Tuesday, 26 November 2013

I Slept In Footballer Robledo's Bed!

I guess not many people can say this!

Homophobia appears to have been the cause of his death. I'm all in favour of someone seeking retribution when the victim is some elderly pervert who's been caught messing around with youngsters, but in Ted's case he was murdered by being thrown into the sea, by the captain of the ship he was on.

His bed? It was still in the room when we moved on--NOT the mattress, just the frame which in those days was a metal contraption which had to be assembled with a spanner-key. I do have Ted's silver whistle on my desk, however, so any time I fancy a blow, it's right there at my fingertips!

I've thought about him a lot, these past few days while penning my memoirs. 

Ted Robledo

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Ted Robledo, 1953 photo
Eduardo Oliver "Ted" Robledo (July 26, 1928 - December 6, 1970) was a Chilean professional football player. He played as a left-sided defender, and is most notable for his time spent with Newcastle United.
Robledo was born in Iquique, Chile to a Chilean father and an English mother. He emigrated with his family to Wath-on-Dearne, Yorkshire in 1932, at the age of four, due to the political instability in Chile at the time.[1] The family lived at Barnsley Rd, West Melton, in the same house where the Anglo-French biographer David Bret was later raised.
Robledo started his footballing career at Barnsley with his brother George. First Division Newcastle United signed him on January 27, 1949. Newcastle were only interested in signing his brother, but neither of the Robledo brothers would move without the other. Their appearance together in the 1952 FA Cup Final was the first time more than one foreign player had appeared in a cup final eleven.
The majority of Robledo's appearances for the club came in the 1951-52 season. Robledo played for Newcastle until the end of the 1952-53 season, when he was sold to Colo-Colo. After retiring from football, Robledo served on an oil tanker where he died in mysterious circumstances in December 1970 at the age of 42. It was rumoured that Robledo was thrown off the tanker and drowned. His body has never been found.[2] His brother George outlived him by nearly two decades, dying in April 1989 just before his 63rd birthday.[3]


As a player[edit]

Newcastle United


  1. ^ http://pratina.tripod.com/id16.html
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]

External links[edit]

Joey Stefano: 19 years today

One of the most amazing men who ever drew breath. It's already nineteen years since he left us, but seems just like yesterday.
Remembering the nice times. Sleep peacefully, my friend. xxx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rudolph Valentino: The Screen God Who Loved Men

The real Valentino~the beautiful, tormented star.
Hounded by his lesbian wives who tried to make his life a misery.
Treated like dirt by the studios.
Conned by his conniving manager who tried  to steal his money and take over his estate.
Saved and protected by the men he loved.
Gone too soon, revered for ever!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Prince Eddy: The King Who Never Was

The second part of "The Nancy Sphinctergritzel Trilogy"could not have been better-timed to coincide with the documentary about Prince Eddy, broadcast on the television this evening.
What a beautiful but sad young man, and so maligned. Cecil knew him well--he was a big, strapping man, one who excelled at most sports, yet he succumbed so easily to the flu epidemic and died within days of contracting the illness, aged just 28. 
Eddy and Cecil were both involved with the notorious Cleveland Street Scandal of 1889. Eddy had been partnered with Charlie, the lad who blabbed to the police. Cecil met Tommy Grice here, and they were lovers for a long time. It was Nancy Sphinctergritzel, the conniving woman who conned Cecil into marrying her when he was 86, who drove Tommy's son, Thomas to suicide--all because Thomas had a fling with Rudolph Valentino back in 1923. Nancy threatened his family too, and to save them, poor Thomas killed himself. Cecil found out about this--his intention was to marry Nancy, take her to Ceylon for their honeymoon, and have her bumped off over there.
Sadly, things did not work out this way. The story of what happened will complete the trilogy, and will be published in a few weeks time.
Take a look at the pictures of Cecil and Eddy, above. Who could not love these two exquisite rogues. Then take a look at the pictures inside the books of the goppingly horrendous Nancy Sphinctergritzel, of whom Valentino said, "My meeting with Nancy was monumental--I threw up!"

Greta Garbo: Divine Star

She was the greatest actress who has ever lived!

