The Prince Of Porn

the films of Gerard Damiano Sr – Restored

Tag: The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue

Jody Maxwell November 20, 1945 - February 12, 2017

Jody Maxwell November 20, 1945 – February 12, 2017

It is with great sadness that I share news of the death of Jody Marie Hogsett Maxwell Mcginnis, who died on February 12th 2017 after a long battle with cancer.  Her family chose to use all of her names in her obituary because she was many different things to many different people. To those who knew her best she was a caregiver, an avid bowler, and a rabid Kansas City Royals fan. To generations of children in Northern California, she was a school teacher. But most knew her as Jody Maxwell, the “singing stick licker” from Kansas City,  porn  star and legend of the “Golden Age of Erotica.”

My father, Gerard Damiano Sr., first met her in 1974 at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He was speaking to a sell out crowd at a symposium on morality. She was an undergrad majoring in theater who had been tasked with interviewing him for the school paper. On the very night that they met she described her “singing and sucking” technique, to which he replied “I’ll put you in pictures and make you a star”. It sounded like the classic Hollywood pick-up line, but he made good on his promise. Upon her graduation he called her father (a criminal prosecutor) to get his blessing, then flew her and a chaperone to New York for a screen test. He was so inspired by her performance that he built an entire film around her. She would portray a women afflicted with multiple personality disorder, playing 3 distinctly different characters. Jody appeared in every single scene, her sexual energy matched by her acting ability.

Jody Maxwell in Portrait

Jody Maxwell in a scene from “Portrait” 1975

Portrait Original 1 sheet poster

“Portrait” Original One Sheet  Poster

“Portrait” was released in 1975 to critical acclaim and launched her short career in adult film. She returned to New York in 1979 to reunite with my father for a role in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. It was then that I first met her while painting sets and making props for the film. At 15 years old I developed my own crush on her. She went on to have a career in phone sex which is detailed in her book “My Private Calls”, and later moved out to the West Coast to begin a new life as a school teacher.

In the fall of 2015 after a long search, I was blessed to finally track her down near her home in Northern California. I interviewed her at length about her relationship with my father and learned the truth behind a story that I thought I knew.

Gerard Damiano Jr. & Jody Maxwell 2015

Gerard Damiano Jr. with Jody Maxwell in 2015 photo by Larry Revene

Jody is survived by her husband of 33 years and was laid to rest yesterday in her beloved Kansas City, Missouri. In lieu of flowers her family has requested that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

The Crew of 2 revisits Porn Star Phd. Sharon Mitchell in Santa Cruz

Miss Sharon Mitchell Santa Cruz 2015 Photo by Larry Revene

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” (1977)

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 © 2015 Class X, LLC

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

Miss Sharon Mitchell interviewed by Gerard Damiano Jr. photographed by Larry Revene

Annie Sprinkle… Porn Star, Art Star, Author, Ecosexual Activist, Goddess

Annie Sprinkle Ecosexual Goddess Photo © Julian Cash

Annie Sprinkle Ecosexual Goddess
Photo © Julian Cash

Dr. Annie Sprinkle earned her place as a legend of the ”Golden Age of Porn”, but did not let that alone define her. Her career is not easy to summarize. She has been rightly described as a sex educator, feminist stripper, prostitute, performance artist, post-porn modernist, photographer, and film maker, and her resumé continues. She has the distinction of being the first porn star to earn a Ph.D., and is the author of 5 books. Early in her career she became an advocate for Sex Workers rights, and when the AIDS epidemic broke out, she used her talent and celebrity to spread awareness about Safe Sex. She survived cancer, and turned the experience into art.

When Annie first met my father in an Arizona courthouse in 1973, while “Deep Throat” was being prosecuted. They were both called in as witnesses, (he for writing and directing the film, and she, for merely selling tickets at the Tucson movie theater, where it was showing). They were instantly attracted to one another, and began a relationship which lasted for years. This brought Annie to New York City, where she would live for the next 22 years.

Today she is married to artist and UCSC professor Beth Stephens. Their wedding itself was a work of art, getting married more than 14 times, during their seven-year project, Love Art Laboratory. Identifying as “ecosexuals”, they use their creativity AND sexuality, to raise awareness about critical environmental issues. Their latest collaboration, which is currently in production, “Water Makes Us Wet” draws attention to Water, the lack of which, is a crisis in their home state of California, at this very moment.

