|Mr. Martin Shillito
London Symphony Orchestra
Sunday morning on the common at Wimbledon! Lovely! – Frost is melting under the winter sun. Everything is shining and the weekend is winding down perfectly.
I went to Trattoria Terrazza last night, as nervous and excited as could be, to have dinner with an amazingly beautiful girl called Karin Bruce who, by divine providence and Royal command I met at the Palladium a few weeks ago.
I was playing in the stage orchestra for Andy Williams at the end of what turned out to be a very long show, and she was dancing in the chorus right at the beginning, but I did manage to find her during rehearsals among crowds of celebrities, jugglers, people with ladders, and a forest of ostrich feathers backstage and to speak to her for long enough to come away with her telephone number.
She is tall, dark and distracting beautiful, and her company is fascinating. In fact there seems to be hardly anything ordinary about her at all. She danced at the famous Casino in Beirut before the war, when it was the top nightspot in the world and Omar Sharif used to go there to play the tables.
We ate a seafood salad, “Sinatra” and the Terrazza’s famous steak tartare, while she told me about the fabulous floorshow, with lions, elephants, Lebanese muscle men, acrobats and beautiful showgirls, all choreographed by Jack Coles who is famous in show business for having taught Marilyn Monroe to dance.
What a marvellous evening we had until she had to leave to go to a late night revue at L’Hirondelle, at which point I walked around the corner to the French pub to get an Armanac before heading home.
The eleven o’clock, last orders bell was ringing as I arrived, and you have to wade through a lot of human wreckage at that time on Saturday night to get a drink in the “French” but it’s worth it because you almost always run in to someone you know.
Francisco Gabbara, the cellist was there last night with Ben Thomas, croaking and spluttering from ”Senior Service” and gulping gin, en route for “Talk of the town”. Their day had started at eight a.m. at Olympic studios in Barnes with some jingles for “Hotpoint washing machines, and toothpaste, followed by six hours at A.T.V. Elstree with Jack Parnell and a session somewhere else for George Martin. Shirley Bassey’s late night cabaret seemed to form some sort of afterthought, like something for them to do on the way home, so somehow I didn’t think they would be in the least interested by my dinner or my fabulous companion.
Having excused myself duties from the Royal Phil. for the weekend, it’s a luxury not to have to go to the Albert hall for the Sunday Tchaikovsky extravaganza so I’m sitting here in the frosty garden of the Crooked Billet, waiting for beer, with a shemozzle of dogs around my feet who, knowing that it is exactly twelve o’clock and that there are always logs ablaze on the hearth in this pub, are fervently barking for the doors to open. I’m sorry to be so self indulgent and for not enquiring, until now, about your family, the L.S.O. Florida trip, new and inconspicuous motor car, physical and spiritual wellbeing and so on, but I really am, as you will no doubt have noticed, very taken with the lovely Karin Bruce.
I gather that until now, the men in her life have been acrobats, diplomats, and lion tamers so I’m wondering what she could find exciting about yours truly.
Good Luck and the best to Barry