When we interviewed Howard Ziehm earlier this year about his pivotal role in the birth of the west coast adult film industry, we were excited to learn that he’d been working on an autobiography, Take Your Shame And Shove It: My Wild Journey Through The Mysterious Sexual Cosmos – which is published this week as an eBook.
Weighing in at 614 pages, it’s a wild and fun ride, a remarkable account of a wild and raucous life that is well-written, raunchy and informative.
Howard describes the story as follows:
In the 40’s nakedness was deemed to be shameful and sex to be ineffable and kept that way with antiquated puritanical laws. “Take Your Shame and Shove It: A wild journey through the mysterious sexual cosmos,” follows my life as I struggled to find sense in a world of twisted sexual hypocrisy. It is a story that reads like quirky offbeat fiction, yet is all fact. My life went from a sheltered mid-western god fearing child to the maker of Flesh Gordon, passing through MIT, the Berkeley folk scene and a stint as a picaresque drug smuggler in the process followed by a life of hedonistic pleasure only ended by incurable diseases and the scourge of cocaine. It may shock or offend, but will not bore.
You can buy your copy here.
We’re proud to present an abridged extract telling the untold story behind the east coast ‘Pastry Films’ Howard made in the mid-1970s – namely Honey Pie (1976), Sweet Cakes (1976) (as Hans Johnson), and Hot Cookies (1977) (as Albert Wilder).
Still believing that the Supreme Court would liberalize censorship laws affecting adults, I would waste the next two years trying to raise money for ‘Mata Hari.’ It was a true story that could blend hardcore sex with a serious plot: Mata Hari, the French spy, accused of soliciting secrets from high-ranking military men while she entertained them in her bed, only to be caught and convicted, some thought falsely, was executed by firing squad.
Walter Cichy, working with me as co-producer, got busy developing a screenplay. Not about to put myself on the financial brink again, I began looking for investors. Sy Katz did his share by pitching the project to some of his clients, but I was soon to learn that raising money was much more difficult than I had expected. Once seen as a pornographer, always a pornographer. It was ingrained in the American psyche that producing sex oriented movies was not serious art. When Bernie Goldhirsh remarked that ‘Flesh Gordon’ wasn’t his kind of movie and a girl at a party stormed away after I mentioned that I made ‘Flesh Gordon’ saying “Oh that porno thing,” I became reticent to even bring it up unless I was sure the listener was open minded enough to deal with it.
Of course the fact that I walked around town in see thru pants or sexy shorts, which I knew excited many girls and rewarded me accordingly, didn’t make investors flock to my side. It was sex or money and I chose sex. Getting ‘Mata Hari’ off the ground eventually proved to be a waste of my time and money and I shelved it as an idle fantasy. I knew sex, not drama.
There was no need for panic. Unlike most motion pictures that have a brief window of exposure, ‘Flesh Gordon’ kept growing. Peter Locke averred that if we could get the film re-rated to an R, its earning power would increase multifold. There were still many states, most notably in the Bible Belt, that wouldn’t touch anything rated beyond an R. Thanks to (policemen) Martin and Brust, there was no hardcore footage left in ‘Flesh Gordon’ and only a few scenes had nudity, so with a few minor cuts we should be able to have an R rated film.
Peter submitted it to the MPAA review board and asked them for a detailed list of the footage they found offensive. The descriptions they described in the list they returned were surprising pointed, almost pornographic and definitely funny: “Reel 2…eighty-five feet…nude humping, Reel 2…flash of phony erect penis, girl bouncing up and down, Reel 5…Flesh attempts to remove stone from girl’s vagina,” and on and on. After snipping out all of the “too naughty for American eyes” footage, we were left with a seventy-one minute R-rated film that could play thousands of theatres around the country, including drive-ins.
Jim Buckley had finished his porn film and now had time to help promote Flesh Gordon. He suggested it would be funny and good publicity to get the MPAA’s prurient list of cuts published – and so did Gallery Magazine. In their 1975 January issue, they not only printed the entire MPAA report, but also spoofed it with a three-page comic book satire.
The R rating did indeed rejuvenate ‘Flesh Gordon.’ It was free to play almost everywhere in the country and more money then ever rolled in. To be expected, a lot didn’t roll in because it was so easy to steal. Theatres could turn in fudged numbers or hold a print for an extra week without it being detected. A rumor had it that one sub in the southeast claimed he had stolen enough money to retire for life. There was no way of knowing how much I had been cheated out of, but even so, considering that theatre tickets went for two dollars or less, Graffitti’s four million dollar share of the profits was pretty damn good.
I was now living comfortably and getting plenty of sex. I didn’t have a need to become super rich, it wasn’t my style. Freedom was the most important thing to me and with my money concerns taken care of and if John Van de Kamp won the upcoming election for the office of L.A.’s District Attorney and kept his promise to drop pornography cases currently on the books, it was possible my legal concerns would finally be over as well.
And when Peter Locke suggested that he, Barry Cahn and I form a company to produce porn features, it was the opportunity I had been waiting for. He would produce, I would direct and co-produce when needed, and he and Barry would take care of the distribution. They would take care of the things I hated to do and I would be back in my element with the sluts I loved. Equally important, wearing hot pants would not be a problem.
I only had one condition. I was not interested in making one or two day-wonders any more. Directing the same repetitive sex acts over and over was more than I could bear. I only wanted to make films that were well made and unique. Drawing inspiration from how the burlesque shows that I had so enjoyed at the Old Howard were structured, I suggested that each film have four different sex scenes that catered to the various fantasies, each with different performers. It would be like watching different strippers do their acts. If you didn’t like one of the girls or her act, there was the promise that you might like the next girl and her act. The scenes would be tied together by a central erotic theme. If we only made one film a year, so be it. They were in agreement and we became, at Peter’s suggestion, Dog Eat Dog Films.
