Archives for posts with tag: Andreas Odenwald

From Irish Eyes To The Razzle Dazzle

Haresh Shah
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The year before, Helga and Fred Baumgärtel (Mr. Playboy of the German edition – retired by then), Gudrun (Thiel) and myself  had gone to the Oyster Festival on a private trip. On the second day or so, Gudrun suggested PLAYBOY-Germany organize an Anzeigen-Meeting for next year’s festival. The participants, so she predicted, would sure be thrilled. I can still see her sitting by the portside, a glass of Guinness in her hand,  warming to the subject, as it were, while developing this wonderful idea. And so it happened.

Reminisces Andreas Odenwald – the editor-in-chief of Playboy Germany at the time. And I happened to be one of the dozen or so to join Germany’s top advertising executives who were invited with their partners to spend a long weekend in Ireland and experience the annual Oyster Festival. I don’t remember having eaten many oysters there, but drinking lot of Guinness to be sure.

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Haresh Shah

Tempting Eve To Tempt Adam

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It’s the early spring weekend in 1989. I get a hurried phone call either from our German editor-in-chief Andreas Odenwald or most likely at his direction, from Christian Seidel, his PR person. German edition has just published the cover and the nude pictorial of Michael Jackson’s baby sister La Toya Jackson, originated in the US, (March 1989). Her rock video Stop the Madness is just released and she is making waves in the media for having posed for Playboy. The TV channel SAT 1 has approached our German editors, telling them that they have a slot available that weekend on their super popular Saturday night talk show, Nase vorn (literary Nose up Front/ Way up Front) hosted by Frank Elstner, and they would like to offer it to Playboy if they could get La Toya Jackson to appear on the show.

We are in luck, because just recently Jack Gordon, La Toya’s husband and the manager had stopped by in my office to talk with me about just such a possibility overseas. So I get on the line and call Jack. A series of frantic phone calls ensue across Chicago, New York and Munich. They want first class passage, adjoining executive suites in a five star hotel. Limousine pick up. The usual celebrity stuff. All arranged with the lightening speed by our German team. They are picked up by Christian in his BMW 735 and brought to the hotel in Saarbrücken, from where the show is broadcasted. The live transmission is to go on air within hours when La Toya drops the bomb. She had to have a live boa constrictor to accompany her on the show!!! An eleventh hour curve ball. But nothing our Playboy team in Germany couldn’t handle. A call to the Frankfurt Zoo, and voila.

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Haresh Shah

From Sleazy Sex Show To The Celebration Of Suave Saxophonist’s 50th

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When I was based in Munich, it wasn’t unusual for me to start my day with breakfast in Munich, have lunch in Essen and land in Paris just in time for dinner and the next evening have dinner in Milan. Georg Kührer of the printing house Girardet once observed: you hop on and off the plane more often than I do a bus. Amazing. But true. Even so, the eleven days I remember the most about my relentlessly on the go happened years later when I was living in Chicago. What to me is mind-boggling still, is the intensity of those days, being in constant motion and deprived of sleep. And I don’t even drink coffee, let alone take any other stimulants. I thrived on the natural adrenaline and the high I got from interacting with people.

I began my journey in Chicago on the afternoon of Thursday, October 15,1992, arriving in Budapest the next morning.  I loved the way the airlines wine and dine you in the front of the plane on their intercontinental flights. No phones ringing, nowhere you can escape. I am not for watching movies or doing any real work on planes. Reading yes. But mostly what I love the most is to really let my hair down, enjoy the treats, perhaps snooze a little bit and arrive at my destination, if not well slept, quite relaxed.

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