XXX Wasteland

Adult Industry News Items, Interviews and More

Search Results

Tod Hunter Press Release: “Golden Goddesses” and Jill Nelson Return to Hollywood This Wednesday

leave a comment »

GoldenGoddessesFrontHOLLYWOOD, Calif — Author Jill Nelson’s return to the iconic Larry Edmunds Bookstore in Hollywood to celebrate the first anniversary of her oral history of the ’70s Golden Age of Adult Movies, “Golden Goddesses,” will take place Wednesday night. Nelson previously co-authored a biography of adult film superstar John C. Holmes, “A Life Measured in Inches.”

The signing and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, October 16 at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in the heart of Hollywood. Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a source for memorabilia and books about show business for more than 70 years. The signing will include a reading of excerpts from the book, and a Q and A session involving Nelson and ’70s Golden Age performers Ginger Lynn, Georgina Spelvin, Kay Parker, Rhonda Jo Petty, Kitten Natividad, and screenwriter Raven Touchstone. Other ’70s Golden Age luminaries are expected to attend as well.

Weighing in at a massive 950 pages, “Golden Goddesses” profiles 25 actresses who were active in adult film between 1968 and 1985, when film began to be replaced by videotape as the medium of choice for adult production.

“The interviews were conducted to escort readers toward a clearer understanding of the beautiful and intrepid females who favored an alternative profession in adult cinema that was cultivated at the apex of the 1960s sexual revolution,” Nelson said.

“I’ve been pleased and gratified by the reaction to the book,” Nelson added. “For the fans who remember the Goddesses, it’s a chance to see their careers through their eyes – and for the fans who have only watched adult material on home video, it’s a look into the recent past of the industry, told by the people who were there.”

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. The signing will begin at 7:30 pm. Seating will be limited, but attendance can be guaranteed with advance purchase of “Golden Goddesses” while space is available. Call Larry Edmunds Bookshop to order the book or to RSVP at 323-463-3273.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Nelson said. “The fans of the Goddesses are so loyal, and the Goddesses enjoy seeing and talking with their fans. We had a great time last year, and I can’t wait to do it again.”

For those who cannot make the book signing, “Golden Goddesses” is available at online bookstores worldwide. It is published by Bear Manor Media and the ISBN is 978-159393298-5.

Written by Adam Wilcox

October 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

Posted in Press Releases

Tod Hunter Press Release: Jill Nelson and “Golden Goddesses” Returning to Hollywood

leave a comment »

GoldenGoddessesFrontHOLLYWOOD, Calif — Author Jill Nelson has scheduled a return to the iconic Larry Edmunds Bookstore in Hollywood to celebrate the first anniversary of her oral history of the ’70s Golden Age of Adult Movies, “Golden Goddesses.” Nelson previously co-authored a biography of adult film superstar John C. Holmes, “A Life Measured in Inches.”

The massive 950-page volume profiles 25 actresses who were active in adult film between 1968 and 1985, when film began to be replaced by videotape as the medium of choice for adult production.

“The interviews were conducted to escort readers toward a clearer understanding of the beautiful and intrepid females who favored an alternative profession in adult cinema that was cultivated at the apex of the 1960s sexual revolution,” Nelson said.

“I’ve been pleased and gratified by the reaction to the book,” Nelson added. “For the fans who remember the Goddesses, it’s a chance to see their careers through their eyes – and for the fans who have only watched adult material on home video, it’s a look into the recent past of the industry, told by the people who were there.”

The signing and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, October 16 at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in the heart of Hollywood. Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a source for memorabilia and books about show business for more than 70 years. The signing will include a reading of excerpts from the book, and a Q and A session involving Nelson and ’70s Golden Age performers Ginger Lynn, Georgina Spelvin, Kay Parker, Rhonda Jo Petty, Kitten Natividad, and screenwriter Raven Touchstone. Other ’70s Golden Age luminaries are expected to attend as well.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. The signing will begin at 7:30 pm. Seating will be limited, but attendance can be guaranteed with advance purchase of “Golden Goddesses” while space is available. Call Larry Edmunds Bookshop to order the book or to RSVP at 323-463-3273.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Nelson said. “The fans of the Goddesses are so loyal, and the Goddesses enjoy seeing and talking with their fans. We had a great time last year, and I can’t wait to do it again.”

For those who cannot make the book signing, “Golden Goddesses” is available at online bookstores worldwide. It is published by Bear Manor Media and the ISBN is 978-159393298-5.

Written by Adam Wilcox

October 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

Posted in Press Releases

Tod Hunter Press Release: Jill Nelson Brings “Golden Goddesses” to Exxxotica New Jersey

leave a comment »

GoldenGoddessesFrontATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Author Jill Nelson will be appearing at EXXXOTICA in Atlantic City to sign her new book, “Golden Goddesses.” The massive 950-page volume profiles 25 actresses who were active in adult film between 1968 and 1985, when film began to be replaced by videotape as the medium of choice for adult production.

“My intention is to escort readers toward a clearer understanding of the beautiful and intrepid females who favored an alternative profession in adult cinema that was cultivated at the apex of the 1960s sexual revolution,” Nelson said. “To suggest that their chosen path has been comfortable or without debris would be false, for as each unfolding story will reveal, experiences for a female employed in the adult entertainment industry during the generation when it was illegal to participate in the production of sex films, were anything but ordinary.”

The book has received a number of laudatory reviews. GoreGoreGirl.com said: “Nelson’s agenda-free approach is refreshing in that it allows for the full spectrum of experiences: good, bad, and in between. For this reason, the book is not always a comfortable read.

The project prompts questions, provokes critical thinking, and opens up a space for these women to truly voice themselves and their experiences rather than functioning as a ‘ventriloquist’s dummy,’ to borrow Anne McClintock’s phrase, for whichever agenda-driven group needs them. Through careful structuring, Nelson manages to narrate these women’s stories while at the same time never overshadowing or undermining their voices.”

The release of “Golden Goddesses” was celebrated at two Hollywood launch parties, one at the flagship Hustler Hollywood store on the Sunset Strip and one at the legendary Larry Edmunds bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard just down the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Both parties featured appearances by many of the woman involved in the book, including Kay Parker, Veronica Hart, Serena, Rhonda Jo Petty, Amber Lynn, Ginger Lynn, Georgina Spelvin, Annie Sprinkle, Kitten Natividad, Kelly Nichols, Sharon Mitchell, Christy Canyon, Nina Hartley, Laurie Holmes, Julia St. Vincent, Raven Touchstone and Carly Mills, daughter of the late softcore actress Barbara Mills.

“I’m looking forward to EXXXOTICA,” Nelson said. “It’s rewarding to see that people are interested in the history of the adult film industry, as told by the people who were there.”

Nelson will have a limited number of copies of “Golden Goddesses” available for purchase, and she will be happy to sign previously-purchased books brought by fans.

“Golden Goddess” Nina Hartley will also be available to sign the book at the booth on a limited schedule.

EXXXOTICA takes place April 19-21 at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort, 1000 Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. For more information visit the EXXXOTICA website at http://ac.exxxoticaexpo.com/.

For those who cannot get to EXXXOTICA,”Golden Goddesses” is available at online bookstores worldwide. It is published by Bear Manor Media and the ISBN is 978-159393298-5.

For more information and to book media interviews, contact Jill Nelson directly at nelson4@cogeco.ca.

Written by Adam Wilcox

April 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Press Releases

XXX Wasteland Exclusive Interview: Jill C. Nelson

leave a comment »

GoldenGoddessesFrontFans of adult starlets of yesteryear look no further than Jill C. Nelson’s latest book, Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985, for a comprehensive documentation of their favorite performers from porn’s “Golden Era.”

Nelson, who earned adult industry historian status by co-authoring 2008’s John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches along with Jennifer Sugar, provides readers with an equally in-depth look at the lives and careers of erotic actresses from the late-60s to mid-1980s time period with Goddesses, a 946-page tome written over the course of three-and-a-half years.

Nelson’s high regard for her interview subjects is clear and unmistakable within the pages of Goddesses, offering readers a refreshing presentation of the stars’ personal lives as well as their impact on the world of adult entertainment.

Among the ladies profiled in Goddesses are Marilyn Chambers, Julia St. Vincent, Amber Lynn, Nina Hartley, Veronica Hart, Christy Canyon, Georgina Spelvin, Gloria Leonard, Rhonda Jo Petty, Ginger Lynn and many others.

