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Category Archives: Burlesque

Boom Boom Valdez and other catchy names…

Someone on Twitter last night said that they liked a phrase in one of my tweets and wanted to use it as the name of their band. The phrase was “futile lechery,” which I used to describe the hilarious attempts of horny John Astin to score a date with lovely Doris Day in the 60s comedy A Touch of Mink. I gotta admit, I’m proud of that little combo of words.

DorisDay-JohnAstin

Actually, however, it’s not the first time my words have inspired (or will inspire) a band’s name. In 1988 I wrote (and titled) a porn movie called BOOM BOOM VALDEZ.

I wrote several movies directed by Henri Pachard.

I wrote several movies directed by Henri Pachard.

I had briefly met the sexy young star Keisha at the XRCO Awards in L.A., and I was knocked out by her beauty and friendly personality. Then another time (I can’t recall if it was on the same trip) I ran into her at a party at the home of a magazine photographer, and I told Keisha I’d love to write a movie for her sometime. I mentioned this to director Ron Sullivan aka Henri Pachard, who was also there. He told me to come up with a storyline (he had just directed my first two screenplays, ADULTERY and ON THE LOOSE) and I promptly did when I got back to New York. BOOM BOOM VALDEZ is the story of topless dancer Boom Boom (Keisha) and her relationships with her sister, mother, co-workers at the club, and a writer who has a bit of a crush on her. (Nothing autobiographical about it!) 😉

The picture got made and is still out there on disc, old VHS cassettes, online, and even got a very nice IMDb review last year which you can read here. But as luck and occasional porn production ineptitude would have it (and at the time I was extremely annoyed), the producers forgot to include my name in the credits…!

My reaction to this was, and I quote exactly:  $%!!#??#&**##%!!!

I wrote all my movies under my real name Neil Wexler, rather than Irv O. Neil. Many of the scripts had a lot of personal elements, even more in the case of BOOM BOOM VALDEZ which is why the missing credit so irked me. But to whom was I going to protest, the non-existent Porn Screenwriters Guild?

Notice how the disc box has a much more peppy photo of Keisha? She looks so serious on the VHS cover!

Notice how the disc box has a much more peppy photo of Keisha? She looks so serious on the VHS cover above!

Nonetheless, in sneaky fashion, always anticipating this kind of snafu, I’d left certain clues within the script itself as to its writerly parentage. For one, there is a character named “Victor Bloom”—Bloom being a name that has popped up in my work since 1975, either as characters or pseudonyms (I wrote as “Lester Bloom” for many years). Secondly, the characters of the writer played by Joey Silvera and the burlesque fan played by Richard Pacheco are very recognizably drawn on my own personality and interests. The writer, in fact, is a precursor to the character of Vic Vanner in my suspense novel FATE OF A STRIPPER, about a middle-aged writer/editor in love with a dancer.

You might say that in my imagination, Boom-Boom Valdez dances on the same club stage as Valerie Vickers of this novel.

Anyway, it was a kick when I heard, years later, that there was a European band called Boom Boom Valdez—so I look forward to hearing more about Futile Lechery!

 

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Burlesque, Erotica, history of erotica

 

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The dark nights of a stripper’s heart…

FATE OF A STRIPPER is a novel that takes you into the girlie joints of New York’s contemporary Times Square (yes, such clubs are happily still there despite the much-publicized gentrification); the hipster scene of the New Burlesque (a little further downtown in the East Village); and into some very dark recesses of the human heart…

In the tradition of the 50s noir paperbacks and films!

A story in the femme fatale tradition of 1950s noir paperbacks and films.

It’s available on Kindle and many other mobile devices at Amazon USAUK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, India and The Netherlands.

So please click ahead to Amazon and explore the free sample chapters, and then experience…

FATE OF A STRIPPER.

 

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Learn the FATE OF A STRIPPER!

Inside some porn and erotica writers are the restless spirits of scribes who aspire to also prove themselves in the wider arena of words. I’ve written about this on my blog before, that other genres of writing–like literary, suspense, or crime writing–offer different and exciting challenges to my imagination.

And so, with FATE OF A STRIPPER, the new non-porn mainstream novel I’ve just published on Kindle, I’ve met that challenge. It’s a complex story, almost 250 pages long, that’s not simply about a stripper and her customer, but about the difficulty of love and the deceptions of desire. It’s about office politics, and family relationships, and the struggle to survive both financially and emotionally. I guess you might say I packed a lot into it, and it’s available now at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon CanadaAmazon France, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon Mexico, Amazon India, and Amazon Australia.

