I found what I was looking for, a single sheet of paper folded to make a four- page brochure. From this brochure (see below), I determined that I had visited the "New Eden Saloon," not the "Old Eden Saloon." And I confirmed, as I recalled, that Lynda Bird Johnson, the daughter of President Lyndon Johnson, had been there a month earlier. I guess when you are 19 years old and are making your first trip to Europe, such things make an impression.
The Eden chain included not only the "New" and "Old" Edens, but also the "Eden Playboy Club." I did not visit it, probably because I could not afford it; even if I could have, I'm not sure I had the chutzpah to go to such a place.
A search of the internet yielded some surprising information about the Eden saloons. Their names were not an allusion to the Garden of Eden, which I suspected, but contained the name of the owner, Rolf Eden. Apparently, he was Germany's hedonistic Hugh Hefner in the 1960s and 1970s. Like Hefner, as recently as 2010, he, in his 80's, had a string of pretty young girls, aspiring actresses no doubt, parade with him in front of the press. In 2011, a movie was made about him in Germany.
More about him can be found as the following website: https://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/2011/02_programm_2011/02_Filmdatenblatt_2011_20112432.php#tab=filmStills
The following is an excerpt from that website:
In his younger days Rolf Eden ran a string of night clubs and discotheques. ‘Eden Salon’, ‘New Eden’, ‘Eden Playboy Club, ‘Cabaret Schlüsselloch’ and ‘Big Eden’, which he sold in 2002, were all something of an institution in West Berlin, and Eden himself is still a popular topic in Berlin’s tabloids. Fifteen thousand nights without sleep, one thousand bottles of champagne and three thousand female conquests – these are the kind of statistics that make good cover stories. And whenever he buys a new car, such as his Rolls Royce Convertible in his favourite shade of arctic white, a snap of him in his new wheels, new girlfriend in tow, duly appears in the news.
In this third part of his trilogy about ego-driven men (DER PANZERKNACKER and ACHTERBAHN being the first two) Peter Dörfler takes a look at the biography of Rolf Eden, a man who invented himself sixty years ago and looms large in the history of city’s colourful nightlife.Here is the historic artifact documenting what was going on at the Eden Saloons in August 1966. Note that the last page has an advertisement for Gorbachev Vodka. I assume the name is unrelated to the man who would become head of the Soviet Union more than twenty years later. .
Page one has a picture with "Linda Johnson" (actually Lynda Bird Johnson, center, facing camera) visiting the New Eden Saloon. The man with her is -- I think -- Chuck Robb, whom she married the following year. He later was elected governor of Virginia and served in the U.S. Senate. The young woman holding the large boot-glass full of beer (in honor of Texas, I suppose) is not identified.
This page shows the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and hours of operation of the three Saloons. The New Eden was open from noon to 5 a.m.
The New Eden Saloon offered a "Mini-Show" at 10 pm. a Las Vegas Midnight show at midnight, and a Sexy-Show at 2 a.m. The featured singer was David (The Red Sea Singer); The Shamrocks, a band from England "famous from television and records," provided the dance music.
The program says: "Why not come at noon to the Eden Saloon! Coffee and Food -- American grill specialties daily from noon."
This page shows what was going on at the Eden Playboy Club and the Old Eden Saloon..
The Playboy club apparently had pretty young women who waded in a swimming pool with their clothes on. It offered "Original Super Dancing" and promised to be elegant, modern, and good value, providing exclusively for visitors:
Lord Knud, the star disk jockey
Eden Go-Go Girls
A swimming pool
Bathing time (???)
Music movies (early MTV?)
The Old Eden Saloon was obviously for a different crowd. Its entertainment was provided by the Manfred Burzlaff Combo; also Fanja from Moscow played piano in the cocktail room. This saloon offered jazz, the twist, dance competitions, classic films and a cable railway (?).
The program also announced that the Keyhole Cabaret was reopening on August 19, 1966.
The final page is an advertisement for Gorbachev Vodka from West Berlin. It is "pure like fresh snow."
This brochure provides an interesting glimpse at a little slice of life in Berlin in 1966.
