Two of the most memorable people I met during my first few weeks on Ibiza were Tep and Dieter. If anybody lived life to the beat of a different drum, Dieter did. He was an eccentric (but very successful) teacher of German and ran various bars on Ibiza – although his first love was always music, and he can probably claim to be one of the first DJs on Ibiza. Many thanks to Dieter’s daughter Carla for allowing me to use this picture of Dieter listening to music – and many thanks to those of you who have commented on this page already – maybe I can write a book just about Dieter!
I was in a rather subdued mood when Tep took me home to meet her husband, Dieter. They had agreed to put me up for a few weeks until I found a place of my own. I had taken with me some of the least useless text books from the school, and had intended to do a little preparation for the following day. My plans changed abruptly when I met Dieter, however – not for the last time, I might add.
“Coñac?” he asked me, and poured us both a large measure of Fundador. I had just arrived from England, and was used to English measures for such dangerous fluids as brandy. I sipped cautiously, deciding it would be wise not to argue. Tep explained that she had to visit Mary (the Director of the school) and left us to it.
It was not long before the conversation turned to Dieter’s record collection. It was inevitable really. Boxes of records lined the walls of the large lounge, some in purpose-built shelves, some just stacked in boxes, sometimes three high. Shelving units bulged with further boxes of records, and when I went to the toilet, I could not help noticing that the record boxes lined my way along the corridor, with some stacks (built up with wooden crates) almost touching the ceiling.
The second brandy went down rather less cautiously. With music we had a passion in common, and Dieter and I started working our way through the bottle of brandy, listening to all kinds of wonderful music, all of which he seemed to be able to pinpoint with amazing accuracy in his box jungle. Fortunately, I had been a regular visitor to some of the best-known music venues in London, and was still technically a member of the now defunct Marquee Club. I was able to bring him right up to date with the current musical scene.
His dark eyes gleamed with delight behind his glasses, and he listened with rapt attention. I learned later that he had gone out and ordered three albums the next day. Yes, it was my fault that Dieter’s record collection includes a copy of “Heat Treatment” by Graham Parker and the Rumour.
It could be argued that the island of Ibiza is the home of the DJ culture, and if so Dieter must be able to claim a great deal of the credit. He had arrived in Ibiza in the late 1940’s, a refugee from post-war Germany. Even when serving in the German army, he had achieved popularity by keeping a clandestine radio, with which he had listened to American stations and become a great lover of jazz and early rock ‘n’ roll.
With a burning passion for educating the world about the music he loved, he had come to Ibiza and opened one of the first music bars – Domino’s, which had once been strategically situated on the waterfront in Ibiza Town, but is alas, no more. Serving drinks did not interest him that much – somebody else could be paid to do that – all he wanted was to play the records. Unfortunately his commercial acumen was not on a par with his musical enthusiasm, and this and many of his other businesses eventually failed. I don’t think he cared that much – so long as he could play his music.
If anybody would like to comment on this piece, or any other on this site, please feel free to do so below. If anybody has a photo of Dieter that they don’t mind me using, please send it and I will add it to the post. I do enjoy reading your feedback. What do you think of the new look? Do let me know.