Peter wasn’t one to waste time and we were soon in production. I wrote a script based on the classic Faustian theme of making a deal with the devil. The Angel of Death makes an appearance while a young couple is in the midst of making love. He tells them he envies their enjoyment of sex, something he hasn’t experienced in five hundred years, but unfortunately has arrived to take them to the other side. Their pleas appear to be falling on deaf ears until they entice him with a deal. If they can tell him some stories that gets him aroused, he will let them live. He agrees and each story is visualized on film as they tell it.
I flew to New York with my camera equipment and was picked up at the airport by the limo Peter had arranged for and taken to his apartment on the Upper West Side. I liked his style. He had already cast the respected porn star Jamie Gillis and a beautiful newcomer, C.J. Laing, to play the young couple facing death.
After an early dinner at a nearby steakhouse, we worked into the evening tightening up the script. The next morning, while Peter continued to line up cast and locations, I went out shopping for trashy panties and lingerie to be used in the various scenes. Because on my previous trips to New York, I had already located shops that sold bedroom attire for sluts. Since my shopping was finished by noon, I had time to check out a rumor that the strippers at the Harmony Burlesque Theatre, just off Broadway on 49th Street, were allowing their pussies to be fondled for a buck. If the rumor was true, I wanted to get there when the theatre opened at noon, to be sure to get a good seat. It didn’t hurt to have an aroused libido when I began the shoot the next day. The rumor was true and I spent the rest of the afternoon fingering pussies of all shapes, colors and sizes.
We shot the seduction of the devil at Peter’s apartment. C.J. was stunning and playful; allowing me a few licks of her pussy before we began shooting. The scene went well – Jamie, formerly a professional actor doing his lines without a hitch – and ended with him vigorously fucking C.J. from behind, culminating with his iconic butt slapping treatment during the money shot.
Over the next few days, we shot a lesbian scene that starred Candy Love, a black stripper from Baltimore, who had a ‘ten’ body and a shaved pussy, which she allowed the Baltimore burlesque show patrons to penetrate with a dildo, a flasher scene in Central Park, a Lolita scene that starred an eighteen year old cutie named Jenny Lane who was leaving the city the next day to work in a whorehouse at a resort in upstate New York where she would be making $25 a trick, and an S&M scene starring doe-eyed Sue Rowan as a French maid working for two austere dominatrix lesbians. For failing to clean a spec of dirt off the carpet, she is punished by being strapped to a table with her legs pulled behind her head and then fucked by, Bruno, the lesbian’s Aryan slave.
Both Peter and I were convinced the scene was a winner and as Sue was wiping off he asked her:
“That was a pretty hot S&M scene, wasn’t it?”
We were both surprised by her answer:
“It was OK, but it wasn’t very real.”
It turned out that she was into S&M in her private life and participated on a regular basis in threesomes with a black guy and his girl friend. Peter, always the producer, wanted to know if she and her friends might be interested in doing a scene for us in our next picture. She said they might and agreed to look into it and get back to us with an answer.
The next morning, Peter arranged for a limo to take me and my equipment to Kennedy Airport so I could return to L.A. with it and the film which I had just shot for editing. Six weeks later the job was finished and I suggested calling the film ‘Sexteen’ with a tag line claiming “8 Never Before Seen Erotic Beauties.” Still nervous about using my own name, I took the alias, Lynn Metz, as my credit. Our $40,000 investment was a solid success on the porn circuit, grossing over $700,000.
While in L.A. editing ‘Sexteen’, Reb Sawitz invited me to have lunch with him at a sidewalk café on Melrose, called the Melting Pot. He said he had someone he wanted me to meet. The tall, beautiful strawberry blond he had brought with him was as juicy as the half-pound cheeseburger I was devouring. As we talked, I could see Serena was a very bright young woman who wanted to make a career for herself in the porn industry. I was flattered when she said how much she admired my work and a bit shocked that any of the models actually knew of my work. I was still a bit slow to realize that porn was being accepted as an art and a chance to work for a good director was a way for a girl to advance her career. Liberal minded girls were beginning to recognize that if they were pretty and knew how to fuck on screen, they could be very successful in the industry. Even thought the mega salaries were a decade away, it was possible for a girl to make better money working in porn films than they could by sitting in an office typing all day where they would be hit upon by the male bosses or employees. In porn a girl would know what she was in for and if she was in the mood, have a lot more fun besides. I didn’t hesitate to tell her that I would use her in my next film.
That happened quicker than I expected. Shortly after ‘Sexteen’ was released, Peter called from New York to say that Sue Rowan’s S&M friends had agreed to let us shoot them doing their thing as long as they got to write the script for the scene. He also mentioned that Jennifer Welles, a gorgeous B movie actress, was willing to do a hardcore sex scene if we wrote a part for her into our next movie. He told me she was a glamorous blonde with big breasts and a chorus girl face. Porn had mostly featured young girls, the kind men felt they could dominate, but horny older woman, who knew everything about sex and how to dominate men, were quickly finding their way into the adult film business. Using Jennifer in our next picture would be a real plus.
I told him about Serena and about an idea I had to use her in a lesbian scene and an idea for a sex act that I had seen in a layout in my favorite Swedish porn magazine, Erotica, that showed a girl taking two dicks in her pussy at the same time and then one in her pussy while the other penetrated her ass. If we could find a beautiful girl willing to do a similar act, we would have something sensational that would guarantee mention around the porn circuit. He got back to me a few days later to say that he had a girl who was willing to do the double penetration scene. Her name was Terri Hall, and because she had recently dropped out of the New York Ballet Company so she could pursue a career in porn, she was getting a lot of press.
We both agreed that I should come back to New York as quickly as possible to begin our new production. I would shoot all but the Serena scene in New York, which I would shoot when I returned to California. I hastily wrote a script that had two writers for a men’s magazine pitching ideas to its editor. Al Goldstein offered to play the role of the editor and let us shoot the scene in his office at Screw, all he wanted for pay was a blowjob.
