Gary? Gary who? I hear you say. Gary Hopkins was and is James Bond. He is not however the James Bond you and I know from the movies. If I were to describe him in one sentence it would be as follows.
An extremely well educated English public school boy who always wore clothes that were creased as hell but could look and sound like a million dollars by combing his unwashed hair with one stroke of his right hand and adjusting the knot on his tie to make his shirt look brand new and clean.. Yep that is Gary. He was living in LA when I met him about 1 year prior to meeting Trevillion and we were quite good friends until he wanted to borrow money from me for his soccer magazine and I found out that he wasn’t quite who he said he was. Thank goodness for Trevillion. He persuaded me not to invest and I didn’t. 3 weeks later Gary was out of business.
Anyway Gary knew of Paul and if it weren’t for his introducing the 2 of us the world would probably be a better place right now! Paul used to say to me when we were traveling to meetings
“Alan if they knew how dangerous we were together they would slap a government health warning on us” to which I’d respond
“Paul if only you could draw properly!”
Shagging complete, yes we are back to that blonde, I decided to get up and do some research on who Trevillion really was and remember folks that this was pre-Internet days. I called everyone I knew. I see you all sitting there reading this book thinking “how can he know anyone when he swears like that and can’t last more than 10 minutes in bed with a natural blonde!”
Well I know a lot of people in a lot of places and after 2 or 3 days of calling around I couldn’t find one single person who knew a man called Paul Trevillion. I was very frustrated and annoyed. What should I do?
I had to make some progress with this idea for pictured athlete pins, and so, with my mind buzzing and the belief in my new idea, extreme, to say the least, I called this other friend I knew called Tony Hall. Tony worked in PR. A very well educated man who loved his rugby. Tony and I had known each other only a few years but he knew a lot of people and although we had been introduced by a mutual friend and had never done any business together we knew that one day we would get involved in something as a team.
“Tony do you know any artists?”
“What do you need an artist for Alan”
“I have this lapel pin concept Tony. (Actually in the UK we called them badges). I met this man called Paul Trevillion who was supposed to do a drawing for me but I have a gut feeling he won’t come through with his promise” I then explained to Tony what exactly it was I was trying to achieve.
”Yes I do. Leave it with me” Came the response.
Tony would later to get involved in what transpired to be a monster deal in the UK using these pins and one or two of our national newspapers, but initially he found me an artist who drew some famous cricket players for me. He drew them in a sort of cartoon fashion. They were good but when I put the drawings onto the pins all of the detail was lost from the drawing. The eyes and nose and mouth just vanished and really you had no clue who you were looking at. Another waste of time and money!
My business partner in Taiwan, Marie Tseng from France, a lady with huge tits, (but not too attractive, the face that is not the tits!) was becoming pissed off too. Every time I sent her drawings to make the pin samples she had to drive 2 hours to the factory and then 2 hours home. For nothing!
Ever been to Taiwan? If not I would describe the capital city,Taipei, like this. Put Le Mans and Daytona in an area the size of Central Park New York City with 2 million taxi drivers who all believe they are Mario Andretti or Michael Schumacher and you will get the picture. They are the craziest drivers in the world (outside of mainland China) and they never ever crash!
So that is why Marie (with the big tits) hated me. She was risking her life daily in order that I might make a success out of seeling lapel pins in the UK.
The story on how Marie became my business partner in Taipei is quite amusing.
Andrew Henry, my good friend and confidant, and he of Club Med for Jews fame, ran my business in the UK while I was off traveling the globe. He and I met in Israel in 1975 and we became great friends. Do you see a pattern forming here? Anyway he came to work for Jack (otherwise known as JZ), my father and I in 1981, and now he, Andrew, owns the company as JZ retired and I moved to the US. Lucky man! Andrew believed ( and it turned out he would be absolutely correct) that a lapel pin craze sweeping France at the time would eventually hit the UK. He’d found 2 men in Bordeaux who were already quite successful in France and asked them if they wanted to expand into the UK. To be honest JZ and I thought Andrew was off his rocker (nuts, to those of you who are not British), but you never know in life, so we let him carry on his merry way in the hope that something would happen. It did. Big time!