Jill kindly spoke with XXX Wasteland on the afternoon of February 19 to discuss the conception and creation of Goddesses, the book’s highly publicized launch party this past November in California, a possible future project pertaining to the adult industry and more.

You can visit the official Golden Goddesses blog at this link and follow Jill on Twitter under the handle @HolmesInches. The book may be purchased at the following links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

BearManor Media

Chapters

Check out Jill Nelson’s June 2011 with XXX Wasteland discussing Inches at this link.

(Photo #2 courtesy of Amanda Brooks. Photos #3 and #4 courtesy of EMM Report)

As many people are aware, you co-authored the Inches biography on John Holmes several years ago along with Jennifer Sugar. Can you tell us how the idea for Golden Goddesses came about?

Yeah. I remember Jennifer – who actually initiated A Life Measured in Inches – and I, we were in Las Vegas to promote the book. It was probably about six months after we finished the book and I got thinking that there is just this wealth of information that the women we had talked to for Inches, I just knew there was a wealth of information to tap into. And I thought it would be really interesting to get their stories because I know that several of them have been interviewed over the years and so on, but I don’t think really recently and not as in-depth as I thought they should have been interviewed. And that is sort of what my idea was – to allow them to share their stories, from the childhood years, throughout their careers and up until the point of what they are doing today.

Two key differences between Inches and Goddesses are a) You wrote the new book yourself and b) Goddesses focuses on the lives and careers of 25 performers – more, actually, if you take into account the “Honorable Mentions” section – rather than profiling one individual as with the Holmes bio. Can you talk about the differences in regard to those two aspects?

That’s a good question, Adam. (Laughs) Both books had elements that were difficult or challenging and both books, I guess you would say, had easier elements. In a way, it was easier doing Inches just because we were focusing on one individual. So, everybody that we talked to only had to give us information about John and we really only had to dig up information on one individual and watch movies on only one individual.

But on the other hand, when you are doing a book on one person and trying to make it as informative and in-depth as you possibly can, you really want to do a lot of digging. And I know we did – we obviously did. But Goddesses was tricky because you are trying to do 25 mini-biographies and still you want to make it enjoyable, you hope that you are revealing some new information, and again, you want to treat the subject with a great level of respect – especially when you are writing about a subject that is so taboo. I think then you really have to kind of … not go out of your way, but you really have to take care to present your subjects respectfully if you want to do a book that is worth reading. In both cases, we could have sensationalized these people and we chose not to.

But there are pros and cons. It’s kind of nice to do a book about 25 people because you know that you can’t go into the kind of depth that you can with one. But on the other hand, it’s harder, like I just said, because you’re trying to condense a lot of information into what you hope is sort of a readable mini-bio.

And as you said, the profiles would probably be classified as mini-bios, but they are pretty comprehensive. I wouldn’t consider them “small” profiles, especially considering there are 25 of them contained in one book.

Well, I’m glad you say that because I don’t think they are, either. Obviously, some chapters are longer than others because, say, for Ginger Lynn, we had three (interview) sessions. And Amber as well – Amber Lynn. I don’t know why it was. It’s just that they just had a lot to share and they wanted to use this opportunity to really be able to tell all, so to speak, whereas I guess Jody Maxwell’s chapter is relatively small, (as is) Laurie Holmes’, Kitten Natividad. Laurie has been interviewed a lot in the past, mostly about John. So, I thought it was a really good opportunity for her to be able to talk about herself and her own career. But again, because she had been interviewed a lot, she didn’t feel a need to go on and on.

But I kind of just let them lead the way and when we started opening up the conversation, I let them take me to where they wanted to go. I had a set list of questions, but I still let them take me where they wanted to go, which is why the chapters are varying lengths.

You wrote Goddesses over the course of three years, is that right?

Yeah. Really, from start to finish, it was about three-and-a-half years.

Obviously, during that time, you travelled extensively to conduct interviews in addition to all the research – film viewing and reading up on interviewees – and then the actual writing and structuring of the book. Throughout that entire process, are there any experiences that stand out in your mind?

Yeah. Actually, there are a few. I should say that really, I only interviewed Seka in person. I did go to Montreal – she happened to be coming to Montreal with her husband, who was going to be there on business – and because we don’t live very far away, I went and interviewed her in person. But what I ended up doing was I interviewed everybody and then I made trips – to California a couple of times and New York – to meet some of the women after the fact because I wanted to be able to include a personal experience with as many of the ladies as I could. So, I didn’t necessarily interview them in person, but I at least did get to meet most of them – I would say 20 of them – after the fact or even throughout the course of working on Inches.

One of the real fun things: my girlfriend and I went to New York in June to visit her son, who lives in Brooklyn. I had not yet met Gloria Leonard or Candida Royalle before and I really wanted to because I had already written their chapters and I had interviewed Candida for A Life Measured in Inches as well. I’d had an ongoing conversation with her for about five years and I wanted to meet them. As you noticed in the book, Gloria was going to be in town from Hawaii the same week and it just turned out that a friend of theirs, Veronica Vera – who is a friend of Annie Sprinkle’s and worked in porn for a little bit and is an activist – they were going to have a reunion because Veronica was getting married and it just happened that it was going to be the same weekend that I was going (to New York) with my girlfriend. I really didn’t plan it to be that weekend. Candida said, “We’re going to be meeting up on the Sunday. A friend of mine has this little boat in the marina” – West 49th Street, I think it was, in Manhattan. We met up and we just had an absolute ball. We were only there for a couple of hours, but Gloria is just outrageous and so funny. They are just a riot. We just missed Veronica Hart by about an hour; she was coming later. We just had such a great time; we had a little bit of wine and fruit and veggies. There were, I think, seven or eight of us on the boat and it was like I’d known them for years. It was just so much fun. And my girlfriend – she works as a nurse and has had no exposure to this at all except for the fact that she knows me and I’ve written these two books – she and her daughter-in-law just had a blast, too. It was really great and it was a beautiful day. It was in June and here we were. I thought, “Here I am with these ladies and they are just so incredible.” It was just lots of fun. That just stands out for me.

Also, meeting Roberta Findlay was really a trip. I’m pretty sure you are familiar with Roberta’s films. She has a reputation for being somewhat of a recluse. She really isn’t, but the thing is, she just doesn’t really embrace her past in porn. So, some people might interpret that as being that she is reclusive, whereas she just doesn’t really get off on talking about it like some of the other people I interviewed – they enjoy their careers and they kind of embrace it and they revere some of the people in the industry, where Roberta has really moved on and she’s very involved in the recording industry in New York, which is equally as fascinating. My husband and I went – this was a different trip to New York and I had already interviewed her, but I wanted to meet her in person – and she was just so self-deprecating and very witty, very dry, but I thought, “I can see how people would take her the wrong way.” If you don’t “get” her, you are looking for something she really is not.  She is not what people conjure up in their mind. She is just very different and very down-to-Earth and very Roberta Findlay.

But I really enjoyed her. She took us on a tour of the studio and I mentioned Sting had been there the day before. But it was just so fascinating talking to her. I actually called her a couple of weeks ago and I said, “The book is out now. I’m sorry I haven’t sent you a copy yet, but I’m going to be sending it to you.” So, I’m going to be calling her next week just to see. She did read her chapter – the interview before the book was published – but I’m really interested to see what she will have to say about it.

Rhonda Jo Petty, too – I visited her at her ranch. She is just so down-to-Earth as well and she is just so unpretentious – that is what really strikes me about Rhonda. She’s just a wonderful person. She’s had a lot of demons to battle and continues to battle. But you just cannot help but love her. She’s just a terrific girl.

537714_10152304726110463_1983546289_nYeah. I remember way back before the book was released you posted a preview of her profile – I’m not sure if hers was the first you put up, but I think it was one of them – and even just reading that was pretty powerful.

Yeah. And I’m sure when you were reading through the whole chapter, then you really get the true picture – the whole picture.

Yes.

She’s been through a lot. These ladies have been through a lot of stuff and come up on the other end. They don’t denigrate the industry. Laurie has had a lot of things to say about the industry – she said to me just a couple of weeks ago, “I hope I didn’t come across as too harsh.” I said, “You have a right to say what your experience is and don’t worry about it.” And I think that’s okay, I think that’s perfectly fine.

And I think much of Laurie’s criticism of the business goes way back to when her husband, John Holmes, was dying of AIDS and she felt many people in the industry did not support him.

