‘I guess.’ I say. Since I am busy for the next two evenings of my stay in Munich, I won’t be able to re-schedule another dinner with Günter this trip. But the next time around? After all, how often you get all access press passes to Paul McCartney concert?

‘I am sure, you and Susi will have fun at the concert.’

I am sure that Susi would be ecstatic. But wouldn’t it be great also if Barbara were free that evening? A thought crosses my mind. But out of sheer protocol and the guilt I would otherwise feel, I call Susi from Günter’s phone, wishing that she wouldn’t be around to answer it. And she isn’t.

‘I’ll try to call her again from the hotel.’ I say.

It’s half past five when I leave Playboy offices in New Perlach, wishing Günter nice evening with his seitensprung with his squeeze, Uschi.

I catch the S-Bahn back to the hotel and immediately call Barbara. She’s already home from work and answers her phone on the first ring.

‘I would love to!’ I can hear the excitement in her voice. Takes me back to the days when we both lived in California.

‘Let me hang up. We don’t have much time. I just got home and need to change and freshen up. Where are you staying? I’ll pick you up at 7:30.’

Her little BMW pulls up in Grand Hotel Continental’s driveway. The concert is at the Olympia Halle. Normally I don’t really care for such large venues packed with thousands of people. But though our press passes have no reserved seats, they allow us an easy access to everywhere except the back stage. We spend the entire evening in the arena – which is the open area right in the front of the stage and dance the night away as if in a small and cramped smoke filled venue of Schwabing or on Ripperbahn in Hamburg where the Beatles first began. Instead, on the stage are Paul & Linda McCartney and Denny Lane and rest of the Wings belting out their Band on the Run repertoire interspersed with some Beatles classics.

© Haresh Shah

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

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Next Friday, May 23, 2014

MAKING FRIENDS

One of the fringe benefits of me working for Playboy in the job that I did, was an opportunity to meet the most interesting and creative people from around the world, many of them have become lifelong friends. More importantly, it allowed me to maintain those friendships by not fading into out of sight, out of mind state. Because I had no geographical barriers. It also allowed me to re-kindle non-Playboy relationships. Among them Dieter (Stark), whom I had originally met and worked with at Burda in Offenburg.

 

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