Greta Garbo: Divine Star

Posted in Biographies & Memoirs by - November 11, 2013
Greta Garbo: Divine Star
By David Bret
The Robson Press, $29.95, 352 pages
It is not an urban legend: Greta Garbo actually said, “I want to be alone”.  She went out of her way to avoid the public and the press her entire life.  This infuriated the gossip columnists who had to make things up because she rarely granted interviews.  Her self-imposed solitude added to her mystique, which became legendary.
“In Hollywood where every tea table bristles with gossip writers, what I say might be misunderstood.  So I am as silent as the grave about my private affairs.”
Greta Gustaffson was discovered by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, who brought her to the United States from Sweden.  Always temperamental, Garbo had many run-ins with her boss at MGM, and frequently threatened to move back to Sweden unless she got her way.  Mayer reluctantly capitulated because she was a top money maker.
Garbo never married, much to the chagrin of her fans, but her many loves included both men and women.  Her closest friends were gay or bisexual.
Garbo claimed not to like Hollywood or making movies.  She left Hollywood in nineteen forty nine and never made another motion picture. Despite curious paparazzi and fans, she managed to stay out of the public eye until her death.
This biography is highly readable, well written, and  provides a keen insight into Garbo’s character and career.  Because her private life was so private, there is a lot that isn’t known, but the author has clearly done his research.
Reviewed by Leslie Wolfson

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Back-log, Almost Cleared!

It's been one heck of a thirteen months!

Circumstances and events really did point towards the fact that I was going to die--if not of illness, then by other means. Measures were set in place to deal with which ever one claimed me. The loonies and their threats to kill me, or the pains. Numerous tests found the source of the latter and I'm not dead of it yet.

Then it came to the loft. Over twenty scripts which had been lying there for years--unpublished projects that I had worked on between the published ones. Material which would almost certainly end up in a skip if or when I died.

Some were/have been taken on by publishers and will come out as and when. Those working for me have done so around the clock. The loonies have helped enormously, by causing me so much grief and by complaining and keeping my name in lights. I'm very grateful, for while they fail, I succeed.

Others I published myself--virtually no one publishes  plays any more.

Seven I have published under other names, and it amazes me that these have such sterling reviews on Amazon and the like. Had I published them under my own name, they would have been hammered by the same group of people who hammer the others. Some won't believe me. That's their problem. No one is ever going to discover my aliases, though doubtless they will try.

All have sold well--not bad for a so-called "failed" writer. And of course, that these people bother to write about me at all, if this is what I am, shows a distinct lack of taste and grey cells on their part. I would never waste a moment putting pen to paper about someone not worthy of the air they breathe. What would be the point of giving them the attention? These people are nobody to me, and not much more to anyone else.

Now, there are just four more to go...

Sweet Talkin Guy: Thanks For Taking the Trouble

I love this tribute to me by "The McCann Loonies"!
If this obsessive woman thinks I'm insulted, she couldn't be more wring!
They must think me special to go to all this trouble, just as they go to so much trouble to make sure that I sell many more books than I normally would. I like it very much!
Very much like the "Wizard of Oz" photofit picture, which I include here.
I could of course retaliate my making a little video about her. But how does one take the pee out of someone who has a history of broken relationships, an alcohol problem, and a child taken into care? I guess there will be a little story in there, somewhere...

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Yorkist Kings & The Wars of The Roses Edward IV

Just as I happened to be talking about roses! This is the first time I've had three books published on the same day--a fortunate accident, may I say! 

Edward IV has always been overshadowed by his controversial younger brother Richard III, and is most remembered for his pursuit of pleasure~the archetypal medieval playboy. There was considerably more to him than this. During the first half of his reign he was an astute military tactician who never lost a battle, a courageous, approachable monarch loved by his subjects. The second half of his reign finds him different. With his Treasury solvent having being stretched quelling a decade of civil unrest, and with England's peace marred only by the murky intrigues of his brother Clarence, Edward was free to indulge in his fancies. He lived extravagantly, and though devoted to his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, played the field~there were hundreds of women and at least one male lover. Sadly, he ate himself into an early grave, leaving England to face the most chaotic period in its history thus far. Celebrity biographer David Bret has nurtured a lifelong passion for the Plantagenet kings, and is a fervent Ricardian.