Peter was in an effusive mood when I arrived Saturday evening. To get our next film off to a good start, he took me to a whorehouse that he had previously frequented, but when we walked in unannounced and began to check out the girls, the establishment freaked out. The proprietor – probably a mafia guy – realized we hadn’t called in to make an appointment and fearing that we might be the vice, quickly escorted us out the front door. Evidently, New York sex wasn’t as open as it appeared in the ads that ran in Screw magazine and “vice” still had to be done on the sly. When we got back to Peter’s apartment, he called an out call service that ran an ad in Screw magazine and asked for a couple of girls to be sent over. When they arrived, at 3AM, I was near comatose and could only manage a half-hearted orgasm. Moments after she left I was fast asleep.
On Monday morning we met with Al Goldstein at the Screw office to talk about his upcoming role and blowjob. After going over a few minor details, Al showed me an article he was going to run in the upcoming issue of Screw, about a nearby bar on 8th Avenue that was allowing patrons to eat the dancer’s pussy for a dollar. The bar was only three blocks away and he suggested that the three of us pay them a visit for a pussy lunch.
It was a little past noon, and the small neighborhood bar surprisingly only had a few patrons eating pussy when we arrived. The oval shaped race-track like bar, served as a stage where the girls could saunter around soliciting customers. One of the girls knew Al from when he had dropped in to do the article and joined us as we watched a cute little honey get eaten out on the far side. She allowed the patron about a minute for a buck and when he declined further service, she casually pulled her g-string back up and came our way.
Al Goldstein had a face that always looked like it needed a shave, but that, and the fact that he needed to shed a bunch of pounds, didn’t seem to be a problem the next day for the girl under the desk who had been hired to suck his dick during his scene as an editor. Peter had told her that she was being hired as a performer and her role was to suck Al’s dick under the desk, but we actually had no plans to film her, it was just a ruse to get Al his blowjob. Staying in character, he gave no indication how much he was enjoying himself as he listened to Arlana Blue, a cheeky New York sexpot, and Bobby Astyr, who were playing the roles of the magazine writers pitching him ideas. When I finished shooting Al’s scene, the girl under the desk either didn’t hear cut or was just enjoying herself, because when Al got up to walk away, she crawled out from beneath the desk with his dick still in her mouth. She seemed disappointed when I told her the scene was finished and offered herself to any of us who wanted to fuck her. I was just too busy to oblige, but if I had known it was soon-to-be megastar, Annie Sprinkle, I would have definitely found the time.
Jennifer Welles was even sexier than Peter had described. The scene I had written for her played on a mother son fantasy, an older woman seducing a young virgin boy. I lit the scene with soft light and used a soft focus filter to make it ethereal. She and Sammy Teen, the stage name for the actor who would be seduced by her, gave a gentle and believable performance that would stand in sharp contrast to the one that was to follow, the S&M scene by Sue Rowan’s friends.
Mel White was a tall articulate African American, who, like me, liked to wear hot pants. The other member of their threesome was Mary Stuart, an attractive, but intense brunette in her mid to late twenties. The script that Mel had written was based on the sexual ritual they routinely performed in their private lives. Mel would direct, all I had to do was film the action. It was to be staged in a small windowless room with black walls at their apartment. Hooks, chains and other bondage paraphernalia were already securely attached to the walls. I knew once the halogen lights were turned on, the room would become stifling hot and anything but convenient for filming. Mel mentioned that normally they would not have sex during an S&M session, but as a concession to what we were about, they would do so.
I moved quickly around the room. Using the fact that the wide angle 10mm lens had a wide depth of field, I could kneel next to Mary’s face to shoot a close up of the contortions on her face and then race back by the door to catch a wide shot of the whole scene.
Mary’s eyes had rolled back into her head. Only the whites were showing as she made a last concerted effort to pull the clamps free. She reminded me of a zombie in “Nights of the Living Dead.” But then one of the clamps mercifully broke free. Her look quickly morphs to one of satisfaction and accomplishment. Mel quickly grabs the chain and tugs it until the clamp on the other nipple breaks free.
A smile appears on Mary’s soaking wet face. Her ordeal is over and she shows no signs to indicate that she did not enjoy every minute of it. The three hug as Mary thanks them for her wonderful sexual experience.
I had to remind myself that this was not theatrical and Peter, who had been standing outside the open doorway, was left mouth agape and speechless. Hard to believe it was their normal sex routine. I was sweating profusely from shooting the all hand-held scene. The intensity didn’t allow for any breaks, so I was dying of thirst and probably dropped ten pounds. When I joined Peter outside the room, he had a smile on his face. He knew we had just filmed a classic. A few months later, when Richard Corliss reviewed the picture for Playboy magazine, he advised that the more squeamish might want to retire to the theatre’s lobby until the scene was over.
Deep Throat had already established how Americans would flock to a porn film that showed acts previously not believed possible. Missionary sex, i.e. that which met with approval from the church, was not exciting. The multi penetration scene that I was about to shoot with ballerina Terri Hall would be. We filmed the scene at a rustic vacation home in Woodstock. The script called for Terri to be left alone with two handsome young workers her husband had hired to chop wood. The sight of their shirtless bodies glistening in the sun is enough to cause her to run upstairs to the house’s small attic and masturbate as she watches them toil in the yard below. I shot the scene of her massaging her cunt from the floor to get full benefit of the sensuality of her long well toned legs.
Fantasizing about bizarre sex acts is much easier than actually performing them, especially while being filmed. One of my studs had difficulty sharing Terri’s pussy with the other, Rocky Millstone. It took leaving the room repeatedly to allow him and Terri to get going before Rocky, who could get erect on command, and I could come back in and he could slide his cock into Terri so I could quickly shoot some footage before he went soft again. Terri, who enjoyed having multiple cocks inside of her, did her part by ad-libbing lines expressing her pleasure: “a cock in my cunt and one in my ass” and “two cocks in my cunt.” They gave me the cutaways I could use while doing the editing to make the scene look much more fluid than it actually was.