It does. It goes back to that and that’s really where it all started. Plus, she’s grown up a lot over the years. She said to me recently, “Sometimes I just wish that I had gone to university, met a really nice guy and gotten married.” She said, “I think about that more and more now.” She’s going to be 50 this year and although she’s happy in her life, you cannot help but be retrospective about your life even if you are not in the industry.

Right. Going back to Roberta Findlay for a second, that was actually one of my favorite chapters reading about how involved she is with her studio – in Manhattan, I believe?

Yeah.

There are many famous artists who record there regularly. It was very interesting.

Yes. That was just incredible. I remember her saying to us, “I don’t even know who half of these people are.” She sort of said, “As long as they pay the bills.” (Laughs) But she respects them and they respect her. Yoko Ono – who does record there quite frequently – she absolutely adored Walter (Sear), who started the studio. Roberta said because of that, sort of by osmosis, Yoko now tolerates her. (Laughs) It’s funny.

Yeah. The official book launch was this past November at Hustler Hollywood in California, is that right?

Yes.

It was well-covered by the media and adult industry news outlets and attended by not only many of the Goddesses interviewees, but also other members of the business. I was wondering if you could talk about that evening because I’m sure it was a pretty amazing night.

It was. It was an absolutely amazing evening and far exceeded anything we ever expected or anticipated. Even though I know how popular these women are – they all have their following and fans – I realized that night when you assemble fifteen or sixteen of them together for one evening, you are going to have a powerhouse of a turnout. And it really was. They were supporting me as much as I was supporting them and all of the fans and press were supporting all of us.

It was quite an overwhelming moment to stand there at the mic. All I did was read my introduction because it was too much of a crazy house to try and read excerpts, but they are all sitting and their eyes are all up at me as I’m standing there reading. It was just so weird. (Laughs)

It was a really ironic and profound experience for me because (the ladies profiled) sort of got their … I would say just rewards or just desserts. I really felt like things had come full-circle for them. They were being honored and recognized in a very respectful way, a very classy location – the Hustler store really is a beautiful location – and we had, of course, cake and champagne and they were being interviewed throughout the evening and the fans just came out in droves.

The next night when we did the smaller event at Larry Edmunds – which (the interviewees) really liked because they liked the fact that they were at an “authentic” book store – we had a panel set up that evening and there were ten of them there. That was really great because we had a fabulous Q & A, they again got to interact and people just had love in their eyes for these ladies. It just amazed me.

It’s always nice to see adult performers held in that kind of regard.

It is. And like I said – and I may have mentioned this on Facebook or in another interview – we’re not saying that they’ve found a cure for cancer or they’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize or anything like that, but in their own way, they are essential and they are significant to their genre and to their era because they were renegades and they were doing this when it was illegal. And despite what a lot of people think, they made their decision to do this – they were forward-thinking. It wasn’t like somebody was bullying them into it. I really don’t believe they were exploited. There might be times when they were exploited, but what really bothers me about that – and I have to say this, Adam, because this always irks me – is for people to say that these women are exploited, or even the men, which they don’t tend to do; it’s usually the women who (critics say) are exploited. It’s sort of like saying these people don’t have a brain and that they don’t have the ability to make their own decisions. It drives me insane. You meet these people or read this book and tell me they are exploited.

I feel the exact same way. I’ve used the phrase before: “The term ‘degrading to women’ is degrading to women.”

Yeah – I love that. That is very aptly put.

It implies that men are capable of making their own decisions, but women aren’t.

Right. And nobody ever turns around and says the men are degraded. Well, why? And I think I made that point in my book at some point. I thought, “I need to get this out somewhere.” I didn’t want to dwell on it, but I did make a point how there is never any concern given for the men. It’s always the women. And I thought, “Why?” (Laughs) What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. If you are concerned about the women, then be concerned about the men.

When you pick up Goddesses as a reader rather than the author and have a look at the book, do you have a particular favorite profile?

I was asked this once before and it’s really hard because – and this term is used a lot – a book is like your baby. And it’s like they are 25 little babies because I nursed each one of these little chapters along. I don’t know if I have a favorite, but if I look at the back of the book and I see the faces, I sort of smile because I can remember the interviews and what the experience was like of interviewing a specific person. So, it brings back really fond memories. If I flip through the book randomly and I see a quote, I can remember the way it was said.

Barbara Mills – who doesn’t get a lot of play because she started her career earlier than a lot of these women – she was a sexploitation actress and then she got out of the industry in the early-70s. I really enjoyed talking with her because she’s really the quintessential hippie. And she died six months after I interviewed her, which was really sad, of hepatitis C. I don’t know if you knew this, but Carly, her daughter, she came out both nights (the book launch and Edmunds event) and joined the panel of women the second night, which was so great.

You probably would have to be a diehard fan to have heard of Barbara Caron Mills, but Bob Chinn hired her a lot in the early years. When the heat was on in L.A. and he would sort of switch and do softcore for a while, Barbara would work for him. She had some acting chops and she was really stunningly beautiful. I have a little bit of an affinity for that (chapter), I guess because she died shortly after our interview.

The same with Marilyn Chambers. I had interviewed her for Inches, so that interview is from that book. Material was used for Goddesses that we didn’t use in Inches because we only used the portion where she talked about John in Inches. But I’m so glad that I interviewed her, especially when she passed away in 2009 before I even started this book.

That is one of my favorite chapters, I would have to say, because I can remember our discussion. It was a hot summer day in July and I called her. For probably the first 20 minutes, we just talked about her daughter, McKenna. McKenna wasn’t able to come to the launch, unfortunately, but Marilyn’s best friend and husband came, who are also the godmother and godfather of McKenna. So, that was really great.

Juliet Anderson, of course, passed away after I interviewed her as well. I think it was four months after. So, it was really interesting talking with these ladies and having the chance to speak to them before they passed on. I might have even conducted some of the final interviews with them.

But I love all the chapters. Julia St. Vincent is a good friend of mine, as is Laurie. I got to know both of them through the first book. I don’t know if you remember Julia’s chapter very well – it was “From Exhausted to Boogie Nights” – but she didn’t really think she should have been in the book. And I said, “You made the very first porn documentary that I can think of. And also, because of its significance, and becoming the inspiration for Boogie Nights, I really think it’s important that you are included in the book.” And when I read through her chapter, I chuckle because I know her so well and her sense of humor. She’s just a very boisterous, funny person.

So, yeah – I can go through the chapters and tell you reasons why I have favorite moments.

312894_10152304582515463_889628669_nOne thing that sort of crossed my mind when I was reading the book is how we as a society tend to think of the decades of yesteryear as being more conservative and less tolerant than modern times. But one thing I noticed in Goddesses was the number of rape scenes featured in adult films of that period. I think if content like that was released today it would be highly controversial, but it appeared to be pretty prevalent back then.

You’re right. I think that’s true. I think what they’ve done is … yeah, it’s legal, but still, there are a lot of restrictions now. Restrictions weren’t enforced (during the Golden Era) because (making porn) was illegal. It’s really a gray area to me, still. But they would have these rape scenes and these fisting scenes, but then the theatres would get busted. So, they would put them in on purpose to guarantee that they would get publicity for their films, which is why Rhonda went into hiding for two years – because of the fisting scenes and then the publicity that resulted from the film.

I agree with you, Adam. I don’t watch porn – I don’t watch modern-day. I watched it to do these books and I enjoyed a lot of the films, but I did review a couple of contemporary films in Raven Touchstone’s chapter. What struck me is how clinical it all seems to be. It seems to lack emotion. I don’t know if that’s really true, but that’s just the impression I got when I was watching the few pictures I did see that are made today.

I guess, like you say, there are a lot of things they can’t do. I remember even when we were working on the Holmes book, one of the loops that John made in the early-70s was called Big John and the Girl Scouts. Mark Novick – the company, I think was called Pretty Girl … Claudia Grayson did a lot of loops, if you are familiar with her name – Linda McDowell, she is one of (the book’s) “Honorable Mentions.” Mark’s father’s company shot a lot of loops. Big John and the Girl Scouts, there is no way that would even get made today. (Laughs) Just the title alone. If you see it – and we reviewed it for Inches – two girls come to the door and they’re selling John Girl Scout cookies. One of them was played by one of his girlfriends, Gilda Grant. She was obviously 18 at the time, but they look so young. I mean, they look like they are about 14 years old. So, that kind of thing, you would never see that today. I think they probably do have some restrictions. I don’t think (women in adult films) can appear to be high school age or anything like that now, could they?