Dan, just found this . I was stationed in Berlin with the army from 1965-67. Spent many many nights at the Old Eden. Your post brought back memories, almost all good. Went to the New Eden once then found the Ole Eden and never left, for a homesick G.I. the American female tourists in the summer was heaven. If you missed the Old Eden you missed something truly unique. Thanks for the memories, JohnReplyDelete
Thanks for your note. I am sure that being stationed in Berlin during this period had both its advantages and scary moments. Sorry I didn't make it to Old Eden, but the New Eden was an adventure for this boy making his first trip to Europe.Delete
I went there also ait the years 1970_72ReplyDelete
I first visited West Berlin in May 1967 with English pop singer David Garrick who had a massive No-1 German hit with a record titled "Dear Mrs Applebe". At Eden's invitation we visited the Old Eden, New Eden and the Eden Playboy which I loved. The following day David appeared in concert at the Duetschlandhalle with The Beach Boys. After the gig we returned that night to the Playboy. The following day we flew back to England with happy memories of my first visit to West Berlin.ReplyDelete
Then I was delighted to hear David had been contracted to star in rock musical 'Robinson 2000' at the Theater des Westerns which was due to rehearse for two months prior to its run. We stayed at the Bristol Kempinski Hotel where one evening I had cocktails in the bar with American movie actress Rosalind Russell star of the movie 'Gypsy'.
During our long stay in West Berlin I visited the Playboy every night, during that time I became friendly with all Eden's go-go girls and still have happy memories of Uta, Doris, Annelie, Margie, Sylvie, Carmen and Regina etc. Uta was my favourite and she shared DJ duties with resident DJ Pedro, great times were had by all. A few months later Iwhen the musical closed I actually worked for Eden and introduced Flower Power to West Berlin (possibly West Germany) via a series of Flower Parties which were covered by BBC Television also the Herald Tribune.
There are many times I have wanted to turn the clock back and be in The Playboy again with its go-go girls, a bottle of Johnny Walker for DM65, tables with telephones, bath-time in the swimming pool and bopping to the latest pop records courtsey of Pedro and the wonderful Uta. Great memories!
Great bit of personal history. I'm envious: hanging out with the go-go girls at the Eden Playboy. No doubt a "groovy" time and great scene, as we would say in the 60s.Delete
I was dating Margie in67 I play records upstairs in the old eden. (The school room).we just about lived in the old eden 1966to 1968 a time in my life I will never forget ..Delete
Great story, great memories. You had some enviable experiences at the Old Eden Saloon. The latter years of the 60s were an exciting time; Berlin was a unique city; and no doubt the Old Eden provided some remarkable moments.Delete
Gosh - I was a go-go girl in 1969 or thereabouts. I was friends with a Margie! Could it have been the same Margie! Wow!Delete
was there hanging out at old eden and danced in several movies for rolf eden. I was a regular. was with security service out of templehoff. also danced upstairs in school room and downstairs. our little entourage wore a gold berlin bear around our necks. thanks for memoriesReplyDelete
Thanks for the comment! Its great to hear about the experiences of the folks who were part of the Old Eden and have rich memories of it.Delete
Hey I still have my bear and door pass , my son took my boot to California my Nick name was shrouder.I'm on face book . Would be good to hear from you still get cards from Tina. Anonymous go go girl Margie I went out with is the one and the same ,beautiful with long black hair with bangs.Delete
Did any of you know the regular crew of Air force guys that hung out in the eden 66 to 68. Please respondDelete
Did any one know some of the regular GI,s that hung at the old eden. 1066 _1968 ?.Delete
I was in the Air Force at Templehof Dec.65/Oct.68 Old Eden was my favorite hang-out, but Casanova Bar sold more 50 pfennig beer to me as it was a stones throw from the base. The only AF friend I remember spending every free moment at the Old Eden was Wayne Baker. He was a very good dancer and was from West Virginia.Delete
Any chance any of the Edens are still open in Berlin?
