Kiefer and his father Donald have mirror-image careers. Donald, thanks to the reciprocal arrangement the actors’ unions of Canada and Britain had in the Sixties, began his on British TV, then graduated to films – while Kiefer began in films and graduated to TV.
And this is not unusual. As Kiefer himself says, the best WRITING these days is being done for television.
But a result of Donald working on British TV in the Sixties was that his son was BORN there – specifically, at St Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, London.
Ah, St Mary’s – I recall it well; in 1969, I went to its Special Clinic in the basement, to get rid of my first dose of the clap (Kiefer was three, then). The place was ruled by a gay funster who relaxed the more nervous patients (not ME, I was cool) with jokes.
Opposite was a pub called the Fountains Abbey. Like St Mary’s, it was classic Gothic Victorian – and in 1977, I nearly COLLAPSED it. Allow me to explain; by now I was a DJ and ran a weekly Golden Oldie disco in the large music room upstairs.
And one night, as I was playing the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” I appealed to the audience (about a hundred people) to jump up and down in time to the drum beat.
“I’m feeling – WHOOMP, WHOOMP – glad all over…”
The whole floor bounced up and down alarmingly and I realised the phenomenon whereby marching soldiers are ordered to break step when they cross a bridge was coming into play. Further, I remembered the floor was only held up by skinny poles.
At this point, a sensible person would have faded the record out, made a lame excuse and put “McArthur Park” on. Instead, I yelled out, “AND AGAIN… let’s let the people downstairs know we’re HERE!!”
I figured if we all ended up across the road in St Mary’s A&E, at least ONE tabloid would HAVE to go with “Deejay brings the house down” – and I would be FAMOUS.
What an irresponsible dickhead I was.
But now I am 62. Today, Kiefer is WAY older than his Dad was back then. Indeed, his daughter, Sarah is almost as old. Currently the three form an acting dynasty – three generations – all working.
Meanwhile, St Mary’s (opened 1851) has been expanded, but the original part is still there – as is the Fountains Abbey (orig. est. 1823) – although it’s been smartened up a bit since my day.
According to its web-page, the place is stepped in tradition – I think they mean STEEPED. And apparently, they still hold functions upstairs.
I just hope the deejays avoid playing DC5 records…