Well, there are schoolgirl-based plots today, but there are no actual titles that I’m aware of such as Big John and the Girl Scouts. (Laughs)

Yeah, that just conjures up all kinds of … (Laughs) political correctness. Good or bad, it’s there.

Obviously, when writing the Holmes book, you were immersed in the adult industry and got to know many people in the business. Having researched the lives of the ladies profiled in Goddesses, do you feel you learned anything new about the industry?

I would say the one thing that really comes through is that a lot of them told me – and it’s in their chapters – a lot of them are not financially stable. That’s the one thing that I think really became prevalent to me. When they worked, they didn’t ask for residuals. And it’s not only in the adult industry because it’s in the entire entertainment industry at that time, I think. That’s one thing that really struck me. The women who came along in the 80s and later – Ginger (Lynn), Christy (Canyon) and Nina Hartley – I think they are a little more solvent financially. But the ladies like Candida and Gloria … I think Annie is doing okay. But I think it’s just been a real struggle for them financially. And that’s sad to me because they really risked themselves – their reputation and their family’s reputation and all of that – and what do they have to show for it? They are legends and that’s terrific and wonderful, but I wish that they had something more to show for it financially. Some of it is their own fault, I guess – they may have squandered money – but I don’t believe that’s really the case. I think it’s just the fact that they were paid well for the time, but if you compare it to mainstream Hollywood, it was really a pittance what they were paid.

Yeah. I also don’t know if there was as much money in it back then, especially with it being illegal, although I don’t know if that would make any difference.

I think there was. I guess it goes right down the line with the producers and directors. But there were people lining their pockets. The people who owned the production companies were certainly doing okay. But I guess that’s the one thing when you ask that question that really comes into my head.

Yeah. I guess legalities don’t really matter when it comes to making money. There are plenty of illegal operations that are quite lucrative. (Laughs)

For sure, for sure.

I find it refreshing that if somebody were to pick up a copy of Goddesses and read only the introduction, the regard you have for not only your interview subjects, but also the adult industry as a whole comes across very clearly. I think it’s nice when anyone can open their mind in that way, but especially someone such as yourself who is outside the porn business and somebody who I suppose most people wouldn’t expect to write about subject matter like this.

Thank you. I think it’s just because, like you said earlier, I had gotten to know these people. In the beginning – and I know I was asked this when I was working on the Holmes book – “What are these people like?” I was probably a little leery. I’m sure I was a little bit tentative about getting my feet wet, so to speak. But when I got to know them – and some of them, as I said, became close friends – these women have really opened up to me and I’ve really learned who they are as people and it’s very hard to just look at them as being … I use the word “depraved” because I think that’s how society looks at these people – as sort of being depraved and being where we don’t want our children to associate with them.

A couple of them have taught. I think Jane (Hamilton) mentioned it in her chapter that when she was supply teaching in New York she was just terrified that somebody was going to find out.

Jody Maxwell, the same. She does supply teaching. She has given her legal name and so far she has been fine, but there is always that fear. I can’t imagine living that way and I always say this: We like to think we are very liberated as a society, but we really aren’t. I think Seka hit the nail on the head – she said, “They don’t mind if you are fraternizing in their bars as patrons and so on, but they don’t want you working for them.” I think that’s really true.

I agree. There is an industry writer named Gene Ross who runs a website called AdultFYI and he likes to poke fun at the fact that porn often considers itself accepted by the mainstream – which I personally feel it should be, but I don’t think really is, unfortunately – with headlines such as, “From the ‘Mainstream Loves Us Department’ – Another Teacher Fired After Porn Past Outed” or something along those lines. (Laughs)

Oh, I know. I remember that.

There have actually been quite a few of those cases in recent months.

I know! And what is really ironic and contradictory about it is that the trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey … I haven’t read it – I started twenty pages into one of the books and I thought, “I don’t know about this.” I didn’t think it was very well written, first of all. But I thought, “There’s the hypocrisy right there – the fact that you’ve got people probably trampling over one another to get Fifty Shades of Grey when it was first released, yet they are the same people who are probably saying that people who work in the porn industry are whatever they want to call it.” I don’t understand that.

That crossed my mind as well when I heard about the popularity of the series.

I guess it was written in a way that made it “safe” for women to embrace their sexuality or whatever. But still – it is a hypocrisy. It’s funny: the girl who cuts my hair, I mentioned that to her because she said she had read it. I said, “Isn’t it about S & M?” (Laughs) And her eyes went wide. She said, “You’re the first person who has actually come out and said that.” I said, “Well, that’s the impression I’ve gotten from people.” It was just really funny. I said it and she was like, “Oh, yeah – it is.” It was almost as if she was afraid to acknowledge that. She knew she could say it to me because I’ve written these two books. (Laughs)

(Laughs) Do you have any upcoming projects in the works that you would like to put out there?

Well, I don’t have anything right now. I’ve had a couple of people say to me that they hope I’ll do a follow-up in the same genre or interview more women. And I never say never. I don’t know if I’m going to do this, but I am considering writing sort of an equivalent about the men.

Oh, wow.

Yeah. I don’t know for sure. I go with my gut and I said when I wrote this book that I wasn’t going to write another book on this subject just because I felt I had said everything I felt I could say. But when we were down in L.A., Rich Pacheco and Jon Martin were there and Joel Sussman – who took a lot of the beautiful photos in the book – and Kenji and Bill Margold and Cass Paley. They said to me, “Why don’t you write a book about the men?” I said, “Well …” Doing the Holmes book, you kind of feel like you’ve covered all the bases because, as Bill says, “He’s the king.”

Right.

But then I thought, “It would be kind of interesting to find out how the men got into (the adult industry) during that time.” Kind of learn their stories and see what they have to say. So, it’s something that I’m considering.

Very cool. And that would be of the Golden Era as well?

It would be, yeah. It would cover sort of the same time period. I would love to talk to the people who knew Jamie Gillis. Actually, I did interview Jamie for Inches and I have to go back and look at our interview because I’m sure he said some things that, if I were to do a project like that, I could use. He probably did say a few things about himself that would be interesting to kind of use as a starting point.

And John Leslie and Ron Jeremy .. it would be really interesting to talk to some of these people. But I would like to cover photographers, too, like Joel and Kenji and maybe some directors.

I’m the same way – I like to go full-circle as well and speak with agents, photographers, directors and executives. Performers are great to interview as well, but there are contributors behind the camera who have interesting stories also.

I think so. That’s why I wanted to include directors in Goddesses – because I thought it would be so interesting to talk to Roberta. And Ann Perry – because Ann was one of the early pioneers of making her own films as a woman and didn’t care what anyone told her. She was going to do her own thing – I just love that.

And Julia St. Vincent. And, of course, Raven Touchstone being a screenwriter. I just thought it would be really neat to include the other aspects of the work that the women did in the industry.

A19216_10152448754315463_8026561_nbsolutely. And (the men of the Golden Era book) sounds like it would be very interesting.

I don’t know for certain. I’m not starting anything at the moment, but probably in the fall I’ll be itching to start another book. One of the things – as you know as a writer, too – when you take on a project, you have to go full-bore. So, I really do need a break between the two books because I did them back-to-back and it was a lot of work.

Oh, wow. I didn’t know that you did one book right after the other.

Yeah. Well, there was a year before I started working on Goddesses, but all that time we were promoting Inches pretty heavily, so it was like there wasn’t a break. And this idea was percolating the whole time, too, to do Goddesses.

(Inches) was a four-year project. So, it took four years to do a book on one man and it took three-and-a-half years to do Goddesses. (Laughs)

(Laughs)

Well, no, because they were min-bios. So, that’s not really true. But (books) are a lot of work. When I wasn’t at work – because I work three days a week – I was working on Goddesses.

To finish up, is there anything you wish to say to readers?

As I always say, I hope people enjoy the book. If people do read the book and they would like to write a short review, it’s always nice if people want to post a few words up on Amazon. You don’t have to have bought the book there, but you do have to have an Amazon account in order to write a review there.

I just really hope that people respect the ladies and see them for who they really are. And I should say that I’m planning to go to the Exxxotica show in Atlantic City in April. I think Bill Margold is going to be there, so we’ll hopefully be sharing a booth. I went to the Exxxtasy show in Chicago a couple of summers ago for Inches and that was really great. I’m hoping that the Exxxotica show will be equally as good. I don’t know if I’ll have any of the ladies with me just because most of them live in the L.A. area, which is why we did the launch there. But you never know.

