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What a start!

mattmishkaSummer is off to a heck of a start! Our annual Great Woods gathering was a huge success! Starting Thursday night when Jimmy announced a surprise intimate show at the Paradise where a ton of real phans were able to get tickets and enjoy a show of a lifetime! I unfortunately missed it, but not to worry, much fun was still to be had! Friday we met at the Red Roof Inn pool area where Rick “Kid Conch” was rocking it! Not only the BuffettNews crew were hanging out, but most of the New England clubs were well represented.

Friday night a bunch of us headed over to the Sandbar Grill where the Baha’s (with the help of Debbie Grisham and Island Vibes Entertainment!) had a sweet line up of talent! Jon Frattasio kicked things off, which you all know is a highlight for me! Something about that smile of his! oh ya, and his voice! The Baha Brothers got us all dancing like crazy and really go the party rolling. We were next introduced to Matt Hoggatt who Debbie promised was something special.. and man was she right! Great tunes and charisma! Then our headliner hit the stage, Mishka! I’ve heard some of his music before, heard one of his cd’s, but hearing him live was something completely surreal! His smooth lyrics, and amazing vibe simply lit the stage up!


Game Day!
The day I look forward to all year long was here! We all met at the Shaws parking lot in front of Cork’s liquor store. I don’t know the final count but I do know we had over 30 cars which was a record. I heard that the New England clubs were around 90 cars! Woowza! We finally get in (albeit slightly side tracked and pushed to the back lot), set up and ready to rock and roll! Chef Goose had food rolling out all day long! Kid Conch played non-stop right next to the new Tonga Tam bar! Ya, she did alright for the first outing… well, all but the roof! Thanks Randy! We had a pool, lounges and more food than you could possibly eat. I even went through about 4 batches of tonga juice! Whoa.. we had people from VA, PA.. even Key West! Not too shabby!

After a great show that night (even had a virgin – my aunt!), we headed back to the hotel. The weekend was only half over and we had one of the highlights to go, our annual recovery trip to the Cape! Albeit a slightly later start than in the past, we got up to the Beachcomber about mid afternoon which turned out to be a good thing, parking spaces were open and our table was almost immediately ready for us. We kind of binged a bit and ordered almost everything! Oysters, clams, lobster, fried clam strips, muscles with garlic and big fat onion rings. Plus about two dozen Gombay Smashes! Perfect!


The hurricanes of the past Winter and Spring made us move our now second annual bonfire to the Coast Guard beach. We had a bit of a parking issue but all was good when we hit the beach! Fires blazing and a big moon to shine down on us. A perfect night!

We ended our annual gathering the following morning at mine and moms cabin in Welfleet. Beach views and more cars in the parking ‘yard’ than I’m sure has ever been there, we were treated to Steves cooking and many hour of gab.

Now, if this is a hint of what is to come, this is going to be one heck of a summer!
Happy 2013 people!

New year, new products!

Gearing up for the next year of Buffett tailgates, music festivals and lots of backyard bbq’s! Can not wait! And what better way to gear up than with new gear! Ha! Join ‘Team Tonga” bowling league! Grab a bumper sticker or a new t!

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Meeting of the Minds!

If you’re heading down to Key West for Meeting of the Minds this year, be sure to make some time and come hang out Captain Tony’s! Grab a yummy pirates punch and listen to some amazing talent! For a full schedule, check out:

Tonga Tam’s House Concert Series!

As many of you know, I’m kicking off the summer house concert series with the Island Castaways Band on June 9th! We’ve been hard at work.. when not on the road going on adventures… getting the backyard ready! Lots to do! And this is only the beginning! We’ve got Dave McKenney gracing Tonga Tam’s on August 11th and working on a special appearance for June 30th! What better way to recouperate from Buffett at Great Woods than chilling in the backyard listening to awesome tunes and hanging with a lot of fun people? I’ll be making a calendar soon and start posting dates so keep your eyes focused here! … put the tonga straw down! If you’re a musician or band and want to come play, let me know! Now, I’m off to Trenton, NJ to hang with the boys of Homemade Wine and Michael “CrawPappa” Crawley.. and a few close friends! See ya all soon! xo

Tonga Tam’s is OPEN!

It’s official folks.. I am so pleased to announce my first house concert! Oh ok, I got ya.. you thought I finally opened my bar right? Not quite yet, but in the meantime.. why don’t you plan on hanging out with me on June 9th, 2012 with the Island Castaways Band! They will be playing from 5-8pm. BYOB and please bring a dish to share. Donations are $10 to cover the band! Bring a chair and be ready to have some fun! Hang out after for a bonfire and some s’mores! Got a tent? There’s room in the front yard and even in the woods! Got a camper? Get a hold of me and make sure there’s room… first come and got to warn you, Randy and Tracy have a standing ’1st dibs’!

