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Page updated December 2019
Read this webpage- then order the book!
N.B. THIS IS THE OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY- IGNORE ANY OTHER.
Click on these links:
AMAZON UK (Other countries-check own Amazon pages)
The life story of an amazing man born in humble surroundings, who made his mark in casinos and nightclubs all over the world. Read about his good and bad luck through the roller coaster years that earned him millions, as well as mixing with many of the A-list celebrities. A good pal of fellow playboy Peter Stringfellow, plus matching his tally of sexual conquests, which were estimated at over 2,000! Unusually, this paperback includes over 100 unpublished b&w photos of the famous names and places, with an insight into the gambling side of life. The colour versions can be viewed in the digital e-book version if required. Brian Adamson is now living in retirement in Marbella, Spain, wanting to share his memories with the world, managing to visit much of it across the decades. His lifestyle may be 'frowned on' in these PC times, but this story must be viewed in context as it takes place from the 1930s on. The Swinging Sixties is where it all kicks off, as Brian romped his way through many bedrooms, in between risking bets at the gaming tables. Southampton was the place that saw him take his first steps into the nightclub scene, leading to three decades of a show-business lifestyle that could even inspire a movie!
The Silhouette Club Southampton
You may well have read about many of the top dance halls and venues throughout the late Fifties and Sixties, including the Royal Pier Pavilion and many more. Just check the Site Map and the Venues page which offers a good insight into the great days where local people danced the night away as well as probably meeting future partners.
There were quite a few 'characters' around at the time but none more than the well known Brian 'Kiwi'Adamson, whose Silhouette Club was one of the best known in the South. I never knew him personally but his nightclub was THE place to go and not everybody knew Brian's amazing story in which he rose from very humble beginnings in New Zealand into multi-millionaire status and international playboy! With a combination of hard graft, fast talking skills and quite a few gambles (on and off the tables) Brian managed to build a very basic club into a very successful well known nightspot. There was very little trouble at the door, as Brian hired the right kind of doormen but often sorted any idiots or troublemakers out himself, thanks to his early years as a champion boxer back in New Zealand - they never knew what hit them!
Brian got in touch with me back in 2011 as he had just discovered my webpages on the Southampton scene and enjoyed the stories that took him back to his years in the city. He had some great friends and superb staff who helped run his club that saw many big stars and celebrities pass through the doors of the Silhouette Club in St Michaels Square, next to the historic church. Many of the local pop groups and DJs appeared at the club so part of the music scene that is the main focus of my Southampton based webpages.
The club was just a stone's throw from the Docks so perfectly placed for passengers and crew of passing liners during the busy days of the Fifties and Sixties. Also across the square from the wonderful Tudor House Museum that dates back to the Middle Ages. Across the main Castle Way at the rear of the church, one can still dine at the long established George's Restaurant founded by a Greek many years ago.
St Michaels Church and Square-old print (around 1900)
Silhouette Club was to the right of the church by the alleyway to Castle Way
Modern day view with new building on the old area of the Silhouette Club to the right.
Rear of church from Castle Way- Woollen Hall (bank office?) on site of the Silhouette Club
Tudor House across the Square
Brian has spent the last few years living in Puerto Banus, Marbella, but still has strong feelings for Southampton where he made his fortune. Now aged 85 (2019), he felt that maybe it was time to share his incredible story with the world and in fact asked if I would be prepared to write his biography. I visited him in July 2019, to obtain copies of his incredible photos plus stories across the decades. I have included a wealth of Southampton information, as Brian landed there in the late Fifties before selling up in the late Eighties.
The Southampton Echo featured a story on Brian back in July 2011 and this is a copy of the three page spread that covers some of his story.
Courtesy © Southampton Echo/Ash Bolton
Alan King Show - Las Vegas 1987- Brian next to a gorgeous blonde as usual!
Click on this You Tube link:
From this to this!
First (home-made) plastic gaming tables on the left with later ones!
Silhouette car windscreen sticker
Brian has kept a basic diary over many years, kindly sending me a draft copy which I found fascinating. I did reproduce it on this very page, which spurred Kiwi to ask if I could write his official biography back in 2016. Unfortunately, I was not able to undertake this task, due to various commitments, so he then appointed two other authors to share his amazing life story with the world. This did not result in a satisfactory outcome, and these two other writers had obviously used much of the content as a template for their own work. The drafts were short on detail, especially with the all important years that covered Brian's rise to millionaire status when landing on his feet in my own home city of Southampton, so he asked me again. I have finally written his story, now available from December 2019.
It is an e-book (digital download) with a paperback version published via Kindle/Amazon - print to order version. These will feature a massive collection of personal photos of the rich and famous celebrities that Kiwi rubbed shoulders with across the decades. The hard copy features B&W images as per normal, whilst the e-book reproduces them in colour from many of the original photos. Many famous names plus stories of how he rubbed shoulders with A-list celebrities all over the world.
You can read about his incredible journey, from humble beginnings that took him around the world, staying at five star hotels, casinos plus bedding some 2,000 women on the way! He kindly invited me over to Puerto Banus in July of this year, enabling me to look through his albums of photos, press cuttings which I able to copy. There has been a delay in completing the final book, due to communication problems plus Kiwi is not that hot on a PC! He has e-mailed some more info plus we have phone chats, with laughs and reminisces of the old Southampton years.
If YOU knew Brian or have any personal memories of the Silhouette days then please contact me, as it's always good to share personal memories and this is what my website is all about. Southampton has a rich history over the last two thousand years, from the Roman settlements to the present day as one of the world's most famous ports. The Sixties were an amazing ten years and I am more than happy to celebrate those days by sharing the stories and images as 'modern history'. I am indebted to Brian and many more contributors over the last few years who wish to share their own memories-I'm sure there is a lot more to come!
E-mail from John Bendall (Johnny Baker)
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