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  • Remembering Mickey Rooney (Sept. 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014)

    Posted on April 7th, 2014 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    rooneyLet’s take a moment to remember one of  our favorite actors, Mickey Rooney (Sept. 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014)

    He was Santa in Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town (1970). He was only six when he acted in his first movie, “Not To Be Trusted” (1926). He had already become a star, making over three dozen Mickey McGuire shorts before his 15th birthday. Then came the Andy Hardy films, and his pairing with the lovely Judy Garland. He became the #1 box office draw in the US before age 20, and held that honor from 1939 to 1941.

    Born in Brooklyn, NY on September 23, 1920, Mickey hit the stage not long after his first birthday, appearing with his parents in vaudeville shows. From there he catapulted to stardom, winning a special Academy Award in 1939 for “bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and . . . setting a high standard of ability and achievement.”

    Most of us remember watching Mickey Rooney in reruns on Saturday afternoons. Some of us remember him from Dinsey’s “Pete’s Dragon” (1977), or from the dozens of TV show and movie appearances he made throughout the past 60 years, including The Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote, The Return of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and his own TV series “Mickey” (1964-65). More recent roles include Babe: Pig in the City (1998), The Muppets, and one of his best ever, in my opinion, as Gus in Night at the Museum (2006).

    According to Mickey Rooney’s IMDB page, he was still working, with three projects currently in filming or pre.production. That’s not bad for a 93 year-old.


    There aren’t many actors who can claim nine decades of work, and nearly eight of stardom. Mickey was a one of a kind, and we’re lucky to have had him in our lives for so long. A true part of American film history, Mickey Rooney will always be remembered as one of the top stars of the 20th and 21st centuries, and one of the last from the first golden era of film and television to remain with us.

    Break a leg Mickey!
    -Chris Pinto, for Tiki Lounge Talk

  • MAD MEN: Don Draper’s Record Collection

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 9 comments
    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    1950's Admiral Hi-Fi. I owned this exact model from aroun 1985 to 2000. Miss it.

    Fans of MAD MEN know that music plays a fairly important role in the series, but when it comes to individual characters, music generally takes a backseat.

    So, I was wondering what kind of albums the character of Don Draper might have on hand. We’ve heard him play classical music at a dinner party; we know he doesn’t dig the Beatles. But that’s about it.

    So what kind of music does Don Draper dig?

    I think, in order to answer that question, first we need to answer, “What kind of music does Don NOT like?”

    Well, lets take a look at his past: He grew up in the 30s & 40s, when big bands played the most popular music in the country. There were swing bands and sweet bands, and they dominated the music scene. It’s safe to say that big band swing and jazz were probably what Don heard most as he was growing up, along with more “localized” music that probably included country/western and folk. Since he considers his childhood a complete bust, I’m going to lay my chips on big band, jazz vocals, folk and country/western as being the kind of music that Don Draper (well, Dick Whitman, actually) hates with a passion. Hell, he might even go into a cationic fit whenever he hears “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” for all we know.
    It’s also a safe bet that Don wouldn’t be into Rock ‘n’ Roll. Let’s face it – Rock ‘n’ Roll was considered “kids music” back in the 1950s, and had a very small adult following. Don was already an adult (in his 20s) when he was in Korea (somewhere between 1951 and 1953), so like most men of the era, he probably dismissed RnR as kiddie pop.

    Don has never showed us a side of him where he sits and listens to sophisticated music, whether it be jazz or classical, for the pleasure of it. He sits in front of the tube a lot, but we never see him play an album (except for the Beatles song, which he completely dismissed). So it’s probably safe to say that he has never really bought a record for the enjoyment of the music. Unlike Meghan, who’s life revolves around music and acting, for his character, it’s just not that big of a deal.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • MAD MEN Season 6 Premiers Tonight, April 6

    Posted on April 7th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    Are you ready for MAD MEN?


    Wow…we’ve been waiting and waiting, and finally it’s here: MAD MEN Season six, where we (may or may not) find out whether Don has been faithful to Megan, where Peggy ends up, and how the agency goes on in the wake of Lane’s departure.

    But what we’re really looking at is this poster.

    Man, does this thing WREAK of late 60s-into=the=70s style or what? I feel this is an omen…actually a blatant sign that the MAD MEN that we’ve loved for the last several years is done. We’re in a new era, moving away from thin ties and bachelor pad music and easy chicks who waited on men as pretty servants, to the era of social unrest, acid rock, outrageous fashion and liberated women.

    Assuming this season kicks off in 1967 (or possible 68), we’ll probably see longer hair on the men, shorter hair on the women and the widening of ties and lapels that will eventually look like men are wearing paisley bibs. This is a different part of American pop history and culture…innocence gone, tailfins on cars gone, jazz and big bands gone. It’s the era where “good” music is defined as music that sounds good when you’re high, when putting curse words in movies makes them “hip”, and when teenagers lived like there was no tomorrow because, it was factual, with the draft and the Vietnam war, there very well might not have been.

    Hollywood Sign, late 1960s. Yes, this really happened.

    Hollywood Sign, late 1960s. Yes, this really happened.

    Boo hoo. It’s a drag, but the show has to progress. It’s how it’s always been, jumping a year or two each season. Hell, it started in 1959…the figurative “beginning of the end” of the mid-century pop era. But we’ll watch, and we’ll love it, even if Don sports a mustache, sideburns and a green velour sport jacket. Remember, this is the era where “Midnight Cowboy” one best picture, even with an X rating. The era when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy where gunned down. The era when Nixon became president, and Jimmy Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner on his electric guitar. Frank Sinatra and Elvis both made “comebacks”. Crime in New York was at an all time high, poverty was crushing our cities, Fort Lauderdale was known for Spring Break arrests and Miami was mainly a retirement community. The “Hollywood” sign was in grave decay, and no one cared. And we were only a few years away from Disco.

