Archive for February, 2010


“Kara-Tinis” were a Hit as The Spokanites Rock San Francisco!

2010-02-20 San Francisco, CA - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 012 Ah, San Francisco.  Land of great food, great wine and great friends.  Fortunately for the Spokanites, all of these were in abundance during the Hitched 2010 tour stop in the city by the bay.

2010-02-19 San Francisco, CA - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 044As a start, San Francisco was great because we were finally a bit rested after the Asia leg and the quick turnaround to Scottsdale.  Sonya even had her voice back so everyone was in good spirits.  It’s also a bit closer and we were finally done flying United (we’re trying to burn all of the miles we have  racked up over the years) – Virgin America is the airline of choice right now for domestic travel.  Lastly, the show was being held at the spacious and elegant PNC Coliseum (PNC = Paul & Cynthia’s house) which gave us ample time to spend with these excellent hosts!

The actual event (for us) started with a rental-car visit to Costco to get the beer & wine, followed by a session of re-arranging furniture and toys at the PNC and hanging up Spokanites posters around the house.  Next up was the fantastic caterer.  I think we should leave it up to all of you fans to comment on her mad skills.  Yes, go down to the bottom and leave a comment.  We’ll wait…

2010-02-20 San Francisco, CA - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 001 Another huge highlight was an early visit by Michael & Kara Saucier, who brought a suitcase filled with ingredients to make their signature cocktail, the “Kara-Tini.”  They were a huge hit throughout the night with even ardent “I don’t like hard alcohol” folks changing their tune.  Big thanks to the Saucier’s for lugging that stuff all the way from Pleasanton on the BART.

I know we’ve said this before, but the real highlights of this and every show so far have been the fans.  We sold out once again with 50,000 fans (minus about three zeros) and it was great to see everyone getting into it.  Pregnant women with Spokanites tattoos wasn’t even the strangest thing we witnessed.  Thanks to everyone for coming out and making it a rock star event.

2010-02-20 San Francisco, CA - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 005 Before we leave you, we should highlight the next day’s activities.  Robert (fortunately) got stuck on clean-up duty at the PNC while Sonya had the luck of being invited to a baby shower.  Complete with a nice hangover, she had the pleasure of sitting with 5+ babies playing games that included “smell & guess the flavor of baby food” and “match the celebrity baby to the celebrity.”  Yes, with a hangover.  Did we mention that Robert was happy to be cleaning up the party mess?

San Francisco photos can be found here.


The Spokanites


First an Elephant, now a Tortoise? (the Scottsdale Gig)

2010-02-13 Scottsdale, AZ - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 022First, a big thanks to J. and Lisa Sandoval for letting us use their palatial estate to host our Scottsdale gig.  It felt a bit like U2 at Slane Castle, but with fewer people.

We were still coming off of the Spokanites Asia tour so the jet lag was running high and the brain cells were running low.  Sorry if we seemed a bit off our game (at least Sonya’s voice had started to return).

2010-02-13 Scottsdale, AZ - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 026Highlights for this party included some  of the following:

  • Our very own red velvet rope and a bouncer (awesome)
  • Some “long time no see” guests like Audrey/Barry, Robin Sly, Mike Varley, etc.  Thanks to everyone! 
  • Tasty Mexican food, Sangria and margaritas! 
  • Staying in the guest house (no need to leave)

Lastly, we had a great time hanging out with J., Lisa, the family and the miniature zoo they have created.  This included a German Sheppard, an aviary with 6 love birds, and a spotted tortoise (which was just cruising around the back yard and occasionally having its shell licked by the dog.  Very entertaining, and surprisingly fast.

All in all it was a great time.  Thanks again to all who joined us!!

Click here for photos.

The Spokanites


Singapore Acoustic Gig. Stiletto night!

Acoustic?  Huh?

Well, as the Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour progressed through Asia, we started to notice that several of our close friends from Singapore were left out and couldn’t make it to Hong Kong or another show for some reason.  Remember, we aren’t spring chickens anymore so many of our friends have kids (or are about to), jobs, bills, etc.  You know, responsibilities.

Given all of this, and that it isn’t every day we are in Asia, we decided to take advantage of our one night stopover in Singapore (before coming back to the US) and we added a small show.  We had less time, less gear, and less of Sonya’s voice due to the Hong Kong party (aka ‘acoustic’).  That said, we had a great turnout and saw a few people we hadn’t seen in way too long (Bryan/Noah, Simon, James/Odna, Etc.).

