Ever since YouTube achieved global dominance, book trailers have become de rigueur for every author, from Nobel laureates, like Mario Vargas Llosa, to self-published scribblers who give away their e-books on Amazon.
A well-done trailer can create awareness that a book exists and can attract media attention, which can lead to… more media attention, which can be helpful if you've written a book that's worth reading.
The Pornographer’s Daughter, by Kristin Battista-Frazee, is a memoir that vividly depicts the trauma and chaos of growing up with a father who was a sex-club owner and a major distributor of Deep Throat, the fellatio flick that changed everything.
To promote The Pornographer’s Daughter—and her September 26 panel discussion about pornography’s impact on pop culture (in which I’ll be participating), at the Strand, in New York City—Kristin has released the above trailer, starring David Koechner, best known as Todd Packer on The Office and Champ Kind in Anchorman and Anchorman 2.
Koechner plays two roles in the trailer: himself and a character named Gerald “T-Bones” Tibbons, an obnoxious reporter who interviews Kristen about The Pornographer’s Daughter even though he hasn’t read it and thinks it’s a filthy book, like Fifty Shades of Grey.
Kristin holds her own against both incarnations of this bona fide comic heavyweight. And maybe the trailer will persuade you to venture out to the Strand to see our porn panel, which also includes Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, and will be moderated by Dr. Belisa Vranich, author of the self-help book Get a Grip.
In the meantime, for your edification, please contrast and compare The Pornographer’s Daughter trailer with my own trailer, below, Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street: Episode 1—there are four episodes altogether—starring Paul Slimak as renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. Shot on a budget of approximately £1, a few months before Beaver Street was published in the U.K., the video features Agnes Herrmann’s voiceover and Mary Lyn Maiscott’s performance of the Beaver Street theme song (with apologies to Ray Davies and the Kinks).
Gerald Tibbons, meet Erich von Pauli. Long may you run.
Far From Flatbush
I read Fear and Loathing when I was 21, and I saw my future. "I can do this," I thought. I wanted someone to pay me to go places, take drugs, and write stories about it.
Since that day, I’ve read Fear and Loathing so many times, my copy of the book disintegrated.
I went through a phase in graduate school where everything I wrote came out sounding like Hunter Thompson. I was possessed by him, and one of my teachers literally performed an in-class exorcism—everybody started chanting, trying to purge Thompson’s spirit from my system. It didn’t work.
I think I finally got rid of him around 1990, when I wrote a parody review of a Mercedes-Benz for D-Cup magazine—I was editing a car magazine, too, and I was always getting cars to test drive. This was the last Thompson parody I ever wrote, and it was also the last time that Mercedes ever gave me a car.
On Tuesday, July 23, at 8 P.M., at a Hunter Thompson birthday celebration in the upstairs lounge of the 2A bar, at 25 Avenue A in New York, I’ll be reading this parody, “Mein Kar” (featuring renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli), along with the passage from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that inspired it.
Joining me will be senior High Times editor Bobby Black, adult film star Brittany Andrews, and actor/writer Jeffery Emerson.
Hope to see you there, especially if you couldn’t make it to the last Eric Danville, Robert Rosen, Lainie Speiser production, Bloomsday on Beaver Street. There is no cover charge. Read More
Actually, it's not a stage, just an area on the floor at the upstairs bar of the Killarney Rose, at 80 Beaver Street, that we like to call a stage. But it is where all the Bloomsday on Beaver Street performances will be taking place, on Sunday, June 16, beginning at 7 P.M. And we have just received word that Slimak, whom you may know as degenerate Nazi fugitive Erich von Pauli from the Beaver Street videos (and whom I call "Henry Dorfman" in Beaver Street, the book) will be one of the performers.
Slimak and his wife, Agnes Herrmann, who plays Diana Clerkenwell in the Beaver Street videos (and whom you may have last seen in The Road, as Archer’s Woman), will perform a reading from Mr. Sensitivity, a play by our MC, Byron Nilsson, about a man who gives his wife a porn stud for her birthday. (Mr. Sensitivity was performed at the Fringe Festival in 2009.)
