Tiki VIP #5 Greg Clapp (Tiki Kon Portland, OR)

Greg Clapp
Greg Clapp

There are key people that have made the Tiki community what it is today and what it’s going to be in the future. Right now there are three main Tiki events that happen each year. One of those events is Tiki Kon and Greg Clapp is the man who puts it all together.

Tiki Kon takes place in Portland, OR, and has been going on for fourteen years. It’s a weekend of live music and entertainment. Tiki Kon also includes Tiki symposiums, Tiki bartending competitions, and an open market for artists and vendors to sell their Tiki wares. The main event of Tiki Kon is a home Tiki bar crawl where five or so bars are visited.

I was in Portland and I had a chance to meet Greg in person and ask him a few questions…

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Why Jimi Hendrix Is The Best Guitarist And What That Has To Do With Tiki Bars

Ray with Jimi Hendrix and Tiki Mug
Ray with Jimi Hendrix and Tiki Mug

I’m a guitar player. I’ve been playing since I was thirteen.

Ray playing guitar 13 years old
Ray playing guitar 13 years old

Yep, that’s me!

We musicians love to talk about music. Who is the best drummer? Which is the first punk band, the Sex Pistols or the Ramones? Who is better, the Beatles or the Stones? We can debate these important topics for hours, but there is one thing we all mostly agree on: Jimi Hendrix is the best guitar player ever.

I think most people will agree, but I think it brings up a more important question: why is Hendrix considered the best?

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Tiki VIP #2 Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki

Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki breaking all the rules.
Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki: breaking all the rules.

David Bowie. We all loved him and his music. But why? What made him so special? I believe it was because Bowie always was two steps ahead of everyone else. He truly was a trendsetter. It takes guts to be into something no one else is doing and to break all the rules on how something is supposed to be done.

Bowie was a music trendsetter. Tiki has its own trendsetters. The Tiki revival started in the ’90s. Dawn Frasier was already ahead of the rest of us. She was living the Tiki lifestyle back in the ’80s.

Remember the ’80s? It was a decade of new wave and pop music, arcades and Atari, and bad clothing and hairstyle choices! Pastel pants and mullets: need I say more? While we were watching MTV, Dawn was painting Tiki landscapes and collecting Mid-Century furniture. When the ’90s finally came around and we started rediscovering Tiki culture, Dawn had already lived in Fiji for a few years.

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VCOS Spring Fling at Hula Hula Seattle, WA 4/23/16

Vespa in front of Hula Hula
Vespa in front of Hula Hula

VCOS stands for Vespa Club of Seattle. We’re over 100 members strong! The club is open to all and we like to set up events for our members. Every year, we set up a scooter rally that happens over the 4th of July weekend called Scooter Insanity. Tons of people come out to ride. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that I am the vice president of VCOS. My fellow officers and I thought it would be a cool idea to set up a little party for the club. Serve some food, maybe some free drinks, etc. We just need a location for our little shindig…

Hula Hula
Hula Hula

Kristin (our president) came up with the idea to have our party at Hula Hula. She knew that I’d approve! The other officers were cool with Hula Hula as well. This was going to be a blast!

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Punk Rock Tiki Bars and why they are cool with me!

Ramones Album and Tiki Mug
Ramones Album and Tiki Mug

When you start getting into Tiki bars you realize quickly that not all Tiki bars are created equal. There are different ways you can go with a Tiki theme. I’m mostly into the traditional Tiki bar. I like Tiki bars that provide an escape and create a mood of relaxation…

Hale Pele from the back view
Hale Pele from the back view

Then there is the punk rock Tiki bar, which creates neither of these things, but that’s not a bad thing!

Ray Pete and Byron at The Lava Lounge Seatle WA
Ray Pete and Byron at The Lava Lounge Seatle WA

So what makes a Tiki bar a punk rock Tiki bar? More importantly, why are they still cool even though they go against everything that makes a traditional Tiki bar so great?

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It’s all connected!

TikiwithRay on The Computer
TikiwithRay on The Computer

Hey gang!

Social media can be a very powerful tool to help get your message out there. I’m really excited about my Tiki culture blog and I want to get the message out to as many people as I can! This post is just to let you all know that there are two other ways you can embrace the Tiki lifestyle with me.

One is Facebook.

The other is Instagram.

Both are called TikiwithRay just like the blog page. Feel free to comment, throw some ideas out, or just say hello! -Ray

North Shore Lagoon Tiki Field Report
North Shore Lagoon Tiki Field Report

Who am I? Why am I doing this Blog?

So… who am I?

Hello! My name is Ray Wyland. I live in Seattle, WA. Welcome to my Tiki blog!

I’ll be talking about Tiki culture and music, Tiki drinks, and doing Tiki bar reviews. Really, I’ll be covering pretty much anything dealing with the Tiki lifestyle.

Ray at Don The Beachcomber Huntington Beach
Ray at Don The Beachcomber Huntington Beach

So… why am I doing this Blog?

Bars, bars, and more bars…

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There are so many types of bars. Let’s name a few, shall we? There are dive bars, sports bars, Irish pubs, English pubs, craft cocktail lounges, breweries, and so on and so on. When you’re heading out to a bar, you’re going out to have a good time and enjoy a drink or two. Maybe sometimes you want to have a little escape. With a Tiki bar, the escape is paramount. A good Tiki bar should create a mood—a relaxing mood. When you step into a Tiki bar, the outside world doesn’t exist anymore. The combination of a Tiki cocktail (which usually has two or more shots of alcohol!) with the decor and music creates a unique tone. It’s a tone and feeling that can only be achieved at a Tiki bar, at least for me. To be honest, I rarely even get anything to drink when I’m with friends at any other type of bar.

Of course, all Tiki Bars are not created equal. Some Tiki bars got it dialed in! Others, not so much. This blog is my journey of going to and checking out Tiki bars anywhere and everywhere! I plan on posting pictures, talking to the owners, and giving my take on each Tiki bar I visit.

This blog is going to be about more than Tiki bars and drinks, though. I’ll discuss music, clothing, actual cocktail recipes, lifestyle and more. I hope you all enjoy this blog! -Ray