August 29, 2006

Tiki in the Swinging Mid-’60s

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:46 am
Picture of a tiki conga drum, from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy
Picture of a tiki conga drum, from
the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy

Sabu the Coconut Boy has unearthed yet more gems — it’s his schtick, it’s what he does. This time, it’s an article in a 1966 ARGOSY magazine, about the then-growing popularity of “singles” apartment complexes, where the young and unattached would in theory take advantage of their close proximity and throw amazing parties and hook up randomly and sow every last one of their wild oats in a fogey-less nirvana. I honestly don’t know what it was really like at these places; I’ve always figured that in reality they were more full of the sad, boring & lonely types than the fun & fancy-free types — after all, they didn’t exactly take off as a concept, y’know?

Sabu’s pictures depict a swingin’ scene in a Southern California singles apartment complex — the South Bay Club apartments in Torrance, to be exact. The happy, flirtily dressed young things, cavorting with a veritable beatnik-symphony of instruments, are fascinating enough, but the star of the show is a great big conga drum, carved into a very nice tiki. The pictures posted by Sabu paint a very fun picture — Vintage Girl said exactly the same thought that ran through my head at seeing the picture below — it looks exactly like a scene from a Tiki Central party in Room 135 at the Caliente Tropics during Tiki Oasis. So maybe the concept isn’t so far-fetched, after all.

Swingin' party in 1966, from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy
Swingin’ party in 1966, from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy

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Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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