Since the glory days of Prohibition, the Maui County Department of Liquor Control has done a bang-up job busting bars and restaurants around the county for serving drunk customers and not carding minors. But even today, most people around the county probably have no idea that the LC also polices bands and musical acts that appear onstage at liquor licensees.
To be fair, it doesn’t happen very often, but it’s going down next week at the LC’s headquarters in the David K. Trask , Jr. Building in Wailuku. There, at about 9am on Thursday morning, Howard Grunes–the owner of Haui’s Life’s A Beach in Kihei–will plead no contest to one charge of violating the county’s Liquor Rules governing entertainment obscenity.
Here’s how the LC meeting agenda puts it:
“On February 16, 2013 at approximately 12:50am, HAUI INC. dba HAUI’S LIFE’S A BEACH, a dispenser general licensee, did permit obscene language, songs, or entertainment, contrary to Section 08-101-23(c) of the Rules of the Liquor Commission, County of Maui.”
Grunes told me he wouldn’t comment for this story until after the hearing takes place. But according to the MauiTime‘s issue that ran the week of Feb. 14 this year, a Portland Reggae band called Monk was scheduled to appear at Life’s A Beach on the night in question.
Oh, and if you find yourself wondering why the county department charged with enforcing rules governing the sale and dispensing of alcohol would in any way give a damn about song lyrics, don’t feel bad. Remember, this is the same agency that prohibits establishments from allowing people to dance outside specially designated dancing zones.
Photo: Lestat (Jan Mehlich)/Wikimedia Commons
About Anthony Pignataro
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He started work as MauiTime's Editor in 2003, took a couple years off starting in 2008, then returned to the staff in 2011. He's the author of "Stealing Cars With The Pros," a 2013 collection of his journalism and the Maui novels "Small Island" (2011) and "The Dead Season" (2012)–all of which were published by Event Horizon Press. In 2014, his one-act play "War Stories" won second place in the Maui Fringe Festival.