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From silver spoon birth to motorcycle death

Why trust fund kid Seth Morgan chose the dark side...

I dusted off a novel the other day that I hadn't read for at least 15 years. 'Homeboy' by Seth Morgan is a brilliantly written, no-holds-barred story of the characters that inhabit the underbelly of San Francisco nightlife. Junkies, drag queens, pimps, hookers, murderers. Having not read it for so long, I've been gripped.

I hadn't until now known much about the author, other than his (only) novel was based on his own experiences. So I Googled Seth Morgan and was surprised to discover that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth to the famous American poet George Frederick Morgan; he went to private school in Switzerland and enjoyed a substantial income from a trust fund.

So far, so predictable. But Seth decided to step off the monied path carefully laid out for him. He got engaged to Janis Joplin (after meeting her when he delivered cocaine to her house), went to prison for armed robbery (he impaled one of his victims to the ground with a knife through the hand), and ended up a barker outside a strip club in San Francisco.

These are just some of his adventures. He's worth looking up. He was a heroin addict, a biker, a drinker and a writer. He moved from Frisco to New Orleans and died, at just 41, in a spectacular motorcycle accident. He was three times over the drink-drive limit, neither he or his female pillion were wearing helmets (required by law) and he hit the median strip on a bridge, hitting a concrete piling head first, at speed. His girlfriend died too.

Read 'Homeboy' if you can. It's a great novel... almost as colourful as Seth Morgan's real life.

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