As a special bonus, Slimak, in the character of von Pauli, will introduce my first public reading of my novel, Bobby in Naziland: A Portrait of the Author as a Young Jew.
He has ways of making you listen. Read More
As regular visitors to this Website know, Slimak, in the guise of his own comic creation, Erich von Pauli, a degenerate fugitive from the Third Reich, has made a series of promotional videos for Beaver Street, one of which Michael Musto wrote about in The Village Voice.
I’m pleased to report that Slimak’s acting talents will now be on display nationwide, beginning today, when the thriller Tomorrow You’re Gone, starring Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe, and Stephen Dorff, opens in theatres and will be available On Demand. An exclusive clip of Slimak playing a slimeball opposite Dorff is available here.
In other news, negotiations are underway to bring Slimak and his wife, Agnes Herrmann, who plays Diana Clerkenwell in the von Pauli videos, to New York for Bloomsday on Beaver Street. Stay tuned for more details. Read More
So, here's a close-up that in-house photographer Michael Paul shot the other day. I'm standing on the corner of West Street and Houston, in downtown Manhattan, waiting for the light to change and looking as if I'm about to tell you something--you've probably just asked me for directions.
As for the title of this post, it’s a reference to the famous line from the last few minutes of Sunset Boulevard, spoken by Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson): “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” And by the time Michael Paul (not to be confused with Paul Slimak, whom I call “Henry Dorfman” in Beaver Street) shot this, I was, after a hard afternoon of posing, more than ready for my close-up. Read More
It's been a helluva month. Allow me to share some of the highlights and lowlights:
10. A blogger in England puts my John Lennon bio, Nowhere Man, on his list of "Top 10 Books," among the works of such commercial powerhouses as Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer, and C.J. Sanson. This has happened dozens of times before, and each time it does, it reminds me anew that 12 years after publication, Nowhere Man has achieved "cult classic" status.
9. A rave review of Nowhere Man: Gli ultimi giorni di John Lennon, in an Italian magazine, calls the book “daring,” “an unforgiving but truthful portrait,” and a “must for… Beatles fans.”
8. The Italian edition of Nowhere Man sells out its first printing, but Italy, like the publishing industry itself, is in such a state of economic and political chaos, nobody seems to know if there will be a second printing.
7. My wife and I spend a blissful week in Santa Barbara, at our friends’ house, “Casa de los patios,” as it’s called. We begin each day sipping coffee on one of five patios, gazing at the mountains in the distance. “Another goddamn beautiful day,” says the mistress of the house each morning, as she comes trotting onto the patio with her four dogs.
6. For the fourth consecutive month, this website hits a new high in traffic.
5. I read and sign Beaver Street at Book Soup, the legendary independent bookstore on Sunset Strip in L.A.
4. I’m interviewed about Beaver Street on The Tiffany Granath Show on Sirius XM Playboy radio.
3. After a year of hustling and promotion, the first printing of Beaver Street sells out in the U.K. There will be a second printing… sooner or later.
2. Christy Canyon and Ginger Lynn interview me about Beaver Street on their Sirius XM Playboy radio show, You Porn. Christy shows me her extraordinary (and ageless) breasts. Paul Slimak (Henry Dorfman in Beaver Street) calls in as Erich von Pauli, the character he plays in the Beaver Street promotional videos, and has everybody in the studio cracking up as he threatens to launch his V-2 missiles. It’s one of the best hours of radio I’ve ever participated in.
1. Claiming at various times “technical problems,” that they don’t have the right to sell the book, or that the book is “unavailable,” Amazon effectively bans the print edition of Beaver Street in the U.S. and there appears to be nothing anybody can do about it. Read More
I've often said that the live radio interview is my preferred form of book promotion. I've done hundreds of such interviews since 2000, when my first book, Nowhere Man, was published. Usually, I'm sitting at home, in New York, talking on the telephone. When the chemistry's right and the host has actually read the book, the interview can be like free-form jazz--it can go anywhere.