Tonga Tam’s is located on the back of Mt Wachusett!
101 Wheeler Road ~ Princeton, MA

The Island Castaways Band!

Originally formed in 2008 as Jimmy Buffett tribute, The Island Castaways Band have evolved into one of New England’s most popular Trop Rock bands. Their live show features a balanced mix of originals and classics, all with their own Tropical touch of fun – bringing Summer to you, regardless of where you are or the time of year. “LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST” – The Island Castaways Band.

Waiting and anticipation…

It is March 14 and at this moment in time, we still have not heard dates for the upcoming Jimmy Buffett tour. Rumors are flying all over the place on when and if he’ll play Great Woods. Since 1994, there have been two years he has not played Great Woods and those years he played Fenway and Gillette. Fenway was amazing, Gillette, not so much. Regardless, he has always come home. Now there are rumors of him playing at Mohegan only, and in the fall. I can understand that as he has not sold out a concert at Great Woods in some years. He has stated that he is not slowing down, but I believe the economy is doing that for him. Time will tell and all we can do is hope that our summer tradition will not be coming to an end.

Where am I going with all of this? What are we going to do if he no longer goes to Great Woods and worse, when he retires? We all joke about it happening and that he’ll pull a Keith Richards and live forever, but we know that’s not possible.

So we turn our focus to the Trop Rock world.

Homemade Wine rips up the Lazy Gecko at MOTM

Homemade Wine rips up the Lazy Gecko at MOTM

Trop Rock is exploding and bringing with it so much talent, I’m almost giddy about it. I love live music to begin with, but live Trop Rock just seeps into my soul and plays to my heart. The steel drums, harmonicas, guitars and those amazing voices! I was a fan of St. Somewhere way back in the day and now follow Homemade Wine with as much excitement. They are not traditional Trop Rock, but more of a cross over (a cross over in our small genre? very cool!). Then there’s the up and coming Island Castways Band, my home town boys who wrote a song about me after a few too many Tonga bowls! What these bands do is pull their audience in and make them a part of the magic. When you go to a show, you feel that connection with the artists unlike any other genre I’ve seen. Jim Morris wraps friends and fans into his lyrics all the time. And every time I see any of these guys, I’m met with huge smiles and hugs.

Jim Morris at MOTBAnd as Trop Rock gains in popularity, so do bigger and bigger events. We are not going to a show where a single musician plays, we are now attending events that boast ten plus acts. There have been events that have done this over the years such as the New England Parrot Head Convention, Stars on the Water, Pardi Gras, etc. But now, you can not go a month without a new event calling your attention to register.

A bunch of us attended Music on the Bay a couple of weeks ago and were simply blown away. An amazing venue, great line up and even better after hour parties (you’re welcome!). It was a perfect blend of what every parrot head wants in an event. Last year, Chris Lang (aka ‘C-Dawg’) and I helped co-produce Beach House on the Mountain. I have to say, it was one incredible event packed full of awesome music and a gorgeous venue. One of my favorite moments was standing down on the grass in front of the stage and glancing up to see Nadirah sitting on the hill, her head swaying back and forth listening to John Frinzi. She had this beautiful smile and seemed simply content. To me, that sums up the weekend. Pure content! We’ve been asked about doing it again this coming summer… time will tell! Keep your eyes on our website – Island Vibes Entertainment or our Facebook pages!

Beach House on the Mountain

Beach House on the Mountain

So where does all this rambling leave us? First, I haven’t written in some time and needed some verbal therapy, and second was asked to write something again. So here it is! I’ll be back soon with some updates on Tonga Tam’s! Although its not quite to where I want it, Tonga Tam’s in my backyard will be opening this summer with 2-3 backyard house parties! (bands, contact me if you’re interested!)

Till then, keep smiling and keep bowlin’!

Making a vision a reality!

Alright folks and faithful followers…. all three of you! :-) I started writing ideas down about what I’m looking for and what I want Tonga Tam’s to be. I have a good head start from this past spring and got some great feedback on that. Now I need to refine, research and investigate! Ohhh.. sounds fun! Especially the researching part as there is no way I want to open TT’s in New England – sorry folks, its just not for me!

Which brings up the first big question.. WHERE?! I know most of you will say Key West off the bat and I’d agree with you. Except that the cost is more than I’d be able to hope to get and the competition there is crazy. Course, done right.. it could happen. I’m thinking of Key West as a second or third opening! (yes, already thinking multiples.. its how I roll!) So then New Smyrna Beach pops into mind as its basically one of my top five spots on the planet so far. its peaceful and laid back and I already found the perfect bar. But again, lots of initial money and the family isnt quite ready to sell. I’m not exactly ready to buy yet either.


