The Rialto Report is on vacation this week, but when ‘Radio’ Ray Wells got in touch with us to ask if we’d like to showcase some of his scrapbooks – how could we say no?
Ray was an actor on hundreds of west coast adult film sets in the 1970s and 80s, usually in small parts and working with people like Joey Silvera, Annette Haven, Desiree West, Paul Thomas, and Clair Dia.
His scrapbooks contain all sorts of oddities; Instamatic photos from sets, invitations to premieres, Polaroid audition snaps, even a typed set of instructions for actors appearing in an adult film. Most of these items haven’t seen the light of day for over 30 years so their quality is variable, but they offer a fascinating glimpse of the industry through the eyes of an insider.
We’re grateful to Ray for sharing this collection, and hope that you enjoy it too.
Note: All captions on the photos are from Ray Wells and Scott Hamilton. Any added contributions are gratefully received at info@TheRialtoReport.com
After getting a degree in business in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ray Wells moved to San Francisco in 1970 living in a commune at 1911 – 1915 Divisadero St. He remembers spending most of his time dropping acid and fantasizing about being hired as a sexual performer.
One day he was was hitchhiking and was picked up a pretty blonde called Connie Di Angelo. Connie turned out to be one of the top madames in San Francisco. She and Ray became friends and he would hang out at her brothel, meeting the various women who worked for her. Ray told Connie about his fantasy of being paid for sex, and she recommended speaking to Clair Dia, a model and actress who’d been appearing in some of the first X-rated movies in the city.
Clair hooked Ray up with photographer Paul Johnson, and Ray was soon working regularly as a nude model with Paul and other photographers in the business. Soon Ray was making 8mm loops with shooters like Sam Menning and Irv Carsten, and he eventually crossed paths with John Seeman, an actor who was also the go-between for filmmakers coming up from Los Angeles to San Francisco to shoot porn films. John found acting work for Ray with luminaries such as Ted Paramore, Carlos Tobalina, Bob Vosse, and Bobby Hollander.
The money from the films paid the rent, and Ray supplemented it by selling weed, playing the harmonica in a garage band, and organizing music for parties. Ray had been to broadcasting school because he wanted to work in radio eventually; it never worked out but it earned him the nickname ‘Radio Ray’.
Then in 1979, Ray moved to Los Angeles. John Seeman suggested that the agent Jim South would get him work out of the World Modelling offices. Ray met Jim and found X-rated acting gigs plentiful. In fact he’d hang around the offices so often that he eventually started working there as well. He’d answer phones, set up appointments, and take Polaroids of the aspiring actors. It was Ray who was there when future stars like Traci Lords and Shauna Grant showed up for the first time.
When I showed Ray a list of the women he worked with together with photos of them, he fell silent in amazement. “Is this really possible?” he asked incredulously.
“It seems like another life. A lifetime ago. I just can’t believe that I had sex with all these beautiful women. I’m almost 70 now. What a crazy life.”
Joey Silvera, Desiree West, Kristine Heller
Annette Haven, Paul Thomas, Desiree West, Dashile Miguele
Ray Wells on set, at the Space Retreat
View from the Space Retreat set
Candida Royalle (lying) at the Space Retreat set
Actress Sandy Pinney‘s wedding
Actress Sandy Pinney‘s wedding
Photographer Paul Johnson at Sandy Pinney‘s wedding
Instructions for actors – issued by Aventura Motion Pictures
Annette Haven (in mask), Tyler Reynolds (in profile)
Polaroids from Jim South‘s World Modeling
Polaroids from Jim South‘s World Modeling
Ray Wells, in one of his last modeling shoots
Your photographer, Ray Wells
What a superb and evocative collection of items… thanks Ray and everyone at the Rialto. It is good to know that there are still collections out there that preserve this period in time.
Ray Wells! I remember him! He seemed to be in EVERY film that I saw coming out of SF in the early days. Always there, and not a bad actor either…. a real ham! I met him once a premiere. A real nice gentle guy.
Good to see you’re still out there Ray.
Are you still in touch with Tyler, Joey, and the old gang?
I talk to Tyler almost everyday, Have spoken with Paul Johnson, Bill Margold, John Seeman, Annette, and Kay Parker. Would love to find Joey Nasavera, and meet up with any woman I had the pleasure to work with during those days, to catch up on our lives,
Hi Ray – pleased to see you active on this board! I’m researching a PhD in gender roles in early adult films and kept seeing your face, so it’s nice to hear your bio, see you pictures, and hear from you – all in one day thanks to TRR. I hope life has treated you well over the years. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Rachael S. Thank you for your kind words. You are welcome to contact me at Raywells6@yahoo.com if you would like to chat about the early days,
Hi Ray, do you know if the first black porn star, San Francisco based King Paul is still alive? He was in all the Diamond collection loops and just disappeared in 1982
Kristine Heller, now there’s a blast from the past. Is it true that she died 20 years ago or so?
Another great contribution to the growing list of towering achievements of this website.
Great stuff. I am surprised no pictures of John Leslie
Now that’s more like it. A pictorial time machine back to the good old days.
Wonderful vacay feature. Thanks for sharing, Ray!