The book will be featured in Hamilton magazine in May, which is nice. I like there to be some Canadian exposure. And I really appreciate you, Adam, taking the time to do the interview. And there is a fellow in Montreal who is going to be reviewing the book, Mark Penny. So, it’s nice to have the Canadian-supporting coverage being a Canadian author.

I know the book is a hefty price – the paperback is $49.95 – but the Kindle version is $14.95 and you don’t need an e-reader to read the book. You can have it sent to your computer to be an e-book. A lot of people think they have to have an actual device to do it, but they don’t. I think, actually, Amazon explains on any books page on their site how you can go about doing that for Android and iPads, PCs and everything. A $50.00 price tag is a bit scary, but then the book is 950 pages. (Laughs)

Right. It was great speaking with you again, Jill, and I appreciate you taking some time out today for this interview. Take care and I wish you continued success with Goddesses.

Thanks so much, Adam. Fabulous. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Written by Adam Wilcox

February 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Interviews

Tod Hunter Press Release: Jill Nelson, Author of “Golden Goddesses,” Hosting Two Book Signings in California November 29 and 30

leave a comment »

HOLLYWOOD — Author Jill Nelson has scheduled two book signings for her new oral history of the ’70s Golden Age of Adult Movies, “Golden Goddesses.” The massive 950-page volume profiles 25 actresses who were active in adult film between 1968 and 1985, when film began to be replaced by videotape as the medium of choice for adult production.

“My intention is to escort readers toward a clearer understanding of the beautiful and intrepid females who favored an alternative profession in adult cinema that was cultivated at the apex of the 1960s sexual revolution,” Nelson said. “To suggest that their chosen path has been comfortable or without debris would be false, for as each unfolding story will reveal, experiences for a female employed in the adult entertainment industry during the generation when it was illegal to participate in the production of sex films, were anything but ordinary.”

Nelson previously co-authored a biography of adult film superstar John C. Holmes, “A Life Measured in Inches.”

The official book launch party will take place Thursday, November 29 at Hustler Hollywood in West Hollywood, the flagship store of the Hustler Hollywood chain and a fixture on the Sunset Strip for more than 10 years.

The signing will include a reading of excerpts from the book, and a Q and A session involving Nelson and ’70s Golden Age performers Kay Parker, Veronica Hart, Serena, Rhonda Jo Petty, Amber Lynn, Ginger Lynn, Georgina Spelvin, Annie Sprinkle, Kitten Natividad, Kelly Nichols, Sharon Mitchell, Christy Canyon, Nina Hartley, Laurie Holmes, Julia St. Vincent, Raven Touchstone and Carly Mills, daughter of the late softcore actress, Barbara Mills.

Hustler Hollywood is located at 8920 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood. Beverages and cake (by Cake and Art) will be served. The signing will begin at 7:30 pm and space available is limited, so attendees are requested to RSVP at 323 651-5400 ext: 7687 or by email at nelson4@cogeco.ca to reserve a place.

The second signing will take place Friday, November 30 at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in the heart of Hollywood. Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a source for memorabilia and books about show business for more than 70 years. There will be readings, a slide show, and a discussion of the ’70s Golden Age with guests Kay Parker, Serena, Rhonda Jo Petty, Annie Sprinkle, Georgina Spelvin, Nina Hartley, Kitten Natividad, Veronica Hart, Laurie Holmes, Raven Touchstone and Julia St. Vincent.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. The signing will begin at 7:30 pm. Seating will be limited, but attendance can be guaranteed with advance purchase of “Golden Goddesses” while space is available. Call Larry Edmunds Bookshop for details at 323-463-3273.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Nelson said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen some of these women and it’s great that our collaboration is available for people to read. I hope that the fans like it as much as I liked putting it together.”

For those who cannot make the book signings, “Golden Goddesses” is available at online bookstores worldwide. It is published by Bear Manor Media and the ISBN is 978-159393298-5.

Written by Adam Wilcox

November 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Press Releases

Press Release: BearManor Media Proudly Announces the Release of Jill Nelson’s Golden Goddesses

leave a comment »

Albany, GA – BearManor Media proudly announces the release of Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema 1968-1985, by Jill C. Nelson.

Golden Goddesses vibrantly casts light upon twenty-five significant women involved in the erotic film industry during its Golden Era, when participation in adult productions was illegal. Profiling performers, directors, scriptwriters and costumers, Golden Goddesses is a palate of insights, intimacy, vulnerability and strength, as it immerses readers into the lives of these celebrated and audacious females.

Featuring the author’s own interviews with Marilyn Chambers, Seka, Kay Parker, Rhonda Jo Petty, Serena, Georgina Spelvin, Juliet Anderson, Candida Royalle, Sharon Mitchell, Gloria Leonard, Annie Sprinkle, Ann Perry, Jody Maxwell, Barbara Mills, Veronica Hart, Kelly Nichols, Ginger Lynn, Kitten Natividad, Amber Lynn, Laurie Holmes, Christy Canyon, Julia St. Vincent, Roberta Findlay, Nina Hartley and Raven Touchstone, Golden Goddesses also includes film highlights and more than 300 photos.

To learn about this or other BearManor Media titles, please visit our website at www.bearmanormedia.com.

ISBN: 1-59393-298-7.

Price: $49.95.

Format: Softcover; 6” x 9”; 946 pages.

Available also through Ingram, amazon.com, and all major online retailers.

About the Author:

Born and raised in in Southern Ontario, Canada, during her childhood and teen years, Jill Nelson was inspired by her father, mother, and two older brothers in the fields of art, music, literature and travel. Currently, Nelson resides in Southern Ontario and works part-time as a Hearing Care Professional. She enjoys spending time with her husband of thirty-four years, her two grown children, the family cat Greyson, and friends.

About BearManor Media:

BearManor Media is a small press that publishes BIG books. They pride themselves on publishing quality entertainment biographies, so they often put out the first book on unique subjects. BearManor Media specializes in books with nostalgic themes like The Films of Donald Pleasence, Radio Pro, Also Starring…, and A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story.

Written by Adam Wilcox

October 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Press Releases

Star Factory PR Press Release: Miles Long to be Inducted into XRCO Hall of Fame

leave a comment »

(Hollywood, CA) With an incredible adult entertainment resume to his name, multi-award winning director Miles Long® is set to be inducted into the X.R.C.O. Awards 2012 Hall of Fame. For his contribution to erotica it was recently announced that Miles will be among the group who are recognized at the upcoming event set to take place in Hollywood. The culmination of nearly a decade and a half of contributions that include performing, directing, producing, art direction, writing, photography, videography and more, will be rewarded at this annual awards show, an achievement that has left Miles is ecstatic.

“Having spent over 14 years in the adult business; a business that I have put my heart and soul into; I am truly honored to be placed in such a select group of amazing people,” Miles said upon hearing the news of his induction. “I have always tried to do the very best job I could at whatever I did, both in front of the camera and behind it and I’m truly flattered that people noticed what I did along the way. I am fortunate to have made the friends I have made, to have had the mentors that I have had, and to have worked for the great companies that I have worked for. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the X Rated Critics Organization for recognizing me and congratulate all of the other inductees of this year’s Hall of Fame, including Julia Ann, Jesse Jane, Jenna Haze, Luc Wyler, Vince Voyuer, Tristan Taormino, Denny Recob and Rhonda Jo Petty. I will endeavor to continue the standard of excellence I have strived for all these years, and do my best to live up to the high level of esteem that the XRCO has bestowed upon me.”

A testament to his XRCO induction, Miles’ body of work features over 400 movies, more than 100 Boxcovers, over 50 magazine layouts and covers and two billboards to his credit. He has received numerous awards, accolades, and nominations including: five awards and more than 40 nominations. In addition, he has a registered trademark on his stage name. Miles will be attending the 2012 XRCO Awards on April 12th at The Highlands nightclub. More information about the event can be found on the XRCO Awards website, http://xrco.com.

For those not currently connected to or in touch with the adult industry, or those who simply want to know more about Miles Long®; details on his storied and award winning career, his numerous credits and his achievements are available at: IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0519117/ and AVN: http://www.avn.com/porn-stars/Miles-Long-260024.html.

