Tuesday, May 5, 2015
BEAVER STREET: A HISTORY OF MODERN PORNOGRAPHY ( FEEDBACK )
NOTE - On Oct. 20, 2015, I made one correction to the text, modified two photos, added one quote, and added two new photos.
"Then, on cue, she delivered her trademark series of orgasmic whimpers. This was what the suits were waiting for - and they filled the room with the unmistakably pungent odor that was the essence of every sleaze palace on forty-second street"
The above quote is from chapter 5 - page 64 - of BEAVER STREET.
This is a non-fiction book about Robert Rosen's time working for several adult publications from 1983 to 1999.
I've always been fascinated by insider stories, and Mr. Rosen's accounts are definitely fascinating, and fun.
One of my favorite things about this book, is the way Mr. Rosen writes. He's so descriptive and detailed in his accounts. During certain chapters, it felt as if I was actually there, watching everything happen.
It's too bad schools didn't have history books written as honestly, or as entertainingly as BEAVER STREET - everyone would have learned a lot more, and without being forced to.
I read BEAVER STREET for three nights in a row, until I finished, and I loved every minute of it.
After I finished reading the book, I realized I had far too many pages of notes ( and I couldn't read at least half of it ). There was no way, I was going to be able to express all of my feelings without writing something as big as a novella.
I had a difficult time deciding what to mention.
I've TRIED to condense my thoughts, but I think I may have failed.....
Above are SWANK magazine covers from the 1960's and 1970's... NOTE - the photos are NOT from the book
When Mr. Rosen was in college, he worked at a newspaper called OBSERVATION POST.
That same publication sent him to watch a movie called ANIMAL LOVER. It's about a woman that has sex with several beasts, and his job was to review it.
Screengrabs are from a trailer for FASCINATION ( from DISTRIBPIX / VIDEO-X-PIX )... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
"Having studied an issue of High Society over the week-end, I understood that the job was going to require a strong stomach, not to mention a few minor adjustments in my moral code"
The above quote is from chapter 4 - page 21 - of BEAVER STREET.
When he was still working for the OBSERVATION POST, the shit-hit-the-fan, after a certain piece of art was published. Later, photos based on that art created an even bigger shit-storm.
Below is a MICRO-SIZED list of SOME of the publications Mr. Rosen edited ( using the name Bobby paradise )...
D-CUP, HIGH SOCIETY, SHAVED, SWANK, STAG, STACKED, PLUMP & PINK, FOR ADULTS ONLY, BLACK LUST, LESBIAN LUST, BLONDES IN HEAT, X-RATED CINEMA, and HUNDREDS of others!
FYI - Most of these magazines sell for a lot of money these days.
Above are HIGH SOCIETY magazine covers... From left to right, Savannah, Ginger Lynn & Amber Lynn, and Ashlyn Gere... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
Mr. Rosen lands a job at HIGH SOCIETY... I found all the stories about staff meetings, both humorous and even a little scary.
During one staff meeting, someone suggests putting a phone number on a centerfold - which gives birth to phone sex.
As most of us already know, phone sex was hugely successful... $70,000 per week sounds great, doesn't it?
His boss, Carl Ruderman, sounds like the very definition of overbearing.
Reading about his co-workder, Joseph Angelini, gave me the creeps. He sounds like the kind of person that makes you feel, as if you just walked into a big pile of cow shit, know what I mean?
Another co-worker, Maria Bellamari, seemed to be his only friend at that job.
There seemed to be a lot of paranoia about archrival HUSTLER magazine, which resulted in some very odd behavior.
There's also some really interesting info about Gloria Leonard and her time at this publication.
I almost forgot to mention the asshole incident - it's directly connected to Larry Flynt, and I could not stop laughing.
Unfortunately - or fortunately - Mr. Rosen is cut loose from HIGH SOCIETY.
Above are SWANK magazine covers... From left to right, scream queen Michelle Bauer aka Pia Snow, Taija Rae, and Seka... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
Now, Mr. Rosen gets hooked up with SWANK... And he finally gets "full medical benefits" and some other good things... He didn't get any of that with HIGH SOCIETY ( cheap bastards ).
