There are few things more pleasant in this entire world than sitting on the Hawaiian seashore at sunset with the one you love, listening to ukelele music and sipping mai tais.  Fortunately for me, my wife Lizette and I have shared many memories of that exact scene during our 33 years together. Hawaii and Hawaiiana are imbedded in our lives.


So when we recently heard that our good friend esteemed music attorney Bob Gordon was performing a ukelele set at the Panama Hotel in San Rafael, we had to go. Bob’s clients over his 50-year law career have included San Francisco Bay Area music icons Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana, the Doobie Brothers, and Jefferson Airplane, as well as Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Bobby Darin, the Kronos Quartet, and many others.

Bob’s performance that night did not disappoint. He blended amusing stories about the musicians he’s represented with songs on his ukelele that related to each anecdote. Great fun. We enjoyed the evening so much that Bob invited us to attend the Hawaiian music circle that he attends religiously every Friday evening at his friend Del Medina’s home in Marin. Leave your shoes at the door. This group of Hawaiian music enthusiasts is called the “UFO’s,” which stands for “Ukelele Friends Ohana.” Close to 20 people brought their instruments and a food dish for the weekly potluck dinner. There were folks in their 70s and teenagers, all playing together. They sang traditional Hawaiian classics, as well as some rock & roll, too.