COURTESY PHOTO / LASZLO
Depth of field
BY STEVE HEISLER CORRESPONDENT
. . . Wolfe said that he was so impressed that he is pushing the artist to strike up a relationship with Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory, to capture its brilliant undersea life.
And if Laszlo needs to bring a portfolio of his earliest work, his career photographing the hierarchy of the 1970s rock music scene is equally impressive.
He shot for Billboard and Rolling Stone magazines and for several major record companies.
Laszlo flipped through prints of Bob Seger, The Eagles, The Moody Blues and Bob Marley.
A limousine ride to a photo shoot with Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues brought back warm memories, as did the time he met Marley at Detroit's Old Eastown Theatre. Laszlo was working for London Records and Marley was, well, Marley.
"Marley was just about as mellow a person as you ever could have met," the photographer said with a near-wistful smile. "Mellow, mellow, mellow. He was influenced all the time by the splifs (marijuana cigarettes) he'd roll out."
Drugs were readily available in those days and Laszlo said he gravitated toward cocaine. He said it was cocaine's insidious effects that prompted him in 1976 to leave behind the drug culture and the music world.
His salvation, Laszlo said, came in the form of a 36-foot ketch on which he lived with his grandfather. He spent three months sailing out of Anna Maria Island on the boat his grandpa had named "Sin Duda" or "Without Doubt" in Portuguese.
The sailing life appealed to him so deeply, that he lived aboard the boat for six years. The duo sailed frequently to Haiti, where Laszlo said his and his grandfather's flowing manes led natives to call them gods. The trips also allowed the photographer to shoot more than 4,500 pictures, 450 which he keeps in an album.
Their first voyage, however, stood out.
"It was so extremely different from what we know," he said of Haiti. "So when I came back from the trip, I felt a foot taller. We'd gone through 70-knot winds with 24-foot waves and no sleep for three days."
The 1980s proved a challenge for other reasons. An export business he ran out of Haiti met with mixed results. He also tried his hand at selling sea shell night-light displays that wound up at trade shows and in a gift shop at Disney World.
He said he never stopped taking pictures, however, and in 1993, moved to Key West, where a developing friendship with a well-known painter provided him a break.
Laszlo had begun
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