We spent the night at the cottage so Terri could be dropped off at the set of another film that she had been cast for that was also shooting in Woodstock. You can imagine how stunned I was, when Terri who was sitting on my lap as we were taking her to her next gig, told me she was going to be working on a film produced by Bill Osco – an X-rated ‘Alice in Wonderland’ musical. I was still reticent to put my name on an X-rated film, but Bill didn’t have that problem since he had never been charged. He was now piggybacking his fame as co-producer of ‘Flesh Gordon’ and had wisely hired a competent director, Bud Townsend, and a Playboy cover girl, Kristine DeBell, to be his star. When finished, it would be wildly successful. I had to hand it to him. It was time for me to get over him.
Peter and Barry flew out to San Francisco to be on the set when I shot my recent discovery, Serena, in a lesbian scene. She would be working with one of Alex DeRenzy’s favorites, Sharon Thorpe, a very pretty practicing lesbian. Sharon, in the role of a ballet teacher, convinces Serena to stay after class for a baby oil massage. The two ladies slithering over each others golden bodies was hot. Porn reviewers, Jim Holliday and Bill Margold, would both describe the performance as the best lesbian scene ever. Jim and Artie Mitchell had helped us out by sending us a few girls to be extras in the Serena scene. Afterwards, we headed over to the O’Farrell Theatre. It was the talk of the town. Jim was in an effusive mood when we arrived and brought out the Uzi he had just purchased on the underground market. I had little interest in their assault weapon, but was totally impressed with the club they had put together. It combined the best raunch of New York and Copenhagen under one roof. A twenty-dollar ticket got you an all day pass where you could watch strippers perform in the main room, called New York Live, where after dancing, they circulated through the room to offer lap dances for a dollar or grind their bodies against you if you were leaning against a side wall. More extreme stimulation was offered in the Copenhagen room where girls did themselves with dildos inches from your face and the Ultra room where the girls worked in a circular peep show room and if a patron paid for the little window to rise, a tip would allow you to fondle her tits and pussy. I knew I would return by myself in the near future, but a bizarre quirk in my personality made me feel embarrassed to tell that to anyone.
We named the film ‘Honey Pie’ and I used the alias, Hans Johnson. For the one sheet, Peter hired a top notch New York photographer to shoot Jennifer Welles in a pose reminiscent of the famous Marylyn Monroe playboy calendar pose. It was a knock out. ‘Honey Pie’ had something sweet for everyone and grossed many times our $60,000 budget.
My financial success had blinded me to the fact that I was caught in my own bubble, one that I had no interest, or need for that matter, to break out of. Peter had previously asked me what I wanted to be in the film business and if I would be interested in joining him to make more serious films. I was unclear if my future was as a director, cinematographer, producer or what have you. Peter had no such confusion. While I was doing nothing constructive, he knew he wanted to be a mainstream producer and had already made inroads to know some of the promising New York talent. Wes Craven had made a low budget horror film called ‘Last House on the Left’ (1972) and despite the film’s acclaim, had yet to get another project going. It was originally intended to be a hardcore porn film, but its potential as a horror film was so overwhelming, that its distributor decided to dump the hardcore and go for the fright-night crowd. To encourage and build his relationship with Wes, Peter was already producing a porn film with him to eventually be called, ‘Angela, The Fireworks Woman.’ I declined Peter’s offer, mostly because I valued my freedom and didn’t want to be under anyone’s control. There had been no reason to think that Peter wasn’t going to be successful and it was patently clear that my relationship with him was on a per film basis.
Meanwhile, I had another taboo-busting idea for a Dog Eat Dog Film that would cause a sensation if we could produce it: two identical twin sisters having lesbian sex with each other. It had been almost a half-year since the release of ‘Honey Pie’ and I called Peter to toss my idea at him. Despite his involvement with Wes, he liked my idea and got back to me two weeks later to tell me that two identical twin sisters had just come to New York who were willing to do hardcore lesbian sex. They would do everything from finger fucking to pussy sucking. We both agreed they should be shot immediately before they changed their minds or left town. Wes had done some comedy writing for Peter’s new wife, Liz Torres, and he suggested we let him do the dialogue. I was fine with that but still wanted to keep the structure of the story under my control and quickly put together an outline that detailed the sex acts and set ups that I wanted to use, and sent it to Peter so Wes could get started.
I was in New York a week later, just as Peter was wrapping up Wes’ film. He showed me the rough cut which impressed me more for its cinematic qualities than its eroticism. A scene with a guy clubbing someone with a large fish was notable. Being that Jennifer Welles was such a big hit in ‘Honey Pie,’ we decided to cast her again, this time as a reporter interviewing a famous men’s magazine photographer. During the interview, the photographer describes his favorite layouts. By the end of the interview she is so aroused that she can’t resist disrobing and offering herself to him. It was a simple idea for a way to hook four porn loops together, which is why the films I would do with Dog Eat Dog, would eventually become known as ‘loop carriers.’
The twins, Brooke and Taylor Young, were set to shoot for us the day after I got into town. Their scene would be a parody of the famous Double Mint chewing gum commercials where two twin sisters promote the gum and its tag line: “Double your pleasure, chew Double Mint Gum.” Our story began with a behind the scene look where the girls are in the midst of the advertising photo session. Wes agreed to take the role of the photographer, which did not require nudity or sex. Because the girls find the photographer to be attractive, they play coy and disrupt the flow of the session. But he is all business and they return home frustrated with no other option but to relieve their pent-up passion by making love to each other. I opted to forego my usual trashy cheesecake style and dressed the girls in soft beige colored panties, bras and stockings. Using slow hand held pan shots down their torsos allowed me to get the maximum exploitation of their sensual lithe bodies. When it came to the sex, they had no qualms about kissing each other and sucking on each other’s tits and pussies. It was obvious to me that it was not their first time.
The next day was Saturday and I spent the morning picking up props for a teenager scene staring, Jeannie Dalton, a cherubic and cute little spitfire, that I was going to shoot on Monday. After buying a pair of saddle shoes, ankle sox, short plaid skirt and an assortment of sex toys, including a large cucumber, I dashed over to the Harmony theatre to catch the afternoon show. The place was packed and I soon saw why. For a buck, the dancers were getting down on their backs and sliding up to the edge of the stage with their legs spread so the guys in the front row could suck on their cunts. The New York vice had closed down the little bar Goldstein had taken me to – the owner was none to happy that the story in Screw had alerted the cops to what was going on – but evidently the Harmony had some kind of insider clout and was allowing them to get away with the same raunchy entertainment. Most of the girls were reasonably attractive and I spent the rest of the day gash gorging, hooking back up with Peter in the early evening. Deep-seated shame that I couldn’t dislodge from my psyche, prevented me from telling him what a glorious day I had just had. Then again, keeping my private indulgences to myself actually made them more exciting.