You should do a podcast on ZEBEDY COLT. btw bambi woods is 60 today.
Two of our favorites – we’ll do what we can!
I read that Zebedy Colt died years ago. It would be interesting to know what he has say…
Now Bambi Woods is someone that I would love to see here! I wonder what happened to her.
Amazing collection of photos! What great stuff!
I believe I can ID the unidentified topless woman with Paul Thomas above. It looks like Victoria Winter, aka Virginia Winter and several other names. I’d assume that’s her with him in the “action” shot right afterward.
imdb for Victoria Winter
Kristine Heller retired from the adult industry in 1978, leaving behind almost 30 movies and loops. In 1999 Paul Thomas directed a movie titled The Awakening. In that film, the main character, played by Inari Vachs, is based on Kristine Heller explaining that “she [struggled] between her Catholic upbringing and her thing in porno.” Though it’s based on real life events, Thomas did not make it a period piece. “It’s a cautionary tale,” said Thomas. “Beware that deciding to go into pornography is a serious decision in your life. I don’t want to get too heavy, but it’s the most emotionally true movie I’ve ever done.”
Wow, amazing archive! Nice to see Kristine Heller among them, not sure what happened to her.
Another good one. I’d love to know more about the mysterious Aventura film company who were the authors of the sheet of instructions reproduced above. Does anyone know any details?
Keep up this incredible work!
I had ho idea Ray’s career went back to the 70’s? I remember seeing him in a lot of 80’s features, a couple of times watching him paired up with the stunning Tamara Longley.
Desiree West was so pretty, saw a recent photo of Desiree on another classic porn site and though she now wears glasses and looks middle aged, she is still very attractive and you would recognize her in a second
Staggering stuff! Fascinating.
The western village is the (still standing) town on the Paramount ranch.
Here’s the Google Street view from 8600 Hillside Avenue in Hollywood where cocktails were served at “Space Retreat’:
Thnaks John – interesting place!
Yes – for those who don’t know, you can pan back – here’s the view when you do that…
Kristine Heller was the girl that I did the “audition” with for Jerry “Jay Gladstone” Abrams. It was my very first scene in porn but I wasn’t nervous walking up the 15th Street hill,; that is, until I met Jerry.
Looking like a gruff Hells Angel that lost his colors, I almost bailed out but I needed the pussy … and the $40 was a secondary incentive to try it. But when he explained to me what a “loop” was, he was like a gentle. soft-spoken professor so I relaxed. “No talking, no stopping and you can cum anytime after 11 minutes after I start rolling. If you cum before 11 minutes, you do not get the $40!”, Jerry instructed me. I put my watch back on. Jerry laughed “Don’t worry… I’ll let you know when 11 minutes has gone by so take your watch off”.
Jerry started his stopwatch… tick… tick… tick. I was a nerdy-type and could never score with a beauty like Kristine Heller unless she was a hooker so… those 11 minutes seemed like an eternity. I could have cum 11 times in that scene, Kristine turned me on that much. Luckily, I had been doing Kegel exercises for 2 years so I was able to hold back.
Don Fernando? How the hell are you old friend? Did you see the snapshot I got of you working with Joey’s GF? I forgot her name, but boy, what a hottie. Remember that? That’s you halfway in and sucking on her wonderful boobies. I remember asking Joey for his blessing the day I was lucky enough to work with her, what fun!
Hey, send me an email, let’s chat,
That is Connie Peterson with Don Fernando.
the rialto report should do podcasts with:
Connie Peterson AKA Candy Lane, Denise Sexton, Carole Savage, Catrina, Elaine Freeman, Connie Petersen, Connie Severs, Connie Peters, Connie Seevers, Connie Douglas, Sindee Moore, Connie Teterson
Eileen Wells AKA Marilyn McKay, Eileen Mills, Ellen Enculeur, Eileen Wales, Ilene Wells, Eileen Weller, Eileen Welles, Constance Penny, Mary Ann Evans
Crystal Dawn AKA Robyn, Crystal Down, Debbie Ross
Cris Cassidy AKA Suzanne Meyers, Suzett Holland, Kris Kassidy, Connie Conasse, Montana Brent, Criss Cassidy, Montana, Montana Station, Monti Stevens, Buffy Stevens, Suzette Holland, Chris Cassidy
un fn believable… the jim south polaroids are gold!!
I loved him in kiss the day goodbye!
Right Stiff has been posted here http://vintage-erotica-forum.com/t72686-the-right-stiff-1976.html
I wonder what Ray remembers about doing it.
Coming Home Baby (1975) is available here http://vintage-erotica-forum.com/showpost.php?p=2320533&postcount=1
Ray gets sloppy seconds on Laura Bourbon after Paul Scharf gets off in the blue van scene at 18:07.
Loved this look back at the Golden Age of porn. Especially loved the photos taken at Sandy Pinney’s wedding. Who did she marry? Did it last? Where is Sandy Pinney today and what is she doing?
Ray played in a band with me when I was 17 yrs old in Boise, Idaho. We were also roommates for a while. It would be kewl to get in touch. I’m easy to find, bud martin productions.