Rick Savage: New York’s Last Porn Star – Podcast 33

Rick Savage: New York’s Last Porn Star – Podcast 33

On this episode of The Rialto Report, Rick Savage talks about his life and career from being a dancer to a sex show performer to becoming a star in the California and New York adult film industries.

With tales of Annette Haven, classical ballet, Shanna McCullough, Jim and Artie Mitchell, Video-X-Pix, Joe Sarno, live sex shows in Japan, Traci Lords, public sex in ‘The Streets of New York’, Lois Ayres, serving in the Vietnam War, Charles DeSantos, ‘The Grafenberg Spot’, Harry Reems, the original roadie for Jimi Hendrix and The Who, and much more.

This episode running time is 96 minutes.

I once asked Rick Savage how he would describe himself. He said single father and porn actor.

He could have added ballet dancer in Boston, theater actor in New York, free spirit and hippy traveller, Vietnam veteran, burlesque stripper in San Francisco, live sex show performer in Japan, and one of the last recognizable stars of the dying New York adult film business.

Rick SavageThe irony was that Rick moved back to New York just when most other people in the adult film industry were moving to California.

Rick had started on the West Coast in the mid-1980s, making films for the Mitchell Brothers, Anthony Spinelli, and Ron Sullivan, working with the likes of Annette Haven, Jamie Gillis, and Kay Parker, during a period when filmmaking was turning to video production, plots were being replaced by gonzo, and Los Angeles became the recognized capital of porn films.

In New York, he seemed to be on every Vidway and Video-X-Pix film set, working regularly with Joe Sarno and the Adventure Studios crowd, before creating the public sex themed series, ‘The Streets of New York’, with the ex-roadie for Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

So who is the real Rick Savage, how did he go from a ballet scholarship at the Boston Conservatory to making porn films, how do you raise a son single-handedly while being in the adult film industry, what really happened on the set of ‘The Grafenberg Spot’ with Harry Reems and an underage Traci Lords, what do you say if you’re caught having sex on the streets of New York, and what do you do when your son decides to follow you into the X-rated film business?


Rick Savage photos:

Rick Savage


Rick Savage


Rick SavageRick Savage in a live sex show, Sapporo, Japan

Rick Savage

Rick Savage

Rick Savage

Rick Savage(photo by Zun Lee)

  • Posted On: 23rd March 2014
  • By: The Rialto Report
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. linda napp · March 23, 2014 Reply

    I soooo enjoyed this interview. I will be checking out your other podcasts. Rick is so open & honest and so well spoken. I learned a few things I didn’t know, not that I necessarily should but Wow what an amazing life. Done right,what a fabulous and interesting movie this would make. By the way, his Father’s sister that he mentioned was my mother. Rick’s Dad was the was my idea of what a man should be. That belief has never changed.
    Thank You Ever So, Linda

  2. Steve-O · March 23, 2014 Reply

    Boy that Rick gets around………….

    Needs a holiday sailing with Bob, Stef and I in Florida!


  3. P.I. · March 23, 2014 Reply

    This has become one of my favorite episodes….

    His story about Harry Reems and their ex-girlfriend was really amusing.

    He sounds like a good-hearted person, and someone that truly loves his family…. It’s nice to hear things like that.

    I should point out, that New York city was still the cesspool of the country during the mid to late 80s. Los Angeles / southern California was a close 2nd, but no cigar…..

  4. moift · March 23, 2014 Reply

    he’s such a class act.

  5. Howie Gordon (Richard Pacheco) · March 23, 2014 Reply

    Hey, Rick! Just had myself a wonderful Sunday afternoon getting a glimpse of you backstage
    and hearing some of your stories behind the story. Ashley does such a fine job of putting the human faces
    on those of us who wandered in and out of the XXX industry. Glad for the opportunity to get to know
    you a little better. Wish you and yours all the best! – H.