My May 10 appearance on Christy Canyon and Ginger Lynn’s Spice Radio show, You Porn, out of L.A., was memorable for many reasons. Christy, an author in her own right, had indeed read Beaver Street—the book was full of her notations in the margins. She was an excellent interviewer who knew how to make me feel comfortable, asked all the right questions, and let me answer them at length. She also had a good sense of pacing, knowing when to gently cut me off if I was going on too long. The show got off to a fine start when Christy showed me her astonishing breasts, and asked if I recognized them.
“Yes,” I said, “I remember them well… and they haven’t aged at all.” I then urged the show’s listeners to give her breasts a well-deserved round of applause.
It was towards the end of the show that a character from the book, “Henry Dorfman,” who in real life is professional actor Paul Slimak, called in as Erich von Pauli, the deranged Nazi character he plays in the Beaver Street promotional videos. Von Pauli had everybody in the studio cracking up, as he praised the book’s superior literary quality and threatened to launch his V-2 missiles if Amazon doesn’t get their act together and make the print edition available immediately.
The show went so well, and everybody had so much fun, the Spice Radio people have invited me back to appear today, at 3 PM (EST), on The Tiffany Granath Show, on Sirius-XM channel 102. A rotating panel of sex experts takes your calls on this “advice show,” as it’s described.
Well, I’m ready, and I’m looking forward to seeing you on the radio this afternoon. Read More
When I was in London, I gave a Beaver Street pep talk to the sales force at Turnaround, Headpress's UK distributor. For the finale, I played episode three of Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street, and the reps applauded enthusiastically.
“When are you doing a Broadway musical?” one of them asked.
I mentioned this to Paul Slimak—Henry Dorfman in the book—the actor who plays renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. He loved the idea of a Broadway musical, and suggested that I write a skit to showcase his musical talents, as well as the talents of his wife, Agnes Herrmann (Diana Clerkenwell), and their voice coach, Kevin S. Foster (Captain Derek Lancashire).
“We can sing Mozart,” Paul said. “Something from ‘The Magic Flute.’”
“Excellent choice, Mein Führer,” I replied, and wrote the script for episode four, Erich von Pauli Sings Mozart, above.
Boy, do these kids ever sing their hearts out—all in the service of Beaver Street!
For those unfamiliar with Paul and Agnes’s long and distinguished acting careers, or should you want to see some of their other work, check out Paul as the Priest in Cookie, as Jay, a john in Working Girls, and famously, as The Weeping Nazi on the premiere episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Agnes has most recently appeared in The Road, as Archer’s Woman. And next year, look for both of them in Boot Tracks, starring Stephen Dorff and Michelle Monaghan.
Can Beaver Street: The Musical be Broadway bound? With talent like this you gotta believe. Read More
The reaction of my homeboys has been predictable.
“Anything less than a ‘Gonzo Filth Legend’ would have been an insult!” writes Paul Slimak, whom I call “Henry Dorfman” in the book. (Paul now plays unreconstructed Nazi Erich von Pauli in the Beaver Street promotional videos.)
“Seems you should print up some cards with that as your title,” writes a Facebook friend I know from junior high school, who prefers to remain anonymous.
“I hope I’m able to introduce you in those terms to some of my friends,” writes an editor who works with my wife, and whose name, as a matter of prudence, I shall not mention.
Former editor of For Adults Only, Izzy Singer, however, has pointed out an inaccuracy in the article. “As I recall,” he writes, “I commissioned ‘The $5 Blowjob,’ not you.”
Yes, Izzy, you are correct. And that’s exactly what it says in Beaver Street. Read More
...Paul Slimak and Agnes Herrmann have graciously shot another Beaver Street promo video. Paul is a character in the book; I call him Henry Dorfman. He's a professional actor who specializes in playing Nazis. Agnes is also a professional actor and voice-over specialist. She's appeared in such films as The Road. Thank you Paul and Agnes! Read More