After eating pussy all weekend at the Harmony, I was in high erotic spirits when I went back to work on Monday to shoot Jeanie playing the role of a young high school student. While walking home after school with Billy, a male classmate who is in her sex education class, she discovers that not only is he a virgin, but also doesn’t know how girls can masturbate. Since her parents are still at work, she offers to bring him home and show him how its done.
In an interview with Playboy, Jeanie mentioned that she enjoyed doing the scene, although she could have done without the large cucumber, which she described as painful. Most men are unaware that female porn actresses are not wont to complain, and willingly endure a lot of pain for the sake of giving a good performance, large cucumbers and anal as examples. Jeannie Dalton certainly did that and I considered her scene one of my best.
Before shooting the Jennifer Welles’ scene, I had a day off and headed over to the Harmony thinking I would be lapping on cunts all day. When the first dancer came out from behind the curtain, I put a dollar on the edge of the stage to lure her my way and no sooner did she have her legs spread wide and her g-string pulled to the side, when the near hysterical manager came running from the rear of the theatre waving his arms for her to stop. He nervously made it clear that pussy eating was not allowed during weekdays. To my great disappointment, the Harmony had some deal working with the New York vice that allowed for pussy eating only during the weekends. The day wasn’t a total waste. He made it clear that finger fucking was still permissible, but only during a lap dance and not on the stage.
My stay in New York ended after shooting Jennifer Welles, who did her best to make a hot scene with Ras Kean, who was playing the role of the famous photographer. He arrived late to the set because his cab had been in a bad accident. He was shaken enough that it took him several hours to keep a hard on long enough to make a convincing scene. I hoped that when I got to the editing room, I would be able to do some magic to make it work.
A Civil War parody provided a setting to attack another social taboo – interracial sex. Serena and a beautiful black girl named Desiree West would be the stars in a civil war scene where Johnny, a rebel soldier, played by Serena’s new husband, a stoner named Thomas, returns on horse from a recent battle. It was mind boggling to me why Serena had married such an uninspiring doper, but she would now only work with him in porn scenes. He arrived on the set after staying up all night getting high and after repeated failed attempts to get a boner, I had to reschedule the scene for the next day. It took place in a stable, where Serena and her pretty black maid, reward her lover with a romp in the hay. Desiree was by far the prettiest black girl doing porn and I was fortunate enough to be able to go down on her the previous day when Thomas couldn’t get a hard on. She had a big fan club, including my rock star friend, John Mayall.
The final vignette would be one of my all time favorites. Peter and Barry had again joined my crew and me in San Francisco to assist in the production of an oriental bondage scene starring Linda Wong. None of us had previously met her, having booked her on a recommendation from the Mitchell brothers. After we drove to her apartment to meet her, all I could say to myself was: “Wow.” Beautiful Asian women are the most erotic on the planet and she was all of that. As we were all still ogling she suggested, since her role was to play a hooker, that we take a tour of Oakland’s McArthur Street currently a beehive of scantily clad street walkers prying their trade both day and night. It would give her some inspiration on how to play the part.
McArthur Street was not quite as good as the Rue St Denis, but not bad for America. We were at least on the way to catching up. As we drove around the block several times to admire the girls, a homely honey stood to the side in hot pants pulled on so tight that her slit bulged out. Paris had introduced me to the street hooker bug and so far, because of American laws, satisfying that fantasy had not been possible. I promised myself I would find my way back to McArthur Street before returning to L.A.
Renting a room on the first floor of the luxurious Myako Hotel, located on Post Street just south of Van Ness, provided us a set at little cost. Its décor was perfect and even included a sauna. Knowing the hotel would never allow a porn film to be shot on its premises, we were forced to surreptitiously move all of our equipment, piece by piece, into the room the day before we filmed.
After Peter, Barry and my crew had a 6AM breakfast at a café on Van Ness, we were back in the hotel room shooting Linda’s scene where her ‘john,’ played by Ken Scudder, asks for some ‘kinky’ sex. She has no objections and he has her lie down on a thin bamboo cushion placed on the floor so he can bind her ankles to a bamboo pole.
While uttering ad-libbed lines that make him sound like a harmless pervert, Ken begins by using a Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator to gently stimulate the inside of her thighs with low frequency vibrations.
I had studied Oriental rope binding techniques from several of the Oriental Bondage magazines I had in my private collection and understood that it was essential that the various wraps had to be made with clean thick white ropes and meticulously wound so no overlapping spaces appeared between each winding. The effect was to make it clear that the female had willingly subjected herself to be tied up, showing that the eroticism was mutually agreeable and not psychotic torture or rape.
The confined space made her face and body perspire and restricted me to using a 10mm lens. I judiciously took advantage of its wide angle and deep depth of field, by placing it right next to the base of Ken’s penis, so I could capture Linda’s face. The frantic joy she shows made it the best blowjob scene of my career.
Peter and Barry returned to New York and I had (Walter) Cichy and Rogers drive the Graffitti van back to L.A., so I could remain in Frisco for an extra day. I couldn’t get Linda’s hot dick-sucking face out of my mind and fantasized, after she agreed to let me take her out for dinner the next night, that I would soon be inside her.
The evening didn’t go as planned. The window table at a Sausalito restaurant overlooking the bay, wasn’t romantic enough to overcome the dull and uninspiring conversation I was able to provide, possibly, because all I could think of was how beautiful she was and how good it was going to feel once I was inside her. I came off like a nerd. When I drove her home, she declined to invite me up to her place, giving me the suspect excuse that she was living with someone and it wouldn’t be cool. Right!
