According to Wasser, there was no such thing as a VIP section in the Sixties
and Seventies; the stars partied with commoners. “It was great,” he recalls.
“When I first came, I thought, everybody is so good looking I’ll never be
able to date here, but it didn’t work that way. It was the start of the
whole hippie revolution, so freaks were in. There were so many jerks in that
city that I was like a movie star. I got to go out with beautiful women who
wouldn’t have looked at me elsewhere.” He also got to cover riots and crime
scenes and take portraits of Joan Didion, Martin Luther King and Marcel
Duchamp, whom he photographed playing chess with a nude model.
A few years ago, he sold up and moved to Paris for two years. “It’s every
American’s dream, to live in Paris, but you reach a certain age and you
can’t stand another cold winter.” Now 68, he is back in sunny Santa Monica,
CA, and mounting his first ever European exhibition.
“I look back on the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties – it was this phenomenal,
legendary time,” he says. “Everybody was flush, times were good, no one
worried, they were just very, very hedonistic. Now LA is boring; there’s
nothing happening and we’ve got this horrible economy. They all have to
work. It’s too real.”
‘Julian Wasser – the Passenger’ is at the Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, until
August 4; wentrupgallery.com
This article also appeared in SEVEN magazine, free with the Sunday
Telegraph. Follow SEVEN on Twitter @TelegraphSeven