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David Forest- The Gay Porn Starmaker

San Francisco- [Hour.ca]- If there’s one thing Hollywood porn super-agent David Forest knows better than most folks it’s how to create a superstar.

Forest did it when he first came to L.A. and managed everybody from Stevie Nicks to Quiet Riot to Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, and today he’s doing it again in his second showbiz incarnation in L.A.’s billion-dollar porn biz.

In other words, Forest has gone from rock to cock.

And this weekend, on the eve of Tinseltown’s own Academy Awards, many of Forest’s A-list porn stars – such as Shane Rollins (whose wife just gave birth last week), porn icon Matthew Rush and 22-year-old newcomer Damon Phoenix (“I love being the centre of attention!” he told me last week) – are nominated in the ninth annual Gay Video News Awards. Forest calls the gala, hosted by Kathy Griffin at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the “gay Oscars.”

“I loved my music days, but unfortunately in 1976 when I was really sailing – I was becoming the top concert producer in the western USA – I got high on the hog,” Forest admits today. “I was spending stupidly. The ’70s were all about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll and I felt committed to live it out. But in Hollywood, being gay is not a good thing. The showbiz community tolerates homosexuals. But I would flaunt it. You saw beautiful boys running around backstage at my concerts. And I was a partyer.”

Forest, now 58, got his start while studying at Stanford University where he met gay icon Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham in 1966. He managed their band Fritz before they joined Fleetwood Mac.

“I knew Stevie would be a star the night Fritz opened for Janis Joplin and Big Brother at the Fillmore,” David recalls. “After her band members left I told Stevie, ‘Stay and meet Janis.’ Stevie looked at Janis and she saw herself in her.”

About Joplin, Forest adds, “She was ragged. But she was amazing. Janis was feminine but really ballsy.”

After working for his mentor Bill Graham (who owned the Fillmore), in 1970 Forest was asked by showbiz legend David Geffen to head up the contemporary music division at CMA. There they moulded the careers of Leon Russell, James Taylor, Carole King, Van Morrison and The Carpenters, who, Forest says, “I took from a little boy-and-sister act to international headliners.”

While Forest flaunted his gayness, Geffen was publicly closeted. “But we were open to each other,” Forest says.

Forest lost his shirt in 1978 financing a TV special with Alice Cooper, The Kinks and Nazareth. “But when I started my boy-booking business in ’82,” Forest recalls, “one model, Bryn, called me up and said, ‘There’s a guy here you might know who wants me to go home with him.’ I told Bryn, ‘Tell him you have an agent.’ Then this guy calls and I said, ‘This is David Forest.’ And it was David Geffen. We did a lot of business. But [in 1986] when I went to prison [for 19 months] for pandering, Geffen didn’t want to know from me.”

Forest bounced back from prison stronger than ever, turning porn actors Ryan Idol and Ken Ryker into gay icons, and his current roster is a who’s who of gay porn.

“But the studios don’t want to pay huge salaries anymore,” Forest sighs. “They don’t want to pay $25,000 to headliners anymore. They don’t like anything coming between them and their stars so they sign them up for exclusives like contract players in the old Hollywood.”

Forest continues, “In the mainstream world, the agent for Jennifer Hudson [an Oscar nominee for the movie Dreamgirls, a David Geffen property] can now get her twice the money. In my business, you try to get bigger money and the studios say, ‘Nah, we’ll pass.’ It exasperates me that they won’t take it to the next level. There’s always a new guy. You’re just a top or a bottom. That’s what turns me off and will end my reign in this business. They don’t want to rock’n’roll with me.”

Forest advises his models to get out of the porn biz by the age of 30. Forest also beat a second pandering charge last February.

About this weekend’s “gay Oscars,” he says, “It’s a time to let bygones be bygones in a business that is very backstabbing. It’s time to hug and kiss, but by night’s end they hate the studios that won: ‘They bought that award!'”

Sounds like the real Oscars.

Forest sighs. “I’m getting old and I think I’ll be out of this business by 60. I don’t want to handle pain-in-the ass new models. But I still love creating and making stars. I love handling their careers. My thrill is seeing them progress. I mean, I just love it that Stevie Nicks is a star.”

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