Do you remember the names of the people that also wore the bear and hung at the old Eden ,I was one of them . Lost in touch with most but still talk to Tom sonja's ex husbandDelete
Unbelievable as this may be in 1969 I was a go-go girl at the Playboy Eden. There WAS a pool with extremely cold water. WE wore bathing suits in the pool and "prizes" were offered to patrons to get them into the pool. Each table was covered with a white table cloth, had a phone and a softly lit lamp. Many people ask me if I was hassled there and I never was. Men were polite. While I was there the go-go girls walked down Kurfurstendamm Strasse to the Old Eden to put on a show there. I never danced at the New Eden but did go there. On some Sundays we were asked to walk up and down Kurfurstendamm Strasse to hand out flyers. (I had gone Berlin to visit a friend whose US Airforce husband was stationed there. It was her idea to apply for a job.) On Saturday evenings (early Sunday mornings) we stayed until the wee hours of the morning and then had to make soft boiled eggs and toast for anyone there that late. Not my favorite part of the job as by then I was really exhausted. I can remember walking home at about 3-4am with the sun blazing away but streets totally empty. With a couple of friends walked up a platform that had been built to see on the other side of the wall. As we looked across the East Berlin Russian armed guards were looking back at us with binoculars. It was an interesting and exciting place. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go. Eventually went to West Germany to dance at a discotheque there and ended up staying in Germany for 2 years. Fond memories.ReplyDelete
Lovely story. I just typed in Old Eden sitting here with a glass of wine in UK, because in the 6O’s I was working in Germany, went to Berlin by military train, and ended up in the Old Eden. An experience I will ever forget. You may well have been a part of it. Thanks.Delete
I was stationed in Berlin from 1963 to 1966. I met and married my first wife whom I met at the old Eden saloon. I shipped a boot, glass beer drinking boot home and one of my little nephews found it in a drawer wrapped in a towel and took it and threw it down the stairs bursting into 100 pieces! I guess it would not even be possible to find a replacement? Anybody have any information about how I could possibly purchase the old Eden glass boot I would be very interested!Delete
Thanks for your memories of this fascinating time and place in history. These details are so interesting!ReplyDelete
Was there as a student. Old Eden was it.There was another club on the rooftop of a highrise but forgot the name!ReplyDelete
The big six I beliveDelete
I seem to remember it was the of a boat. Maybe the riverboat, memory second thing to go.Delete
It must have been RIVERBOAT - Hohenzollerndamm - long stairs up to 6./7. floor. Big rooms with different music/band. And a big terrace.Delete
I was in Berlin for six months in 1970. Was in the Air Force Security Service on Teufelsberg. We used to go a lot to the Riverboat. Special place. Met some nice Morman girls once. Great night!Delete
River Boat was a great place. Really enjoyed their bands! My AF dad was stationed at Templehof from 1970-74Delete
I was a DJ for AFN Berlin 66-68. I was asked by Rolf Eden, after being recognized at the Saloon if I would become a DJ at his new place called The Big Eden. I am now 70 and sending my daughter who is working in Berlin to see where this was. One night I brought The Bee Gee's and the American Olympic Ice Skater Peggy Flemming who I am still in contact with to the Big Eden. I have pictures. Should I go on? 1-16-2017ReplyDelete
What great experiences, and your memories are priceless. I would love to hear more of them. The last part of the 60s were an exciting time to be in Berlin and the Edens were obviously happening places.Delete
Remember you from AFN. Worked as a sports reporter and editor of The Berlin Observer. Was regular at Old Eden the same time that you were there.Delete
Went there alot during summer of 1965. Visited my sister who worked in Atmy Special Services. Had a job as a waiter at Wannsee clubReplyDelete
Went to the old eden many times 67 to 68, with 2 mates ged brady and beaky hempson, good times I remember one of the bar girls well I think her name was Inga britt, she especially got on well with ged! we drank too much schultheiss beer Inga managed to get us all at different times to drink a boot beer stein the wrong way with, those who have done this know the result. we also visited the new eden on its second night, but not a patch music or ambience wise to the old eden it was the best.ReplyDelete
Don't know if this post is still active, but would love to hear from more people thereReplyDelete
during 66-68 time frame. Many memories of Old Eden. Spent a lot of time with the sports teams as writer for The Berlin Observer,
Thanks for your note. It is always enjoyable to hear recollections from the folks who frequented the Old Eden Saloon in the late 1960s Ever so often, some people stumble onto this post and share their memories.Delete