2010-02-09 Singapore - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 001One of the highlights was “Stiletto Night” at the BLU Bar in the Shangri-La Hotel .  This meant that you get a 15% discount off the bill for every inch of heel you have (the tallest of the group).  Too bad Sonya sent the wedding heels home with her parents (which were about 5”).  She had some 3” heels with her still so we got 45% off the bill.  Great promotion – more bars should try this.

We had a great time out with everyone and then retired back to Mark & Kathryn’s apartment in Robertson Quay for some late night toast before a very short sleep.  We had a very early flight home to Seattle the next morning.  Thank goodness we burnt the miles and went first class on this one.  🙂

We only get 48 jet lagged hours in Seattle before we head South to Scottsdale for the first US party.  This could get ugly.  Stay tuned…

The Spokanites


Hey Jimmy, It’s The Hong Kong Reunion Show!

First, have you been checking out the photos?  You can find them here!

Second, we are still seeing quite a few people who are at the shows, but haven’t seen the videos (crazy, I know).  If you haven’t seen them, get on it!

2010-02-06 Hong Kong - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 035 Ok, on to the news – the Hong Kong show was a huge success.  In fact, we were “bowled over” by everyone’s enthusiasm.  :)  That’s right kids, the Hong Kong Spokanites show was held at the LRC Bowl in mid-levels and included some serious bowling.

2010-02-06 Hong Kong - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 012 For the Spokanites, the day started out with us hitting some of our favorite spots around the city: brunch with our friend Anjali at Wagyu, followed by some shopping at Shanghai Tang and around Central and a foot massage at Happy Foot.  That was followed up ever so passionately with a nap.  Good times indeed.  Oh, I should mention we were staying at the LKF Hotel in Lan Kwai Fong and we loved it (upgraded room + newlywed gifts and great service + a great rate + a great location). 

After the nap, we were up and ironing for the big night.  Merchandise was sorted, camera charged, taxi called, and soon we were there.  First guest (and furthest traveled) was Jun Yamamoto from Tokyo! 2010-02-06 Hong Kong - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 018 Within a few minutes we had almost everyone (who knew we still had 20+ friends in HK).  One look around this room and you can see how lucky we are to have such a great group of friends.

After a few drinks, some snacks, some tattoos and some chatting we headed into the bowling alley and started what turned out to be a way too short round of games (who knew bowling would be so much fun).  Competition was fierce, but I think the overall champ had to be Kathleen Emerson who edged out Jeff Buhle in the last frame for a 177 (we think).

After getting ourselves kicked out of the bowling alley, we hit the LRC Sports Bar for another round and then got almost everyone to head to SoHo for a visit to Sonya’s favorite bar: The Feather Boa.  Crowded as ever in its tiny space, we got a great spot near the door and even survived the battle to get drinks.  Crammed into this postage stamp of a bar while chatting, we realized that Jeff kept referring to Jun as Jimmy, his new best friend.  Robert eventually called him out on it, which went something like this:

Jeff: “Jimmy is great. He’s my new best friend”

Robert: “Are you sure.  You don’t seem to know his name.”

Jeff: “It’s Jimmy, right?”

Robert: “No.  It’s Jun”

Jeff: “Well, he’s Jimmy to me!”

This became the running joke between the Spokanites for the next few days.  Good stuff.

Sunday started a bit rough.  Sonya woke up without much of a voice, not feeling too well, and it was raining.  2010-02-09 Hong Kong - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 001We had a short breakfast but returned to bed.  Eventually, we had to get up again for lunch and we decided to visit another favorite of ours in Soho for some nachos, Caramba.  It was a very short walk and we had a huge umbrella, but it rained so hard that we were soaked from the knees down in just a couple of minutes.  This continued all day.

The evening included Tea with Jun at the LKF, a visit to Kellie & Louis’s beautiful house in Tai Tam, dinner at The Pawn (another one we strongly recommend), and coffee with Mike and Ernie back at the hotel.  A big day with a bit of a hangover, but fantastic to be back in HK.

We rounded out HK on Monday with more shopping, seeing the Gibbons at the zoo, eating and hanging out with friends including a great dinner with Amber, Chris and Kathleen at Soho Spice.    Great catching up with everyone and plotting future hit TV shows.  Even saw Melvis on the way back and got a photo (see above) – no visit is complete without a Melvis sighting.

Next up – the recently added Singapore acoustic show.  Are we ready?