We get to meet Susan Netter, the editor of STAG ( part of SWANK ). I had a lot of sympathy for her. She seemed to be very smart and extremely unappreciated.
Above are magazine covers for STAG with Kandi Barbour, STAG'S ADULT EROTICA with Buffy & Keisha, and STAG'S X-RATED VIDEO with Cindy Sterling... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
Ms. Netter appeared to be in a no-win situation. She really was damned if she did, and damned if she didn't!... I hope she's doing well.
In my opinion, Mr. Rosen's new boss, Chip Goodman, treated Ms. Netter like crap on the bottom of a shoe. During the course of reading this book, I really came to loathe Chip Goodman. He should have changed his last name to BADman.
He also grabs a female co-worker's breasts. Her name is Pam Katz, and reading about it really pissed me off. Think about his shameless sense of entitlement!
Screengrabs are from a trailer for DEEP INSIDE ANNIE SPRINKLE ( from DISTRIBPIX / VIDEO-X-PIX )... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
Mr. Rosen talks about editing Annie Sprinkle's column, and also mentions a film called ORIENTAL TECHNIQUES IN PAIN AND PLEASURE. Why do I remember this? Because he describes how Annie shoves fifteen billiard balls up a man's ass, and then proceeds to shove her arm up the same derriere!... OUCH!
A woman named Georgina Kelly, and her daughter, are mentioned repeatedly. She was Mr. Rosen's friend / occasional co-worker / girlfriend. She made quite an impression on me. I thought she was smart, ambitious, creative, and a bit confusing.
Screengrabs are from a trailer for MARASCHINO CHERRY ( from DISTRIBPIX / VIDEO-X-PIX )... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
"He thinks somebody's giving away phone-sex secrets to Hustler. He thinks Hustler's spying on us, and that there's an informer in the office"
The above quote is from chapter 4 - page 28 - of BEAVER STREET.
One of my favorite stories, involves Ms. Kelly doing a photo shoot during a sex show. It's being performed in front of an audience, at SHOW WORLD in New York. She tells a famous adult performer the following, "You can get your ugly twat out of here if you don't like the way I do things" ( quote is from chapter five - page 64 ). I don't know why that made me laugh, but it did.
I hope Ms. Kelly and her daughter are doing well.
Maria Bellanari, one of his former co-workers from HIGH SOCIETY shows up at SWANK and is hired by Mr. Rosen. We learn she has an unusual interest in Charles Manson, and John Hinckley. Even though I felt bad for her, I also got an uncomfortable vibe from her.
Above are some book covers for, the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS ( VOLUME 1 ), THE GODFATHER, A SWELL LOOKING BABE, GORKY PARK, and DEAD STREET.... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
One of my favorite parts of the book, deals with SWANK's history, and it's ties to MARVEL comics, men's adventure magazines, LION BOOKS, SCREEN STARS magazine, Mario Puzo, and more!
Above is a book cover for MEN'S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES, SCREEN STARS magazine cover, and a poster for the movie SPLASH... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
We also get a closer look at Chip Goodman and how his mind worked.
In my opinion, shrinks and universities from all over the country, would have loved to spent time studying Mr. Rosen's former bosses, and many of his co-workers.
HIGH SOCIETY and SWANK sounded like breeding grounds for ulcers, nervous breakdowns, and homicidal thoughts.
Above is a newspaper clipping about the Traci Lords scandal ( from 1986 )... NOTE - the photo is not from the book
QUOTE from Ginger Lynn - "Traci's just a cunt... She's just a two-faced, backstabbing, dead-eyed bitch. I hope her tits rot and fall off. I really can not stand her. She's evil, nasty person"... ( quotes are from her interview with the RIALTO REPORT - Nov. 2, 2014 - at the 43 min. mark ).
After reading Mr. Rosen's thoughts on the Traci Lords scandal, it really changed the way I look at her.
It also reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten.
I now have a far easier time understanding why Ginger Lynn and countless others feel so much animosity towards Traci, and where all the anger is coming from.
Traci should have spent time in prison, no if's, and's, or but's about it!