Books Are Like Flowers!

Someone said that books are like flowers. You go to your local florist (well, you can send to Tibet and buy them Interflora at ten times the price, while they'll actually be sent from Barnsley!) to get your missus a bunch of roses, the florist wraps them up, you take them home and she says how lovely they are.
Your missus is interested only in the flowers. She doesn't want to know who grew them, which tree the wrapping paper came from, what the florist's aunt had for lunch. And when you buy the flowers, you don't want all the guff written on the receipt. You just want your missus to enjoy the flowers.
Modern readers have changed--they don't want to plow through 1,000 pages of Kafka to read about someone lighting a cigarette when Agatha Christie does it in one line. They don't need to know where the cigarette came from, or how much gas is used to light it.  
They want it quick--this is why we have these tablet things, though I am yet to succumb to reading my favourite book from a chunk of plastic. They also want it at a price they can afford because we're in the middle of a recession. When you buy your missus that bunch of flowers, do you buy her the nice pink ones at £5? Or do you buy her the multi-coloured, scentless ones that she'll not like any more for £25? The cheaper bunch does just as well!
In conclusion, the man who sells oranges at 20 pence each is going to sell more that the one selling them at 50 pence. And he doesn't have to shout from the rooftops for the customers to buy, or insult the ones who don't--they have enough sense to know what they want!

The customer is always right, and this reflects on sales.
I don't care what anyone who doesn't buy them thinks about my books, all I care about are those who do buy them. They are called fans, and they are loved. Those who have no fans and do not sell many books will always say that the ones who do have fans don't have any and that they are failures, but they never ask themselves why they themselves are non-achievers. It's call sour grapes.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Rudolph Valentino: The Screen God Who Loved Men

I guess you could say I brought out a second edition due to public demand, though "Valentino: A Dream of Desire" shows no sign of abating, for which I am very, very grateful. When I published it back in 1998 I was told by my then publisher that it might shift 'a few thousand' copies, but never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate it hitting the six-figure mark, or for it to still be in the charts after fifteen years! As they say here, "There's nowt so queer as folk!"

In Rudolph Valentino: The Screen God Who Loved Men, David Bret tells of the real Valentino, a man sexually attracted only towards other men, whose relationships with women, particularly his two rapacious lesbian wives—brought him heartbreak. Moralists attacked him, studio chiefs treated him like dirt. His manager was only interested in gaining control of his estate. When he lay dying in hospital, these people deliberated between saving him and letting him die while working out which was the most financially viable: Valentino alive or dead, and what would happen if the truth emerged about his private life.

Valentino was less ashamed of his sexuality than he was of being trapped within the image of his public persona. In 1920s Hollywood, gay men were stereotyped as feeble degenerates. Not so Valentino, a powerfully-built man who excelled at most sports, boxing in particular. It was his persistent, unnecessary need to ‘prove’ his manhood which ultimately contributed to his early death.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Clark Gable Says Thank You To The Cabbage!

Mr Gable would like to thank the loony lady who made such a fuss about this book a few weeks ago. No matter how one might disguise a cabbage, with ribbons and bows and fancy accents, it is still a cabbage, so Mr Gable's friends (not to mention his tracking device) identified you straight away. Anyhow, Mr Gable's story is now re-released and at #37 in the Bestsellers, and it's all thanks to you, dear lady. So, when Mr Gable's friend sees you--very soon--he will buy you a drink!

Walking Down Memory Lane

I've always favoured moving forwards--when I leave a place, and on the rare occasions a person, I have a habit of never going back. Lately though there have been many changes in direction. One or two people sadly kicked into touch, shifts in publishers, unexpected contracts. I thought maybe someone was trying to tell me something--you know, get as much out of him and into the can before he shuffles his mortal coil! Then there's this disability thing which I thought might be permanent.

My entire back catalogue (no pun intended!) is now under release, which I guess isn't bad for "a failed writer", and there are now several films under discussion which one or two will say isn't happening. That's up to them. I was criticised for not taking prisoner, and now I've stepped up that side of my particular garden. The only difference is that I no longer make announcements. I have a good team who are very keen on looking after me, and we're all good at tapping on shoulders.

