Prologue- This really is a TRUE story.
“I know your are a fucking genius Paul. You don’t have to tell me!!!!!”
These were the words uttered in pure frustration by Kelvin McKenzie head of Talk Radio in London, England and former editor of The Sun newspaper in the UK. The Sun is the paper where the “Page 3” girls expose their breasts on a daily basis, and it is here my friends that my story begins.
Paul Trevillion is, in the UK, what Leroy Neiman was here, in the US, a very well-known and respected artist. He is currently 69 years old and at the time of our first meeting in 1993, was semi retired. The first time I met him he walked into my London office at 4.45 pm exactly and announced, “Hello I am Paul Trevillion and I’ve just finished my radio show at Five Live.” 3 hours and 14 minutes later I opened my mouth for the first time to speak to him! And there at that precise moment began a relationship that has taken us to all four corners of the globe together and made us the best of friends. Paul and I have been there seen it done it and bought the T-shirt 3 times over. We have come we have conquered and we have been slain on several occasions. On the day mentioned above in Mr. McKenzie’s office we made the most glaring of errors that really has changed our lives ever since.
Paul will tell you in his own inevitable style that when I moved to the US in 92 and “married THE blonde “ that the change happened at that precise moment. I beg to differ with the man who has, met the Pope, the Queen, 3 former Presidents of the USA, not to mention many UK Prime Ministers and has had an illustrious career in show business as well as being the best sports artist that Europe has ever produced.
John Holmes who was at that time one of the top sport agents in England will tell you about the day he threw Paul out of his car in the middle of the English countryside and drove off. Jerome Anderson will tell you that Paul helped make him a millionaire. Bob Monkhouse (now deceased) can relate to Paul “as the funniest man I have ever seen on stage”. Donny Osmond will tell you that Paul told the greatest jokes ever at the wedding of his older brother. What I can tell you though is that underneath that happy-go-lucky smile there is a very genuine and caring man who is frightened of anything and everything around him except his artistic talent.
This is the story of our rise to fame and fortune and our demise before the fame and fortune had a chance to make it into our back pockets. This story will show you how easy it is for 2 normal (well one of us is) every day guys to get in front of some of the most famous people in the world and make them believe that they really need you. Paul and I are experts in the art of self-presentation. We have made people believe in our ideas and more importantly, in us. Not only that we have made life-long friends with most of them.
Having had the most wonderful upbringing in Glasgow Scotland, I was blessed with a fabulous sense of humor and an ability to see the funny side of even the worst of situations. I was also born with an ability to communicate with anyone, whether they swept the streets or held a position of high authority. I could sit down and make them feel at ease within minutes of meeting them. My father and my Grandfather always told me that you had to respect every person that you met in life. My dad had this saying that you were only where you were in life because of where your mother had sex with your father. He used to tell me repeatedly that I could have been a refugee in Ethiopia or even a Celtic fan in the East end of Glasgow! Heaven forbid.
Glasgow however had the ability of bringing the best and funny side out of people, especially when a crisis hit. We were no different, and when Dad brought home our first color TV set in 1969 and I discovered Hughie Green wore a green jacket and not the blue one I’d always imagined while watching his show, Opportunity Knocks, in black and white for many years previously, (which at that time was a very popular talent show on British TV), dad said “don’t worry son I am sure he will change it to a blue one on the black and white set in my bedroom”. You see in Glasgow there are two football (soccer) teams, Rangers and Celtic and you either support one or the other. Rangers play in Blue and they are my team and Celtic play in Green. The hatred between the two sets of fans is intense and anything to do with the color green I disliked intensely. So Hughie wearing green was to me a disaster and complete let down. I never watched the show again!
We lived in a ‘well-to-do’ suburb of the city although it had not always been that way. We had a mild accent in comparison to the rest of the city of Glasgow and an accent that has stayed with me to this day, even though I have traveled far and often and currently reside in the state of California. Women residing in different parts of the globe have often described my voice as “sexy” but we will come to that later. Don’t get me wrong here, my upbringing was not one of a rich family but of a middle class down to earth family where my father had come from nothing and made a success of his life and where my mother had come from a fairly wealthy family and worked day and night with my father to get his business up and running.