The next logical location is the west coast. Tampa, Ft. Meyers and such. Theres a great parrothead population along with one of the largest parrothead clubs in the world. My kind of peeps! You’ve got classic stops like the Nav-a-gator which boasts a dive hang out with the best local music around! Love it! The beaches are amazing and the people are as carefree as you can get! Plus, the ferry to Key West is not far!

I know I only have one more winter in me here, and thats stretching it! I should have been in FL by now! But thats ok, life tends to throw you curve balls and the only way to come out on your feet is to meet those curve balls straight on. Yep, a bit of bending and twisting is involved but you get there. Can you tell I used to work at a sports company! So glad that part of my life is over.

So moving on… got myself an awesome financial advisor who is pointing me in the right direction – Thanks Rob! I know what I have to do and realize I’m a lucky gal to have so many amazing friends that will help me on this journey.

more soon!
xo ~ tonga tam

9 Days to go!

Know its been a while since I last posted… been a crazy few months. We’re in the final stretch before Buffett returns to Great Woods and preparations are underway! I stopped over my friend Tracy and Randys last night to peek on our project. Have to say, its coming along nicely! I’ll head back over tonight or tomorrow to start painting it. Good thing about being unemployed.. gives me extra time to do things like this! ahaha… I’ll post pics when I can, another sad story of how I lost my camera. And let me tell you, not having a camera is like not having a right hand. I’m going to have to dip into the non-existant savings to get a new one it seems!

So moving on, we have nine days till heading into the Great Woods parking lots. Seems that Comcast is being a major pain in the butt and has announced that gates will not open until 3 on Thursday and noon on Saturday. Apparently its ok to get drunk on the weekend, but not during the week. Seriously!?! We are professionals here, those of us die hards are planning on several days of this and have taken days off (or in my case, glad the boss knew to lay me off before summer!). Rumors are, the clubs will still get in early so we’re not really all that worried. And worse case scenario… we’ll find a place to chill till they let us in – the side of 140? Shaws parking lot?! ahahah…

Time to go work on the tan, then work on the ‘project’! Catch you all soon and a lot of you in 9 days!

xo ~ tam

Buffett Announces 2010 Dates!

Its that time of year when Jimmy announces some of his tour dates for the upcoming summer. is abuzz with whos going, hotel reservations and tailgate planning. Anything to distract us from the cold winter months!

So far we have confirmed Great Woods dates of June 17 and 19! Tickets already went on sale, but not to worry, there are still some left! Other dates include Tampa on April 24th, Camden on August 3rd and 7th, Jones Beach August 31 and The Lube in Virginia September 2nd and 4th!

Time to start making plans!

Saying goodbye to 2009!

Well as this year rolls into the final couple of days, it has me thinking of new directions and new ideas. That and of course, reflecting on the past year and all that has come to pass and now is. Lots of ups and downs, and a heck of a lot of fun! I’m so grateful that I was able to travel quite a bit even with my work being cut for five months. Got to love friends, especially those in the parrothead community! Always looking out for you and offering a hand when needed. I honestly believe if not for them, I would have gone completely bonkers!

The ups of the past year? There are so many its hard to pin point. Of course all of the concerts and tailgate parties. Loved going to Nissan in Virginia this year. Great Woods is always the place to be, but Nissan definatley impressed me! Jones Beach was a blast.. even though I was bar-less! And Mohegan Sun was a fantastic surprise! Lots of familiar faces and new friends.

I only made it to two music festivals this year. Camp Creek was cancelled, however, rumors are saying it’ll be back in 2010! I do hope so! Thats such a great time. Got to go to Strange Creek for the first time over Memorial Day weekend and have to say that will be a new tradition. My Aunt Jeanne flew over from England to joins us camping for the first time as well! Nothing like introducing her to a hippy filled music festival! I do believe shes trying to return for next year! Wormtown lived up to its hype even though it was freezing cold out and we had to wait till 4am to catch Goosepimp play. We got to witness Zack Deputy’s amazing stage performance for the first time and I do believe Heather and I were simply swept away by him!

This may have been the year of music. I missed my boys of Flock of Assholes quite a bit, but have found some new loves including Ilo Ferreira! Ilo toured with Buffett this year and played one of two songs to us at each show. Hes got a calm and passion about him that is captivating. I’ve seen him play a couple small venues now and am just as impressed.

So whats next? More music, more friends, more fun! That and hoping that this will be the year of moving on! Sorry New England, its just too damn cold up here. In my travels this past year, my sister of another mother, Mary introduced me to New Smyrna Beach and I simply fell in love. Its small, but quaint. Just south of Daytona with pristine beaches and a lot less traffic. I may have found me a new home!

Happy New Years everyone! I hope that 2010 brings you all happiness and prosperity!
xo ~ tonga

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