Why wasn't the state of California, or the federal government held responsible for issuing her an OFFICIAL I.D., and OFFICIAL PASSPORT?!
This mess would never have happened if they had NOT stamped her lie with an OFFICIAL SEAL OF APPROVAL!
The government also knew she was underage, A YEAR BEFORE the news was ever made public, and yet, they did NOTHING!
What does that make them?!
Did any state, or federal employees, go to jail?!... Oh, I forgot, they're ABOVE THE LAW!
They need to be reminded who they're working for! They also need to be reminded, if they are above the law, then so is everybody else!
Remember the movie called CATCH ME IF YOU CAN?... It was based on the life of Frank W. Abagnale, and his book.
QUOTE is from ABAGNALE.COM - "Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries"
Mr. Abagnale started his shenanigans when he was 16 YEARS OLD! He was also ultimately held accountable for his actions, Traci Lords was NOT!
In my opinion, if Traci had been a boy, I sincerely doubt the government, or the media, would have given a rat's ass - even if he had turned up dead!
In our society, being female automatically equals victim and male equals evil-spawn-from-hell.
There are still too many DOUBLE STANDARDS. New laws need to be created and old laws need to be updated - the way they're being updated to deal with all the female sexual predators. Those abominations have gotten away with victimizing far too many people, for far too long!
And yes, Mr. Rosen also talks about Meese and other scumbags.
This is supposed to be about the book, not my rants... So, enough of that.
Above is a print ad for SCREW magazine - with picture of Al Goldstein... NOTE - the photo is not from the book
There's more!... We also learn about a grisly murder, S&M, Canadian censorship, the meese commission report, Nixon, Buck Henry, and find out the value of female pubic hair... I'm still NOT done...
SCREW magazine and Al Goldstein are also part of this book.
Mr. Rosen drove a cab at one point, and we also find out about an ugly incident involving John Lennon's former personal assistant.
There seems to be a lot of people in publishing with the last name of Goodman... ha-ha-ha.
I almost forgot to mention that Mr. Rosen becomes the target of a squirting boob. I thought it was bizarre, totally gross, and very funny.
Other things covered in BEAVER STREET are, the tragedy of forgotten adult performer Trinity Loren - and how it relates to Traci Lords, the VHS revolution, the internet revolution, SWANK's sale to a printer, and Mr. Rosen's last day at that publication.
Did I leave anything out?... Yes, I did, I left out a lot!
NOTE - I received this review copy directly from HEADPRESS.
ISBN ( 9781900486767 )
AUTHOR - Robert Rosen
COVER ARTIST - None... Photo cover
COMPANY - Headpress
OBTAINED AT - From publisher
PRICE - $19.95... I received a free review copy
SOFTcover... Also available in KINDLE form
SIZE - approximately 5 1/2" wide by 8 1/2" tall
PAGES - approximately 214
Above are some newspaper clippings about the Meese commission report ( from 1986 )... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
The contents of BEAVER STREET are...
Chapters one through eleven
About the author / acknowledgments
About this book
Above is a newspaper clipping of Seka at Capitol Hill ( from 1984 )... NOTE - the photo is not from the book
DO I WANT MY MONEY BACK?:
I highly recommend this book.
My emotions were all over the map while reading this. I also think most folks can identify with the workplace stories.
I would love to see BEAVER STREET turned into a film, or mini-series, or multi-part documentary.
As I stated earlier, I received this book free of charge, directly from the publisher.
Many thanks to Robert Rosen, and Thomas at HEADPRESS.
FYI - The only other times I've received something free from publishers / authors / film distributors, are as follows.....
Lawrence Block - THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC
Alternative Cinema - SHOCK-O-RAMA HORROR COLLECTION
When I say I love - or hate - something, it's the truth, and I'm proud of that!
Above are LEG ACTION magazine covers... NOTE - the photos are not from the book
Related websites... See links below...
ROBERT ROSEN ( official website )
HEADPRESS ( official website )
These other websites should also be of interest... Links below...
TRACI LORDS ( IMDB )
GINGER LYNN ( IMDB )
RIALTO REPORT ( official website )
FRANK ABAGNALE ( official website )