 

I look thru thousands of photos until I found this one, which perfectly evokes the stripper of the title.

I looked thru thousands of photos until I found this one, which perfectly evokes the stripper of the title.

FATE OF A STRIPPER tells about a middle-aged New York City guy named Vic Vanner who meets the sweet beauty of his dreams, but Valerie the stripper turns out to have some quirks to her personality, to say the least. Not that Vic isn’t a bit intense himself. Still, they give their all to the relationship–in their own ways–and they even start doing a stage act together in New Burlesque, the popular hip scene made famous by people like Dita Von Teese and which mixes striptease with performance art.

Vic is a romantic and unsure of himself with Valerie, especially since she’s much younger than he is. The situation is not helped by the cynicism of his father, who casts a skeptical eye on almost everything Vic does. Furthermore, Valerie has a thuggish friend named Tino who gives her an outlet for her aggressive tendencies. The way she figures it, if people get in the way of her relationship with Vic, she’ll have Tino take care of them. Tino’s willing to do almost anything for Valerie–as long as he gets to play with her feet…

Yep, FATE OF A STRIPPER is not a porn novel, but ye ole Uncle Irv couldn’t resist making one of the characters a little kinky like the guys in my femdom ebooks. It’s also set in the world of strip clubs and Times Square, two locations of human endeavor that I know a little something about.

Anyway, the situation builds to quite a violent climax, and if the New York Post covered it, the story of Vic and Valerie would be probably be entitled something like THE STRIPPER, THE SUCKER AND THE SLAVE. At one point I even considered using that as the title of the novel; it’s the headline Vic nightmarishly visualizes when he’s wondering what the hell is going to happen to him after Valerie goes over the deep end one dark night in downtown Brooklyn…

I’ve made no secret of my love for film noir and noir paperbacks, and so some of that has rubbed off on this novel as well. I hope you’ll read it, I hope you’ll enjoy it, and please let me know with short reviews on Amazon if you take the plunge and learn the FATE OF A STRIPPER!

You can just click through to the Amazon links above and read the opening two and a half chapters absolutely free!

By the way, months after I wrote the book, I looked through thousands of stock photography images for a cover, and I’m glad I was so thorough–because the image by wisky’ at 123RF.com really captures the way I saw the character of Valerie. Click this link to see his portfolio. I hope you agree!

 

 

 

 

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New York City Bike-Seat Sniffing Surge?

A friend of mine was watching one of the Citibike racks recently installed on the NYC streets for what I call the “Mike’s Bikes” program. Setting up these vehicles for the citizenry was one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pet projects. Anyway, my pal saw a girl in very short shorts alight from her bike and replace it in the docking station, and as soon as she walked off, a guy came up and sniffed the seat which only moments before had been honored with the presence of her Daisy Duked derriere!

Hmm, I’d like to see the New York Post report further on this Citibikeseat sniffing phenomenon. How widespread is it?

I liked how the sun was caressing the seat... :)

I liked how the sun was caressing the seat… 🙂

Come to think of it, those bike seats kinda sorta call to mind the undulating form of a lovely lass laying on her tummy, don’t you think? Or maybe I’ve seen too many pictures by Lucien Clergue

Anyway, what other dirty thoughts have coursed through my porn writer’s mind lately? Well, when I went to a Duane Reade drugstore the other day, I got a glimpse of Katy Perry’s cleavage…

I can hear the crunch...

I can hear the crunch…

“Sweet” and “salty” are definitely terms that come to mind…but I’d rather not feel sinless around Katy! 😉

Meanwhile, on other fronts, the exclusive and intensive interview series I did with the Silent Porn Star about my smut writing & editing career is now complete, and you can read all about my time in the Trenches of Tumescence here. If you can, leave a comment on the Silent Porn Star site and let her know how you liked her work. I think she did a great job, but of course who can deny the uplifting infusion of ego satisfaction I experienced at being interviewed at such length, after spending so many years myself as the relatively invisible interviewer of hundreds of strippers, porn stars, as well as a few dommes, XXX film directors, a noir paperback publisher, a sword-and-sandal artist, and an international ping pong champion?

