Rolf Eden, owner of the Eden Saloon in West Berlin. Now a
businessman, but still a great playboy at age 76.
This photo, taken during a "Miss Eden Saloon" contest in the mid 60's, is a surprisingly good, accurate likeness of the man as his friends knew him back then. This expression is the real Rolf Eden, as I knew him in quieter moments. It is also, IMO, the reason for his great successes. It shows a great inwardly calm, peaceful detachment from even the wildest hubbub. That was his magic. He was always able to stay out of it all and observe, with extreme discernment and discrimination in the best sense of the word.
I was very fond of him and he was very good to me. In fact, it was Eden who first recognized me as a photographer and essentially launched my career by asking me to fill his nightclub with my photos at his expense. All the best Berliner artist-photographers like Herbert Tobias and Icka Vielander had been unsuccessfully after Rolf to put their photos in his club for years. his asking me, out of the blue started my career. And, as usual, he did it right, with full photo-show opening complete with press and invited guests. And he let me put up anything I wanted, even regularly make new shows, with further new openings and press.
That was his success. He had a sense of doing things right and a fine sense for publicity.
The Eden Saloon was called "probably the most interesting night spot in the World" in the famous travel book "Europe on 5 dollars a day".
©2007 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.
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