Best from the road,

The Spokanites


Update: Adelaide Photos Posted

Still behind on the blogging, but making progress.  Just uploaded the Adelaide, Australia photos (including the Black Point beach house and the Dabblebrook Winery stop in McLaren Vale).  You can see them HERE.  Enjoy!

The Spokanites


gettin’ into it – Adelaide & black point, Australia (3rd tour stop)

Slowly catching up on the blogging – sorry for the delays.  We do have a great excuse for being slow: we’ve been having an amazing time with our favorite people.  Case in point: Adelaide!

2010-02-01 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 053

Part I: Black Point

2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 041Following a huge weekend in Sydney (see the guest blog for details), we drug our tired selves to Black Point for some R&R before the next gig.  We were really looking forward to a few days of doing almost nothing and tons of sleep.  Did we succeed?  Yes and no.

Yes, we did very little.  No, we didn’t sleep much.  Our fantastic hosts, Scott & Tija Wilson, kept us well hydrated (wine & beer that is) and very well fed (can’t forget Ian and Libbi here – they also turned in a huge performance as expected).  It’s only been a few days and we can’t remember all of the great dishes we’ve had.  2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 223 No surprise, the cheese plate was a highlight (and by plate, we mean a rotating cheese board about the size of a large coffee table).

Highlights during the week at Black Point:

  • Seeing Tony Mac again – been to long.  Thanks for making the trip down from Bali
  • Meat pies at the famous bakery in Androssan between Adelaide and Black Point
  • Finally, some exercise!
  • Taking the Sea Doo out and riding with 5-6 dolphins
  • The great crab migration of 2010.  Literally thousands of blue crabs all going the same direction in the shallow water by the beach.  Scott & Tija have lived there for years and have never seen it.
  • Sting rays right next to the beach
  • Winning (and losing) at Wii tennis, bowling and baseball 
  • The return of the Captain (Morgan’s that is)


2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 009Part II: McLaren Vale & Dabblebrook Wines

2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 003 After our so-called R&R stop on the beach, we packed up the car and headed for Adelaide for the third big show of the tour.  After dropping off Tija, we went straight past it to McLaren Vale (wine country) to see Dabblebrook Wines (slogan: ‘Doers of Lunch’), owned and operated by the aforementioned Ian & Libbi.  There to greet us was Ian (and their dog Bob), who had set up a wine barrel right in the middle of the fields with a full plate of cheese and snacks, along with 3 bottles of d’Arenberg wines (where the grapes of Dabble Brook end up each year – try the Credenzia if you get a chance, but all were great).  Ian is about three weeks from harvesting so it was prime time for the grapes and everything looked beautiful.  Best of luck on a great season guys!

2010-02-04 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 016 Even better was Ian & Libbi’s garden.  Next to the 1950’s schoolhouse in which they live, there exists a garden of epic proportions which made Sonya want to move in permanently.  A quick inventory included blood oranges, avocados, jalapeños (and at least 5 other types of peppers), lemons the size of rugby balls, giant sunflowers, walnuts, plums, dates, lettuces, apples, every herb known to man, and much much more.  All organic, and most ready to eat off the tree (which we did of course).

We will be back here.  Mark those words (Ian/Libbi – get a spare bed ready, although Sonya might just sleep in the garden).


2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 175

Part III: Adelaide & The Spokanites

2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 160Last stop for this part of the journey was of course the Spokanites show in Adelaide at the Stag Dome (aka the Stag Hotel).  After cleaning up at Scott & Tija’s place in the city (which was beautiful, BTW), and sorting out t-shirts, tattoos, etc for the fans, we were off and within minutes the show had begun.  Just like Sydney before it, Adelaide was a killer crowd and the show just plain rocked.  You can always count on the Aussies to bring out your best (and your worst) and they did not disappoint.


  • 2010-02-03 Adelaide, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 121Seeing everyone – so great to be back and so good to see everyone doing so well.
  • Happy birthday Tim!  Given that the last night we went drinking you and Bec conceived twins, I’m hoping you were a bit more careful on this one.  :)  Hope sharing your b-day with the Spokanites was a good thing.
  • The parents putting on tattoos and wearing the tour shirts.  Way to get into it!
  • The boys (minus Robert, thankfully) getting home at 6:30am.  Nice performance.  Sorry we couldn’t stay all night (not really, after seeing Scott the next morning).

That’s it for now – thanks again to everyone in Adelaide who helped or showed up.  Special thanks to Scott & Tija for hosting and arranging!!!


