The Late Once Great Penthouse Magazine

There’s nothing going on in the porn industry right now. How do I know this? Because I actually looked on my iPhone while I was talking a shit.

Mike South has the same story as yesterday. No updates about the Duke dick sucker. AVN has a story about Dana DeArmond doing a Wood Rocket movie about porn stars on their day off. Dana DeArmond doing a Lee Roy Myers movie. Who gives a shit? Tasha Reign jumping on the Duke University story. Of course, she has to mention that she attends UCLA part time. Another hooker pretending she’s smart. Another girl who pretends that she has more to offer the world other than sucking dick for Derek Hay. Next.

XBIZ runs the same press releases about Wood Rocket and Tasha Reign.

There’s your industry, jerkoffs.

I actually wanted to talk about something that I watched last night. It was pretty good. It was good and depressing at the same time. Let me tell you about it.

There was a documentary on Netflix that we watched that was kinda fucked up because it showed what the industry does to the old timers. The documentary was about Bob Guccione. It was called Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story. If any of you youngsters aren’t aware, Guccione was the man who created Penthouse magazine. The Penthouse that you see currently operating today, or barely operating today, is not Penthouse. The Penthouse today is a shell corp run by a bunch of bottom feeding internet scumbags and a man by the name of Marc Bell of the company Adult FriendFinder. You all know Adult FriendFinder. What they operate now with Kelly Holland aka Toni English is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, a pump and dump stock designed to defraud investors. It’s kind like Jay Grdina at NOHO Drink, where they take a company public and sell stock that they know is never going to be worth anything. They were eventually delisted from the stock exchange.

Penthouse Video was distributed by Jerry Estrada at Exquisite Multimedia and sold by Howard Levine. It was run by Kelly Holland and the most they ever sold was about 300 pieces. I know because I was there at the time. After Jerry took his cut, Kelly was left in the hole, so they subsequently pulled their distribution from Exquisite. As of today, I’m not sure if they’re even putting out movies anymore.

What Adult FriendFinder did was basically steal the company from Bob Guccione. They used his name in the beginning to keep the magazine going and in turn got rid of him and fucked him over. The concept of Penthouse is done.

This was an amazing documentary. It traced the roots of Bob Guccione traveling to Europe and starting the magazine there and bringing it here to the United States and at one point actually being bigger than Playboy. He created a lot of other entities, including Spin magazine. Spin magazine was a rival to Rolling Stone and was hugely successful, just like Bob’s Penthouse magazine was hugely successful and nipped at the heels of Hugh Hefner and Playboy. He had Omni, which was a science magazine that was very big that started in the 70’s and ran all the way through the 90’s

Watching the documentary and what Bob went through was eerily similar to what I went through. He was on top of the world and ventured off into different areas where he thought he could be successful and things eventually went south. Bob leveraged everything he owned to pursue these ventures, so when things went sour, the creditors came in and took everything from him. It showed him being on the Forbes richest list and being worth 400 million dollars. That’s probably a coupla billion in today’s dollars.

He had an extensive art collection, Picassos, Rembrandts, Van Goghs. He had original works of art that were eventually sold in auctions to pay off debts. He lost 160 million in Atlantic City on the Penthouse Casino that never opened. He got jammed up by Donald Trump and a bunch of corrupt politicians. He lost 20-30 million on a nuclear fusion plant that was never built. He invested his personal fortune in deals that went sour and ended up broke and dying in a Texas hospital.

The documentary showed the making of the movie Caligula, which he personally financed. It was budgeted at 3 million, but ended up costing 17 million dollars. In today’s dollars, that’s like spending 100 million. He had famous actors in the movie, Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, John Gieguld. Helen Mirren dispelled the myth that none of the mainstream actors knew that the movie was going to be a hardcore pornographic film. It was bullshit, they all knew.

The original cut was an R-rated movie. Guccione said he wanted an X-rated version and spent another year recutting it. No distributor would touch the film, so Bob acquired a theatre in New York and showed the film himself. Roger Ebert and other critics said it was the worst piece of shit in the world, but the theater was sold out for over a year. The film was something that Guccione was very passionate about and was one of the things that contributed to his downfall.

I watched this movie and got goose bumps at all the parallels to my own life. He loved to cook like I do. I had business ventures that I was passionate about that I lost a lot of money on, like XPW. I did so many things like he did that I thought would work, but ultimately led to my demise. I mortgaged my house three different times just to keep my companies afloat. Three years ago, I had gold Rolex watches that I had to sell. I’m just glad I’m 40 and not 79 and dying in a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

It also talked about his wife Kathy Keeton, who was working as a stripper when they met and how she helped him launch the entire Penthouse empire. They would work nights on the magazine and she would make sandwiches and once the magazine became successful she was able to quit working as a stripper. She was the one who launched Omni. Kathy Keeton died of breast cancer and the magazine Omni died with her. The movie talked about when she died and how Guccione became withdrawn and depressed. Kathy was really the backbone of the juggernaut. They were a real team. She was the true driving force behind the success of the business. While Bob concentrated on the photography and the creative aspects, Kathy took care of the business and brought in huge advertisers.

It’s an amazing, amazing documentary. If you get a chance, go to Netflix and check it out. He really was a trailblazer. I tell ya, he was ten times classier that Larry Flynt. I think if Kathy Keeton had lived, the magazine would still be successful and Guccione would’ve still been a player. He would’ve taken advantage of the internet and not been taken advantage of like he was with Adult FriendFinder. The documentary even talked about how he didn’t understand the internet’s potential. If Kathy hadn’t died in 1997, she would gotten the magazine into the digital realm.

Bob Guccione had ten times the class and more of a creative mind than Larry Flynt or Hugh Hefner ever did. Anything Larry Flynt’s ever done in the mainstream has been low end classless garbage. He’s a piece of shit. Guccione was an artist, a painter. That’s what he was. He was much more than just a smut peddler.

The only thing that sucked about the documentary was that they had Dana DeArmond in it as a “director” for Penthouse. As if she’s any fucking authority on Penthouse and its success. This is during the Marc Bell era when Kelly Holland had people like DeArmond and Rocco Reed directing videos for Penthouse. People like Dana DeArmond have no idea about the history of Penthouse and the old school guys and what they accomplished. She’s a fucking jerkoff. She’s like all these girls who go around calling themselves Penthouse Pets. They’re not Penthouse. They’re late comer Adult FriendFinder Penthouse slobs. They’re nothing.

If you girls think that you’re part of Penthouse history and part of the legacy of the great Bob Guccione, you better lay off the glue you’re sniffing, assholes. You’re like Barry Bonds with an asterisk next to your name. You’re nothing.

Penthouse died when Bob Guccione died and Marc Bell bought the Penthouse name and destroyed it. Anybody involved with Penthouse today is nothing except for a Ponzi scheme running no money making Marc Bell Adult Friendfinder scam artist. That’s all the fuck you are. You are nothing associated with the true roots of the once great Penthouse magazine.

RIP Bob Guccione – 1930-2011

Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: rzblack@yahoo.com

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