We were never spoilt in the sense that if either myself or my 2 sisters required anything it wasn’t just given to us. We had to earn it. We had a fairly orthodox Jewish way of life in our household. We kept the Sabbath and I would go to Hebrew classes along with Saturday service at the local Temple every week. But I realize that this is all very boring for you the reader so I will move on rather quickly as I don’t wish to bore you with triviality.
Lets just say from the little that I’ve revealed to you that my upbringing was to become very beneficial to me in my later life as a globetrotter. Glasgow leaves you with a wonderful outlook on life and a great sense of humor that I’ve been able to share with many different cultures around the world. Who else but a Glaswegian can hold court in a city called Hangzhou in the middle of China with 3 Chinese and a Sri Lankan and make them laugh uncontrollably about anything or indeed nothing in particular?. Another example is that of jargon.
No other culture swears as well as the Scots. We can even make the word FUCK sound really good. We can make you feel welcome when we tell you to Fuck Off. We just have a way of saying it. We can also abbreviate all known swear words into letters. I used to have a code in meetings that I attended and wanted to leave quickly. I would say to my partner of the time “lets GTF”! And we would. I also have a way of expressing myself in letters. For example its cold outside would be “its F’n’F” (fucking freezing). Or we would be in a restaurant and the food would be crappy so I would tell the waiter to GTFCN (get the fucking check now!)
And so it goes on. Some of you may know about the way we address people in Scotland. This has been publicized many times and for many years by Billy Connolly (one of the best comedians ever to come out of Scotland). In all of his books and most of his records he relates so eloquently to how everyone, no matter male or female in Glasgow is called Jimmy. This rings true even here in the US where I always address people by the term Yo! Jimmy!
It works every time. I promise you. Next time you want to get someone’s attention just try it. Go on. YO! JIMMY! You will be amazed at the response. I have done this in the US and in Hong Kong and in China and Thailand and Israel and many other countries. For some reason there are more Jimmies on this planet than Chengs or Chins!
Funny story. I was in the changing room at my health club in San Jose and I got talking to this man called Dick. I told him the Yo Jimmy story so we started to call each other Jimmy every morning. This went on for weeks and then one morning I walked in and saw Dick sitting there and I immediately went over and began, “Hey Jimmy how are you?” We chatted for a minute or so before he decided to move into the shower when, at that precise moment, another member came over and said to me “ you know he is not called Jimmy? His real name is Dick!”
Gullibility and naiveté, the trademark of most Americans. Most of them don’t know what goes on outside their own city let alone what happens in another country. So the Yo Jimmy syndrome is worth a try wherever you are but especially here in the US.
Oh well we do digress. I should get to the crux of this story before you close the book on page 3 and throw it. So, on with the show, it’s time to get to the funny stuff.
Trevillion and I have been inseparable for the last 20 years. You may want to know why I am not giving you a brief bio on the man. The problem is I couldn’t fit it into less than 350 pages! He is amazing. Google him. He’s a true genius in every sense of the word. The crazy thing is that when I first met him he was retired. At 49! It took me a year of continual ear bashing to get him off his backside and back to work but once I did this he was drawing better than he ever had prior to our meeting.
I had this concept or idea that I was trying to patent. I decided that I needed to put a picture on a lapel pin to make it collectible, like a trading card. You see since I was 17 I’d been selling key rings and pins and sports bags to companies like Johnnie Walker and Newsweek magazine for promotional use at events. The business was very successful with just 2 of us in the beginning, my dad being my partner, but we soon expanded and eventually there were 10 of us, and we became quite large and very well-known in Great Britain.
The company grew into different areas over time and I was always inventing or creating ideas as was my father. Most of the ideas we came up with were totally farcical but now and again we hit one that was a clear winner. The idea that has now led to this story was not only going to make me rich beyond belief it was also my greatest moment in life at the time, and the way it came together and then blew up in my face prompted me to put pen to paper or finger to key, and relate it to you, my audience!
