Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

USMLM – West Berlin 1967

August 1, 2011

A rather weird situation arose a few years ago and it continues to bug me today.

In 1967, I spent much of the year working in West Berlin. My evenings were usually spent at the Eden Playboy Club or the New Eden Saloon on the Kurfustendamm. For three months, September, October and November, I worked for the famed West Berlin playboy, Rolf S Eden, and introduced flower-power to West Berlin, possibly even West Germany via a series of much publicised flower parties.

A number of GI’s would frequent the Playboy one of whom was Harold S Houston who I understood to be a driver with the United States Military Liason Mission in West Berlin. Through Harry, I and one of the Eden Playboy go-go dancers were invited to a reception at the US Mission. Following my departure from West Berlin back to London, I heard that Harry had been injured in a car crash on his way back from East Berlin-East Germany. Some years ago I tried to find out as to if Harry was alive and well, but drew a complete blank. I wrote to the USMLM in West Berlin but they had no knowledge of a Harold Houston. A year or so later I wrote to Washington DC but again no luck, they advised they had no knowledge of a Harold S Houston having served with the USMLM West Berlin in 1967.

How very weird! The USMLM, along with the British, French and Russian missions were a somewhat secretive set-up in that each mission could/would check out troop movements and build ups, which was mainly done (in the case of the US mission) by sending a car into the Russian sector and souting around for a day or so. Harry advised me that he acted as a driver for such venures. My question is, how on earth did Harry gain access to a reception at the USMLM for a British male civilian and a West German lady civilian……and how was Harry able to give me a sheet of buff headed notepaper worded to the effect  ‘From the Commanding Officer US Forces, West Berlin to the Commanding Officer of Soviet Forces, Sector, Berlin?……..unless he was serving with the USMLM……..yet Washington and the USMLM know nothing about the guy who we referred to as Harry the Spy!

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F1 To Sky

August 1, 2011

What a charade, the BBC are vastly over-staffed hence the wishes of the television viewer (the Licence Payer) are completely ignored. Maybe, although I can’t see it actually happening, the Head of BBC Sport will try to appease the annoyed F1 fans by looking into the possibility of taking live coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, hopefully before Sky snaffle that too!

2008 Royal Variety Show

December 28, 2008

For me, the 2008 Royal Variety Show was yet again well below par!

I was impressed by Duffy whose change of wardrobe was perfection for the event, she looked superb, that added to her very commercial voice and her current success was indeed a very good choice. The Jersey Boys except was also very classy and ideal for the occasion, tremendous vocals and superb choreography and production – another excellent performance.

There were of course disaster areas, the most notable being the charade of a sketch performed by Armstrong & Miller (whoever they may be). I have never seen or heard a sketch performed so badly and so badly written, it must rank as the worst item ever included on a Royal Variety Show bill!

The La Cage excerpt was another item on the bill that sadly fell on its face. The choreography and costumes looked below average and he playing Albin was to me the wrong choice, nothing even remotely glamorous, and La Cage was the item I’d watched the whole show to see!

The standard of live performers has dwindled considerably. In my opinion, if an act or artiste is incapable or unwilling to perform live they should not be included on such a prestigious show. I remember when there was a call for mime artistes….but I refer to the days of variety theatre which, sadly, are no more!