Olivia Newton-John Collection
Photo Gallery 7

Date of last update: 03. November 2019

Olivia Newton-John in Biarritz/France, 31.05.1990

In 1990 in spent my holidays together with my wife at the French Atlantic coast 65 km north of Biarritz.
We made several trips by car and one of those trips brought us to Biarritz on May 30th, 1990.

While driving to the old port of Biarritz my wife told me that she has just recognised a "Koala Blue" sign at one of the boutiques we had passed.

I couldn't believe this because I was sure that there were only "Koala Blue"-shops in America and Asia but not in Europe yet.

So we parked the car and went back to road we had just come along. My wife was right - there was a "Koala Blue"-shop.

We entered the shop, looked around to all the typical and pretty "Koala Blue"-clothes and saw also the Aussie milk bar.

When we talked to the staff, we were told that Sandee Hodge, an Australian woman who is married with a French man, is running that first "Koala Blue"-shop in Europe.

The big surprise was, when Sandee told me that the "Koala Blue"-shop in Biarritz would be officially opened the following day and that Olivia and Pat Farrar were expected to be there for that special event and an autograph session at the shop!


I could not believe my luck because I never thought I would get the opportunity to meet Olivia personally. Now a chain of lucky circumstances made it possible to meet Olivia the very next day.

We went back to our holiday village at Moliets-Plage knowing that we would be back at the store in Biarritz to welcome Olivia and Pat.

The next day, on May 31st, 1990, we reached the "Koala Blue"-shop at 4.30 p.m. and saw two French security men in front of the door. Olivia's arrival was announced for 5.00 p.m. and so we waited for a while.

Two French policemen came along and also some journalists joined us. The crowd was not very big because the event seemed not to be announced at the local newspapers very well.

Last preparations were done by Sandee and her staff - a ribbon was tied at the entrance door.

At 5.05 p.m. a blue Mercedes limousine stopped and Olivia, Pat Farrar and an American security man get out of the car. Olivia and Pat smiled for the journalists and the crowd before they went into the store.

A moment later they came back to the entrance with Sandee Hodge and Olivia cut down the ribbon with a bright smile on her face. She declared the shop to be opened while the photographers and me took several pictures.

Now the journalists and a group of children with their parents were invited to come in while the other people still had to wait outside.

For the event of the opening of this first "Koala Blue"-shop in Europe there has been a children's drawing contest and through the window I could watch Olivia giving presents and autographs to the proud little winners of the contest.

After this procedure was over all the other people were invited to enter the store.

Olivia and Pat were sitting at a table with the WWF-flag on it. We all got the opportunity to talk with them. Olivia was writing autographs and had some friendly words for everyone in the row while the photographers and some other guests took pictures of the whole scene.

Sandee Hodge called me to come to Olivia and then she introduced me to her as the guy from Germany who has been already there the day before.

I said "Hello" to Olivia and told her how pleased a was about that unexpected meeting.

When I mentioned that I had watched her career since 1974 and that I collected all her records and other items which also included her very first record "Till you say you'll be mine" from 1966, she laughed and replied that she doesn't own that record herself!

I wished her and her family all the best, received an autograph and returned to the background where I took some more pictures.

After a while when nearly everybody in the shop had received an autograph I turned back to Olivia and we talked about her family, her mother and her German grandfather. When I asked her where her family has lived in Germany she told me about Wiesbaden which is only a few miles from the town I am working.

Olivia was very kind and natural. There was no sign of any star behaviour at all.

At 5.50 p.m. she said "goodbye" to the people in the shop and went out to join Pat Farrar and Sandee Hodge for some further photos in front of the entrance.

Then the blue limousine appeared again, Olivia, Pat and the security got in and the car disappeared.

My first meeting with Olivia Newton-John was caused by a chain of lucky circumstances and I enjoyed it very much.

It was the unexpected highlight of my 1990 holidays and I did not know at that time that I would meet Olivia again six years later in Germany.

See some photos of that event:

(please click on the photos to enlarge)

Olivia declares the first Koala Blue store in Europe to be open

Olivia talking with her translator

Olivia with Sandee
(the shop owner)

Olivia writing autographs

A smile for me

Me and Olivia

Olivia with Pat Farrar and Sandee Olivia with Pat Farra, Sandee and staff Just a little break

(all photos on this site by Werner Müller)