And, to once again complement the online publication of these pieces, here’s more writing from my early days in the erotica/porn/whatever-you-wanna-call-it trade. It’s the article I did for the December 1978 issue of HIGH SOCIETY (with 70s sex symbol Jackie Bisset on the cover), and it’s a profile of legendary pinup collector Art Amsie, a piece which I mention in the first section of the Silent Porn Star interview. Art, who passed away a few years ago, had an amazing collection of every pinup artist you can imagine, and his gallery was where I first learned about Bettie Page (whose name is “Betty” in the article, since she had still not resurfaced with the proper spelling) as well as great talents like Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, and Peter Driben. It’s written under yet another of my writing names, “Irving Wexler.” Just click on the pictures to make them larger and readable. I hope you enjoy it.

Jackie Bisset was the object of many a horny conversation!

Jackie Bisset was the object of many a horny conversation!

KingPinup-Page1

KingPinup-Page2

KingPinup-Page3

KingPinup-Page4

See how my porn editor’s mind works? I tried to capture your attention with the kinky headline, only to hope you stayed for the serious stuff! 😉

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I got the cover scan of HIGH SOCIETY from the great vintage mag dealer Oldmags.com, and the article was in my clip file. I took the bike and Katy Perry pix myself. (I wish I could have taken a picture of Katy ON a bike! Ruff-ruff!!)

The name is...what the fuck IS my name??

The name is…what the fuck IS my name??

 

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The Forrest J Ackerman Effect…

Well, the third part of the Silent Porn Star interview about my life as a smut scribe has just been published here, and it’s stirred up even more memories seeing it online…

Now, the first magazine I edited, in 1982 after being its staff writer for almost a year, was GAME.

By 1983 I was much better at evocative coverlines than when I started editing in 1982.

By 1983 I was much better at evocative coverlines than when I started editing in 1982.

As an editor I had three influences, besides learning the basics of the job from my predecessor at GAME, a great lady who called herself “Doc Silver.” I had read A. Scott Berg’s biography Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius in 1979, and that formed my mental template of how an editor should compassionately and constructively deal with his writers or, in my case, writers and photographers and porn stars and nude models. Perkins was patient and dedicated to bringing out the best of the great talents he edited, people like Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Wolfe.

This was the cover of the paperback edition of this great book.

This was the cover of the paperback edition of this great book.

My second influence was John Willie, the fetish artist whose BIZARRE magazines from the 40s and 50s I came upon in Times Square porn shops in the early 70s.

This is one of the first of John Willie's Bizarre mags that I saw in Times Square in the 70s.

This is one of the first of John Willie’s Bizarre mags that I ever saw.

In their quirky individualism, these BIZARRE magazines were antecedents to what eventually would be called “zines,” and I was very much attracted to the idea of doing a periodical in that idiosyncratic way, openly expressing my obsessions (in my case, for femdom or butts or legs or pinup style beauty), just as John Willie did with his interests in BDSM in the pages of BIZARRE. I was able to express myself in a oft-quirky way sometimes when I became a porn editor, depending on the amount of editorial oversight the various publishers gave me.

My other influence as an editor was Forrest J Ackerman, who edited FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, a magazine I read especially in my pre-adolescence in the early 60s and later too, which helped foster my love not just for horror films but movies in general.

Many parents of that era found covers like this rather disturbing! But kids loved them.

Many parents of that era found covers like this rather disturbing! But kids loved them.

Forrest J Ackerman in the Ackermansion in the mid-20th century

Forrest J Ackerman in the Ackermansion in the mid-20th century

Like Perkins, FJA (or 4SJ as he also liked to be known) had a great love and positive attitude toward the material he worked with (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror); a positive attitude toward his contributors (Ackerman was also an agent to many prominent sci-fi and fantasy authors); and an especially positive attitude toward the fans of his magazine, young and older. When I first edited FOR ADULTS ONLY magazine in 1983, I started the issues with a section of “what’s coming up next in porn movies” that I deliberately modeled in tone on Ackerman’s enthusiastic “coming next in horror” sections in FAMOUS MONSTERS.

Ackerman’s influence on creative people cannot be underestimated, whether he was mentoring them as writers or filmmakers, or giving them tours of his “Ackermansion” in Los Angeles, which was filled with an incredible collection of movie memorabilia.

What I personally got from Ackerman about the art of editing, just by reading his magazines from the time I was about eleven and absorbing subconsciously, was the need for strong pictures; powerful covers; catchy headlines and blurbs; and most of all, the use of humor in material where it might seem a little incongruous. Ackerman mixed puns and jokes with his descriptions of horror films, a blend which worked in his hands. I similarly found when editing sex magazines that the careful and judicious use of humor provided an additional release for the readers, even though some people believed that erotica and humor do not go together.