Miles is fresh off his recent appearance on Spice Radio in support of his latest DVD, Girlfriends 4. Milestook to the airwaves with Christy Canyon and Ginger Lynn for the Legends of Porn show on Sirius / XM 103 to promote the Third Degree Films release. As a series, Girlfriends has garnered three AVN nominations including: a nomination for Best All Girl Release for Girlfriends 3 and nominations for Best All Girl Group Sex Scene for Girlfriends 3 & Girlfriends 2.

Stills from Girlfriends 4 are being revealed by Miles on his Twitter account, http://twitter.com/MilesLong4real. Follow Miles on Twitter for a preview of what is to come in Girlfriends 4 and all of Miles Long’s® directorial efforts.

In addition to his movie work, it has also been another successful month of photography work for Miles. The director has been steadily making a name for himself as one of the top adult photographers with two layouts are appearing in the upcoming issue of Cheri Magazine; and an additional 2 layouts appearing in the upcoming issue of Club Extreme. Miles and Cheri magazine will also be giving away copies of Nylons 8 autographed by multiple Award Winning actress Chanel Preston in the same issue. Look for Cheri and Club Extreme magazines at news stands now across the country.

Miles also celebrated his photos appearing on two billboards, a first for him in the photography field. “I was approached by Bare N Legal Showgirls and Fantasy Topless to provide them photos for the billboard advertising for their clubs,” noted Miles. “It was my pleasure to furnish them with photos of my good friend Chanel Preston who graced the cover my AVN Award winning Best Foot Fetish/ Leg Release Nylons 8.” To help promote the billboards and Nylons 8, Miles gave away copies autographed by Chanel Preston, as well as free passes to the Pomona located Bare N Legal Showgirls to listeners when he appeared on Spice Radio.

Miles Long® is on the move! The AVN Awards Hall of Fame director now joins the illustrious ranks of theX.R.C.O. Awards Hall of Fame as well! With new releases, new layouts and new billboards one thing is expressly clear: the award winning work of Miles Long® continues to make an impact!

For more Miles Long®, please visit:

http://twitter.com/mileslong4real

http://www.youtube.com/user/mileslong4real

To interview Miles Long® for your Website or Publication;

Please contact Star Factory PR

818.730.7254

Info@StarFactoryPR.com

Written by Adam Wilcox

March 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Press Releases

XRCO Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

leave a comment »

The X-Rated Critics Organization today announced the inductees for its 2012 Hall of Fame. The complete list of honorees is as follows:

Jenna Haze

Jesse Jane

Rhonda Jo Petty

Vince Vouyer

Den (adult film critic and creator of CAVR.com)

Julia Ann

Miles Long

Luc Wylder

Tristan Taormino

The 2012 XRCO Awards emanate from The Highlands Hollywood on April 12 and will be hosted by adult starlets Kayden Kross and Dylan Ryder.

Written by Adam Wilcox

March 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Posted in News

XXX Wasteland Exclusive Interview: Jill Nelson

with one comment

Co-authors Jill Nelson and Jennifer Sugar leave no stone unturned with their biography John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, a well-researched and comprehensive novel documenting the life and times of the well-endowed porn legend.

Featuring comments from over 60 people who knew and/or worked with Holmes, Inches chronicles the captivating, albeit tumultuous life of the King of Porn, from his troubled upbringing, ascension to the top of the adult industry with the Johnny Wadd film series and unusual relationship with underage girlfriend Dawn Schiller to Holmes’ alleged involvement in the 1981 Wonderland Murders and subsequent return to the business that made him famous.

Perhaps the most compelling facet of Inches is the illustration of Holmes’ essentially lonely death in 1988 after becoming infected with a then-relatively new virus known as AIDS, conveyed by both John’s widow Laurie and the man himself from interview excerpts during the latter months of his life.

In addition to Laurie Holmes, those contributing their memories, opinions and stories of John to the book (in both original interviews and statements derived from previous projects) include Schiller, Holmes’ first wife Sharon, Wadd creator Bob Chinn, industry historian Bill Margold, L.A.P.D. homicide detectives Tom Lange and Frank Tomlinson, renowned adult performer and producer Bill Amerson, director Julia St. Vincent and a plethora of porn actors and actresses from the “Golden Era” of XXX such as Gloria Leonard, Ron Jeremy, Juliet Anderson, Ginger Lynn, Sharon Mitchell, Paul Thomas and Buck Adams.

Also included in Inches are author reviews of 200 loops and movies featuring John Holmes, as well as an extensive filmography of titles the actor appeared in during his legendary run as a member of the adult entertainment world.

Overall, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is unquestionably the most in-depth look at the life and career of arguably the most iconic figure in the annals of adult cinema. A highly recommended read for both fans of John Holmes or those interested in the history of porn.

You can purchase Inches on Amazon (also available as a Kindle E-reader), Barnes and Noble, BearManor Media and at the book’s official website, JohnHolmesInches.com.

Jill Nelson kindly spoke with XXX Wasteland to discuss her experience co-writing Inches, the perception she now has of the adult industry after becoming immersed in the porn world and her upcoming book Golden Goddesses, which will showcase the ladies of XXX’s “Golden Era.”

Jill can be reached on Twitter under the handle @HolmesInches.

Can you tell us how you initially became interested in the story of John Holmes?

Sure. In 2005, my husband and I rented the movie Wonderland. Val Kilmer plays John Holmes and the movie really focuses not so much on John’s porn career – there is really very little except for a mention of it – but focuses on the murders that you read about in the book, how he had become affiliated with Ed Nash, the people at the Wonderland house and what had sort of transpired. So, the movie is really about the murders.

I really became intrigued. I didn’t know anything about the adult film industry whatsoever. I had seen maybe a couple of porn films in the 80s with Ron Jeremy, but didn’t really remember them that well or had a fond memory (Laughs), but I was just very intrigued by John’s story.

The film, when we rented it, was paired with Wadd directed by Cass Paley. It’s a documentary on John – Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes. Actually, we got permission from Hustler – who owns Wadd now – to use interview material that appeared in the film Wadd. We also were able to use some material that didn’t appear in the film. So, it was really great – we had full access to all those interviews. I watched that, and again, I was very, very interested. I wanted to know how this kid from Ohio who had a very simple childhood – rural setting, very abusive family, very kind of uncomplicated kid – became involved in this world and catapulted to the pinnacle of the adult film industry. I was just fascinated. I’ve always been fascinated in unique stories and unique biographies, so this was kind of an extension of that.

Can you explain how you met Inches’ co-author Jennifer Sugar and how the book itself came together?

Jennifer had actually seen the film – unbeknownst to me, I didn’t know her – two years before I did. She had gone to the theater to see another movie that was sold out, so she ended up seeing Wonderland. The same way that I had, she was completely mesmerized by this story. She thought, “How the Hell did this guy – this porn star – get involved in these murders?” She started doing some research and discovered there was not a definitive book on John Holmes. Porn King came out – which was released by John’s widow – in 1998. That is compiled from some of his audio tapes, but it’s not comprehensive. She felt that John deserved a full biography, so she started to write it. It was a couple of years later after I had seen the movie Wonderland and started reading comments on the Wonderland message board at IMDB that I met Jennifer there. We started writing to each other and she informed me that she had commenced to write the first and definitive biography on John Holmes. About a year after that she asked me if I would be her collaborator and that’s how it happened. It’s kind of unusual – she is 25 years younger than me, by the way. (Laughs)

Was it difficult to locate the interviewees who had worked with John Holmes seeing as his glory years in porn were during the 70s and 80s?

Actually, no. It was easier than I thought it would be. When Jennifer initially got the idea to write the book she made a trip to California. She wrote to Bill Margold – he wrote the foreword – an adult film historian. Jennifer E-mailed him and told him what she was planning and he told her, “If you come to California this Summer (2004), I will hook you up with some people who knew John.” So, it really started from there. And then when I jumped on board we would get contacts from people we had initially spoken to and it just kind of blossomed from there.

The hardest person to track down was Laurie Holmes. She’s been out of the industry since 2003 and she’s had some ups and downs in her life. We really wanted to talk to her because we felt the book wouldn’t be complete without speaking to John’s widow – she was with him the last five years of his life. Finally, we found her, and that was really great. People had said, “She probably won’t talk to you,” and she had become very bitter against the industry. But she was great. I had actually phoned her myself. Bill gave me her number and I talked to her. I said, “You don’t know me, but will you please listen to me? This is what we are planning to do.” And she listened. She said, “I first have to check you guys out with Bill Margold.” (Laughs) She did, and that night she phoned me back and agreed to carte blanche – everything.

