History

     
The inception of Greenwood occurred sometime in 1967 when leader Robin Kimura was in the 5th grade. Back then, the closest thing to a real band was a lip-sync entity called "Wolf-Pack". In 1972, the real band got together as Robin Kimura and classmate Bradley Choi, both 9th graders at Kaimuki Intermediate (Middle) School, began recruiting the musicians that would make up the original Greenwood band.

The name Greenwood was derived from "Greenway". Since Greenway had no real meaning, it changed to Greenwood when a friend recommended the name based on its definition. At the time, the ecology movement was "in" and the name sounded "fresh" so the decision was easy.

From the start, Greenwood was designed to be a brass-oriented band. At the time Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Malo, and Mandrill amongst a growing number of recording acts utilizing horn sections, were the inspirational force behind Greenwood's repertoire. Thus, their sound was a Latin-Rock sound accented with brass. The brass sound and look remained throughout Greenwood's nine-year run as a dance band.

As most bands preferred in "those days", high school dances was the gig of choice for an up and coming band. Their first gig was at a local YMCA for a social party gathering. The nine players shared a $15.00 check. However, by their third gig Greenwood was featured with three of Hawaii's top bands and became apart of a team of opening acts for El Chicano who motored into town for a Christmas eve celebration in December of 1972. That set the stage and gave Greenwood momentum as they eventually became popular in the high school dance circuit and progressed onto the nightclub scene.

Utilizing the Magic Mushroom as a stepping-stone into the nightclub scene in Waikiki, Greenwood quickly became the premiere "off-night band" with a full time schedule. At the height of their run, their weekly schedule looked something like this. Sunday's at the C'est Ci Bon, Monday's at the Hula Hut, Tuesday's at the Tiki, Wednesday's at the Waikiki Beef N' Grog, with Friday and Saturday gigs on Kauai or Maui. At one point, a local publication Sun Bums and its writer John Berger, appropriately named Greenwood "the army on the move" due to their green uniforms, the nine-man lineup and rigorous schedule night after night.

Greenwood also found success on the neighbor islands of Kauai and Maui. They were touted as Kauai's favorite band with monthly gigs at the Kauai Resort showroom. They then moved on to Maui and played at Kauai Resort's sister hotel the Maui Beach and broke attendance records there. Playing on the neighbor islands through several successful New Year's Eve celebrations, both hotels began vying for Greenwood to play on conflicting weekends. Maui eventually won out as Greenwood felt a need for a change in venue.

Greenwood's next move was to the king of discos in Hawaii...The Point After. Although critics of the band said they would never last given the Point's progressive and funk oriented disco repertoire, Greenwood surprised everyone including themselves by being the band to play the longest consecutive months (18) at the Point After (note: Greenwood still maintained their off-night preference and never played there as a full time band). Increasing in size to a ten man band featuring a four man horn section and two male lead vocalists, Greenwood took their skills to another level perpetuated by the demands of playing at Hawaii's No. 1 disco.

During their nightclub run, many celebrities graced the stage with Greenwood. Amongst the notable entertainers included; Rocco Prestia and Edward McGee from the Tower of Power, members of Hiroshima, Jimmy Borges, Tony Compton, Mackey Feary and Gaylord Holomalia (Country Comfort, Kalapana).

Greenwood finished its nine-year run playing many weddings and functions as well as expanding their musical offerings. After disbanding in 1981, in the summer of 1985, Greenwood reunited to finish an ultimate dream...to record. Sparkle and Cheerleader Strut were released on Forest in Leaf records as a 45-rpm single. Taking songs that were originally recorded in Japan, Greenwood re-arranged and translated the recordings to fit the local market.

Thirty plus years after humble beginnings, many members of Greenwood are still playing with various bands and enjoying the gift of spreading their love for music to their children, family and friends. On January 22, 2005, Greenwood reunited after 23 years at the "70's Nightclub Reunion". The event, which featured five bands from the 70's dance scene, was such a huge success that a second "Reunion" was planned for February 4, 2006. The second reunion concert was even more successful than the first, drawing some 850+ fans to the Ilikai Pacific Ballroom. The third Reunion concert moved to the Ala Moana Hotel and saw a SRO crowd of 900+ fans. Reunion IV in 2008 surpassed all others as it topped out at 950+ attendees. As we move forward to future Reunion concerts, our mission is to continue the series as long as the demand and support remains strong! For updates on future reunion events, please visit our dedicated website at
Thank you for visiting our webpage and archives.
We welcome you to enjoy the tour of one of Hawaii’s most popular dance band and nightclub acts of the 70’s…GREENWOOD.