A terrific new documentary entitled The Ackermonster Chronicles, available here at JaSunni Productions, takes you into the life of this extraordinary man, from his beginnings as a science-fiction fan in the 1920s to his magazine editing in the 50s and 60s and beyond, to his mentoring of many talents like the film director Joe “Gremlins” Dante or John “American Werewolf in London” Landis.

Uncle Forry's colorful life from 1916-2008!

Uncle Forry’s colorful life from 1916-2008!

The documentary also discusses Ackerman’s interest in erotica, which I knew little about before. I had read previously elsewhere that he was a fan of burlesque and striptease, especially in the 50s, but not that he also had a collection of erotica and that he contributed fiction to the first lesbian zine ever. The movie tells the wild story of how Forry got in trouble with the postal authorities for having a mail correspondence with a male married janitor who pretended he was a lesbian! So the flick is interesting not just as a piece of cinematic and editorial history, but also as sex history. Producer and director Jason V Brock is to be commended for a fascinating piece of work.

Ackerman was great friends with Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen too.

Ackerman was great friends with Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen.

I got to meet Forrest J Ackerman in person once myself, around 2000, when I attended a fan convention in Virginia. I brought along a copy of Phantom X to give to him, the porn version of The Phantom of the Opera, which I’d written for director Paul Thomas in 1989, knowing that the 1925 Lon Chaney version of the story was one of Forry’s favorite films. At the time I felt a little embarrassed to give this eightysomething gent a porn tape, not knowing that he was an “honorary lesbian” and fan of erotica himself! His image as “Uncle Forry,” editor of FAMOUS MONSTERS, creator of VAMPIRELLA, and avuncular icon to his fans, many of whom were kids, never seemed to intersect with porn–but as the documentary makes clear, erotica played a part in Ackerman’s life, and pinups even helped Forry get through World War 2 in a funny and unique way: he used girlie photos given to him by a friend in order to give his fellow recruits the impression that he was a ladies’ man, instead of the anxious virgin he actually was when he went off to war! But check out the DVD for the full details of this anecdote, and many more. Forry’s kindness and encouragement to many people are recalled in the great array of interviews in this fine film.

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I found the scan of the GAME cover at OldMags.com; the scan of the Max Perkins book here; the scan of Bizarre here; the scan of FAMOUS MONSTERS here; and the picture of Forrest J Ackerman here.

 

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Sexology on Sunday…

Another year draws to a close. Not the best year, that’s for sure. A rough year in work and sometimes in emotions. But I have been gratified how people all over the world look at this blog on a daily basis. Today it’s been viewed everywhere from the United States to France, Brazil to Korea, from Austria to Canada to India to Sweden to Argentina…

So I sit down to post with a glass of Jameson at my side. My drink is Irish, my pen name is Irish, but my cock is Jewish. L’chaim! 

I got ahead in my weekly writing for DDF Productions so I could relax over this second holiday weekend in a row, but I ended up spending time on the computer anyway. I’m like a Siamese twin with my laptop, oh well. (Check out DDF’s blog here, it uses much of the XXX adult website copy I write for them and has links to my newsletters.) But I did get out to the flea market where I found a very interesting vintage paperback version of a sexology book first published in 1924, Sex and Life by W.F. Robie, M.D.

The book's typeface looks like that of the original 1924 edition.

The book’s typeface looks like that of the original 1924 edition.

The inside of this 1965 paperback looks like a facsimile of the original edition, with illustrations by Gustave Doré of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, from his illustrations for John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Strikes me that Dore is the perfect illustrator for sexology books wherein men and women wander in search of erotic knowledge.

Strikes me that Dore is the perfect illustrator for sexology books wherein men and women wander in search of erotic knowledge.

I started paging through it last night and found myself absorbed in a case history which was presented in the form of a “sexual autobiography” by one of the doctor’s correspondents. It details the story of a man born in 1888, and how by 1917 his sexual life was lived in erotic fantasy, with him occasionally masturbating about women he was infatuated with, but how he never found a female companion to love and have actual sex with. What made him unusual was how he claimed to only masturbate about women with whom he was frustrated in love and could not ever get involved with. He didn’t find pictures or burlesque shows or vaudeville stimulating–only the mental images of the women he wanted but couldn’t have. It wasn’t like they were “teasing” him and then “denying” him in the modern sense of that fetish–one girl in particular simply had no interest in being his sweetheart.