  6. Sam Deacon · March 23, 2014 Reply

    He’s a wise old dog, this Savage man, and we can all learn something from his humble, thoughtful zen-like approach to existence. Big thanks for being so candid with the folks of the Rialto (and I’m grateful for the fact that we have such sensitive guardians of our flame – thanks guys); this was a pleasure from start to finish.

  7. Josh Church · March 23, 2014 Reply

    The humanity of these interviews is really something rather special.

    I would say that they are rare in this day and age, but that would be unfair on the RR, as just about every one is a gem. A ticket to another life for 90 minutes, and then back again.

    If you haven’t heard other interviews, do yourself a favor and check them out – I’d particularly recommend the Helga Sven, Richard Pacheco, R. Bolla, or Veronica Vera episodes, all classics.

  8. Dan Dan · March 23, 2014 Reply

    Rick – beautiful to hear your voice and your life!

    Do you remember Summer Rose in particular? You seemed to have some magic going on there with her.

    Keep up the good fight; your life is entering a new chapter!

  9. roy karch · March 24, 2014 Reply

    Rick Savage continues to be one of my favorite gentlemen this business brought into my life.
    Am not sure if it’s because he’s an East Coast guy, an artist or a father, but we’ve remained friends across the miles for years now. Perhaps it’s simply because after listening to Rick describe his father and his love for him, he reminds me of the man that was his Dad. Like a sweet blues in A minor.

  10. Valentine · March 24, 2014 Reply

    Rick was an underrated cocksman from the 80’s, he did scenes with two of the hottest actresses of that era. Rick did a great scene with Kari Foxx who herself was underrated during the Lynn era of that period. And Rick did at least two scenes with the Latino heartbreaker Gina Valentino. Gina was only about 19 or 20 at the time, Rick was quite a bit older than her but they had amazing chemistry. I wish Rialto could track down Gina, she performed with a lot of the men featured on this site, Rick, Harry Reems, Eric Edwards and even NY based dwarf actor Louie Short Stud. Did Rick ever perform with Melissa Melendez?

    • Susan Hiatt · September 17, 2022 Reply

      Rick, you are still one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever had.

      I love all the memories from San Francisco, and running Richie and Gabriel around N.Y.

      I hope you are well, and still having loads of fun in your life.💜

  11. Mormo · March 25, 2014 Reply

    Great podcast! I need to check out some of these movies!!

  12. Ron S · March 27, 2014 Reply

    ‘And he’d jump so high, so high… then he’d lightly touch down…”
    A great, incredibly frank interview with Mr. Bojangles. Thanks.

  13. Barry Golders · March 27, 2014 Reply

    Perfection. This was wonderful.
    Thanks Rick for a great life, well told and well lived.

  14. William Margold · March 27, 2014 Reply

    As almost always…magnificent.. and as almost always…depressing.
    My old associate Hank Rose thinks that the Rialto Report is obsessed with “sad sacks.” Guess that comes from that fact that most of the objects on The Rialto Report grew up on the East Coast, where the sun doesn’t almost always shine.
    Three sidebars:
    I spent 1955 living in Harrison, New York, while attending a private school called Kohut.
    There is a great deal more to the Dusty story.
    And…almost all retired male XXX performers are doomed to an eternity of loneliness.

  15. Cathy Gigante-Brown · March 30, 2014 Reply

    Another stellar, honest, beautiful interview, this time with a man I’m proud to call my buddy. Rick is eloquent, intelligent and candid, in addition to being an excellent performer and actor. I’ve been privileged to serve PA on his shoots, truly a master, who treats his cast and crew with respect and has a true vision. In my humble opinion, his “Awakening in Blue” is an erotic masterpiece. Another bravo performance both for Mr. Savage and Mr. West.

    • Charlie Latour · August 10, 2017 Reply


      We should talk soon. Found your comments about Rick wonderful.

