I received an e-mail yesterday from/about the Haiku Hillbillys, who — after six year of bookings at Makawao’s Stopwatch Bar & Grill — have been discontinued from further performances.
You can read the letter for yourself below, where Randall Rospond on behalf of the ‘Billys say that Stopwatch management deemed their music “un-danceable.”
I’ve contacted the Stopwatch and will update you on their comments. ***UPDATE: THE STOPWATCH’S RESPONSE BELOW***
In the meantime, what do you think? Is the music of the Haiku Hillbillys “un-danceable”?
In related news, read this April 2009 MauiTime story by Kate Bradshaw, “No Can Dance: The Liquor Commission and Court say dancing isn’t a right. Here’s why they’re out of step — and why you should care.”
A LETTER FROM THE HAIKU HILLBILLY’S
Aloha Dear Friends
… after 6 years of playing the Stopwatch in Makawao … the Haiku Hillbillys have cancelled further bookings at the Stopwatch.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the folks who often enjoyed our music there and thank you for your years of support … we really appreciate you coming to our shows and opening your minds and ears to our music.
The reason for this decision is based predominately on the Stopwatch management who has deemed the Haiku Hillbillys music un-danceable. The management has complained and during our gigs they have “Ordered Us to Play Dance Music” … which by their standards ; we are apparently incapable of doing ?!?!
We have always enjoyed this upcountry venue since it has been very convenient for our upcountry fans.
We are sorry for this incovenience and hope to find a comparable venue on the northshore/ upcountry that is respectful and appreciative of our music.
It shocks us that anyone would consider us UN-DANCEABLE !!!!
please keep your eyes and ears peeled as we will be performing elsewhere. Once again Mucho Mahalos for listening and dancing to our music.
w/aloha most sincerely … Randall and the Haiku Hillbillys
THE STOPWATCH RESPONDS:
We think a good mix of music is what our customers want at Stopwatch. They also want to dance on a Friday night and we have requested our bands to play songs that people can enjoy dancing to. We track the revenue we bring in and when a band fails to produce, we try to find out why. We asked the Haiku Hillbillys to play more dancing music before their last 3-4 gigs with us and they agreed to each time. If we thought that they were not capable of meeting our requests, we would not have rebooked them each time. They would throw in maybe a couple of different dance songs during the 9pm to 1am window they are scheduled to play. We wanted more of a mix each time.
The Haiku Hillbillys have their own distinctive sound. To the untrained ear, this monothematic theme can sound like one song for an hour. We have had people tell us this. Before they played the last time at Stopwatch, we told them that if they could see that the customers were not dancing, they needed to change their mix, meaning on the spot. They agreed, or they seemed to agree.
We feel we are accessible and really try to work with the different bands that play here. We listen to the feedback of our customers. We like bands that start with the attitude that they can make our customers happy, and then go out and try.
OK. I searched extensively for hillbilly dancing videos. The best ones I came across had the embed function disabled by the poster, and the others were surprisingly ho hum. This one, however, I couldn’t resist…