Of course he didn’t use the word “masturbation” so freely, but mixed it up post-Victorian style with terms like “auto-erotism” and “erotic reveries” and referred to his moods of “voluptuousness.”

I’m now reading a section of letters between the doctor and a female correspondent from around 1919, wherein she asks him first about a “friend” who had syphilis, and then later confesses that she was the victim of the disease, and that she was only too ashamed to admit it in her first letters. This section really brings to life the terror that people lived in vis a vis venereal disease back in those pre-penicillin days, and also reminds me of the helpless terror of AIDS that swept society in the late 1980s.

Ironically, when I opened the New York Post today, there was an article about a new book called The Men on My Couch by a contemporary psychologist, Dr. Brandy Engler, who deals a lot with the problem of guys in the Big Apple today. You can find the article here.

I wonder what it would be like to go to a pretty shrink...wait, I wrote a story about that called Mommy's Little Dunce!

I wonder what it would be like to go to a pretty shrink…wait, I wrote an ebook about that called Mommy’s Little Dunce! Although the shrink in my story was not a PhD. but a dominatrix/quack.

People’s lack of psychosexual insight and information always leads them into sticky waters (pun not intended, but let it stand). Today we understand that masturbation doesn’t cause blindness or hair on your palms, and of course syphilis can now be cured (with penicillin starting in 1947), but we have other sexual problems in our modern world which Dr. Engler’s patients deal with and which she writes about in her book. Check out the link to the article above, and you’ll see what I mean. So even though the dilemmas are different over the span of 125 years, from 1888 to almost 2013, the search for answers and the relief of erotic anxiety continues.

One reason I enjoy reading psychology and case histories is that it’s both illuminating and sometimes inspires me in the erotic fiction I write. Between Dr. Robie’s book and the Post article, an interesting theme has emerged in my mind from reading about the problems of men and women around World War One and the Age of the Fiscal Cliff, and I hope to explore it in some new stories. But I don’t want to say what this theme is until I actually see if I can work it into stories. I am a big fan of the theory that if you talk about your writing, it just remains talk. First write, then talk–that’s more my style.

Even one of the Dore illustrations from the Robie book, of Adam watching Eve sleep, could spur a tale…

These illustrations were probably very titillating back in their day, the mid-1800s.

These illustrations were probably very titillating back in their day, the mid-1800s.

Check out the Wikipedia page on Gustave Doré, there is some cool stuff there. Also check out Dark Classics, a cool art site where I found the Adam and Eve pictures.

And please check out my Amazon page here and enjoy the free samples of my femdom erotica, like the aforementioned Mommy’s Little Dunce (about a guilty fortyish porn writer who gets spanked for his literary sins), She Made a Cuckold on Black Friday (about a holiday shopping trip one man would never forget) or my latest, Learning to Be Cruel Part 2, which is subtitled “Punishment by the Book” and has my submissive hero teased and disciplined in a huge bookstore! If you like the free samples, please try the complete stories for only $2.99 each, which can be read on Kindles or even on your computers and mobile devices with the apps.

This is one of my best stories--very kinky yet very funny.

This is one of my best stories–very kinky yet very funny.

My fascination for Asian girls bubbles over in this one! I write from the groin as well as my brain.

My fascination for Asian girls bubbles over in this one! I write from the groin as well as my brain.

This is the epic sequel to my top-selling ebook Learning to be Cruel. Another exciting Chinese dominatrix rules the narrative!! :)

This is the epic sequel to my top-selling ebook Learning to be Cruel. An exciting Asian dominatrix returns to rule the narrative!!

So that’s what’s been on my mind these last couple of days. I hope 2013 will be better than 2012 in many ways! I hope you have a Happy New Year, and thanks for reading.

 

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Let’s “time travel” back to the hornier 1950s Times Square!

I did a little time traveling last Friday night. Yes, it’s possible if you have the right tools.

The first tool was a mystery novel written in 1951 (the year I was born), and which I found in this 1956 Dell paperback edition at the flea market a couple of weeks ago. By Friday I was well into it, and since it takes place in a seedy hotel in Times Square, I thought it might be fun to go to Times Square and get a cup of coffee somewhere and finish reading it while surrounded by the ghosts of bygone Broadway.

Without this cover, I doubt I would have bought the book.

Without this cover, I doubt I would have bought the book.

The cover painting, by William Rose, perfectly captures the ambiance of the novel, which contains a shady lady who’s up to no good in a sleazy hostelry somewhere between 6th Avenue and Broadway, maybe on 47th Street–which I know from my NYC history was noted for its number of dive hotels. Here’s the 1970s version of the same book, from a different publisher–compare them:

Nicely done cover, but 70s feeling totally anachronistic to the 50s story.

