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  • Go West for Mod Movie Monday – Rio Bravo, 1959

    Posted on August 23rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    riobravoposterAsk anyone who digs old movies and old westerns about this flick, and the response will be something around the same as if you ask them if they are hip to Miles or Bird…oh, yeahhhhh!

    Rio Bravo, 1959

    Dean Martin

    Dean Martin

    is a good old-fashioned cowboy movie with a little twist: The cast. Here you have John Wayne leading Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson,Ward Bond and Walter Brennan (plus Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez for comic relief). Wow. Add to that some really good writing, some intense scenes where predicting the outcome is almost impossible, and plenty of evil bad guys and you’ve got the makings of a classic flick. Even the side romance between the 51-year-old Wayne and 26-year-old Dickinson are believable and fun.

    1892 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine
    1892 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine

    The story is a somewhat typical cowboy job: Wayne, the Sheriff, is trying to keep his dusty frontier town together while fighting against a cattle baron who, as all cattle barons in old westerns tend to be, is an evil, murdering SOB. His brother murders a cowpoke in a saloon in cold blood and is locked up by the Sheriff. Cattle baron brother sends bad guys to get him out. Wayne is helped only by the recovering drunk Dude (Martin), an aging deputy with a bad leg (Brennan), a very young gunslinger (Nelson), a somewhat crazy chick (Dickinson) and a Mexican hotel owner with a funny way of talking. Oh, and Wayne totes a Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine everywhere he goes. Kookie.

    By the way, you get a free song too, a duet with Dino and Ricky Nelson. Whoever thought they’d sing together?

    2alarmchiliFood & Booze: Whisky. Just Whisky. Or Beer. This is what cowboys drink in the movies. No one really eats anything so why not try an easy chili recipe. There’s this thing out there called Wick Fowler’s “2-Alarm Chili Kit”. It won the 1967 Texas Chili Cook-off and has everything in it you need to make a really good chili except beef, beans and stewed tomatoes. Just follow the directions and you can’t miss. I first used this stuff back in 1987 to make Chili for a Halloween party while watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, a really bad movie that had the cannibalistic characters making – you guessed it – chili, with human meat. Funny, huh? Here’s the trailer for Rio Bravo…

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Last Chance Saloon, in an oasis somewhere in the middle of cowboy-days Florida

  • How to find Tiki Lounge Conversations

    Posted on March 5th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    tikiloungetalkHow do people find the Tiki Lounge?

    In the 1930s, the call would have been: “Tune in to WTLT Tiki Lounge Talk Radio, 1040 on your AM dial, for Topical News, Tropical Weather, and Exotic Cocktail Concoctions.”

    In the 1950s it would have been: “Hey you kraaaaazy kats and kittens, dig in and set your peepers to WTLT-TV Channel 7, the swingin’ place to meet face to face with hep cats, hip kats, swingers, hipsters, flipsters and all-night tripsters. Can you dig it, baby? Then pull up a V.O. Manhattan and get fabulous.”

    In the 70s it would have been “Breaker 1-9, got yer ears on good buddy? Dial in to the Tiki Lounge, get some suds and go-go juice and join the convoy all the way to Fort Lauderdale! Don’t worry about Smokey the Bear on yer backdoor, put the pedal to the metal and keep on truckin’! Over and out.”

    And in the 90s it would have been 20 minutes of statticky beeps, bongs, whirs and whistles, followed by a busy signal, then another half hour of beeps and bongs, then “You’ve got mail!” Several minutes later your black and white screen would show jaggedy type saying something like “Does anyone remember what a Tiki Bar is?” with a little line drawing of a Tiki Bar, cockeyed from being scanned in quickly at work while no one was looking.

    Ah, the old days. Not so easy to get a message out then. Now, if I want to tell people about Conversations at the Tiki Bar, all I have to do is broadcast it on Twitter, post it on Facebook, or run a cheap pay-per-click ad on Google.

