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I Meet The Golden Goddesses

Hollywood Boulevard’s known as the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. I had mine shattered years ago by a thick-calved, heavy breasted Irish beauty name Erin.

But that story doesn’t count in this town loaded with wannabe actors and porn stars trying to make it big. I ran into a few of them Friday night – female porn stars, that is – at The Larry Edmunds Bookstore in Hollywood for a signing.

They’ve already made it big. Jill Nelson, a housewife-turned writer from Canada, a few years ago wrote a book about the late John Holmes subtitled A Life Measured in Inches. And now she chronicles the story of these children of porn’s golden age of the Seventies, over a spanse of 900+ pages in soft cover.

Nelson calls her latest work appropriately enough, Golden Goddesses. I’m sure more than a few fans came out of curiosity in the light drizzle of the early evening to see whether the panel collectively looked like Estelle Getty from Golden Girls. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that this was mostly an AARP crowd of porn fans. The kind that still buys their porn, judging by the fact they were more than willing to plunk down fifty bucks for Nelson’s book. And one guy, I swear, was wearing a fez.

Expecting caskets and colostomy bags, they may have been sadly disappointed, though. Kay Parker at 68 looks hardly ready for mothballs and cedar closets, while Rhonda Jo Petty once known as the Farrah Fawcett of porn still has more oomph than women half her age.

Over the course of the evening which was getting as crowded as an elevator, Petty told a story about a lawsuit because she, perhaps, looked a little too much like Farrah. Except Petty, tanned and wearing her blonde hair in a French twist, has the last laugh now that Farrah’s tucked away in the dirt.

From where I was standing- I couldn’t tell- maybe it was Veronica Hart [or Annie Sprinkle] relating the story about some guy who walked up to her on the street one time and gave her the holy-hell-what-for, for being in porn. She gave it right back to him for being an A-hole. The guy backed off and apologized.

Which basically illustrates the fact that Nelson’s book, besides being copious biography, is also about choices. The Golden Goddesses were glad they did it and wouldn’t change a thing.

Now that Gypsy Boots is gone, Hollywood needs a resident kook and seems to have picked one up in Bill Margold. I’m only saying this because the bear-ish Margold looks crazy, what with the hippie hair the hermit beard and the Hawaiian shirts, but he sure knows his porn history.

Margold, who emceed the evening, illustrated with stories about how mean and nasty LA Vice cops truly were before the Freeman decision and how Serena was one of their favorite targets.

Serena, who’s featured on the cover, has a set of choppers on her and one wonders whether she and Roy Karch share the same orthodontist. Karch, also a product of the porn Seventies, is no longer directing. He’s become a tour guide of the Hollywood highways and byways, and he sports a tour guide smile that’s positively preternatural. Picture Liberace’s piano keys in someone else’s mouth and you’ve got Karch.

“Yours is the book I’m dying to read,” says Karch who lives in the neighborhood. I think Karch is suggesting I know where the bodies are buried. I tell Karch I’m now in professional wrestling, and I think for a minute he bought it.

Someone in the crowd brings up a question about one of the old Pussycat Theaters, and Margold immediately goes into a spiel about how the porn handprints on the sidewalk, ala Grauman’s Chinese Theater, “belong to us.”

I think I’ll let Free Speech and Diane Duke fight that battle as well since they’ve done such a remarkable job already with Measure B.

A few others from the industry – I won’t say who – give me the nudge and the wink as if to say they know that Duke has taken Free Speech to a whole new level of sleight of hand.

“You know that whole Mr. Marcus press conference was bullshit,” I’m told.

“Marcus wanted to take his story directly to the performers and Diane Duke wouldn’t let him.”

You hear so many choice things at these gatherings. Meanwhile, former kid actor, Scotty Schwartz, now in the memorabilia business, points out a nearby apartment building. There he once played a dead body in a $20,000 movie composed of a kitchen, a living room, a trash bag and a graveyard. I ask Scotty if it ever made it to the IMAX experience.

“I don’t think so,” he said.


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