Tag Archives: show business

The Book That Will Never Be Written

During the eulogy at my wife’s funeral, the celebrant let slip some information concerning a period in her life that many there knew nothing of. Afterwards, in the garden of remembrance, her former boss said:

“I don’t know how many hours we must have spent chatting about this and that together; but she never mentioned a word of that other life. I’m gob-smacked.”

The ‘other life’ to which he referred was her dancing career, which was cut short after only ten years by injury. As a dancer she travelled the world, and had many a tale to tell afterwards. A few years ago, a fellow dancer (who wrote to me following her death, and told me that Linzi was the most talented dancer she ever worked with – not that I would have known; Linzi ALWAYS played down her acheivements) suggested that Linzi write a book about her adventures behind the greasepaint. Linzi wasn’t keen: she doubted her ability. But she did come up with a title. If she were ever to write it, it would be called Three Brothels and a Monkey House. I, who was privvy to her stories, understood the meaning, and urged her to write it. But she didn’t. She just let the idea slip away. But yesterday, as I was tearfully sorting through the mountain of her ‘stuff’ I discovered a sheet of lined writing paper. There were only a few lines of her immaculate printed hand writing upon it. I think it might have been an experiment of hers – just to see if she really could write the book. Nothing else has come to light, so I must conclude that this tiny scribble is the totality of her autobiography. And this is it…

We’d travelled to Dusseldorf by train from Paris to appear in what turned out to be a small club looking rather like someone’s front room, very dark and decidedly on the dodgey side. On requesting the directions to our dressing room, we were met with ‘What do you need a dressing room for?’ We discovered that it was intended for us to appear nude. After a hurried call to our boss in Paris we all left the club and headed back to our cramped flat to discuss the situation.

And that was that. There are no more words. What actually happened afterwards was an unusual gig at the local zoo. Yes, you’ve guessed it: in the Monkey House¬† – in which one of Linzi’s dancing troupe swore blind that the large male orangutan there was really¬† a man in a suit.

Linzi always said to me: “You’re not putting any pictures of me on the Internet!” She did not enjoy any kind of limelight. But just to back up what I’ve just written, here are a couple of pics from that era…

Home (Madrid) from Argentina, where she enjoyed a relationship with a famous pop singer of that time. Last year she discovered a picture of herself with him on the Internet. Someone was selling it for $150.

And here she is, modelling for a perfume sales campaign in Spain. She never saw the resulting hoardings that sprang up across Madrid, because she had already moved on to her final gig before enforced retirement. Apparently, someone later told her, they looked fantastic. And, you know, people don’t believe me when I tell them that I DIDN’T marry her for her looks. Those were just a bonus…

For almost forty years, I was the luckiest man in the world.