      Miss Charlie Latour

  16. Hank Rose · March 31, 2014 Reply

    Savage was a better stud than he attests to and bigger than average. I’d say he was at least 8 inches plus. And I say this because I worked with Dusty after him and she was seemingly measuring me to see if I compared. As you can see, I live in the porno good old days. Please interview my porn daddy Mr. Margold and he’ll explain the Gospel of X to up the old timers spirits and keep them entertained.

  17. Rick Savage · April 8, 2014 Reply

    I want to thank everyone for all the kind words. To address the few questions I see here – Valentine, no I never had a scene with Melissa Melendez. And Dan, I don’t imagine I could ever forget Summer Rose, nor the magic you perceived. Of all the people I met in my career, she was absolutely one of my favorite humans.

    • Sage Winters · December 9, 2015 Reply

      Rick! I’ve been searching for you for years! I don’t know how I missed this site, but everyone I contacted had no idea where you were. Perhaps they thought I was the FBI or the IRS or an ex-wife…or….LOL….Anyway, I would love to reconnect with you…believe it or not, after I left the “scene” back in the late ’90’s….I’ve amassed a large amount of “Over the Knee” devotees. One young man called me from Ohio a few weeks ago, to tell me he had found an old VHS tape of Over the Knee in his father’s belongings. His dad was a former client who would drive in monthly from Ohio to NYC for a session at Neville’s place. Talk about kinky! LOL
      I revived my paddles and ropes and have been running quite a successful (yet discreet) business for the past year or so. Please get in touch with me, we have so much to catch up on. xxooxxoo!!!

  18. Valentine · April 11, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Rick, It’s too bad you never got to work with Melissa Melendez, thanks for answering that. I know you did at least two sense with the beautiful Gina Valentino, I’m just glad you got along with Gina, it was reported she shot one of her boyfriends LOL!

  19. Hank Rose · April 14, 2014 Reply

    Bill, you didn’t have to put words in my mouth with the obsessed comment which is your take and not mine. I know you are in line for an interview. And it should come eventually….when RR is done with the east coasters.

    • Philly · April 19, 2014 Reply

      Hank, the Rialto people are also going to do the west coast porn stars? Good luck trying to find them. Paradise Visuals tried to find Tamara Longley for commentary on a DVD, no luck. Crystal Breeze is gone from the scene. No one has heard from Sheri StClair in 20 years. Stacy Donavon wants nothing to do with the industry, last anyone heard from Nikki Randall was when she went back to NY. Melissa Melendez may do something, she is still out there and Gina Carrera can still be found but most are gone. That leaves you with the two biggest stars, Ginger Lynn and Amber Lynn but they are still in the industry, not much to catch up on with them

      The NY crowd was more of a click, the LA crowd from 1984-87 were much younger, they did their videos and then took off

  20. Hank Rose · April 20, 2014 Reply

    If your clique assumption is true, how come the AFAA died out and the most prolific, enduring Hall of Fame awards was held in LA and not in NY? I know because I made my entrance into the biz at the 3rd XRCO showcase back in the 80s. I also noticed that you didn’t mention the penile props at all as if males don’t exist in porn. This is a form of sexism that plagues the adult industry. All stars deserve a bow regardless of gender or notoriety. I rather doubt that the academic documentarians who run this very important site would give up acknowledging all of porn since the industry moved west to expand like the rest of showbiz. To ignore half of the talent pool would be to leave the story of X incomplete. This site is becoming a historic timeline of porn. Who says anyone must be interviewed or present to be profiled? Moreover, the iconic left coast Pussycat theater chain could easily serve as the left coast counterpart symbol. There are worthy west coasters left like Joey Silvera and Don Fernando, whose careers date all the way back to the 70s. Plus the late Titus Moody and Jack Baker who both gave up mainstream exploits to work in sexual showbiz. Then there’s Mr. Margold who is world famous and has been to foreign events and gotten awards across the pond. The east coast marked the beginning, but it is not the end all of this business. Porn is bicoastal.