I had become quite skilful as an erotic editor and cut all the scenes in the film so they worked to perfection, including the one with Ras Kean and Jennifer Welles. There was not even a hint of the struggle that took place to get the scene shot. Following up on the pastry theme, we called the film ‘Sweet Cakes’ and again gave it the byline “Featuring Many Never Before Seen Erotic Beauties.” The gay incest scene with Brooke and Taylor Young was the talk of the “adult” town and Dog Eat Dog had its third hit in a row.
Even though we were twenty miles north of Santa Monica, there were always beautiful girls stopping by. Penthouse Pet, Helen Lang, a raven-haired Latino beauty with dark flashing eyes, danced with (my wife) Judy at The Ball. She had been coming by the house from time to time, sometimes with a male friend and sometimes by herself. By some sixth sense that I had no clue from where it came, I knew that she liked to be spanked and after I took her by the arm on one of her visits, and bent her across my knee, all the time telling her what a naughty girl she had been, to administer a few firm harmless swats to her behind, we became good friends. Because I was the only one who recognized her need for discipline, she expected and was delighted when I accommodated her with a spanking when she visited. On occasion, she would offer me a blowjob if we were in my car together, but our relationship was more akin to that of a father and daughter – a very naughty daughter.
In the early spring of 1977, she came up to the house mid-week with Earl Miller; the photographer who had shot the Penthouse layout of her that appeared in July of 1976 that earned her Pet of The Month. Earl was always looking for locations to shoot at and her description of our house and the last Halloween party had peaked his interest. It would turn out that we had a lot in common.
We both had gone to college in Boston; he at Tufts and I at MIT. He had been taking pre-med and like me, dropped out of school and came to Los Angeles. Like me, his obsession with sexy women led to a career in the adult entertainment business. By the time he left that day, we had become quite friendly and I told him to feel free to stop by on any Sunday afternoon when we spent time with friends around the pool.
The following Sunday he accepted my offer and came by with his girl friend, a quiet but stunning Penthouse Pet, named Vikki. We spent the afternoon smoking grass and playing eight ball in the grotto room. Earl liked to analyze each shot to find its fullest potential and a game that would normally take five or ten minutes, took a half hour. I would come to realize that his patience was what made him such a good photographer.
When he returned the following week, he not only came with Vikki, but also with another Penthouse Pet, Moira Weiss, her husband Barry and an eighteen year-old sister named Duane. The sexual energy at the house was already high, but it was about to explode big time.
The sisters, like my wife, were from conservative New Hampshire, which I now knew meant that they were probably anything but. Both were baby-faced, Moira very cute with freckles and Duane with a body that still carried some baby fat. Renowned photographer Ron Raffaelli, Jimi Hendrix’s personal photographer, had shot Moira in a hardcore lesbian layout for Puritan Magazine. In it she makes love with a beautiful eighteen-year old girl named Valerie. Her innocent face belied her willingness to embark on sexual adventures. I would eventually learn that while still in high school, her fantasy was to move to Boston as soon as she graduated so she could become a street hooker, working the beat in front of the State theatre at the south end of the ‘war zone.’ She gave up her street walker fantasy when she met Barry Weiss, who, as the black-sheep son of renowned composer George Weiss, famed for his many all time classics such as “What a Wonderful Life” and “Lullaby of Birdland,” was as wild and unusual as she was.
While I sat with Earl and Barry under an umbrella to shade us from the sun, Barry explained that, inspired by the French soft-core porn film ‘Emmanuelle,’ (1974) he and the sisters had formed a sexual fantasy cult that he had named, ‘The Magic Theatre.’ I had no idea what he was talking about. A few other people had dropped by to hang around the pool and I had lost sight of the sisters who had wondered off. I was in the midst of sharing a joint with Earl and Barry, who after exhaling the deep toke he had just taken, looked at me with an elfin like smile and nodded with his head for Earl and me to take a look towards the pool. The two sisters were sitting on the wide steps that led into its shallow end and taking turns eating each other out. Barry remarked nonchalantly: “that is so cool.” ‘The Magic Theatre’ was indeed spellbinding.
Word quickly spread that weekends at Howard and Judy’s house were hot, and not because of the sun. More guests began to stop by.
While my iron was still in the fire with ‘Dog Eat Dog,’ I suggested we make another ‘pastry film.’ To find new talent and give it a non-American ambiance, I told him I wanted to shoot a few scenes in Europe. We had made a lot of money together and both Peter and Barry green-lighted the proposal.
An idea borrowed from a photo layout I had seen in an issue of the Swedish porn magazine, Eros, was to be the foundation of the loop carrier script. It would have a Rod Serling ‘Twilight Zone’ twist. A man browsing in a used bookstore is invited by the stores elderly owner to join him in a back room to see something very unusual. Thinking he is about to see illegal pornography, he accepts the offer. But upon entering the dimly lit room, he discovers that he has entered a small art gallery with several gilded framed paintings of handsome young couples hanging on the wall. At the far side of the room is an exotically attired statuesque woman kneeling on a small stage where she is masturbating with a two foot long silver pole. As the man is transfixed on what he is seeing, a strange aura suddenly envelops the room that causes the man to begin to hallucinate that the paintings are coming to life.
I had intended for one of the paintings to be a scene with a French whore on the Rue St Denis. Walter and I would fly there so we could shoot the sexy looking girls working their trade. Afterwards we would drive to Denmark to shoot a scene or two with some Danish porn actresses.