    Ah, what a time.

    Oh, and about that poster: Doesn’t it remind you of some of the old TV Guide covers from 40+ years ago? It should, it’s been created by 75-year-old illustrator Brian Sanders, who created a lot of advertising artwork from the era.

    MAD MEN season six premiers tonight, April 7, 9pm/8 c. on AMC.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the Television viewing room at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Lava Flow – Your Tiki Bar Cocktail Recipe for the Weekend!

    Posted on January 25th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    lava-flowTiki drink purists will argue that anything “frozen” and made in a blender goes against the grain of traditional Tiki cocktail concoctions. But there’s no denying that a few frozen favorites have made it into the Tiki Bar drink menu, and

    The Lava Flow

    is probably one of our favorites. With a great flavor and fun presentation, The Lava Flow is a cool treat on a steamy tropical night…or a cold winter night, if you crank up the heat and have a few palm plants by your indoor Tiki bar.


    •    1 oz. light rum
    •    1 oz. coconut rum
    •    2 oz. fresh or frozen strawberries
    •    1 small banana
    •    2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
    •    2 oz. coconut cream

    Photo from

    Photo from

    You’re going to want to make this in a clear glass, to show off the “flow”.

    Blend the 2 rums and the strawberries in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall (Collins or Hurricane) glass. Blend the banana,  coconut cream, and pineapple juice in blender with crushed ice until smooth. Pour this mixture into the glass with the rums very slowly and watch as the strawberry mixture oozes its way to the top along the sides of the glass creating the flowing lava effect. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and little umbrella, for maximum Tiki-liciousness.

    Our “Tiki” Weekend…

    While most of you are freezing your maracas off, here in South Florida the temperatures are in the 70s. That makes it the perfect time to go to the Miami Zoo. We’re heading down that way this weekend to check out the lions and gators, and of course some tropical birds and snakes. The zoo’s theme is jungle, and there are even a few (newish) Tikis posted around!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from the bar at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • A World Without Wonder (Bread) – Don’t cry over lost Twinkies

    Posted on November 27th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments
    Vintage Wonder Bread Ad

    Vintage Wonder Bread Ad

    With the recent headlines of Hostess going out of business, many people are wondering how a company so old, so ingrained in American pop culture could close up shop overnight. Well, it’s a sad tail of greed, mismanagement and indifference, but that’s not what this article is about.

    This article is about losing things you love.

    So many of us who have a soft spot for mid-20th century pop have had to endure icon after icon fall from grace, only to be replaced by plastic-y, cookie cutter crap and chain-restaurant-ish dullsville blobs of made-in-China neveau detritus. From the demolition of almost all of America’s grand Tiki restaurants, to the destruction of the great movie palaces; from the downfall of America’s greatest music to its bubblegum-pop hip hop noise; we’ve seen way too many of the things that helped make America the great country it is get plowed down and swept away to make room for cardboard casinos and mislabeled “healthy” vitamin waters.

    Hostess pies, Devil Dogs, and yes, Twinkies – although, let’s face it, they are crap too, have stood the test of time, and have been with us our entire lives. Personally, I’m not a big Twinkie fan. But I do enjoy a Devil Dog now and then (our wedding cake was made from them…long story, for another post) and like to splurge on a Hostess apple pie when I want my sugar count to soar to give my doctor a premature heart attack.

    But there is one thing that I cannot live without.

    Wonder Bread.

    I know, I know, many of you will say it’s the nutritional equivalent of eating Elmer’s glue and White Out. I don’t care. It’s the only bread I can eat a PB&J on. And it’s because that’s what I’ve always had my PB&J on, from when I was a little kid in the 1970s…you know, back when bread was bread, and Moms bought Wonder Bread because it tasted good and had the fun polka dots on the bag.

    With Hostess making headlines last week as they close the company, apparently shutting their doors forever and denying future generations of Twinkies and Devil Dogs, something occured to me:

    I can’t imagine a world without Wonder Bread.

    The good news is, I probably won’t have to. In today’s society, there is a BIG difference between a successful BRAND and successful company. The company, run by a flock of who-the-hell-cares-as-long-as-our-bottom-line-stays-high investment firms, is worthless. The brand, however, is worth billions.

    What I’m getting at is that just because Hostess the company goes out of business, it doesn’t mean Hostess the brand will go away.

    Think about Monopoly, the game that’s been around since the 1930s. It was originally made by Parker Brothers games. Do you think Parker Bros. is still making Monopoly? Nope. Parker Brothers became part of General Mills, which merged it with Kenner, which was bought out by Tonka, which was in turn bought out by Hasbro. Still the same game, still the same fun, still the same look…just a different company building it.

    Same thing goes with a candy bar I really dig. I think it’s a Philly/Jersey area thing, or at least used to be, because few people I talk to in Florida ever heard of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. They disappeared about 10 years ago when a new company (Just Born) bought them out. They dropped the Goldenberg’s name, and sales fell. But they wised up…they brought the name back, and now I can buy Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews again, just like I did 30 years ago.

    So will it be a world without Wonder Bread? I don’t think so. I have a feeling that great polka-dot packaging and paste-like bread will be around for a long time. I’m pretty sure Devil Dogs and Twinkies will, too, possibly even with the name “Hostess” blazoned in red lettering across the top of the package. In a few years, will anyone remember there was a time when that “name” stood for a company that went out of business, and caused a blip on the news headlines of 2012?

    Probably not.

    -Christopher Pinto, aka Tiki Chris