Eventually we ditched the 2 Frenchies and decided to buy directly from the Orient from factories we already knew. I was pleased about this, as both Frenchmen were typical of men from that particular nation. They stunk! However we soon received a letter from a company in Taiwan offering us pins at a low cost and as I was about to embark on one of my regular visits to Hong Kong it was an opportune moment to visit the company in Taipei City. Our whole business at the time was geared around buying products from China and Taiwan and one or more of us traveled to that particular area of the world at least 4 to 5 times a year. We received offers from many companies in Hong Kong and Taiwan all the time so this particular offer wasn’t too unusual. The fact that they were already selling millions of pins though made it appropriate for me to visit with them. We needed a good supplier only because the one we were currently using in China was making mistakes all the time and not following our explicit instructions, and with Andrew intent on bringing this ‘craze’ into the UK and the fact that most of the pins at that time came from Taiwan, it made sense to make the visit.
Cutting a very long story short. I arrived in Taipei and was met at my hotel by Marie, from France (but not a smelly!), and her partner, Corraine Le Grande who was Canadian. Corraine was pretty but her prices were not! However I did have the hots for her (Corrine that is) so we kept talking. They eventually told me I knew more than they did about lapel pins, and so, reluctantly, they agreed to let me go directly to their factory. Honest to God though if I hadn’t wanted to get inside Corraine’s pants I would never have gone. It turned out to be a very fortuitist decision. The factory was great so was Marie, but Corraine wasn’t interested in me or my possible pin orders, and after being told that she had ambitions of going into the banking business, I pulled Marie to one side and asked her to form an alliance with me and represent me in Taiwan as my exclusive agent. Even though it took a few months to get going we eventually made money together for 5 good a years.
And that is how we started to ruin Marie’s life with senseless trips to this factory. She hated the drive. More to the point so did I.
Now back to the real story.
4 weeks after receiving the cricket drawings and determining that they wouldn’t work, I was sitting at my desk on the first floor of the office in South Kensington surrounded by pictures of my son Paul and my sisters Ruth and Barbara and their kids too, when all of a sudden the door opens and cocky as you like, in walked Trevillion, unannounced and seemingly unaware that it had now been 7 weeks since our infamous first contact. To be honest I never thought I’d see him again and yet here he was, in all of his verbal glory ready to save the day.
Without opening his mouth, he threw this drawing of Pele on my desk and then, after registering the shock that must have been apparent, written all across my face,said
“If you can put that on your pins you will be a millionaire!” I stared at it and replied
“Why does it have a large head and a small body?”
“Who wants to look at his body?” shouted Paul “People know who it is from the head. You can see it’ Pele can’t you?”
‘Yes’ I replied.
Then he blew me away. He came up really close to my face and spouted the following line, a line I will never ever forget.
“If you can actually put this on one of your pins and it looks good, I will personally introduce you to all every sportsman in the UK who you would want in your pin collections.”
Was this man for real? Could he actually do that? I knew my idea was good but I hadn’t a clue how I’d get footballers or other famous people to sign contracts with me. Here was Trevillion offering to do this on my behalf. What an offer!
At the same time he was talking, I was still studying the art. It was no larger than 8 inches but the detail was incredibly simple and the face was only in black and white. It was amazing! The more I looked at it the more I liked it and then the thought occurred to me that Mr. Trevillion may be a very talented man indeed.
“Paul’ I said “ who are you in real life?”
“Do you have an hour or two?”
“Yes I do”
“Then send your young lady out for my favorite Kentucky Fried Chicken and I will tell you”
“You don’t want a decent meal?”
“Nope. Kentucky is fine.”
20 minutes later my secretary came back into the office with his chicken and this is how Paul related his life story to me.
By the way Paul always dressed in black so you can picture him vividly with fragments of KFC all over his jet-black pants and shirt. Paul never ever wears any other color. I have tried to change this, believe me, but I have never been successful. And when he talks at 100mph (which is ALL the time), the chicken goes all over the place, like an erupting Geyser!