Nicely done cover, but the 70s feeling is totally anachronistic to the 50s story.

Although the latter cover is well executed, and actually includes a clever plot element (the dog), it is totally out of sync with the 1950s aura of the tale. I doubt I would have bought the book with this second cover.

Anyway…for info about where you can find the 1956 Dell version or the 1971 Paperback Library edition, go to the cool site Fantastic Fiction here. (I made a cover scan of my own copy of the book, but the Fantastic Fiction one looks better so I borrowed it.)

Where was I? Oh yes, time traveling. Well, I went to Times Square and I thought I’d have my coffee at the McDonald’s at 46th Street and Broadway, one of the few semi-seedy places still there. This McDonald’s just can’t help but retain some aura of existential angst, literally being situated right smack in the center of the legendary vortex of so many Gotham dreams, triumphs, failures and hopes. (It’s around the corner from Actor’s Equity, after all.) But the McDonald’s was so impossibly crowded last Friday night that I decided to go back home and finish my book there while having Chinese take-out.

It wasn’t as crammed as New Year’s Eve gets, but Times Square gets really clogged with humans around this time of year, and it can feel really lonely if you’re solo and not in a posse of your own friendly humans. So I ankled it back to my apartment. On the way, though, I walked by a souvenir store at 48th Street and Seventh Avenue that used to be a big porn theater where they held premieres back in the 70s and early 80s (yes, gala premieres of X-rated movies, complete with stars, red carpet, and Klieg lights). The only thing remaining that gave proof of that theater having once been there was the sidewalk in front of it, into which porn stars placed their hand prints and signatures–people like Gloria Leonard, Tiffany Clark, and Samantha Fox. Whenever I had visitors from out of town in recent years, I would walk them by that sidewalk and show them the foot-traffic-faded names. But last Friday I noticed, for the first time, that the handprints and signatures were gone, replaced by fresh pavement.

Here is a photo I made in 1995 of that location when it was still the Show Follies theater, with Peep Land next door. I met a couple of pretty hot peep show girls in that joint…but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, in the foreground of the pic I framed a current phone booth advertisement featuring Christy Turlington, one of the supermodels of the time. I always like the contrast of porn with mainstream media’s methods of titillation.

Christy Turlington's sultry ad for Calvin Klein was as sexy to me as anything in the porn shops across the street. (Click to enlarge.)

Christy Turlington’s sultry ad for Calvin Klein was as sexy to me as anything in the porn shops across the street. (Click to enlarge.)

When I got home with my Chinese take-out (I prefer moo goo gai pan, aka chicken with mushrooms), I decided to watch a little something on the DVD player while eating. And this turned out to be my second tool for “time traveling”–a bizarre and cheesy 1959 exploitation movie about the white slavery racket called The Naked Road. Because would you believe it? At the very end, there was a great shot of Times Square back in the 50s, complete with a marquee for the Globe Theater showing something called “Spice of Burlesk.” Felt like I was right there on the Great White Way, as the lights of Broadway used to be called in those days.

I really wonder that "Spice of Burlesk" was. Maybe it'll turn up on DVD one day?

I really wonder what that “Spice of Burlesk” was. Maybe it’ll turn up on DVD one day? (Click to enlarge pic.)

So at least my eyeballs ended up traveling back in time thanks to The Naked Road, which is available in a six-movie set called Weird-Noir from Something Weird Video and Image Entertainment here on Amazon. (I don’t work for them, but I frequently see their movies and have written about them elsewhere.)

Sleazy flicks, just the way Uncle Irv likes 'em! (Click pic to enlarge.)

Sleazy flicks, just the way Uncle Irv likes ’em! (Click pic to enlarge.)

After I watched The Naked Road, I went back to finishing The Murder That Wouldn’t Stay Solved, which was a very entertaining and enjoyable mystery full of colorful New York dialogue and characters, written by an author I had never heard of before, but whose works I will seek out again. He wrote this book under the moniker Hampton Stone, but achieved greater renown as George Bagby–although his real name was Aaron Marc Stein. He lived from 1906-1985. Look him up on Wikipedia under George Bagby here. He wrote about a hundred novels.

So thanks to his book and the footage in The Naked Road, I felt like I got to spend a little time in 50s Times Square–and it’s my pleasure to share it with you.

 

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