This is a true story by the way, the names are real and there will be no bullshit disclaimers at the end despite many protests from my attorney Mike Winsten. You will be amazed at how a “wee boy” from Glasgow Scotland hit the big time (or so he thought) and then hit his demise and burned 7 years of his life for what was in reality an ego trip and a stampede of greed by others who surrounded me.
People who I thought I could trust. Family! All of their egos and their pockets were larger than their loyalty and to think that they could have had it all had they just been sensible in their endeavors and kept their ingrained jealousies to themselves. Idiots! Fucking idiots! I am proud to tell you this as you’ll see going forward the world is full of idiots we should just never educate them!
If you think that this is over the top language then read on…..
I was sitting in my office in a mews (Google this word) in South Kensington London, and Trevillion was mouthing on and on about what he’d done and where he’d been (remember that meeting?) and I am sitting there thinking to myself, “This guy is full of shit”. He mesmerized me with his facts and figures of where he had been and what he had done and whom he had been with and all of the different sides there had been in his life and I was becoming very impatient wondering when he was going to stop and when I could ask him if he would give me a fucking drawing to put on one of my fucking pins!! I just couldn’t interrupt him. He reminded me of one of those men you hear on TV or radio commercials with the disclaimer at the end that they have to rhyme off in 5 seconds but it’s 300 words. You know the one “ subject to terms and conditions some stores may vary, price should be checked 45 times before you buy anything etc…”
Eventually Paul stopped talking and I got the opportunity to tell him about my idea.
“Listen Paul I know that I can make a fortune with these but there is no way to put a photograph on here and your friend Gary tells me you can draw so what do you think? Will you do me a drawing so I can try?” I said, as I showed him my idea.
Paul thought about it for less than 30 seconds and decided that he’d have a drawing of Pele to me within 3 days. He also told me that if I could reproduce his art on the top of this metal pin that I’d be rich beyond belief and then he stated quite clearly that he believed my chances of doing this would be zero. He then got up and left. Not even a goodbye. He just walked out the door!
I wasn’t sure what to think at that moment, other than “this man is nuts!” And I wasn’t too far off the mark! But what I didn’t know was that within 12 months the 2 of us would be absolutely inseparable. We would form a bond and a friendship that would last until either one of us passed from this earth. I also didn’t realize or appreciate how talented Trevillion was. All would be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
At 8 pm on a Tuesday evening when you’ve just met a genius and you don’t know how to spend the rest of your evening what do you do? You go and shag the girlfriend. Right? So that’s exactly what I did. I went home and had sex with this girl I was dating at the time and told her of the meeting that I’d just finished with this nut ball called Trevillion.
She and I had been going out for several months and we knew each other very well. She had the most fantastic nipples and we were at it least 3 times a day. A blonde all over! She was also quite a bit younger than me and had been born and bred in London. She stood 5 feet 10 inches tall and had the weirdest laugh I ever heard. We were actively bonking while I was telling her everything that had happened that evening (as one normally does when having sex with ones girlfriend) when all of a sudden just as she was about to climax screams out “ I know who he is!”
“Who is?” I asked while trying to keep my bodily fluids inside my penis so as to enjoy the moment.
“Yes, he has been on TV and I also saw him at a club in Suffolk on the air base where my dad worked. He is a comedian”
“You are joking?” I was already past the point of no return and trying to pretend I was still enjoying the experience.
“Not in this lifetime” she replied, and then she turned round and looked at me in the eyes, and I promise you I will never ever forget this moment, she said quite calmly, ” are you done?”
Not only was I done but I was lying on the bed thinking to myself how could I have met a man called Trevillion who I’d never heard of and who I believed to be an artist and here was this lady whom I had been seeing for only a few months telling me he was a comedian? No wonder ejaculation had occurred in such a premature fashion. How was a fucking comedian going to draw me Pele! Had it been a waste of 3 1/2 hours of valuable shagging time meeting this man? Oh my goodness, I thought, wait until I get hold of Garry and ring his neck. How could he have set me up with a comedian? I needed an artist, but not a piss artist!