“Politics is show-business in drag.” It’s an oldie but a goodie, the kind of joke that cabaret queen Diamond Lil (Marcus Craig) might have used to warm up the crowd at one of Phil Warren’s Auckland clubs in the 1970s.
In 1959 Phil Warren planned to bring Elvis Presley to New Zealand. In partnership with Australian promoter Lee Gordon, Warren pitched US$130,000 to cover 5 Australian shows and one New Zealand show. It was not to be.
In 1958 Phil Warren was drafted into the airforce under the Compulsory Military Training programme. Whilst based at Whenuapai he ran Prestige in the weekends until he managed find a way to excuse himself from CMT.