"You have GOT to leave Lex Barker SOME heritage"
Arild Rafalzik, book author, music- and filmproducer, multitalent
Talking with a Barker expert
Some prologue to this "interview":
A little prologue before we start with this "Interview". Meeting people like Arild Rafalzik is a rare thing these days. After only getting one letter from us and a couple of phone calls later he was willing to sacrifice a Saturday evening to receive us in his appartment in Munich in order to talk about his experiences with the book, the Karl May Clan and other stories involving Lex Barker. The evening turned out to become rather longish (7 ½ hours) and everyone involved had a blast. We heard funny, moving and incredible stories and are only able to put up a fraction of this conversation up here. We deeply regret not being able to make you hear Arilds wonderful way of telling stories, but we hope you'll enjoy this anyway...
Arild Sunshine Mouse
Whatever made you write a book about Lex Barker? It's highly unlikely that you can make any real profit with such an endeavour.
Well I had lots of reasons. Somehow I thougth that it was very unfair that a man who influenced a whole generation of people here in Europe in a positive sense didn't have any kind of legacy. He doesn't even have a grave. So I thought: Someone HAS GOT to leave Lex Barker SOME heritage! (M&S nod their heads in agreement). Another factor was that Barker lead a truly intense life. So I figured it would be interesting for the public to know what THE topstar in Germany in the 60-ies had made of this life.
Did you run into any weird or funny situations while researching your book?
A funny thing hapenned to me after the book had been published. I went into a bookstore because I had seen pics of Brando books in their window. As I stepped into the store the guy at the counter smiled at me misteriously to begin with. Not minding that, I began to tell him about the Barker book and all of a sudden he looks at me and he goes: "Do you realise what kind of bookstore you are in?" He hesitated a second and then added: "We are a DIFFERENT kind of bookstore". And he was actually thinking that I'd turn red or something. No way, I said to myself and replied: "Well it doesn't really matter if only men buy books here right?" And I turned the pages to where the Tarzan pics are and his eyes started to glow a second later and he said: "Oh well, why don't you leave three copies here..."
By the way: The only question I got asked by women when it comes to Lex Barker was: Did he he have to shave off his chest hair for his role as Tarzan?
(Sunshine rolls on the couch with laughter)
I'm not kidding! I've been asked this at LEAST a dozen times. It's the only thing that women wanted to know about Barkers life!
Oh man, see where people put their priorities? It's pathetic!
True. Karin Dor told me a funny story about appearances, by the way. I had
asked her whether she thought Lex Barker had been vain and she replied:
"Not more than other men! But", she continued "I just remember a
During the shooting of Treasure of Silver Lake Reinl (director), Kalinke (cameraman) and some Jugoslavian guy, who was in charge of the raft, wanted to try some new camera angles from the raft. They decided to float across the lake in the early afernoon to check the angles that they wanted to test. So noon came, everybody had just had lunch, everyone was very relaxed as the four of them boarded the raft: small, bald Kalinke, Reinl, the Jugoslavian steersman and Lex Barker. And they were just standing on the raft and were ogling around for interesting scenery and everybodies belly was pretty bloated as they stood in the sun and cruised slowly across the lake. And then....
out of nowhere there appeared this beautiful Jugoslavian girl on the shore. She jumped in the water and started swimming towards the raft. And then" said Karin Dor with a slight hint of mockery in her voice "you should have seen the change that started taking place with the men. The closer the girl got to the raft, the more the mens shoulders leaned back, their tummies were sucked in and the worst thing was: ALL FOUR MEN DID THIS: SIMULTANEOUSLY! And as the girl had reached the raft - behold! There were four GODS standing on it!"
Uhuh, they're only human..
Did you have any funny incidents with celebrities while researching for the book?
(Laughs) Daliah Lavi just couldn't stop talking about Lex Barker. It was incredible....
(waves a Nscho-Tschi / Shatterhand pic around) Looky here, Barker has his own little cushion! Star-Treatment par excellence!
(Laughs) Where? Oh no - that pillow was no luxury item. Lex Barkers behind had been a tad soar from all the horseback riding ...
Do you know of any weird thing that Barker used to do?
(grins) Yep. Whenever Lex Barker was in a bad mood or needed to let off some steam he lifted up Herbert Kerz (body double, chauffeur etc), Who was around 5'3, and threw him into some bushes. Everytime Kerz had gotten back up on his feet Barker would grab him again and threw him back to the bushes. Apparently they all had a blast doing this.
Did you contact any of Barker's children for your book?
Sort of. I have a really good understanding with Ilse, the woman who runs the infoservice for Lex youngest son Christopher. So far I've never met any of his children. This will change this September since there's going to be a Christopher-Barker-Meeting here in Munich.
You never talked with Lynne or Alexander?
Any reactions by his kids on your book?
(laughs heartily) Ummm - yeah. Because we made a mistake on Christophers birthday - shot off the mark by three days.
Apparently Christopher seems to like the book though. He orders a couple of copies every once in a while. I guess he gives those to friends.
"Where there's greatness, there's an abyss"
"I'm totally knocked out"
Sunshine, after envelope No. 3 of private pictures
"Thornbirds the missing years? Nobody missed them either!"
Mouse, remark on Winnetous Return
Dialogue about avarice:
Rich people will teach you how to save money.
I don't know if you guys know some people who are really loaded...
yup - we do!
... and they never tip and it's so darn embarassing!
We both haven't got any - so there!