As this year of 2023 begins, we have become aware that ……More than 20 years ago Lawrence Davis envisioned the impact of a digital magazine. In those early days, there were only a few other digital magazines which meant that Splash Magazine was on the ground floor and had opportunities to tell the world many and varied stories. What is probable is that Lawrence never anticipated that the magazine would sustain itself for over 20 years.
Paula Jessop worked with Lawrence and helped establish the magazine. She remembers the early days…..Larry was investing with a man whose name I don’t remember. It was when he was doing yellow pages advertising and the man had a print magazine that was being given away with the yellow page books. It was this experience that sparked the idea of owning a magazine for Larry. He immediately saw the power and potential that having a magazine offered. He loved the fact that it gave him insider access to places, events, products, and people. He was one of the original internet influencers with his publishing of Splash Magazines.
At the beginning of publishing the magazine, he would reach out to people for coverage of events, hotels, products, etc. and he would be met with the attitude of, “Who are you to be asking that of us?”, mostly from the people in Public Relations firms representing their clients’ products, events, etc. Larry would counter with “I have ‘x’ number of readers from ‘x’ different countries. I can get your name out there more effectively and with a wider reach than most print publications ever could”. He’d show them numbers comparing himself and others and they would come back with statements like, “Yes, but you are ONLY online. It’s not as real as being in print. You actually don’t have a magazine, you’ve just got a blog because magazines aren’t online. That doesn’t count.” People didn’t understand the power that having an online presence offered. Larry did, and he saw it immediately. He was an astute entrepreneur and a true visionary.
Maria Densley began working with Lawrence after the magazine was well established. Maria shared that…. What I remember is that he told pretty much anyone who asked how he started Splash Magazines, was that Splash started as a hobby and turned into obsession. He easily spent 80+ hours a week writing articles, reaching out to people, answering emails and attending events. He loved helping people get a start in writing or help promote new and small businesses. Meeting people and sharing their stories was also something he tried to do at different events as well.
Barbara Keer remembers…Lawrence began Splash Magazines Worldwide as LA Splash Magazine and quickly added five additional cities and then, suddenly there were 21 cities which remain to this day. Chicago was one of the first five cities and I was asked to be the Chicago editor (a job for which I had no background). Gradually, writers joined in and restaurants, museums and the performing arts found the value of an article in Chicago Splash Magazine. Before long, Chicago was offering journalist opportunities to visit museums, restaurants, opera, dance, theater and more. Then, suddenly, Lawrence was gone. (A fall took his life.) Being his sister, (with my sister’s blessing) I chose to take over as Editor-in-Chief and to continue the legacy of Splash Magazines Worldwide. This has only been possible because of the high-quality work offered by our worldwide journalists and the huge effort put forth by the management team that includes Maria Densley and Steve Martin.
Lawrence’s sister, Marcia Ferstenfeld remembers….. Larry would strike up conversations with strangers almost anywhere and plumb for possible new writers for Splash sharing that they could take advantage of opportunities for travel, dining, and all sorts of entertainment and interest. He would whip out his business card and offer it with enthusiasm and encouragement.www.marciaferstenfeld.com
Debra Davy says….I began by writing about a popular movie, and soon became Music and Dance editor for Chicago Splash Magazine. Splash gave me a new persona, a new career, a new means of expression and a new circle of acquaintances. Writing for Splash expanded my knowledge of the Arts and has allowed me to contribute to the world of dance and music in Chicago and beyond.
Steve Martin remembers… I joined Lawrence at Splash very early on and he was definitely a pioneer of bringing to the internet what people would hold in their hands to read. Today it is commonplace, but when Lawrence started Splash he was truly a pioneer. Lawrence loved Los Angeles and he grew to be well known in every facet of Tinsel Town and with that he created his own celebrity status that helped grow Splash. While he took great pride in everything that Splash covered, he was especially proud as he watched Los Angeles Fashion Week grow and he was a big part of helping them along the way. In addition, he loved animals and helped promote animal shelters, pet adoption and other groups who assisted in the welfare of animals.
For me personally, Lawrence was a mentor and grew to be family as much as anything else. He was always willing to help people break into the world of journalism as well as helping out businesses who were new and not getting attention by the mainstream media, but he felt was deserving. His passion and caring are what led him to create Splash and hopefully that still shines through as Splash continues on from year twenty.
These days, with 20 plus years of archived material, Splash Magazines Worldwide is sometimes used as for research as well as general interest and enjoyment. Readers have found previews, reviews, personal stories and much more as they navigate this very rich and entertaining site. There is always something new. Some very talented writers began contributing when Splash began and still continue to submit articles. Over the years talented journalists have joined in. Currently there is a group of journalists who have published books, even prize-winning books. There is always an opportunity for new people looking for a way to share their talents and ideas to join the Splash Magazines Worldwide family.
Take a look back at the past with some of Lawrence’s earliest articles here.
And, going forward, Splash Magazines Worldwide offers wishes for a healthy, happy and peaceful 2023 to all.
Another lovely story:
Larry Davis and I met in 1984. He attended my 1st big Wear All White Anniversary party in Beverly Hills. We hit it off with our knowledge of collecting cars and the fact that I represented George Barris, the King of American Kustom car culture.
I could tell right off that Steve was an achiever and knew more about me and my PR company than I did of him. I remember a party he had on a hot Summer day in 1985 at his estate in Nicholas Canyon in LA, I was one of only 8 men invited . The rest of 100 guests were beautiful young girls. The theme of the party was sun worshipping. Clothes optional. Unfortunately that did not apply to the men. It was the ultimate day time pool, tennis and sun tan party..and that included the Playboy mansion pool parties. — All done with good taste and best barbecue food, salads and cocktails money could buy.
Larry moved into his real purpose later on. For me, as a veteran publicist for people, products, services and events, his SPLASH Publications was cutting edge in technology and spread nationwide almost instantly. Larry and Splash became part of the media scene and gratefully we enjoyed his support of our clients and events.
Larry was a stickler for details and his view of perfectionism. I loved debating issues and sharing information with him before and after the formation of Splash. His attendance at our events was a good luck charm that we now sadly miss. His impossible death was a gut punch to me. Still not over it and miss him more every year.