The Sporadic Beaver

This Is Cool

July 15, 2013

Tags: Beaver Street, A History of Modern Pornography, Amazon, reviews, John Mozzer, Alan Adrian, Carl Ruderman, Traci Lords, Annie Sprinkle, Bill Bottiggi

John Mozzer was an information technology specialist who'd received security clearance from the National Security Agency. But in his secret life, one that he lived from 1978 to 1995, he was Alan Adrian, a pornographic actor who appeared in 67 XXX-rated movies, including such classics as A Taste of Money, Inside Little Oral Annie, Maid in Manhattan, Babylon Blue, Oriental Techniques in Pain and Pleasure, Centerfold Fever, and The Devil in Miss Jones II.

Now retired and living in L.A., Mozzer tends to an extensive archive of material related to the porn industry. He also knows many of the characters from Beaver Street, and he recently posted a review of the book on Amazon. I think the review serves as a perfect example of the kind of dialogue that I'd hoped Beaver Street would spark, and which I'd encourage people to continue.

This is what Mozzer had to say:


A Fascinating Read

My original reason for reading Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography is that my world overlapped with author Robert Rosen’s world during the 1980s. I worked as an adult film actor (under the name Alan Adrian or Spike), a representative for magazine distributing and printing companies that profited by serving the porn industry, and a freelance writer and photographer for some of Rosen’s colleagues.

It’s a shame that names have to be changed in non-fiction books like Beaver Street. I was hoping to recognize the colleagues whose names were changed by Rosen. But that didn’t happen. I suspect this means it will be all the more difficult for future writers on this topic to figure out who’s who.

To my surprise, in Chapter 4, Rosen describes Carl Ruderman, the person with the money behind High Society, as very involved with its day-to-day operation. Furthermore, his anecdotes about working for High Society came across as very credible. I found myself feeling, “I’m sure these things really happened.” Nevertheless, I think caution is in order, because Rosen’s stint at High Society is a small fraction of the magazine’s life, and the situation may have changed over time. After finishing Chapter 4, I decided the extent to which Ruderman involved himself with the day-to-day operation of High Society, over the long run, remains an open question.

Years ago, I heard about the murder of editor Bill Bottiggi. But I never knew about the circumstances leading up to the murder, as Rosen describes it. I find Rosen’s account very disconcerting. After all these years, I have to reconsider placing Bottiggi in the “all good” and “nice guy” category in my head. Initially, I believed Rosen’s account. Later, I found myself not wanting to believe it, and longing for accounts by other people who knew Bottiggi.

Rosen presents strong arguments against society for allowing Traci Lords to get away with hoodwinking the porn industry. In fact, his arguments made me very, very pissed off at her.

Beaver Street was truly a book that I couldn’t put down. I learned tons of stuff that I didn’t know. You don’t need to have been involved with the porn industry, like myself, in order to enjoy the book. You don’t even have to be involved with researching the subject. Beaver Street is a fascinating book to read.

The Rialto Report

April 26, 2013

Tags: The Rialto Report, Beaver Street, A History of Modern Pornography, Annie Sprinkle, New York, podcast, Kendra Holliday

Having written a book about the history of pornography, set mostly in New York City between 1974-1987, I take an abiding interest in all things having to do with the history of porn in New York. Recently, I've discovered a site called The Rialto Report, run by a man with a British accent who calls himself Ashley West and occasionally Benson Hurst, and who shares my abiding interest in the Golden Age of New York's adult industry.

Named for the now-closed Rialto Theatre on 42nd Street, the site has posted a series of podcast interviews with porn people from New York's past. Last night I listened to the interview with Carter Stevens, an actor, director, and producer, probably best known for a film called Lickity-Split. Though I didn't write about him in Beaver Street, he's one of those pornographers whose name you heard time and again if you worked in X; he was everywhere in the 70s and 80s.

The interview is over an hour, and Stevens, with his tough-guy voice, goes into great detail about New York in the days of Plato’s Retreat, Bernard’s, Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astor, Sharon Mitchell, and his ex-wife, Baby Doe.

As I write this, I’m listening to the provocative interview with Annie Sprinkle—she talks about rape and feminism. Sprinkle was a unique (to say the least) New York character whom I worked with when I was managing editor of Stag in the 1980s, and whom I did write about in Beaver Street. (I discuss Annie and some of her freaky predilections in this video clip from my interview with Kendra Holliday.)

Also interviewed on The Rialto Report are porn stars Jennifer Welles, George Payne, and Jeffrey Hurst, filmmaker John Amero, and photographer Barbara Nitke.

This is a rapidly expanding site, and a great resource well worth checking out.

The Kendra Holliday Interview, Part 2

November 2, 2011

Tags: Kendra Holliday, The Beautiful Kind, Beaver Street, child pornography, Traci Lords, Annie Sprinkle, Ron Jeremy

In part 2 of my Kendra Holliday interview, "How the U.S. Government Really Feels About Child Pornography," the editor of The Beautiful Kind interrogates me about Traci Lords, Annie Sprinkle, Ron Jeremy, and my literary influences.

I tell her everything I know.

Stay tuned for part 3 on Friday.

The Beaver Correspondence 5

May 24, 2011

Tags: Beaver Street, pornography, Annie Sprinkle, Lou Grant

This is my response to the e-mail I posted yesterday.

Jack,

Thorny? Me? As I recall, you once did compare me to Lou Grant. But that was a long time ago.

I’m finding this exchange so entertaining that I’m considering publishing the whole thing on my blog, or most of it anyway. Will obviously have to edit carefully to hide your identity. Just want to make sure you don’t have a problem with that.

I’d say that with the exception of the later work of Annie Sprinkle there are no porn stars who consider their work art.

Bob

To be continued…

Annie Sprinkle Speaks

September 15, 2010

Tags: Beaver Street, A History of Modern Pornography, Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle is a former porn star with a Ph.D, a photographer, an author, and self-described “ecosexual artist.” I was her editor in the mid-1980s when she was a columnist for Stag magazine. Annie is now a character in Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, and that’s why I sent her a galley of the book. Here’s what she had to say:

“Thank heavens Robert Rosen has documented his, mine, and your wacky, tacky, rich and fun smut-rag history. Beaver Street is a deliciously delightful read, a fabulous book. He captures the complexities, ironies, and color of the times when sex magazines ruled. As a girl who has been round the Beaver Street block, I can attest that this is the raunchy truth, extremely well told.”