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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Making and spending money

Tuesday, May 12th., Cadogan Square, London.

Opening of the "most magnificent dance club in the world", The Kitcat, last night.

I took Dorothy and we met Donald Calthrop and Miss Adair, Harry Preston, John Leigh, etc., etc. For an opening night (it had however been opened to the Press the night before) it went very smoothly. Packed with people who had dined there. Ventilation much lauded in the prospectus, but the side room in which we took refuge for drinks, and which was nearly empty, was as hot as hell and the waiter said there was no ventilation in there. Floor and balconies all crowded, and people standing all round the balconies trying to see down into the ballroom and not succeeding.


To see this space crowded with dancers who could only sway to and fro, to hear the row of the Vincent Lopez £1,100 a week band from New York, and the other lower noises - gave you the impression that the bottom had fallen out of civilisation.

Vincent Lopez (1895 – 1975) was an American bandleader and pianist. He was born of Portuguese immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York and was leading his own dance band in New York City by 1917. On November 27, 1921 his band began broadcasting on the new medium of entertainment radio; the band's weekly 90-minute show on Newark, NJ station WJZ boosted the popularity of both himself and of radio. He became one of America's most popular bandleaders, and would retain that status through the 1940s.

I have been writing to Max Beaverbrook about what authors make from their work. We were talking about it recently. Shaw is now the most popular world-dramatist writing and even in a rotten year his income cannot be less than £20,000. As regards Oppenheim, I know that two years ago he made £20,000. There are films. I don't think Oppenheim's income is falling. It takes a long time for an established author's income to fall. Authors' incomes are as a rule grossly exaggerated. My own always is. I have a pretty extravagant lifestyle to maintain (wife, morganatic ditto, & yacht), yet I have never made more than £18,000 in a year, and I have made as low as £10,000. Until the last six or seven years Wells never made more than £12,000. Authors can only make a fair income if they have a great deal to say - like Shaw, Wells and me - and are incurably industrious as we are.

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