I am often asked about my limp. More often than not I joke that it is the result of shooting myself in the foot. But I'm not joking.
Back in the early 60's I'd taken a road trip accross the United states of America; I will probably refer to that trip many times in these memoirs; It was eventful to say the least. Stopping for gas somewhere in Arizona I decided to cool down with a beer at a roadside bar and got into conversation with a local who went by the name of Roland Crater. One beer turned into many beers as the afternoon listened in on our wild stories and pretty soon the evening strolled by and decided to settle a while and hear himself some fine talk too.
I cannot remember who came up with the idea of shooting at cigarettes held between our toes but we soon had our boots off and were taking pot shots at our own feet. Roland was a dead shot and hit the cigarette every time.
I walk with this limp!
The following year I was in northern spain, staying with my old friend salvador Dali and his strange wife Gala. Sitting in the garden one morning I told him of my sharp shooting experience in Arizona and removed my espadrille to show him the bullet hole. Dali excitedly ran into the house and returned with a silver topped cane which he presented to me with much flamboyance. I use that stick to this day. He then produced a Luger that he claimed once belonged to an SS colonel, and demanded that we play the game. Dali was a crack shot and hit the cigarette every time.
I needed that stick.
On returning from the hospital Dali mixed martinis on the terrace and we fell to talking about art. We talked about the accusations being put about that Salvador was selling signed blank sheets of paper which were then introduced to fake etchings and sketches. He denied this vehemently and wished for some sort of revenge on the art world... To this end we decided that Dali would produce some drawings which I would then sign in his name, these works would then be introduced into the market-place through a well known dealer in Paris.
"Let us see if those ponces in Paris can tell their arse from their elbow. And can they spot a genuine Jan Nieupjur signature when they see one?"
Needless to say the artworld was happy to accept my signature as Dali's. I am not at liberty to say what those drawings are but they hang in major collections!
My limp?.. Sometimes I joke that it is Arthritis.