Miss Sharon Mitchell 2015 photo by Larry Revene
When last we saw her earlier this summer, Dr. Mitch was still suffering from injuries sustained when a deer darted out in front of her motorcycle. Now having fully recovered she looked remarkably well, and took time out from an International HIV lawsuit in which she was testifying as an expert witness, to speak further about her experiences working together with my father, Gerard Damiano Sr. Having appeared in 7 of his films made during the “Golden Age” we had a lot to talk about, which necessitated this second visit.
I was curious to hear about “Odyssey The Ultimate Trip”, the first film that she ever did with him. Released in 1977, the film was later renamed “Odyssex” by a distributor who thought that working the word “SEX” into the title would boost box office sales and perhaps avoid confusion with the classic by Homer.
Sharon Mitchell and Tony Mansfield in “Odyssey The Ultimate Trip” (1977)
In it, Sharon has a rather unusual “Double Drag” Scene together with Tony Mansfield dressed as a woman, while she is dressed as a man. We spoke about the scene in New York City at the time and about Tony, who I hope to meet up with before my own odyssey is complete.
Sharon Mitchell and George Payne in “Throat:12 Years After” (1984)
We also talked about her work with George Payne, who she appeared with in both “Throat: 12 Years After” and “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. In “Alpha Blue”, my father hired her for a “non-sex role”, which is a testimony, not to her well known talent as a performer, but to her talent an actor.
To be continued…
Miss Sharon Mitchell interviewed by Gerard Damiano Jr. photographed by Larry Revene
Serena in the 1970s photo by Joel Sussman
We met up with porn legend Serena in San Francisco at The Center for Sex and Culture. Her sweet and gentle demeanor was consistent with her reputation of being the “Hippie Porn Star”. She told us:
“I was making X-Rated Movies
before I ever saw an X-Rated Movie”
We spoke about the two films that she worked on with my father in the late 70s and early 80s, “Gerard Damiano’s People” and “Never So Deep”. Together we watched a scene that she performed with her then real life partner, Jamie Gillis. Her on screen/off screen relationship with “Porn’s Prince of Darkness” was legendary. She shared intimate details of their time together and revealed that she too had a dark side, that was able to match Jamie in intensity (no small feat).
Serena today photo by Larry Revene
You can learn more about Serena in her book Bright Lights Lonely Nights (The Memories of Serena Porn Star pioneer of the 1970s).
Friend her of Facebook at Facebook.com/70sStarSerena
Next stop Santa Cruz to follow up with Sharon Mitchell
To be continued…
The Crew of 2 on the American Road Photo by Gerard Damiano Jr.
This past summer Larry Revene and I set out to interview the “Legends of the Golden Age of Porn” and hear about their experiences working with my father, the acclaimed adult film director Gerard Damiano Sr. Our Journey took us from New York City to Hollywood and beyond. Along the way we met up with some of the biggest names of the era, including Georgina Spelvin, Ron Jeremy, and Sharon Mitchell. Their stories were always interesting, often surprising, and I constantly caught myself saying…
“You can’t make this shit up!”
The 2006 Toyota Corolla that my father and I bought together, amidst the Redwoods of Northern California.
Once we completed all the interviews that we had set out to do, we realized that our work was hardly finished. It had only just begun. Some of the interviews posed more questions than they answered. We met a lot of people, who introduced us to still more people, and discovered more cast and crew members who might be willing to talk to us. And although we still have not seen the elusive Jody Maxwell, we got a solid lead.
An entire studio’s worth of equipment, tightly packed into the trunk of a toyota.
Once back in New York, Larry and I, recovered, recharged, refueled, and vowed to continue the journey.
Now we are back out on the American Road.
First stop San Francisco.
To be continued…