    So, in an attempt to spread the good word of living the retro & Tiki life, I thought I’d post a few links here to help you follow our antics. Tell your friends; pass the links along and tell them if they’re truly kool they will follow that swingin’ hipster Tiki Chris aka ChrisPFLorida aka Mack aka Zoot on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook, get email updates as a subscriber, Digg the posts, and bookmark TLT on delicious! (whew, so many ways for me to annoy you and your friends!)

    So here goes:

    Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisPFlorida

    Be a fan of Tiki Lounge Talk on Facebook

    Follow TLT Posts on Blogger

    Subscribe to new  posts via email (100% spam free) –> enter your email in the field in the side bar!

    Get RSS feeds for the Tiki Blog

    See a funny video on YouTube

    And always feel free to leave a comment, so the conversations aren’t too one-sided!

    So there you go – in the ‘teens it will be: Follow me, fan me, friend me and feed me, Seymour!”

    -Tiki Chris for Tiki Lounge Talk, the Retro Blog for kool kool kiddies.

  • Coffee at the Diner: Living the Retro Life

    Posted on January 21st, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    diner-hat-coffeeMan, it’s been way too long since I parked it in a diner booth. All day long I had a brain pain for a Bamburger and grease rings. So when I hit the door, I grabbed the ole Lady and we swung the Caddy down to Lester’s Diner on 136th Avenue.

    Not the least bit disappointed in my grub. A big old Cheeseburger with bacon and fries, rings, slaw and a cup’a Joe. A shake would have topped it off, but it would have broke the bank so I quit early.

    Joints like this used to be my hang out, back in the days before I had my own little Tiki Bar, back before the Mai Kai was a short drive away. Diners, all kinds of diners when I swung back in Jersey. Jersey is, after all, the diner capital of the world. You couldn’t swing a bat without hitting a neon sign that said “open 24 hours”. Not so much down here in the land of Mai Tais and Palm trees. There’s one diner in 8 miles, and it shuts down at midnight. Thank God the Tiki bars are open late…

    point-dinerThere were a few haunts I made my mark at. The Point Diner in Somers Point, NJ is where I spent many a night and many a paycheck. Coffee and a burger at 2 am? Why the hell not? All my gang hung out there too…in fact, I remember one particularly kool New Year’s Eve that we wound up there around 3 am…and who was there, but this really hot swingin’ chick that I went around with in high school. It was a very groovy meeting, that night. Never forget it.

    blue-dinerThen there was the Blue Diamond Diner in Pomona, NJ. This was a 1950’s rail-car style stainless steel masterpiece, with the original guts still intact. They had the old 70’s style jukeboxes filled with stuff from Sinatra and Elvis. And one of my favorite songs to play at a diner, just before leaving, Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny. Yeah, those were the days. 50¢ cup of strong Greek coffee and I was good for hours.

    Back when I had my Dinner Theater Company, Stardust Productions, after every show I’d take the cast to a diner and buy them all dinner. We’d wind down and talk about the show, how much fun it was, how to make it better. It was around then I picked up the nickname Mack, after a gangster character I played in a show.

    Me during a performance of "The Mysterious Presto" with StarDust Theater. The beautiful blonde is my wife, Colleen

    Me during a performance of "The Mysterious Presto" with StarDust Theater. The beautiful blonde is my wife, Colleen

    I miss those old diners. I miss the smell of grilled onions in the middle of the night, the taste of good diner coffee and breakfast at 4 am. I miss the feel of those old places, the scratchy records in the jukebox, the neon lights. The diner we hit tonight was good but not quite right. There’s something unhip about a diner that has a 34″ plasma TV mounted on the wall, that plays nothing but commercials. There’s something un-groovy about a CD jukebox that’s filled with riffs by Jenny Lopez and Matchbox-20, but doesn’t have a single Elvis tune. Sure, the burger was good, the java was good, and the company was great…even motoring there in the old Cadillac was fun. But these new joints just don’t have the same feel, the same atmosphere, as those old stainless steel diners held together with apron strings and grease that I grew up with.

    -Mack (aka Tiki Chris)