Tuesday, October 13, 2015         


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Kimura's 'Battery Bill' is cause for celebration

By Wayne Harada


When diners at Hy's Steak House ask resident singer-composer Audy Kimura to perform his best-known composition, there's frequent laughter and chuckles when he begins reciting the "Battery Bill" rap, a current TV commercial staple.

What? Maybe you were expecting "Lovers and Friends," his signature Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning song of the year from 1984?

Kimura is the writer behind the snappy "Battery Bill" rap, which starts off: "For cameras, computers, cars and scooters, trucks, boats, jet skis, remotes. Battery Bill, Battery Bill." The jingle features on-screen appearances by comedian Mel Cabang and "Battery Bill" Ogawa -- plus Kimura in a brief cameo. The spot was shot and edited by Dean Sensui.

Cabang complained about seasickness despite calm waters during a boat scene. "I started calling him 'Admiral Cabang' until he started really looking sick," said Kimura. Meanwhile, the spot has charged Ogawa's batteries and put his biz on the map, so he and Cabang and their respective wives visited Hy's to celebrate the success and cheer Kimura on his 23rd anniversary there. ...

TALL ORDER: When gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann acquired the services of Philippine favorites Martin Nievera (who grew up in Honolulu) and Pops Fernandez, he didn't anticipate inheriting a campaign theme song in the process.

At Hannemann's political fundraiser recently at Farrington High School, Nievera unveiled an original composition, "Stand Tall, Stand Proud," at the finale of a rousing show filled with his hits ("Be My Lady," "Say That You Love Me") and some requisite Filipino songs by the formerly married-to-each other singers known as the Concert King and Queen of the Philippines.

True to tradition, Hannemann joined Nievera in singing the chorus (if there's a mike, the mayor warbles), capping the tune with a promise: "If I win, you will perform at my inauguration." ...

SIGHT 'EMS: Folks who saw 'em say Michael Jackson's kids -- Prince, 13, Paris, 12, and Blanket, 8 -- were charmers during their Maui vacation, as depicted in a recent People spread. ...

Jackson-ex Lisa Marie Presley and actress Kelly Preston, wife of John Travolta, were beach buddies last week on a neighbor isle. ...

Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox honeymooned at the Four Seasons on the Big Island. ...

THE LOCAL ANGLE: Manoa Valley Theatre added a two-week extension to its "Once Upon One Time" pidgin musical, so shows will continue through Aug. 8 beyond the original July 25 closing. And Diamond Head Theatre's "Sound of Music" also has extended play dates: July 17, 24, 29, 30 and Aug. 1. ...

Entertainment Weekly dubs localite Bruno Mars ("Nothin' on You" with B.o.B. and "Billionaire" with Travie McCoy) as one of this summer's breakout stars. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...

Reach Wayne Harada at wayneharada@gmail.com or 266-0926. Read his "Show and Tell Hawaii" blog at www.staradvertiser.com.

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