  21. Anon · April 20, 2014 Reply

    I think Philly meant the female stars of the 80’s, that is what drove the LA porn industry. Does anyone care what Tom Byron is up to these days? probably not. You can still find Peter North, Ron Jeremy and some other 80’s relics out in LA. Jack Baker didn’t give up a mainstream career for porn, he had no mainstream jobs and that’s why he entered porn. Wonderbug and a few episodes of Happy Days in the mid 70’s is hardly a mainstream career. I agree, Bill Margold had a great career in LA and it will be interesting to hear from him.
    Just because the awards are held in LA doesn’t mean they are a tight clique, the LA stars are in and out of the industry much faster, some are already retired by the time their scenes are released

  22. Hank Rose · April 20, 2014 Reply

    Philly’s listing made no reference to gender as if porn were all girl girl. We can’t default to only what biased fans regard as topical. History belongs to all of those who played the game. I get the east coast bias, but porn isn’t baseball and Rialto is not the Yankees.

  23. k marshall · May 12, 2014 Reply

    NY vs LA is such a tired old saw. Two worlds, two cultures,
    Two speeds. There it is, what it is. New subject: how many
    ex performers are out there and ready to talk about the
    happy,fulfilling lives they’ve led SINCE? It does seem
    (probably not accurately)that the males you’ve covered
    do seem to be alone and lonely. So far,RR is alone in
    trying to draw a complete picture of the industry “when”.
    Historians of the industry being so thin on the ground,
    there seems to be need for some kind of effort at placing
    the professionals in the business in some sort of
    historical context. RR may be the only place to do this
    without academic bombast. Just a semi-idle thought.

  24. Aaron · September 25, 2014 Reply

    I am not that much of a porn fan. I’ve watched some sure, but it leaves me cold. However, this is a very interesting interview. Rick Savage serves as a great guide and excellent story teller. He certainly did it his own way. Best wishes on the memoir.

  25. Rick Savage · December 2, 2014 Reply

    Upon revisiting the comments in this thread, it appears that some people see former male actors in this industry as invariably being alone and lonely. Well, I choose to live alone. And that’s my preference. But I have to tell you. I have no idea what loneliness feels like.

    • Tim · January 26, 2016 Reply

      I know you’ve done a number of scenes and I’m a big fan.Wondering if you remember a scene you ask a secretary to pick up some gloves the kind you use for dishes.She does and from there you use what looks like Vaseline.Wondering what is name of movie and actress. Thanks

  26. Don Keedik · December 29, 2014 Reply

    Yet another great interview. I’m loving this podcast.
    I remember finding my Dad’s ‘stash’ in the 80s…and it’s great to catch up on where these impressionable stars are today.

  27. bob · January 3, 2015 Reply

    thanks rick, hats off to you no music in porn,,,,,,,and pubic sex everything me and my wife love!!

  28. Elliot James · October 11, 2015 Reply

    Mr Savage also reviews porn videos for the Japanese big bust magazine Bachelor.

  29. Wordie · January 1, 2016 Reply

    I must say this podcast is just fascinating. Rick is such an animated speaker and has incredible recall. Thanks Rialto Report.

    Ashley, you have such empathy for people. You rival Terri Gross in interviewing skill. what is your background may I ask ?

  30. Brian · September 16, 2017 Reply

    Fantastic interview.The whole podcast was very entertaining and interesting.He sounds so friendly and personable and has obviously led a very full and amazing life.It’s great to find out who the person behind the on screen persona is.Many thanks.

  31. Jane · November 14, 2017 Reply

    Like many of the others on the site, the interview gets more amazing towards the end. What a powerful snapshot of a human spirit.

  32. Lit · November 29, 2017 Reply

    Summer Rose was dynamite!

  33. Lit · November 30, 2017 Reply

    Absolutely intriguing
    Beautifully honest
    Enough said!

  34. BDS · June 6, 2023 Reply

    Rick Savage gave an awesomely open, raw and uninhibited interview. He is a class act. Thanks

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