The one thing I will say about Laurie is that we had actually offered to compensate her financially because we knew that she was one of the essential ingredients in this story. She said, “I don’t want any financial compensation. All I want is for you guys to do John right.” So, that was really important: Not only that we honored her wishes, but the wishes of all the people who had known him when we were doing this project.

Based on her comments in the book, Laurie appears very protective of John’s memory.

Yes, and his legacy. As you saw in the book, she kind of felt that in the end when he had AIDS that the industry turned their backs on him. But at that time AIDS was still relatively new – people were scared. I remember that time – I’m 53, so I can remember what was going on. That child Ryan White, who received a blood transfusion, couldn’t go to school. Things like that were going on at the time, so I think it was kind of understandable that people were afraid of contacting HIV. But still, it was a very tragic end, I thought, to his life.

Did you have any preconceived notions about the adult industry before writing the book and did meeting and speaking to so many people involved in porn change those perceptions?

(Laughs) Yes, to both of those. I did have preconceived notions. Probably, like anybody else – I mean, I’m a mother, I have two grown kids now – I didn’t know a lot about it, but peripherally I think I felt it was pretty sleazy and that the people involved with it were pretty sleazy. But now that I’ve researched the book – Jennifer and I worked on it for a period of four years – got to know a lot of people, I’m presently working on my second book about the people in the industry, I have completely changed my opinion because I’ve made friends throughout this process and I consider them to be the same as anybody else. It’s been really important to me as a person to have my eyes opened that way. It goes to show that you are never too old to teach a dog new tricks.

Some of my neighbors raised eyebrows because there were articles that came out in the paper when the book came out and I did some signings here in Southern Ontario. Some of my friends and neighbors were like, “WHAT did you write a book about?” (Laughs) I say to them, “If you know me well, you wouldn’t be surprised.” But it’s good too, because I think people look at me and think, “Well, if that woman – a middle-aged mother and so on – could open her eyes to something that is really considered to be taboo still by society …” I think maybe people can be more accepting of things that they may not necessarily be accepting of.

Absolutely.

With John too … a couple of times people asked us if we liked John. There was something very likeable, I think, about John, despite all of the things he became involved with that were pretty heinous at certain points. He was a regular person like you and I at one point, but then became immersed in all of this stuff – some of it was good, some of it was bad.

But just to go back to your question, I did have preconceived notions and yes, I have changed. I have definitely changed my opinion.

That sort of leads me into another question. After having immersed yourself so much in the story of John Holmes – and although you did not know him personally – what would you say your opinion is of the man based on the comments of so many around him?

I think he was very manipulative, as so many people touched on. I also think he was very big-hearted. So, I think there was a real dichotomy going on within him all the time. I’m guessing John was like a lot of other people who entered the industry at the time that he did. I don’t think he intended for it to be his life’s work. I think he did it for money. And he did start earlier – Jennifer and I actually pinpointed that he started in the industry during the mid-60s, which is earlier than is on record on the Internet. We talked to a woman whose husband directed him in nudist films in the mid-60s and that was the year he married Sharon, his first wife.

I think John was likeable. People who talked to us about him – and even some of the interviews that were given by people we didn’t talk to – said he was magnetic. He was very charismatic. And I think that comes across in his films. We reviewed 200 films and loops and that really does come across. So, I think that was probably what drew people in when they met him: He was very charismatic and he was very gregarious. He had a quiet side too, but I think overall he was pretty likeable. When he did the nasty things, not so likeable. But I really do believe – and anyone who has ever known anyone who has been involved in cocaine or crack addiction – I believe that did transform John. Or it probably flushed out a lot of the negative stuff that was already broiling maybe under the surface – it really came out when he became addicted and so desperate. He just became a desperado with the drugs for sure.

Continuing with that theme, what is your opinion in regard to the extent of John’s involvement in the Wonderland Murders?

I definitely believe that he led the perpetrators to the house because he admitted as much. I know that John has a reputation for being a bullshit artist, so there is another angle there. But I do believe that because he did tell (L.A.P.D. Detective Tom) Lange that. He told (Detective Frank) Tomlinson that as well. We did get to interview both of those former L.A.P.D. homicide detectives personally, so that was great. And I think that he was forced to swing a pipe. I guess because it was not proven during his trial that he actually murdered anybody … it wasn’t even proven that he swung a pipe. He was acquitted because of lack of evidence. So, I accept the lack of evidence that was presented at his trial. There were so many sets of fingerprints all over the house. He had been there for months partying and hanging out there. I don’t think there was anything conclusive, so therefore I can’t conclude that he actually participated in murder. That is kind of how I view it.

What was it like to delve into an industry as commonly taboo as the porn business during your research and interview process?

I guess it was a little bit scary at first. I remember my husband said to me after Jennifer had invited me to help her with this book, “Just remember you aren’t writing about birds.” We laugh about that to this day. The other side of it is that I really welcomed the challenge because I like things that are really different and I like things that are taboo, so that was kind of exciting for me. I think the Litmus test was when we had a book launch in Hollywood. It was actually on what would have been (John’s) 64th birthday and that was a wonderful, wonderful evening. Our closest friends from here flew down for the event, my husband came down, Jennifer and I were there and we invited many of the people that we interviewed. And they came. We had probably 75 people, which was a great turnout for a Friday night in Hollywood. The thing that really struck our friends was after the event was over they said, “I can believe it. They’re just like everybody else.” And that was what I found too, becoming involved in the project and as I said, having made friends throughout the process of doing the book. It was kind of nerve-wracking in the beginning until I got to know people and then I found, “Wow. They’re just like the rest of us.” So, that was good.

Did you find that the people you contacted for interviews were welcoming overall to what you were doing, especially seeing as many of them were part of the adult industry during an era where the business was perhaps more guarded?

Yes, they were. Again, I go back to John … he did endear people to him. He had a lot of friends and these people who showed up to the event that night were his friends. They were guarded in the sense that people were always asking us, “How are you going to portray him? Are you going to portray him as a monster?” And I think in a sense maybe they felt he represented them because they were a part of the same thing he had been a part of. They were very guarded about, “How is he going to come across? Are you going to be fair?” That was said to us many times – his Godchildren asked us that, Laurie did. Pretty well everyone down the line wanted to know if we were going to be fair. You have that said to you enough times and you kind of go, “Well, I guess people did like John overall.” (Laughs)

One of the precarious things in the book – and you probably noticed it having read it – is that we did try to be very fair. That is why we have so many voices in the book. On one particular incident that might have happened we have maybe ten people presenting their side or what their impression of that was. Jennifer, when she invited me on board, she said, “Just so you know, I want this to be unbiased.” Because everything else that was out there on the Internet and so forth is pretty negative on him. We thought, “We’ll show the good, the bad and the ugly.” That is the fairest and most honest thing that you can do.

Yes, I noticed that while you and Jennifer wrote bridges in between the commentaries, most of the book is comprised of those who knew or worked with John offering their opinions of him and telling stories about their interactions with him, which invites the reader to decide for themselves how they feel and what they believe.

That is how we wanted it to be. We have really been fortunate – the critics have been good to us who have reviewed our book. The only thing – and this isn’t really negative – some people said that they wished the authors had weighed in with their impressions of John. But I don’t think it was necessary. As you said, people read it and draw their own conclusions of him and the era at the end. I think there is enough there that people can draw their own conclusions and even have a glimpse of what we might have felt without it being spelled out.

What do you consider the most enjoyable and most difficult aspects of co-writing Inches?

That’s a good question. It was crazy. (Laughs) I work two and a half days a week and Jennifer actually had taken a year and a half off. She was in college when we started our collaboration. So, we went at this thing full-bore.

It was hard. The filmography that we did – that was the last piece – and the film reviews we wrote sort of simultaneously. We split up the work – “You watch this and I’ll watch that.” The filmography was really difficult because we used different resources for it. We used IMDB – but that’s not very accurate – IAFD, which is pretty accurate. Mostly we would put the movies in, look at the copyright date and see if it was there at the end in Roman numerals to see when it was actually filmed. And we would talk to the directors as much as we could – people who were still around that had been involved in making them or had knowledge. But that was hard because we wanted the filmography to be as accurate as possible and the most up-to-date John Holmes filmography anywhere. And I think we succeeded in accomplishing that, but it was very stressful.

