are her current projects.
Benny Rietveld lives in Oakland and is in Carlos Santana's band. His first solo album should be out by January.

Bullet Hat Makes the Man

Peter Bond founded Oriental Love Ring with Beano Shots of the Squids; then was vocalist/guitarist with Spiny Norman. He works at Island Guitars.
Marti Kerton writes and produces TV commercials, and sings with Henry Kapono. She is recording original music.
Byron Lai still performs with around town.
Matt Miller continues to work on music here.
Frank Orrall lives on the mainland and still performs with Poi Dog Pondering.

Happy anniversary

Bullet What: Wave Waikiki reunion party featuring music by Sonya and the Revolucion, Hat Makes the Man, X=X and The Love Gods
Bullet Place: Wave Waikiki, 1877 Kalakaua Ave.
Bullet Date: 10 p.m. today
Bullet Cost: $5
Bullet Call: 941-0424

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