The Rue St. Denis idea fell flat on its ass immediately. When the girls recognized that we were trying to surreptitiously photograph them as we drove down the rue, all hell broke out. Walter was driving and I was in the back seat with the camera peeking out from the back window of the car we had rented. The rue, jammed with horn dogs eyeing the girls, was moving slowly. I hadn’t rolled fifteen seconds of film when one of them noticed what I was up to and screamed “FOTOGRAPHIE! FOTOGRAPHIE!, FOTOGRAPHIE!” Like little bunnies diving into their hutches, every girl ran with practiced efficiency for cover down any alley or doorway they could find. Because of the narrowness of the street and the fact that it was jammed with cars, there was no way for us to make a quick exit. I rolled up the back window, hoping the hooker’s panic would subside, but as we slowly edged down the rue, the screams of rage continued. I was afraid that pimps would emerge from the shadows and beat the shit out of us or worse – take my ten thousand dollar camera. I told Walter we had to get the fuck out of there, but the gator, who didn’t like to give in to anything, tried to convince me that we should give it another try. I would hear none of it. As soon as we reached Rue Réaumur, I told him to take a right turn and get us the fuck away. We had escaped unscathed and still had our camera. So much for the Rue St Denis shot.
We split Paris the next morning and headed for Copenhagen where Barry Cahn had arranged for me to meet with Berth Milton, the publisher of the Swedish porn magazine, ‘Private.’ He had graciously agreed to give me some inroads to his talent.
On the way we made a stop in Hamburg, the German seaport city renown for it’s brothels and prostitutes. Maybe I could get the footage I was looking for there. Once we checked into a hotel, I left Walter in the room to call his new wife, Vikki, to convince her that he was being a good boy, while I wondered down to the Bunderstag to see what the famed German sex market offered. When I couldn’t find a single working girl on the street, I began to think that I was in the wrong area. But just as I was about to leave, I spotted a sign in the middle of the block that advertised a live sex show. The entry to the club was an open portal framed by red lights, the international symbol for sexual entertainment.
After pushing back a black curtain to take a peek inside, I was disappointed to find that there were no girls performing on the small stage at the back of the sparsely lit room and was about to leave when a plump girl grabbed my arm and ushered me into the darkness to a table near the stage. Before I could say Jackie Robinson, I was asked to buy the two of us a drink, which was understood not to be a request, but a demand. Against my better judgment, I obliged.
The equivalent of forty bucks in German Marks, got me two watered down drinks and the privilege of suffering through several minutes of inane conversation with my new plump friend. Since no entertainment had come to the stage, I was again about to leave when a stocky German emcee appeared on stage and called for us to give a big hand for ‘Nadine.’ I gave ‘Big Benaldo’ a few squeezes to alert him that he was about to be aroused. But the sight of Nadine quickly put that idea to rest. She was a thirty-some-year-old with stringy bleach blond hair and a small potbelly. After sitting down on a wooden chair that faced the audience, she pulled up her dress, pushed her pelvis forward and spread her legs to reveal her hairy snatch. With a look of ennui on her face, she proceeded to insert a run-of-the-mill dildo up her vaginal canal. For all the excitement she showed, she could have been shoveling coal. I pitied the poor dildo.
Then came the big finale. A scratchy LP provided a bit of fanfare music as the emcee welcomed ‘Mr. X’ to the stage. He was a barrel-bodied, balding German, wearing a silver mask over his eyes. If anyone could be less appealing than Nadine; it was he. I surmised the mask was to keep his reputation in the community safe from calumny. When the emcee announced: “Duh Nadine will now fuck duh Mr. X, I couldn’t imagine who else would want to fuck either one of them, so resigning myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get my rocks off, and not wanting to risk having the repulsive vision of “Mr. X fucking duh Nadine“ churning in my head for the next month, I scooted out of the place and rejoined the Gator at the hotel. He was fast asleep; an indication that he had convinced his nervous wife that he was not straying.
A short trip on the Autobahn, where eighty miles per hour is considered slow, found us in Copenhagen, the city where the sexual revolution had begun. The moisture in the air and the eternal dusk due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle, made the city seem bleak and did nothing to lift my spirits from the fiascoes I had recently experienced in Paris and Hamburg. It had been said that the reason Scandinavians are so sexual is because living in that kind of atmosphere leaves nothing else to do but fuck.
The Regency hotel was located in the town center and within sight of Old Town and the Tivoli, the cities famous amusement park. Walter, as usual, began by calling his wife and as usual I went out looking for pussy. A brochure in the hotel lobby led me to a club located in a nearby upscale business area. When I peeked in, I saw two beautiful girls on the stage and a sign that said the cover charge was a hundred-dollars. I peeked right out. I preferred cheap sluts, not high priced prima donnas. There was no street action that I could see and I began to fear that the entire European trip was going to be a waste.
It almost was. The sun which finally set at 11PM but came back up four hours later at 3AM, made sleeping difficult. Until we could meet with Milton, Walter and I took a walk around the area. As Americans, it was hard to feel comfortable. Anti war posters were everywhere. One bookstore had its entire front window plastered with Nixon War Criminal posters and a slew of books supporting that contention.
Milton greeted us with typical Scandinavian coolness. He was happy to help us out, but almost all of the girls I had seen in his magazines were no longer available. I had decided that shooting sex scenes in Europe would expose me to having the footage confiscated by American customs when I returned, so I told Milton I was looking for a couple of girls who would be willing to fly to LA and work for me there. He recommended two girls that he thought would be right for me.
The first, a Lithuanian girl named Barbo, turned out to be an expensive disaster. After paying for a round trip ticket for her to fly to the States, she wasn’t off the plane for a half-hour before she was telling me what she wouldn’t do and because I had failed to check out her body while in Copenhagen, I discovered when she went outside to tan herself by the pool, it had deteriorated to the point of being unattractive. I cut my losses by sending her back the next day on the first plane available.
Milton’s top photographer was to introduce me to the second girl the next morning at a local coffee shop. The stunning young blond he brought along made my pulse rise. I had seen her in several hardcore layouts in Private magazine; one with American porn model, Eric Edwards, playing the role of a priest receiving a blowjob. Her name was Anna Magle. When she told me that she had just turned eighteen, I realized, since her layout had been published two years earlier, that she had been doing porn since she was sixteen. She was obviously a wild girl.
At one point, the conversation turned to a discussion about a Pakistani girl that I had asked Milton about when I was at his office. It made him very upset and any discussion of her ended quickly. The reason was a very tragic story. She was not only Milton’s favorite model, but also his lover. During a weekend sojourn in his Rolls Royce to northern Sweden, an argument had erupted and in a rage, he had shoved her out of the car while it was still moving. Her arm became tangled in the door and was so severely mangled that it had to be amputated.