The Spokanites




“Oh so Rock ‘n roll” – guest blog by Ged gillmore (sydney)

Ged Gillmore [] has just spent 48 hours with the most famous band in the world.  Here we publish his exclusive insight into life on Planet Spokanite. [Note: photos can be found HERE]

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 001 It is difficult to overstate the anticipation which greeted The Spokanites on this, the second leg of their Hitched world tour.  The questions were too obvious not be asked.  Would the recent scandal that has surrounded the band affect their ability to perform?  Would the noise made about them drown out the music they make?  Would the pressure on the them show through in their outfits?  Sonya Zilka and Robert Hylton, for five years now the most successful couple on earth, were clearly nervous on their arrival at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith airport.  Ever since disenchanted fans bombarded Zilka with rotten artichokes upon the band’s arrival at Narita International last year, the pair have reason to be wary.  But Sydney was quiet.  The band’s now-famous diversionary tactics (a Presidential Election there, false warnings of bad weather here) had once more kept them safe from the public gaze. 

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 002 ‘I’ll admit I was nervous’ Zilka told me in a rare, candid moment.  ‘I had only 12 hours to do my hair on that flight.  Anything could have happened.’

Hylton was also clearly relieved.  ‘I was worried that 350kg of luggage would be over the limit’ he told me ‘but if you fly business class far enough you can shit all over anyone you want.’

But what about the public?  Would that evening’s concert live up to the hype?  I accompanied the Spokanites to their oh-so exclusive hotel (this reporter sees no point in telling you its name because you couldn’t afford it) and slowly gained enough of their trust for them to reveal details of their recent Sri Lankan event.  The pair had less than 5,000 photographs from Sri Lanka and it was a privilege to see them.  Hylton in particular was happy to discuss the charges of elephant cruelty.

‘Oh that’ he said ‘it was just an outfit.  I know those people find blue satin distasteful, but you know, at a certain point, they just have to get some perspective’.

I asked him who he meant by ‘those people’ but his brush with the Taste Police of Winter 03/04 is clearly not yet a distant memory.  He smiled and moved the conversation on to that evening’s concert.

2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 018‘It’s an iconic location’ he said ‘and we’ve done that deliberately.  The opera house represents the music which we hope to bring into so many sad, little people’s lives.  The harbour bridge represents the many bridges Sonya and I have crossed to be here.  The water represents the fluidity in all of our lives.’

The public was no quite so convinced.   I overheard one fan later that night complaining that ‘you can’t exactly make a lot of noise at the Opera Bar’.

‘But that’s just the point’ says Zilka when I put this to her.  ‘We aren’t about ‘a lot of noise’ any more.  Now, we’re more about making beautiful music together.’

Loretta Campbell is nervous.  The east-coast operations manager’s meticulous eye for planning has never yet failed her but today there is so much that can go wrong.  A split venue, guests unknown to each other, water taxis, land taxis, restaurants, menus, weather.  2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 027She smiles above it all and I’m reminded of the whispers that her flushed, elegant new look is due to the new man in her life, a reclusive supermarket magnate.  Campbell (who later informs us that ‘dildos aren’t funny after thirty’) waves away such suggestions impatiently.  ‘We’re not here to talk about me’ she says ‘We’re here to drink copious amounts of alcohol and fall over.’  And yet Campbell never touches a drop.  All the same, once the small invitation-only crowd is assembled she visibly relaxes.  A who’s-who of Australian rock’n’roll is now standing around the band: Gold Coast metal duo Taratom; folk-gangsta cross-over stars Nicole’n’Pete; upcoming country-outfit Melonwayne; and of course the irrepressible Androodie (you may not have heard of them but they are huge in The Philippines).  Oliver Sands, the band’s senior hair-and-teeth consultant, looks over the proceedings with a cautious eye.   Many of the guests have forgotten to bring sunglasses and with a cloudless sky above there is a real danger of Zilka’s teeth blinding someone.  But all runs to plan, and soon, as Campbell predicted, all are drunk.

So, to answer the sixty-four million dollar question, did the gig live up to the hype?  This reporter believes it surpassed the hype.  Mama Cass’s voice dropped an octave after she was hit by a brick and it was her new voice that led the Mamas and Papas to such lasting success.  In the same way, the transformations which have recently effected The Spokanites have raised their performance to a new high.  2010-01-30 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 048Hylton’s addiction to frequent flyer miles may have caused him years of suffering, but now it is flying him around the world.  Zilka’s addiction to big hair and teeth may have hampered her success in past years, but now she has made them her own.  Is she sorry about the artichoke years?  Is she hell.  No green vegetable is safe now from this woman who is clearly entering her prime, unrepentant at eating slower than anyone else at any table, unscared about being the Loud American In The Room.

