Thursday, February 18, 2016

Graham Remembers: Dean In London 1987


Dean Martin   For the Good Times Live in London

Hey pallies, likes what is the greatest of great goal of Dino-devotees everywhere while our Dino walked the earth?  Likes, of course, to meet our most most beloved Dino in person!  Well, today on this eighteenth day of Dino-amore month, ilovedinomartin is thrilled beyond thrilled to share with you the first person account of how one of our Dino's fanatical fans actually gots the profoundly proud privilege of bein' one on one in the immediate presence of the King of Cool.

Today we share with you our Brit pallie Graham's personal touchin' and tender testimony of actually bein' with our main man prior to our Dino's last concert at the London Palladium in 1987.  Yesterday we shared the first part of Graham's superb scribin' 'bout his Dino-experiences when our Dino played London in 1983. and today we are proudly pleased to share his stunnin' sentiments of how he actually lived out the dream that all Dino-holics have of makin' the scene with our one and only Dino.

With tons of fanfare, but no further ado, we invites you to enter Graham's world when he entered our most beloved Dino's world.   We are thrilled that Graham has consented to let us share his achievin' his Dino-dream with Dino-holics everywhere via ilovedinomartin.  Graham has confided in us that he is a daily visitor at our little Dino-conclave, for which we feel most blessed, and we are hopin' that many many more times Graham will grace the pages of ilovedinomartin with his presence.   Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP



Graham Remembers:  Dean In London 1987

Having watched and listened to Dean for many years, and collected all
sorts of memorabilia relating to his life and career, it was a
welcome surprise to learn that the man himself was to visit our shores
in Great Britain, for a series of concerts. It was 1983, and Dean was
to appear at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre. BRILLIANT !

After all these years Dean was coming back to see us. ( He's been
here 30 years earlier with Jerry Lewis, when they played the Glasgow
Empire and the London Palladium ). I quickly booked my tickets, and
arranged for somewhere to stay . Then waited.......and it was a long
wait, it seemed like an eternity !!

Then in the summer of '83, he burst onto stage at the Apollo Victoria
to thunderous applause. He looked just fabulous. Tall , slim and
tanned in his immaculate tux complete with red hankie ! Just
wonderful.

He looked even better that I expected for a 66 year old . He didn't
look anywhere near his age.  And his performance that night, and every night, was outstanding.  Full of joy, laughter, warmth, sincerity, and CLASS. He was absolute
CLASS.

It was a real joy to witness this great man on stage, and to be so
CLOSE to him. So close as to see his warm smile, and the twinkle in
his "pretty brown eyes". So close that I managed to shake his hand
most nights, when he did his farewell on stage.

He was so nice .....

Well, that was that I thought. After all these years I'd finally
topped everything and managed to see Dean in concert "LIVE". There
before me, in the same room as me so to speak.

And,he'd had such a wonderful time here too. The press had been kind
to him with excellent reviews, the crowds had overwhelmed him, he was
interviewed for television, and had dinner with a princess. Why, oh
why, had he waited for 30 years to get here ?

He said he'd waited until he could get cheap flights as a pensioner.
Ha Ha !!  Over the next few months I gradually came back down to Earth, and
often though about my time in London.

THEN IT HAPPENED !!!

An announcement was made that Dean was coming back, and this time to
play the London Palladium. Dates were finally made for 1987. Right I
thought, this time I wanna MEET this huge huge star...if I can.
I could have made my own way to his hotel, or made a scene at the
theatre. But no, I wanted to do this the right way and possibly
things may happen for me.

Well, over many months I wrote to Dean's manager/friend, Mort Viner,
at International Creative Management on Sunset Boulevard asking if I
could meet Dean when he came to London.I must have wrote dozens of
times, but never gotr a reply. It was getting near to Dean's arrival,
and I was running out of time. So, I rang Mr. Viner at his office in
desperation, NEVER thinking he'd speak to me. But I was put through
to his office and he DID speak to me. Boy, was I nervous , but it was
arranged that I COULD meet Dean sometime during his stay. He's
received all my letters, and had half expected me to call. I suppose
it just showed how eager I was, if I was going to call Los Angeles !!
He told me that they'd be staying at the Inn On The Park, on Park
Lane, in Suite 210. ( "2nd floor, I hate lifts" ) He also gave me
their date of arrival and said he'd see me sometime during their stay.
When I put that phone down , I think I was in shock. I WAS getting to
MEET Dean. I WAS, I WAS !! It was hard to believe, but it was going to
happen.

Eventually, time came around to travel to London for Dean's stint at
the Palladium and I was eager to go to the hotel, which I did the
very next day . It was Dean's opening night. The receptionist at the
hotel phoned Mr.Viner for me, and he came down , and we introduced
ourselves. He was a bit cautious of me, I could see that. But, it's
understandible....I could have been some sort of crank ready to hit
on Dean or something. But, we talked for a few moments and made
arrangements for me to "see" Dean that night at the Palladium. I was
to wait at the front of the stage, by the wings, on the right hand
side of the stage.Be there before Dean was to open.