The silly spoofs are doing well. There's nothing better for purifying the blood than having a laugh--Ian Hislop would call it taking the piss, and he's an expert. There's also a novel about to be out there. I should have sorted out the loft years ago. I was writing for fourteen years before I started getting published, and every now and then if there's been a gap between projects I've opened a box in the loft, but always closed it again in time for the next big project. I think there's just half a dozen things left up there now.

I said I would publish my autobiography at sixty--take a leaf out of Tino Rossi's's book. But there's so much to say! And not about the lunatics, who I've given a suitably wide berth as I see no sense in offering worthless or pain-inflicting people the publicity or time of day. As my mother used to say, there are more ways to cook an egg than just by dropping it into the frying pan!

I took a very unexpected trip down Memory Lane when I stumbled upon a long-lost relative. I've always avoided them like the plague because in their world, unless you worked down the pit or on the farm, you were not normal. Also some of them never forgave me for legally changing my name. Now, I don't feel too bad about all of that. I've found out a lot about the people I turned my back on almost thirty years ago. Well, quite a lot of them are dead! It's sad to hear that Uncle Roy, for instance, died four years ago aged almost eighty. I always remember him as a fairly handsome young man. 

What I'm most enjoying are walking down those streets again, not physically as most of them aren't there any more, and seeing old faces I had forgotten about--and who are now bringing back so many memories, my autobiography has taken on a new meaning and may even come out later. The publisher who was going to do it are no longer there, taken over by a bigger organisation. But there are so many photographs!

The new publisher already has a title, and they've said that it's not going to be "The Failed Writer"!!! The odd thing is that, even if I don't publish it for another fifty years (I'll be an old bugger then!) the same thorns in the side (who'll be even older buggers!) will still be there, pricking but still getting nowhere with whatever they're failing at now because revenge is the most assured recipe for failure.

The picture above? That's Aunty Eva's long-gone friend, Cecil, who always had a very interesting story to tell! 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Gracie Fields Appreciation Society: Get Your Facts Right!

The thing that amuses me most about "appreciation societies" is that some of them--though not all--while appreciating the star in question, know very little about them while professing to know all. As such, many of them serve as little more than boasting platforms, like the class know-all back at school who swaggers around and says, "My brother's cock is bigger than yours!"
I see little purpose in having a Gracie Fields Appreciation Society when the focus of attention is not the great star, Gracie Fields, but in who has what, that someone else might not have--and in trying to prove that whatever one person says Our Gracie did, there's another who says she did not. It all gets very boring!
I have heard Gracie's French recordings--"Reviens", "Chantez pour moi violons", etc. They exist on acetate. But because the "experts" have not heard them, they do not exist. There was a similar argument some years ago about Edith Piaf singing In English on American television--until the clips showed up.

I find it particularly offensive that the GFAS states that Gracie Fields and Maurice Chevalier appeared together at the Paris Olympia, in 1940. 
Why is this? Well, this was merely days before the city was occupied by the Germans, and the Paris Olympia was NOT a theatre at this time, but a cinema showing pro-Nazi propaganda films, the very LAST place where patriots Gracie and Chevalier, Mistinguett and Lucienne Boyer would have been seen dead in! And the thought of Arthur Askey topping a French music-hall bill is quite frankly ludicrous!
The venue was the Opéra de Paris, which was entirely different, and was followed by repeat performances at the Bal Tabarin, where Mistinguett set up a "canteen" for fellow patriots.
Gracie Fields was a massive star in Britain, so if you really do appreciate her, please get your head out of the clouds, stop boasting of what you have that others might not have, and get your facts right. By stating that she appeared in an already German-controlled venue, you are making her the enemy!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Marlene Dietrich

In answer to questions I have been asked...
Yes, I will re-work and re-publish "Marlene My Friend", adding all the bits I had to leave out before--indeed, I have already done some of this--and it will come out when her daughter, Maria Riva, dies. She's almost ninety now.
There's another one who could help me by shuffling his mortal coil (no, Peter, it's not you!). He knows who he is, and he knows what he did.
Marlene was a wonderful woman. I loved her, and she me, and no one owned her.