Writings about Music
His Has I Me Mine Ours
A friend of his has a coffee place maybe where I had some truly great avocado toast last Friday. I was test driving some cars, noticed the place passing by, and decided to visit it afterwards. They sprinkle olive oil, paprika and parsley on the toast. Realized why there's likely a charming photo of that friend over the sugar, honey and cream stand - must be referencing the song, My Sweet Lord!
Before that, I noticed how the fans are the same as the original Longhi's in Lahaina, and the black and white tiles are the same too, but much smaller. No air conditioning as well, all things preferred by Bob Longhi, who also had a photo of George Harrison hanging in his restaurant, if by the entrance.
Bob Longhi with George Harrison and Stevie Nicks (Hana, Maui)
Bob Longhi once told me that Dark Yellow, a composition inspired by Giorgio de Chirico's Ariadne, was among the most beautiful music he had ever heard. Bob's favorite musicians included Bill Evans and Miles Davis.
A profoundly moving painting, and equally cool chess-like small sculptures, all of African American musicians from an earlier time, are also displayed in the coffee house (lighting and art work ambience also similar to Bob's place by coincidence), reminding me of how Ray Manzarek once said if it were not for the genius of African American music and culture we would all likely still be dancing Viennese waltzes on our tip toes!
George Harrison dedicated Soft-Hearted Hana to Bob Longhi recalling their visit to Hana.
Speaking of yellow, the lemon bar I got to go from the coffee place was the finest I've ever tasted; swirling liquid citrus essence synergizing with powdered sugar colored like heavenly Himalayan snow in a Parisian pastry. Yellow was also the color of Bob's favorite room to stay in at the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco. His book, Longhi's: Recipes and Reflections, collaborated on with Gabrielle Longhi, his daughter, is graced with enticing photographs, recipes and stories, such as this one:
I used to love having lunch during the 1960s at a little restaurant in Manhattan called Maria's. She had the greatest fettuccine I've ever eaten. One day I walked into Maria's restaurant and ordered the fettuccine. When the meal was over, I said, "Maria, there's something different about the fettuccine noodles." She said, "You know, Mr. Longhi you are the only one who noticed it. We had to change our noodle maker for two weeks because my regular noodle maker has been sick." Then she looked at me and smiled, "You know your noodles."
- Michael Robinson, May 2017, Los Angeles
© 2017 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).