Autobiography

by Israel Kamakawiwo`ole

(When I asked Israel if he could provide a "bio" for inclusion in the program for his concert in California in October 1996, he sent me the following, It is reproduced here in its entirety, with no editorial corrections -- a wonderful look back at his inimitable computer keyboard stylings, which members of his cyber `ohana will forever remember ~~ Auntie Maria)

Aloha Mai, O Israel Ka`ano`i Kamakawiwo`ole Ko`u Inoa.

Well lets start with iwas born here on oahua at kuakini hospital may 20th 1959.

My parents are Henry (AKA:Tiny) KaleiAloha Naniwa Kamakwiwo`ole jr. and Evangeline Leinani (keale) Kamakawiwo`ole.
I really really love playing mjsic so how you gonna ack? my work is music and it's fun.
I love what i do plus i get paid too cuz whew! scade!

I started playing music with my brahdah Skippy when i was 11 years old on da aleale kai catamaran down dewalos.
Performing for da tourists playing anykine cuz hanalei moon, hookie pookie, waikiki, tiny boobies.
One point west da adah point east sheez! da funny.
Music was all around my family Moe Keale is my uncle he's my moms baby brother; yike's respect big time...My mom and dad used to work at STEAM BOATS in waikiki a bar where all locals and visitors would hang out always. I remember seeing all da time hawaiian music people there Don Ho, da CAZ, underage, Auntie Mairah English and uncle Peter Ahia, Hui Ohana, Peter Moon, Palani Vaughn and many more was AWESOME back den. DAT'S part of why i love hawaiian music.

MAKAHA SONS OF NI`IHAU: DA humble beginning
I was down makaha beach one day sitting on da picnic table playing my ukulele and thats when i first met KOKO' he asked me if i like come oveah to dem guys house for jam lilibit of course.

then at da house i met jr Ekau, unko Ham Nahulu, Moonie and Koko.
one night i told dem my brahdah can jam cuz and plus he's bad he can play anyting.
and he could Skippy was unreal he slamm on da uke ukulele was his first instrument.
he'd play stuff from tv commercails Ota san songs, Sunday Manoa.
We got to know moonkoko and jr folks real good so we'd jam for lauas, family get togethers, mostly back yard jamms partys down Makaha beach, for da Beach Boys, and da canoe club beach pa`inas.

We were asked to play at nanakuli High school asembley so needed a name so we tossed names around sons of makaha but already had one group by dat name den was Ni`ihau sons of Makaha den was nah...den Skippy said MAKAHA SONS OF NI`IHAU; SO THEY annonced this group is the sons of ni`ihau in makaha or ni`ihau sons of makaha then finally makaha sons of ni`ihau came to be.

Then the next big thing was the Jerry lewis telethon and from then on its a story book WHEW!!!!!!

(in dis present time)
After leaveing makaha sons of ni`ihau to start a new journey. there was a bit of fear of the unknown.
so i thought but it turned out through the years of playing hawaiian music i have the tools.
I just needed to build my confidence in myself. I was used to haveing moonie guys on either side of me that it took getting used to for a while. I'd find myself introduceing my band as the M.S.O.N.
But i got past dat soon enough; i recorded my facing future CD with Jon De Mello of the MOUNTAIN APPLE COMPANY; he was my co producer. For da first time working on a project dat i had da chance to see how da recoreding busness side works from ground zero

make long story short i own da BIG BOY RECORD COMPANY."

Reprinted courtesy of Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association