Annie Sprinkle in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”

Annie Sprinkle in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”
© 2015 Class X, LLC

We visited Annie and Beth, at their country cottage, in Boulder Creek, California, literally surrounded by Redwood Trees, where they spend time away from their home in San Francisco. Annie spoke to me candidly about her relationship with my father. I learned that she actually worked behind the scenes in more of his films, than she appeared in. We spoke about her cameo in “Throat: 12 Years After”, and her controversial scene with then boyfriend Mal O’Ree, in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”, which is still as hot and edgy today, as it was when it was shot in 1983. My father directed Annie in “Consenting Adults”, a film that she conceived of, in which she documented her friends and their real life sexual escapades, in a kind of hardcore “reality show”. She never pretended to be an actress, but rather let her genuine sexual nature, be captured on film.

#TheCrewof2 with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens at SOMArts Cultural Center

#TheCrewof2 with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens at SOMArts Cultural Center during the opening of “Making a Scene: 50 Years of Bay Area Alternative Spaces”. Photo by Gerard Damiano Jr.

After our interview, Larry Revene and I followed Beth and Annie to San Francisco, to document their performance at SOMArts Cultural Center. The time-lapse video below, shows them performing water rituals, inside and outside of their “Pollination Pod”, a sort of mobile ecosexual laboratory. Currently Annie and Beth are on tour in California.
To learn more about about their project, visit: www.theEcosexuals.org

Visit Annie’s website at: www.anniesprinkle.org
Follow her on Twitter at: @AnnieSprinkle
Follow her on Facebook at: facebook.com/pages/Annie-Sprinkle
L
earn more about the Sexology at: sexecology.org
S
ee Annie and Beth’s latest film “Goodbye Gauley Mountain-An Ecosexual Love Story


Annie Sprinkle
and Beth Stephens perform Water Rituals, both inside and out, of their Pollination Pod at SOMArts Cultural Center
“Shaw ’Nuff” performed by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

A divine appointment with Miss Sharon Mitchell on the streets of Scotts Valley, CA

Dr. Mitch

Dr. Mitch

Sharon Mitchell (known by her peers as “Mitch”), acted Off-Broadway, and toured with the Martha Graham Dance Company, before starring in her first adult film, “That Lady from Rio”, in 1976. During her career, she has appeared in more than 600 films, and directed 18. By the 1980s Sharon’s lifestyle had taken it’s toll on her. She became a heroin addict, and suffered from a number of STDs. in 1996, following a brutal assault, by a crazed stalker which nearly killed her, she quit drugs and went back to school. She earned both an MA and Phd, and in 1998, she founded the nonprofit Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), which provided testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and drug and psychological counseling for porn actors. In 2011, an information leak led to a lawsuit, and the clinic’s closure.

Sharon Mitchell in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” (1980)

Sharon Mitchell in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” (1980)

Sharon had a powerful screen presence. She was one of my father’s favorite performers, and he used her in at least 6 of his films, including a non-sex role in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. When I first met Sharon Mitchell during the production of “Throat: 12 Years After”, I was only 19 years old, but well aware of who she was. She was not like any of the other porn stars of the day. I could relate to the street smart, Italian looking, Jersey girl, who was small in size, big on attitude, and totally HOT. In the film, she played a scene within a scene, in which she recounts one of her earliest sexual experiences, a kind of school yard fantasy. The performer playing opposite her, had never been in a porn film before, and was hired for his youthful appearance. He was not much older than me. His role required him to put his erect member through a chain link fence, while Sharon, on the other side (in a cheerleader outfit no less), gave him head. Later that night, after we had wrapped for the day, I joked with my father, telling him that whatever that kid was getting paid for the scene, I would have done it for half.

I had a very hard time tracking Sharon Mitchell down. Word in New York was that she had begun using again, and was living on the street. Knowing her checkered past, we feared the worst, and had all but given up on finding her. Once in Hollywood, I was given a cell number, from a mutual friend, but was cautioned that no one had seen or heard from her in weeks. When we finally connected by phone, Sharon sounded surprisingly well, and we made plans to meet outside of Santa Cruz. Days later, as we exited off Highway 17 to Scotts Valley, the phone rang. It was Sharon, who had called to say that she was out walking her dog, and wondered when we would be arriving. We were stopped at the first traffic light off the highway, and as I listened, I noticed a woman talking on the phone and walking a dog past our car. I rolled down the window and yelled out “Mitch?!”. The dashboard cam caught a glimpse of our divine appointment with Sharon, in the time-lapse video, shown below.