Was a great time it would be nice to go back to that time for a short vistReplyDelete
Hey guys confused here. Which Eden had a small cave with music? The bar had like a little train above it that sent drinks to another bar. Eden or New Eden?ReplyDelete
this was OLD EDEN ... Damaschkestrasse/next to Kurfürstendamm.Delete
Old Eden Saloon.Delete
I was with USAF in Berlin 68-70. Old Eden was frequent destination. Heavy female American tourist traffic in summer; great place to meet girls from home. Model trains ran along elaborate ceiling-mounted tracks over bar.Upstairs catered to GIs. Saw a few Hollywood celebs there. Great times!ReplyDelete
Hi Stonecutter! I assume you are from Bloomington IN, where stone quarries are a big business - where I took basic Russian (at I.U.), before my first tour in Berlin (1965-68). Worked at HBE Tempelhof. I knew some German, so I was frequently serving as a tour guide for visitors in Berlin. I always took people to the Old Eden and Eden Playboy - then maybe Snoopies, the Big Apple, Neue Welt, the Resi and Potsdamer Strasse bars, or Stuttgarter Platz last - before heading to Renato's for pizza. Berlin was a fun place when we occupied it and the wall kept out most of the bad guys. The West Berliners loved us Amis because we took care of them during the bad air-lift days. Moose AmosReplyDelete
So interesting. I was also in Berlin in August 1966, visiting a girl I had met in London in May. I hitch-hiked across France and West Germany, crossing East Germany into West Berlin in one lift. I went across to East Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie and Friedrichstrasse Station a few times while I was there. A fascinating experience.ReplyDelete
I and a couple of other GI friends drove from Babenhausen to Berlin in Feb 1962. I was so cold my VW had ice on the INSIDE of the windshield! In Berlin we drove along the Ku-Damm, stopping to run into one bar, have a drink or two, run back to the car and stop at the next bar... It was COLD! We made it to both the Old Eden Saloon and the New Eden Saloon. The telephones on the tables was something new to us. Berlin was, and is, a fascinating city. Neil AlbaughReplyDelete
When I was a 16 yr old American student in 1966, I went to the Old Eden Saloon and brought one of the glass cowboy boot beer steins home. Who knows where it is. West Berlin was a happening place and then I went through Check Point Charlie. East Berlin at that time was very drab. Going from West to East Berlin at that time was like going from Technicolor to Black and White. It was an invaluable experience never to be forgotten. I remember going to the Pergamum museum in East Berlin and continued on to Dresden. Another time!!ReplyDelete
Went to the Playboy Eden in 1967 on temporary duty to Berlin. The nightclub as I recall was mostly empty, the pool looked more like a baby pool, recall the phone's on the tables and numbers at each table on placards. The pool wasn't much, girls just walked into the pool, not much going on when I went. Was more the tourist my short time in Berlin, originally stationed outside of Heidelberg.ReplyDelete
Te perdiste la mejor música en el Eden Saloon, años 1960 a 1966. Allí estuve tocando con el grupo Sir Eduardos g´men durante todo ese tiempo. Por allí pasaron muchos de los intérpretes más grandes del jazz y del pop, entre otros Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon, Don Byas, etc., y también cantantes como Udo Jürgens, Hermanas Jacob, Donna Hightower, etc. Era entonces el local nocturno de mayor atractivo de Berlín. Estaba repleto de público todos los días. Y celebramos en él muchos acontecimientos populares, como la elecciones de Miss Eden Saloon, la exhibición pública por primera vez de mujeres con los senos al aire y, sobre todo, la presencia habitual como clientes de artistas de cine de relieve de Estados Unidos y de Alemania. Allí conocí a militares estadounidenses. Uno de ellos había combatido en Corea, donde tuvo la mala suerte de recibir un sablazo en el pecho y vientre del que por fortuna se pudo recuperar. A Rolf Simon Eden lo vi por última vez en los años ochenta. Recordamos aquellos felices años en los que yo me dediqué a la música desde 1959 hasta abril de 1966, año que regresé a España para volver a mi profesión. Aquel Berlín dividido permanece fijo en mi memoria. Sobre todo, el acontecimiento de la construcción del muro en la Bernauer Strasse. Tomé aquel día de agosto fotos de los albañiles colocando una pared de hormigón en el centro de la calle. En la acera del Berlín libre estaban los soldados franceses con sus metralletas en las manos, apuntando al adversario compuesto por soldados soviéticos y miembros de la Volkspolizei. Para mí, la caída de aquel maldito muro fue como una liberación en mi mente de los horrores que el hombre llega a cometer sin sentir la menor compasión por el prójimo.ReplyDelete
I was born in Berlin ... my Disco time was in big Eden .. from 67- 70 never forgot this time 3 y of freedom before living Berlin for ever in 72 went to Mūnchen,Bremen,Bremerhaven,Delete
And live since in the US ,MONTANA good old times big EdenDelete