Aloha Steve and Danno

Posted On: Monday - September 7th 2020 7:29PM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  TV, aka Gov't Media

It's a song from a band I'd never heard of before, Radio Birdman, till a silly exchange of comments on unz yesterday. It's a punk band from the mid/late 1970s from Victoria, Australia.

Hawaii-5-0 was a TV show on for a span of 12 years, 1968 to 1980, about a fictional State law enforcement agency of Hawaii. The star characters, Mr. Steve McGarrett and Danno Williams have been mentioned before on Peak Stupidity here and here (the latter with a nice "Book 'em, Danno" moment). Yeah, I've seen my share of the 5-0.

The show also had a great intro./theme song, which was very common in the 1970s - they really worked on that back then. This one was a trumpet instrumental with good drums composed by one Morton Stevens, played during the great scenes of Hawaii that included the big breaking wave. However, the real guitar/surf-music sound version was recorded by the well-known band The Ventures. A video with their version (really a combination) is here.*

Because of this song, with Hawaii and Australia being arguably being the twin surf capitals of the world - don't argue with me, argue with a surfer - Radio Birdman because of this song became somewhat of a cult-band for surfers, long after they quit playing.

How the Radio Birdmen were able to receive the TV-show Hawaii 5-0 down-under in the first place was the "miracle" of network TV, way before the internet. This was a punk band, which very often means they have a good sound with a fast rhythm, but not really a good melody. I hate to say it, because I like this one, but that's the case here. As for the old video footage, as much as I'd rather see/listen to Radio Birdman than Madonna, most would agree that Madonna has the better choreography as far as the dance routine. Who cares?

In this case, though Peak Stupidity still maintains (see What makes a good song) that, IN GENERAL, the lyrics to a song are the last thing that matters,other than choreography in the video, the lyrics here do make the song. That is, if you are a fan of the 5-0. I first thought these guys were being ironic with it, but from what I read, they really liked the show. The guitarist played the show theme song in his solos, extended it just a bit, and did a great job. The lyrics at the end go on with "Book 'em, murder one."

I'm not a big punk fan, but Aloha, Steve and Danno is just a cool song from an era with lots of cool things still going on. They had a cool name too. As we've heard from commenters Adam Smith and Mr. Anon recently (here and here), Victoria, Australia is now ground-zero of the Kung Flu Panic-fest 2.0 face mask Totalitarianism... along with the rest of the extremely un-cool PC bullshit that goes on all over the Western world.

Take back, Lady Gaga, take back COVID-19!...
Give 'em all some place to go ...

Got to get a line to Danno.
Got to pick up his gun.
Get out an APB.
Chinn is going to tell you why.
Government says it's high priority.
Washington say's so too.
Tell him to get here fast.
50's on the move.

Steve I gotta say Thank You,
For all you've done for me.
The nights are dark and lonely,
When you're not on TV.

There's an agent in the field.
I want to have him tailed.
He's staying at the Hilton.
He should be staying in Jail.
He's working for the KGB,
And here's his dossier.
The Feds won't be happy,
If this guy gets away.


Don't talk about espionage.
Hands on a bale of White.
Steve is one cool guy.
Danno's gonna tell you why.
Steve and Danno, they made the scene.
The agent had done his deed.
They saw the stiff, They saw the gun.
They said "Book him, Danno, murder one!"


Book him, Danno, murder one!

Radio Birdman was:

Rob Younger – lead vocals
Deniz Tek – guitar, backing vocals
Chris Masuak – guitar, backing vocals
Warwick Gilbert – bass
Ron Keeley – drums
Pip Hoyle – organ, piano

* The confusing part in the youtube clip linked to is that "Music Composed and Conducted by Richard Shores" at the ending credits. I believe that means other songs in that particular episode or the show in general(?).

** Shades of Tom Petty - You're Jammin' Me.

Wednesday - September 9th 2020 4:52AM MST
PS: OK, Harry, I think I had Sydney in my mind. Either way, I was thinking Province/State. I will fix it in about 2 minutes. Thanks.
Wednesday - September 9th 2020 12:16AM MST
PS Victoria is a state of Australia. Queensland is also a state of Australia. To write "Victoria, Queensland" is showing your ignorance.
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 6:04PM MST
PS: Thanks for the Hawaii 5-0 music, casting and other trivia, commenters. Those cameo bits in movies and TV shows were kind of neat.

For Mr. Blanc: Yeah, well the wiki does call Radio Birdman as much rock-and-roll as punk, but this song is punk enough for me, and it's all I've listened to by them so far.

Known Fact: Thank you for chiming in. I've read your comments on the unz site and have a pretty good record as I recall, agreeing with every one I can remember.
Known Fact
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 11:14AM MST
PS It's highly likely this was Swit's very first credited acting role, so getting murdered in the teaser must have made a big impression
Mr. Anon
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 10:34AM MST
PS @Knownfact

"At that time there was no Emmy for TV themes, so they gave Stevens one for an individual episode of 5-0 -- there's a really nice cue while Harry Guardino runs over a young Loretta Swit before the opening credits."

That sounds like a horrible waste of Loretta Swit. Reminds me of the opening to "Police Squad", where the "special guest star" only ever appeared in the opening credits:
Known Fact
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 9:02AM MST
PS Morton Stevens is famous for the 5-0 theme and also did the background music for numerous 5-0 episodes. But Richard Shores also scored many episodes in the series' early seasons. His distinct sound is recognizable in various episodes of Wild Wild West, Man From UNCLE, and so on. He is beloved and venerated by classic TV fans.

While Stevens was often called in to write scores for high-quality 5-0 episodes calling for some unique themes, Don Ray, a UCLA music professor I believe, handled the bulk of the background music for many seasons.

At that time there was no Emmy for TV themes, so they gave Stevens one for an individual episode of 5-0 -- there's a really nice cue while Harry Guardino runs over a young Loretta Swit before the opening credits

In one episode Stevens himself gets to play a junkie musician who dies from an overdose of bad stuff.
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 7:46AM MST
PS That was pretty decent rock-and-roll, although a bit slicker than my conception of punk would have it.
Tuesday - September 8th 2020 6:48AM MST
PS: Mr. Anon, I wasn't at an age during which I thought about civil liberties too much during the time of 5-0, but you have a point. We were definitely supposed to be on the side of the heavy-handed(?) Steve and Danno. Of course, there weren't any gray areas - they were bad, bad, guys.

It's only recently that I watch movies in which I root for those who are not the ones the viewer is supposed to be sympathizing with.

I will check out the Human League and "Circus of Death". That's funny, though, "yeah, this experimental stuff is fun, but it won't make me rich." Maybe he still could have gotten his chicks for free though, anyway...
Mr. Anon
Monday - September 7th 2020 8:52PM MST
PS When I was a kid, my brother and I always watched Hawaii 5-0. I seem to remember that they portrayed the Hawaii State Police as acting pretty high handedly. McGarrett would order Danno or Chin to wire-tap someone, but they never mentioned getting a warrant. I don't think civil liberties were high on their list of priorities. Famously, McGarrett would end every episode with the line "Book 'em, Danno." I always thought it might as well be "Pistol-whip 'em, Danno."

It did indeed have a great intro song by The Ventures. They also did a cover of "Out of Limits" - not bad, but I think the Marketts version is better.

If you're interested in another song that alludes to Hawaii 5-0, check out "Circus of Death" by The Human League; it's a pretty freaky song. This was in their early days when they styled themselves as a deliberately uncommercial, experimental art-rock group. Then Phil Oakey said f**k that s**t - I want to be a pop-star and make a lot of money, hired the two young birds, and the rest is history.
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