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Tag Archives: Art Amsie

Silk stocking magazines set me off on the quest…

Silk stocking magazines…just the name is so evocative!

I’ve written here before how I’m always fascinated walking around Manhattan and remembering what occupied a particular space long ago. For example, this decrepit building at the northwest corner of 46th Street and Eighth Avenue housed a fantastic video store, DVD BLOWOUT, that sold obscure cult movies like stuff from Something Weird Video in addition to its hardcore porn; and next to it was the Full Moon Saloon, a place where I did a good amount of drinking back in the day…

This is what has replaced it: shiny, tall, and a hub for tourists.

I also remember, when I pass by an Asian noodle shop near the southwest corner of 49th St. and Eighth Avenue, that long ago in the 70s its space was occupied by a used magazine store, where I first came upon these magazines (scans taken from my own copies, some of which I’ve sold at memorabilia shows):

I recall asking the slender gray-haired middle-aged guy behind the counter near the door what these magazines were. I had never seen these publications before, packed with the nylon-sheathed ladies of the late 40s and 50s. “They’re called ‘silk stocking magazines,’ ” he said. Amazingly, they were only $2.50 or $3.00 a piece, so I bought three or four. Now they go for about $25 a piece, even in just good, not necessarily, great condition. They’re hard to find. BEAUTY PARADE, TITTER, FLIRT…these are the titles of the mags in which Bettie Page and other popular models frequently appeared. They were published by Robert Harrison, who later in the 50s went on to great notoriety with the scandal-mongering CONFIDENTIAL magazine.

Little did I know that my lifelong quest to collect vintage girlie mags and endless pinups had begun! I still have the copy of FLIRT, which I bought in 1977 from the late Art Amsie, the dealer and collector who was a cornerstone of the pinup revival, and who even photographed Bettie Page himself. It’s a mint copy which I’ve only looked at a few times, wanting to keep it in as perfect condition as possible—not because it’s worth so much, I probably couldn’t get more than $100 for it; it’s just nice to have an issue so well-preserved from so long ago, when most of them are so fragile they fall apart as you turn the pages. You can read my profile of Art Amsie here.

You can see how un-seriously these mags were treated by some folks before the interest in pinups was renewed in the early 80s. The price $3.00 was casually scrawled on the gorgeous Peter Driben-painted cover of TITTER, along with the date!

If you’re interested in seeing more of these covers and the insides of the mags, look on Amazon here for a Taschen book called 1000 PIN-UP GIRLS, and your orbs will get their fill of the fillies! Note their variant spelling of “pin-up.” Me, I always spell it “pinup.” 😉

 

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Gil Elvgren captures Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thought I’d share a Gil Elvgren Christmas pinup, which I found here.

I think Santa would have lingered under the chimney for a cup or two of egg nog had he gotten a gander at the gal these gifts were for! 😉

I’ve always loved the Elvgren Girls. To me he’s the best pinup artist of all–a great artist period. And here’s a link to an interview I did in the late 70s for High Society magazine with Art Amsie, a collector who actually knew the Great Gil. Enjoy, and have a happy holiday!

 

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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!

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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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