The Man Who Rocked the Iron Curtain
In 1986, as glasnost created cracks in the Berlin Wall, Reed drowned in East Berlin, a death canada goose outlet shop that was variously ascribed to the East German secret police, the KGB and the CIA. She helped produce a BBC documentary about Reed, and wrote Comrade Rockstar: The Life and Mystery of Dean Reed, the All American Boy Who Brought Rock n’ Roll to the Soviet Union.
‘DEATH IN BERLIN FOR DEFECTOR WHO CHANGED HIS TUNE MYSTERY OF POP STAR IN LAKE: IT WAS MURDER SAYS MANAGER DEAN REED, THE SINGER WHO WENT EAST AND THEN WANTED TO COME IN FROM THE COLD’
The crumpled newspaper official canada goose outlet cuttings dated June, l986 were in my bag as I canada goose factory outlet climbed up the viewing platform near Checkpoint Charlie and looked down at the Berlin Wall on the first day of my search for Dean Reed. How he died, and who he was; most of it lay on the other side of the Wall that split the world for as long as I could remember. It was November, l988.
Down a jumble of gray streets fifteen minutes from the center of West Berlin, the Berlin Wall wasn’t marked on a lot of Berlin maps, but it felt like the border of the world. Whenever I heard the phrase «Iron Curtain,» in my canada goose factory sale mind’s eye I always saw the Berlin Wall.
I saw it for real now, in front of me, this curtain of fortified concrete, eight feet high, twenty nine miles long, topped with balls of barbed wire, covered on the Western side with graffiti, splattered in the East with blood. I was on my way to the other side, to East Berlin, where Dean Reed lived and died, to see his house, to find his albums, to try to get a sense of who he was, this man who had haunted my dreams since I had first seen him on60 Minutes.
Dean Reed’s death had been the subject of plenty of speculation. People variously believed that he had been murdered cheap canada goose by the East German Stasi, the KGB, the CIA, and neo Nazis. From the top of the viewing platform at Checkpoint Charlie, I could see not just the Berlin Wall but the other side. I looked at the unsmiling border guards in a watchtower Canada Goose Online peering through binoculars at the tourists, who looked back through their cameras. Between us was the dead zone of no man’s land. A few months later, a twenty two year old waiter jumped over the Wall because he could no longer wait, and he was shot dead. He was the last person to die there.
On the platform near me, a West German woman was showing the Wall to an English friend. canada goose coats Turning to me, she said, «Do you think they shall take this canada goose outlet uk down? They are sometimes talking so.» canada goose outlet in usa «I hope so. Wouldn’t it https://www.bamschaatsteam.nl be great?!» I exclaimed.
She smiled knowingly, tucked her beautifully cut blonde hair canada goose outlet nyc behind her pink shell of an ear, and shouldered her Gucci bag. «If they take it down, there will be trouble,» she said. «First Turks shall come canada goose outlet online over, and then German nationals. These East Germans shall take our jobs. They will invade our department stores.»
That’s what really got to her: if they dismantled the Wall, the East Germans might charge into the KaDeWe, denuding it of most of its 400 varieties of sausage and all of the handbags. She didn’t have to worry. Two years later, on the Sunday in
November when the Wall was sliced open and East Germans raced into the West, The New York Times reported: «The big department stores such as KaDeWe were closed, despite recently passed legislation that would have allowed them to stay open.»
«You know what I am thinking?» she asked.»If the East Germans take the Wall down, we in the West will have to build another.»
I climbed down from the platform and got back in the car. cheap canada goose uk The line of cars moved slowly into the border crossing. Leslie Woodhead, who was hoping to make a drama documentary out of the Dean Reed story, was canada goose clearance sale with me on this first trip East and I was glad. He had worked in Eastern Europe a lot and I figured he was knowledgeable when it came to doing business in Communist countries. As we pulled into the crossing proper, passing from West to East, then stopped, a man pushed a little canada goose outlet jackets mirror on wheels underneath the car in front of us.
«The spy’s carpet sweeper,» Leslie said.
My stomach turned over as we edged forward. canada goose A pale border guard put his head out of his cubicle like a jack in the box and stared into the car. I had never been to the East before, but I’d seen all the movies.
The building where you showed your passport reminded me of a drive through confessional; the young soldier, like an angry priest, snatched my passport, then snapped his window shut, leaving us to wait without any identity under a sickly white light in no man’s land.
Eventually, the guard returned our passports and we bought day visas inscribed on what felt like cheap toilet paper, stiff, slick, brown, foreign.
Creep, I thought silently. «Have a nice day,» I said, and the guard looked startled.
Whenever Dean Reed went through Checkpoint Charlie, though, he apparently always said «hi» to the guards, and Hans, or Heinz, or Hermann, whoever was on guard duty, would go home and say, «Dean Reed passed by today.» He was so famous canada goose black friday sale that for years you could just write DEAN REED, EAST BERLIN on a postcard and it would get to him.
The empty streets that led away from the border were full of potholes. The walls of the dank gray buildings that lined the roads were still pocked with shell marks from a war that had been over for more than forty years. I was expecting posters with socialist slogans or banners or stylized graphics of Lenin’s head, but here were none, only the crappy streets with half the streetlights broken, crumbling buildings stained by the insistent rain, and shop windows that featured maybe a sparkly nylon blouse or a can of Spreewald pickles or some fancy china no one wanted. Still there was something thrilling about being here; I had crossed the Berlin Wall. How could I have known then that, in two years’ time, the Wall would be a pair of earrings in Bloomingdale’s?
«I want a Dean Reed record, please,» I said to the clerk at the Melodia record shop on the Leipzigerstrasse, where «Winter Wonderland» cheap canada goose was playing. The saleswoman, who had thick ankles and thick glasses, ignored me. I shouted at her the way you do when you don’t speak a language and feel that if Canada Goose online you say it loud enough in English someone will understand. «Dean Reed, please. Bitte?» I added and pointed vaguely at the albums.
«Winter Wonderland» was more her sort of thing. It was the most popular goose outlet canada song in East Germany that year except for «Baa Baa Black Sheep.» «Oh Tannenbaum» was also high on the charts, but it was almost Christmas.
«Dean Reed, Dean Reed,» I insisted, my voice rising. A man with a little green fedora shot me a disapproving look. «Shhh,» he hissed.
The woman with thick glasses turned away impatiently, nodding brusquely towards the door, and so I began to speculate that, even dead, Dean Reed was a non person, a subject not for discussion in this country where you canada goose coats on sale could not discuss much, not out loud anyway.
Outside, in the streets, the shoppers plodded by, their expressions dour and disengaged. On the Alexanderplatz, a brutal piazza big enough for an army to maneuver in, a wind came up and drove the freezing rain in slanted sheets against us. «Be Our Guest» in German flickered in neon on the Stadt Hotel. The doorman there loomed up out of the gloom, wielding his umbrella like a Kalashnikov.
«Nein! Nein! Nein!»
He was absolutely furious. We were not hotel guests. Only hotel guests were canada goose outlet store allowed inside. There were rules. He was the doorman. This was his door.