After the thought of that depressing story subsided, I told Anna I would like to use her in my film. She was happy with the same offer I had given Barbo, so I told her to make arrangements to get a visa and I would send her a ticket in a few weeks. She was very excited about coming to the States and even invited Walter and I to join her at a local disco later that evening. It would be the beginning of a life long friendship and the start of an incredible adventure for her.
Deciding not to shoot in Europe had been wise. When we landed in Los Angeles, Walter and I were made to wait in a holding room while the U.S. customs searched my camera for contraband. If I had brought film back, more than likely, it would have been confiscated. After two hours, I was given back my equipment and we were released. In Europe we had crossed multiple borders without the slightest problem. Things were not so easy in the “land of the free.”
Anna’s scene was with newcomer Joey Silvera. It was hot so I was surprised to hear her tell me the next day that she wasn’t turned on to him. She was going to remain in the States for three weeks and would be staying in my guesthouse. I wanted to fuck her in the worst way, but sensed that if I moved too fast it would blow my chances. I recognized that she had different standards for ‘free sex’ and ‘paid sex.’ Paid sex was a job and free sex was for enjoyment. I had lots of time. By the third week, my inclination had proved to be correct and we became good friends, sexually and otherwise.
When I saw her off at the airport, it was doubtful that I would ever see her again, so it came as a complete surprise when she called a month later to tell me she was back in L.A. Even more surprising, was that she was now married to an American citizen and had plans to become a citizen herself. While in the lobby of the L.A. International airport, two middle-aged Iranian-Americans, Keon and Cyrus, sat nearby, waiting to board the same flight. Cyrus, nudged his friend, Keon: “Get a load of the one sitting over there.” Though not physically dashing, he made up for any shortcomings with high-energy, resourcefulness and self-confidence. He went to the boarding counter and arranged for his seat to be changed so that he could sit next to Anna during the long transatlantic flight. By the time they landed in Denmark, he had fallen in love with her and being that she had already fallen in love with the United States, was able to get her to agree to marry him for one year, the time required to be granted a permanent green card. Much to my joy, she told me she would not be living with him during the year and would be available to date me if I liked.
Judy and I had already agreed to make Saturday night our independent night out on the town. Anna was too independent minded be become anyone’s mistress, and I wasn’t looking for one, but the relationship we would have was even better; sex and friendship without commitment. It came at good time. My sex life with Judy was hitting the seven-year mark and the excitement was beginning to wane. The fact that Judy and Anna got along well, made adjusting to that, even easier.
Before traveling to Europe, I had already shot a very exciting scene with Gail Lawrence, whose stage name was Abigail Clayton. She was a strikingly beautiful blond who played the role of a socialite who asks her date to sit up front with the limo driver and watch while she is driven around town and picks up strangers to have sex with her in the back seat. Gail had flown down from San Francisco with her husband and new born child to take the role and as we drove to our first location, she told me a story that was most amusing and indicative of the times.
As she suckled her newborn child on her still lactating breast, she told me that a few months prior, she knew she was about to appear in a pictorial feature in Playboy magazine called; ‘The Girls of Porn.’ It was creating a dilemma for her. Her folks were conservative Easterners – her father a successful doctor – and she knew that after the magazine came out it was only a matter of time before it was brought to their attention. Their daughter would be exposed as a porn star. To mitigate their shock, she began hinting that there was something she had to tell them. This went on for some time without her revealing what it was. But a week before the issue of Playboy was to hit the street, she called them to break the news and fess up about what she had to tell them. Rather than the gasps of dismay that she had expected, she got a huge sigh of relief. “Oh my god, we’re so happy to hear that. We thought you had joined the SLA (the group who had kidnapped Patty Hearst) or something like that.” Just being a porn star was no longer shameful.
Mercy Lamont had been pining to have sex with Judy for well over a year. In fact, a lot of girls had crushes on Judy. After practically begging me to shoot a scene of the two of them making love, I agreed after Judy, though not overtly bisexual, agreed I staged an antebellum picnic where they join a gentleman for a picnic in the countryside. After he over-imbibes and passes out, the girls are left with no other option but to entertain themselves. When I got home after the shoot, I caught hell from Judy. Part of the love making routine I staged called for her to be on her hands and knees with Mercy’s head laying between her legs. I then had Mercy take a bottle of wine and reach up so she could pour some over Judy’s butt crack and let it run down across her pussy and into her mouth. It was hot and painful. I had no clue that the wine made her sensitive skin burn like hell.
When Peter and Barry paid a visit to Mickey Zaffarano, a no-necked grey haired capo in the Bonanno family who once had done a solid stretch in the joint, to work out a deal for our new film, ‘Hot Cookies,’ to play in one of the adult theatres he controlled in Manhattan, it would not go well. His office was in Times Square above the ‘Playland Emporium’, a facility where I had enjoyed good experiences when I had previously stopped in for some peep show fun. Peter and Barry wanted a deal where we would earn a percentage of the gross; New York was a large source of our potential profit. But Mickey didn’t see it that way. He wasn’t willing to consider any kind of revenue sharing deal and only willing to offer a flat fee; in essence, his deal would remove the lucrative New York market from our earnings potential. As Peter told me later, when he cut into Mickey’s spiel to make a counterpoint, Mickey just glared at him and spoke slowly with a mobster like cadence:
“When I talk…. ……you don’t talk………. Understand?!”
We got around his obstinacy by four-walling a theatre in Manhattan, where thanks to a strong word-of-mouth, ‘Hot Cookies’ wound up doing very well. But the scenario in Zaffarano’s office was a harbinger of where the theatrical porn business was headed. The freewheeling days were coming to an end! Each of the Dog Eat Dog films took up to three weeks to shoot and a couple of months to edit. If pictures didn’t make a profit, there would be no money to produce another one. The days of big budget porn could not survive under Zaffarano’s formula. He was too stupid to see that he was cutting his own throat.