As I lean against the outer wall of the train, making myself comfortable, Andy Warhol now snuggly tucked back into my shoulder bag, I think of the thirty wonderful months of being a part  of Playboy, and how I had landed in Munich in the middle of the overt hostile environment and how along with Freddy (Baumgärtel), Rainer was the first one to warm up and work with me. We also began to socialize. Realizing my predicament with the vintage apartment I had taken over from Gerrit, him recruiting his wife Renate to help me find a place more to my liking.  In general, Rainer becoming my guardian angel. Us two, along with Heinz (Nellissen) in Essen, becoming a team.

●●●

We are sitting in Rainer’s office, drinking champagne at eleven in the morning. I watch the bubbles rise in the flute, Rainer asks: ‘So what did you think of my idea?’

‘Which idea?’

Because Rainer is an idea machine, hailed by Quick and Playboy Germany’s editorial director,  Heinz van Nouhuys as the wunderkind, because at the age 27, he has become the youngest art director of an international publication. . And also because Rainer says with all the modesty, maybe (because I was) talented? By then he already has under his belt, the experience of having done graphically progressive magazine Jasmin. He has also put in his time at DM and Zeitung in Stuttgart. And admirably, he doesn’t jump at the once in a life time opportunity when offered the position at Playboy. Instead he stipulates: I’ll fly to Chicago at my own expenses and meet with the art director of the “whole shop “and see if at all I can make it with my own graphic ideas. A meeting is arranged with Art Paul, the man who designed Playboy’s ubiquitous Rabbit Head and defined the magazine then and forever for its graphic excellence. And then Rainer calls back from Chicago, Well okay. I’ll start with you.

I no longer remember the exact illustration and the article about which we began to talk, but here is a scenario I just made up as an example. It would be pretty much true of the way Rainer “dreamt up” visual aspects of Playboy’s German edition.

‘You know the one about the illustration for the Maxim’s de Paris.’

‘The one (Franz) Spelman is writing?’

‘Yeah.’

‘What about it?’

‘You know, the werkdruck, the special stock four page cutout?’

‘Sorry, I don’t. Refresh my memory.’

‘You know the one where the first page would be the die-cut pop up of the façade of the Maxim’s, and when you turn the page, the spread shows the interior of the main floor of the restaurant with the page four crossing  over the opener, showing the chefs working in the kitchen?’

‘Sounds like a great idea. With an illustration like that, why would anyone want to read the article?’

Genau. You know? Plus does it make a difference? I mean, who cares what Franz has to say?’

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