And if there was any concern that the most famous band in the world are now perhaps stars rather than musicians, they were laid to rest at the spontaneous Woodstock-style outdoor gig which followed Saturday night’s main event.  A dedicated core of followers (i.e. everyone from the night before) gathered on the verdant shores on north Coogee on Sunday to hear an unplugged version of Zilka’s seminal hit ‘That song no-one’s ever heard of’’.  The beach may have been crowded, the shade of the trees full of fans, but during Zilka’s acapella solo you could have heard a pin drop.  The love in Hylton’s face as he watched her perform was adorable / nauseating.  And when, moments later, an over-adoring fan picked Zilka up and threw her into the surf, she was typically elegant in her lyrical response.  ‘You asshole’ she screamed ‘You douchebag.  You assholey, douch-baggy, db asshole.  I so hate you right now.  Asshole.’

And now they are gone.  The Coogee Bite Café is still rearranging its tables, the Cleveland Bar is wondering what hit it, the Ripples Restaurant is introducing a new policy of no groups larger than eight (or four if Americans are included) but all this is to be expected.  For, as Oliver Sands puts it ‘You can say what you like about The Spokanites, but they are SO rock’n’roll’.

2010-01-31 Sydney, Australia - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 012


the wedding and our “huge” guest star in galle, sri lanka

2010-01-25 Galle, Sri Lanka - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 175For those that have been waiting, here’s the official Spokanites wedding post.  We will try to keep this as short as possible to a) not bore you to tears, and b) allow ourselves to get back to relaxing here in Australia.

Wedding photos are HERE

Other Sri Lanka photos are HERE

Here’s the quick summary:

  • Jan 22nd – arrived in Columbo (parents and sister were already there)
  • 23rd – drove 3.5 hours South to Galle, where we stayed at the Lighthouse Hotel
  • 24th – hung around the Galle Fort
  • 25th – Unawatuna for lunch in surf town
  • 26th – the wedding day
  • 27th – return to Columbo
  • 28th – visit Sonya’s school with Room to Read
  • 29th – depart for Australia

Longer version:

  • Columbo, as most people will tell you, isn’t much to see.  Sri Lanka is all about the coast, and especially the S. coast around Galle.  We basically got in, spent over an hour getting to our hotel (the President’s motorcade caused a huge traffic jam in an already packed city).  We stayed at the Galle Face hotel, which is the most famous and classic of Sri Lankan hotels, but we don’t recommend staying there (more on that later).
  • The next day, we headed South in a bus similar to the one we met on (rented from the same company).  3.5 hour drive, with quite a bit to look at, including Tsunami damage from over 5 years ago.  Once at the hotel, it was time to settle in and enjoy ourselves.  Hotel was the Jetwing Lighthouse, which is the place our group was staying when we met.  Great hotel; great setting.
  • The next couple of days were spent visiting the Galle Fort, the Amangalla, and Unawatuna, a surf town on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka.  Among the highlights of this part were a) getting tailored shirts made for Robert & his dad, b) Saris made for the women, and c) our driver having a small accident and damaging the bus (slighly).

 2010-01-25 Galle, Sri Lanka - Spokanites Hitched 2010 World Tour 223

  • Now for the wedding…  We will let the photos do most of the talking, but the wedding was amazing!  It was held on the beach at the Lighthouse hotel around sunset.  The weather was perfect, the guests were perfect, and our guest star was amazing.  Who was it?  A giant elephant Robert had ordered up for the wedding, in full Sri Lankan dress.  Sonya (and everyone) was quite surprised to say the least.  That said, there were many surprises.  To Robert, the biggest surprise was when Sonya unexpectedly sang to him in the ceremony! 
  • More wedding…  Our great friends Scott & Tija were a huge help throughout.  Scott as co-event planner and co-photographer; Tija as moral support, fashion consultant, and videographer.  Their daily gifts/cards delivered to our room were another highlight.

There will be more about the wedding in future posts, but for now you’ll need to spend some time in with the photos to get the full effect.  You can find them here.

Our final event in Sri Lanka was a visit to the school that Sonya donated through Room to Read.  We will get her to describe it in a separate post, but the photos for that are posted as well.

Cheers for now – we’re HITCHED!

The Spokanites