There were so many eleventh hour moments with that book. Buck Adams was a friend of John’s who had worked with him in the 80s and we had wanted to talk to him, but again, couldn’t track him down. It was literally the night before our manuscript had to be to the publisher that we got him on the phone. Amber Lynn, his sister, gave us his number after months of trying to track her down.

It was just … I hate using the word “serendipitous,” but there was a lot of serendipity, I think, involved in this book. I think the gods were smiling down on us and wanted this to happen. Laurie has said many times that it was meant to be and she has been so supportive of it, which has been great.

The book took four years to complete, is that correct?

Four years from the time that Jennifer started and then I came in about a year and a half into it. So, from the beginning to the release date, it was four years. When she went to California that first time in 2004 it was to attend a 60th birthday event for John Holmes, which is when Bill Margold put her in touch with the people (who knew John). So, four years to the day that we released the book we had a party there. It really worked out well.

I think the enjoyable part (of writing the book) was doing the interviews. 35 people Jennifer and I interviewed on our own. Twice we went to California to do interviews together. So, that was really enjoyable meeting people that we might have read about when we started the project and then actually meeting them face-to-face. Meeting Bob Chinn for the first time … Bob and I are friends to this day, but he was wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about him because he was just so helpful – in person, in interviews, on the phone and by E-mail. And he has a wonderful memory, so that was very, very helpful. But I would definitely say the interviews were the most enjoyable. You can sort of sit back and relax, put your recorder on and just chat with these people. And really, it opened up a whole new world, as I said, so something that I maybe thought was a bit scary became very fine and took those barriers right down when you actually talk to people face-to-face, on the phone or whatever. So, it was great.

This may be a bit of a broad question, but how would you describe the overall experience of co-authoring Inches – becoming immersed in the life of John Holmes, delving into the adult world, speaking and meeting so many interesting people and visiting some of the significant sites in the life of John such as the Wonderland Avenue home?

Life-changing. Absolutely life-changing. First of all, I had never written a book before. I had never intended to write a book and I don’t think Jennifer had, either. It was just something that never came up. I had always enjoyed writing, but probably as much as the next person. But – and you probably know this because you write too – when you get involved in a subject it has to consume your life or I don’t think you are going to do the subject justice. I think Jennifer and I acknowledged when we partnered up that we were going to have to devote the next couple of years of our lives’ excess time to this project.

That is how I would describe it: It was daunting, it was overwhelming. Sometimes there were tears because it was just so stressful at times. Just the sheer volume of work that we had set out for ourselves – wading through all of this stuff. If we were writing about Ron Jeremy, basically, you are writing a pretty linear story that doesn’t get into murder, AIDS and John’s trip across country with his girlfriend Dawn Schiller. All of this stuff … it’s just stranger than fiction.

It was just so overwhelming. And visiting the Wonderland house and the Laurel Canyon store. I remember Jennifer and I went there, had a drink and just sat there. We had walked through all of the aisles. That’s where the Wonderland gang used to hang out. Sitting there and just kind of taking in the surroundings.

When we interviewed Frank Tomlinson, who was one of the homicide detectives, we went into a restaurant – we met him there with his wife. I can remember sitting there at that table – this huge guy, six-foot-three, he’s a hard-nosed former L.A.P.D. homicide detective. He walks in, sits down, he basically controlled the entire interview. He took the tape recorder, he told us when he was going to start talking, he pushed the “Off” button when he wanted to finish talking, and basically, he talked for 45 minutes straight without us interjecting or anything. I just remember walking away from there and being totally blown away. Jennifer was too. Nice man – he came to our book signing a year later and brought us each a bouquet of flowers. It was beautiful. But it was funny – when we walked out of that interview it was a really hot day. We went back to our hotel and Jennifer said to me, “You’re not going to believe this.” She had a mini-tape recorder that was not digital. She said, “The tape broke.”

Oh, no.

I’m like, “You have got to be kidding me. We are never going to get this guy again.” We went into the hotel room and there was a dollar store across the road. She said, “I think I can fix it.” And she did.

Oh, wow.

So, things like that happened. And those are normal kinds of things. You can’t do a project like that and not have incidents occur. Things like that would happen and they were memorable to me because you realize you are in this whole other world now, a “We’re not in Kansas anymore”-type of thing.

You mentioned to me that you are currently working on another adult industry-themed book. Is that the one on the ladies of the “Golden Era?”

Yes. It’s called “Golden Goddesses” and I’m working on it now. Jennifer is not involved with this, unfortunately. She is working full-time and has a lot going on. She told me when I got the idea to write it, “I’d love to be in on it, but I just don’t think I’ll have the time.” But I am into my third year now and I plan for it to come out hopefully a year this Fall. I’m profiling 25 women. I’ve done all the interviews and am now working on the first draft of each chapter. It was fortunate for me because I made a lot of contacts during the John Holmes bio, so it’s kind of like this is a natural next step. I just thought it would be interesting to actually talk to the women and get their stories.

Which actresses will be profiled in Golden Goddesses?

Georgina Spelvin, Gloria Leonard, Seka, Ginger Lynn, Marilyn Chambers, Rhonda Jo Petty … I don’t know if these names are familiar to you or not.

Oh, for sure.

Amber Lynn, Christy Canyon, Serena, Kay Parker, Candida Royalle, Nina Hartley, Jane Hamilton, Kelly Nichols. I’ve got Anne Perry, who was a director, Roberta Findlay, who was a director on the East Coast, Julia St. Vincent – she was one of John’s girlfriends who directed Exhausted. She is actually a really good friend of mine. She agreed after a lot of arm-twisting. (Laughs) But her chapter is great because it’s all about how her film Exhausted led to Boogie Nights. The director of Boogie Nights was inspired by Exhausted. And it’s interesting, because of course, Nina Hartley and Veronica Hart were both in Boogie Nights and they are also in my book. I’ve also got Laurie Holmes. She agreed to be interviewed.

I’m calling it “legendary.” Not all of the women are absolutely legendary. Laurie certainly isn’t – her claim to fame, really, is marrying John. But she has an interesting take on the industry.

Also, it was difficult to find 25 women during that era who were willing to talk. And finding them is not easy. So, when I got my 25 I was pretty happy because they all fit within the time frame that I’m writing about. They were all willing to talk and they have very interesting stories to share and opinions.

Nina Hartley actually just had major surgery, which she is thankfully recovering nicely from.

Yes. It was last year that I did the interview. And fortunately, I was able to interview Marilyn Chambers before she died. It was the interview that we did for the John Holmes bio, but she had told us some other things about her own career. The same with Juliet Anderson – I interviewed her three months before she died. And I interviewed – you may not have heard of this girl, she was more of a sexploitation actress – her name is Barbara Caron Mills. She started in ‘68. She died three months after I interviewed her. So, it was very fortunate for the project that I was able to get their stories and they were able to share sort of a piece of their lives for this book. I’m so glad. They are fascinating women.

Yes, they are. Are there any more upcoming projects in the works you would like to mention or anything you wish to say to readers?

Well, I always say to read Inches. I hope people continue to enjoy A Life Measured in Inches. And I hope that people will also be open-minded to the next book, which is sort of a follow-up because it’s in the same genre. I don’t know what I’ll tackle after this. Time will tell, because you do need about a year and a half to promote a book after its release. You have to spend time on that. Otherwise, it makes it sort of futile to spend that much time and effort on something and not have anybody read it.

We’ve been really lucky with A Life Measured in Inches because even though it’s not in stores it has continued to sell steadily online and it has been one of our publisher’s top sellers. So, we are really happy about that.

I should mention as a last thing, our book – we don’t know how it got in there – but we just learned a couple of weeks ago that it’s now in the Margaret Herrick Library, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I guess because of the filmography. We were really happy about that just because it gives the book a lot of validity and cred to be in there as a research book.

Wonderful. That’s quite an honor.

Yes, we’re pleased about that. I thought, “Well, good.” Because I looked and I didn’t see any other books on adult performers in there. I don’t know how that comes about, but probably somebody makes a recommendation or request and it happens that way.

Well, the book certainly deserves to be in there. It’s very comprehensive, not just on John Holmes, but the adult industry itself.

Yes, it sort of makes it so your work is recognized. So, it’s great when you put so much time into something. It really is a nice honor.

For sure. Thank you for your time, Jill, and I wish you all the best with your upcoming book.

Thank you very much, Adam. I really appreciate it.

Written by Adam Wilcox

June 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Interviews