Well, I was there alright. VERY early too !! Spent some time talking
to security, who weren't gonna let me pass....no way . Then Mort
appeared, I felt throat go dry. This was it.....

"Sorry, but Dean's running late. Will you be here tomorrow ? "
Yes, I told him, I'm here every night. That either amazed or
impressed him . I'm not sure, but I could see the look on his face,
when I said "every night".

Now, I was on a real downer.......and that went on all week. Every
night I'd wait in the wings, only to be let down for some reason or
another. I got quite pally with the security guy . Then on Dean's
FINAL night, Mort appeared and beckoned in through the door of the
wings. The guard said "made it at last......." , and I sure had. Mort
led me through another couple of doors, and I found myself on the
STAGE of the PALLADIUM !!  I was working across those World famous
boards ( curtains down of course ),  to meet one of the most famous
entertainers in the entire world. A huge, huge super-star was going
to spare ME some time. I really couldn't believe it. I was in awe.

I could see Dean sat at a small table, without his jacket on just
getting prepared for the show. As we approached, he got up and Mort
introduced me to him. He held out his HUGE hand, and I took it in my
grasp. There I was, a nobody, stood here holding on to the greatest
entertainer ever. I couldn't believe it. I had so much to say to
him,.....things I'd run over in my mind dozens of times during the
last few months. But, I was practically gasping to speak. I thanked
him for all the wonderful years he's given to not only me, but
millions of people all over the world. I thanked him for coming to
GB , and was so glad he'd decided to come agian so soon. I hoped he's
enjoyed his stay, and said I really wished for him to come back
again. And, I thanked him for sparing me a few moments. At least,
that's what I THINK I said to him !!

He was so warm, and kind, and sincere. It seemed as if he genuinely
didn't know what all the fuss was about. Why did all these people out
there in the seats love him so much ? Why had I wanted to meet him ?
What had he done ? "I'm just a guy from Stubenville, who sings a
little".....

I really believe he didn't realize the impact he had on the world of
entertainment.

Anyway, it was time for me to leave,and for him to get ready to go on
stage. I gave him one last squeeze of his right hand.......he
said "Thanks......" He thanked ME. How ridiculous is that ? He'd just
given me more than he'd EVER given lots and lots of others. I can't
remember him ever giving time like that to anyone before, even
other "stars". He just didn't do that. He MADE ME feel so special,
and I still know to this day , how unique that time was.

I don't think it was Dean's fault though, even though he was a loner.
I think he was just over-protected by the people around him. I'm sure
he'd give time to anyone who wanted to meet him, or even shake his
hand.

One memory that's a bit negative though is how tired Dean seemed when
we were talking. Being so close to him, I realized how drained Dean
looked. His eyes were very tired looking, and for once he did look
his age of 70. But, there again he was fighting against the recent
loss of his beloved Dean-Paul, and he deserved a huge pat on the back
for soldiering on .

When he came out on that stage though he was the King Of Cool, as
usual,and performed his heart out. But, he wasn't the Dean of '83.
The spark wasn't quite there, and he even forgot his words a bit ,
especially during "For The Good Times". Whether Dean Paul had a
connection there, we'll never know.

It was a bit sad to see him up there in those spot lights. It was
almost as if he was going out with a bang, having one last ride. A
real trooper......a real professional.

I'll never forget it, and I sometimes choke up thinking about it. It
was a very special time for me. Memories truely are made of that.....
All best wishes to Deanagers everywhere, Graham.


6 comments:

ed said...

A truly deep and awe inspiring personal voyage to meet our man Dino!
What a great story, thanks for sharing!
I think you are a winner of the "Medal of Dino-ism"!
Going beyond and above the average lengths to show your true devotion to our man!!

Truly envious!!!
Ed

Danny G. said...

Man....I'm chokin' up here, pallie! HATE hearin' 'bout the downward spiral of such an amazin' guy as Dean. I'm gonna 'member him as the carefree croonin' fella & man 'bout town we all know & love! Forever!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Ed, thanks ever so much for patterin' Graham...we certainly 'gree with you and hope that Graham reads your tender and touchin' thoughts. Keeps lovin', keeps sharin' our most beloved Dino!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Danny-o, we hear you dude, and yes we are best to 'member our most beloved Dino at his height of coolness! Keeps lovin', keeps sharin' our one, our only Dino!

blueiscoool said...

A truly amazing story and first hand account of Dean. I would have to say it must have been a real thrill to actually meet someone like DM, even for a moment. I can imagine how difficult it must be for Dean because he was such a legend and so many people would have loved to have the opportunity to meet him. By this late time in Deans life he must have been exhausted, physically and mentally, he was an entertainer and still doing something he loved so much but he was still 70 years old. It could not have been very easy but he did what he loved best, perform for his legions of fans. It really shows you what a man he was! Thank you DMP for bringing this incredible first hand account our way!

Scott

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Scotty-o, truly the universe needs more ubber understandin' Dino-devotees likes youse dude! Keeps lovin' 'n sharin' our one, our only Dino!