TAMPA – He was carried through the doors of some of the most venerable tiki bars and Polynesian restaurants in America when he was only an infant. Carried … IN … through the doors.
He got his first tiki, a carved piece of Monkeypod wood, when he was a piano-playing child of 8. He played the comedic character “Billis” in his high school production of South Pacific and wore the obligatory coconuts and grass skirt.
He’s never gotten over the “Tiki craze” that began to wane from American pop culture as he was growing up.
pablus is the leader of the Tiki band, The Crazed Mugs, and is writing and performing unique songs and stories about all things Tiki. The mountains and gardens of Hawaii, the longing of modern man to lose himself in a primitive paradise, favorite Tiki bars, friends who carve tikis, the occasional murder – they’re all lyrical fodder for this massive man to engage his well-trained voice and laid-back style of communicating through music.
The Crazed Mugs were started as a way for pablus, and his friend Rusty Key, to learn to play the ukulele. “I had just been to Hawaii with my wife, and we bought a few Hawaiian music CDs at the first tourist shop we could find. I loved it all, especially Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. I bought a uke and started learning songs.”
2 albums later, pablus is enjoying being one of the few artists that writes songs on the uke. “So many people play covers on the uke, and I love those, but very few are writing for the particular sound of the uke. It’s got a lyrical quality, almost harp-like if you play it right, and it lends itself nicely as a backdrop for simple melodies. I add some nifty, uplifting lyrical content like women killing husbands who spend too much time at Tiki bars or being trapped in a cave that has been turned into a bar or a guy getting in a plane crash over the Pacific and disappearing.”
The Crazed Mugs CDs, Find Forbidden Island and 2005’s My Mug Collection are available on all digital outlets and directly at www.crazedmugs.com.
pablus will be performing solo in Ft. Lauderdale playing the Hukilau in various venues from June 11 – 15, 2014.