Artist Michael Lawrence and The Doors singer Jim Morrison met at UCLA, California. This coming-of-age memoir stretches from Michael's magical childhood in Fellini's Rome, where visitors to his home included Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Laurence Olivier, to teenage life in Venice, LA with Jim and then to Europe and Afghanistan by way of an enlightening encounter with Paul Bowles in Tangier. Whilst Jim's road was cut short far too early, Michael was to become an artist with a long road of success ahead of him - always with Jim at his shoulder. "These are some of our salad days, when we sat in the front seat of unfolding realities, our Venice LA and beyond. I too am Jim's fan and friend, who deeply cherishes these memories I am sharing with you. Jim's sweetness and mischievous promptings...his gracefulness, his poetic avant garde nature, his writings." Michael Lawrence, 2016 Michael Lawrence was born in Los Angeles in 1943, the son of Hollywood character actor Marc Lawrence and screenwriter, poet and novelist Fanya Foss. After he was awarded the Huntington Hartford Fellowship, his life's pursuits were set as an artist and a writer.Roy Lichtenstein described his artwork as "vibrant, joyous and colourful".
His fine, poetic words and funny stories are destined to become equally so, in this coming of age tale like no other. "The guys from your UCLA days sent me your way, claiming your memories and stories of Jim are among the most important" Jerry Hopkins (Co-author of the Jim Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive) "You have poems inside your head and you have learned to explode them with firecracker tubes of paint" Ray Bradbury "Here is a wealth of impressions! People, places and events, famous and personal, sit side by side in curious metaphors that softly draw the reader into meditation." Timothy Leary "This book is a genuine trip, a joyous, inspiring tour of the 60s." Daniel Klein, author of Travels With Epicurus LONGLISTED, THE UK PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2017
Michael Lawrence was born in Los Angeles in 1943 to the Hollywood character actor Marc Lawrence and the screenwriter, poet and novelist Fanya Foss. When Michael was 7 and his sister, Toni, 3, the family moved to Rome after his father had become embroiled in the Hollywood McCarthyism scandal. There, Michael's childhood home became a magnet and natural melting point for Italy's own film community and the film-makers, writers and actors of 1940s Hollywood passing through. This heady mix of Outsiderism, defined by Felliniesque beauty and surrealism, fame, genius and the traumatically self-exiled, emotionally distant, father, famous for playing "baddies" from Ziggy in Key Largo in the 1940s to several Bond villains, provided a rich foundation for Michael's art. After returning to the US as a teenager, Michael studied art at UCLA. There, the formative years of dropping out and tripping with college friend Jim Morrison were followed by the award of a Huntington Hartford Fellowship. This, along with the encouragement of his mentor, the Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, and his vibrant, intellectual mother, had Michael's future set as an artist and writer. His first article, on LSD, LSD, Like Swift Death, was published in the Los Angeles Free Press in 1966. The influence of Lipchitz is evident in Michael's art, which brings together a unique, direct line of influence from the two great Bohemian periods of the 20th Century: the 1920s Montparnasse group of Lipchitz, Gris, Picasso and Modigliani, and the birth of the 1960s Alternative Culture which Michael experienced at such close quarters. After avoiding, along with his friend Jim, the very real threat of conscription to Vietnam, another famous friend, Roy Lichtenstein recommended Michael for a Krasner/ Pollock Grant, describing his work as "vibrant, joyous and colourful". Michael didn't get the grant, but by then he was on his way. He has had numerous one-person exhibitions in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, New York City, Denver, Madrid, Stockholm and Greece. In London he is shown at the Hollywood Road Gallery, Chelsea ( an amusing coincidence). For the past 22 years Michael has lived on the Greek island of Hydra, an outpost of the art world, painting, sculpting, writing and swimming. His works can be found in hundreds of private collections internationally, including those of Oliver Stone, Eileen Getty Wilding, Moderna Museet, LA County Museum of Art and the libraries of Bard College and MoMA New York. His artwork has appeared in several films including The Royal Hunt Of The Sun(1969), The Strange Exorcism of Lynn Hart/Pigs (1972/1984) and The Doors biopic directed by Oliver Stone (1991).