We were happy to find her in good health, perhaps a little worse for wear from a motorcycle accident she had recently suffered, when a deer darted out in front of her. Despite the knee brace, she appeared to be in remarkable physical shape. After catching up a bit, and confirming plans to film in the morning, we offered to drive her, and her dog, back home. After driving for miles, up and over a mountain, on a very steep, twisting road, I was amazed to think that she made this walk, down and back, at least once a day, everyday. Larry and I were tired out just from the drive. Once in front of the camera, we spoke about her experiences working with my father on films which include “Odyssey“, “Skin Flicks”, “Consenting Adults” and “Night Hunger”.

Today, “Dr. Mitch” works as an expert witness in H.I.V./A.I.D.S. criminal law. She is earning her certification as an EMT, so that she will be qualified to do disaster relief work.

with Miss Sharon Mitchell

The Crew of 2 with Miss Sharon Mitchell, Scotts Valley, Californian July 2015

Herschel Savage …a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, who made it BIG in Porn

Herschel SavageWhen Herschel Savage arrived on the scene in the early 1970s, he brought more than just impossibly good looks, but considerable acting chops, having studied under Uta Hagen, as well as renowned acting teacher Stella Adler. Though reports online vary greatly, Herschel, by his own account, has appeared in more than 1,500 films, over his 40 year career. You may have seen him in the Golden Era Classic “Debbie Does Dallas” (under the name Bill Barry).

Larry Revene remembers shooting loops with him in Bob Wolf’s 14th St. studio as early as 1973. We met up with Herschel in L.A., where I had the opportunity to talk with him about working with my father on “Odyssey: The Ultimate Trip” (aka “Odyssex”), “People”, “Skin-Flicks”, “For Richer for Poorer”, “Beyond Your Wildest Dreams”, and “Forbidden Bodies”.

Herschel Savage in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” 1980

Herschel Savage in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue” 1980

I was most interested in speaking about the Sci-Fi Sex Pic “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”. I worked on this film in 1980. Still too young to work during the actual filming, I painted sets and created some of the props, earning a credit for “prop design”. Hershel plays opposite R. Bolla (another nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, with formidable acting skills), as the two debate “Love vs. Sex”, against the backdrop of a future in decay. Herschel chose his stage name while joking around with Jamie Gillis, trying to combine a “porn name”, with one that was distinctly Jewish. This draws attention to a trend in actors of the “Golden Age”, as nearly every major male star was a Jew born in New York City. The list includes Harry Reems, Ron Jeremy, Jerry Butler, R.Bolla, Bobby Astyr, and Jamie Gillis himself. Honorable mention goes to Marc Stevens (b. Delaware), and Carter Stevens (b. Newark, NJ).

Today Herschel is still active, preferring to appear on the stage rather than on the screen, has actually portrayed my father, a role that he is quite proud of. He hosts a weekly comedy show on xxxpornstarradio.com every Thursday night, from 6:15-8:15 PM (Pacific Time). You can call in at 1.484.352.2598. Follow Herschel on Twitter at: @pornicon, and friend him on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/herschel52

Herschel Savage and R.Bolla on location in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, NY. Site of the 1964 World’s Fair.

Herschel Savage and R.Bolla on location in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, NY
(Site of the 1964 World’s Fair), while filming “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”

In search of Jody Maxwell…

Jody Maxwell courtesy of Jody's Facebook page

Jody Maxwell
courtesy of Jody’s Facebook page

Known as “The Singing Cocksucker from Missouri”, Jody Maxwell made her very first film “Portrait”, with my father in 1974. She then established herself as an adult film star of Porn’s “Golden Age”. 7 years later, she appeared in “The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue“. I have not seen Jody since I was 15 years old, while working on the set of that film during pre-production.

When we arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, none of our leads panned out, and we were forced to get back on the road, without finding the elusive “Singing Cocksucker”. I will continue the search for her, as she was one of my father’s favorite performers, and I would love to hear what she has to say about her experiences with him.

Next stop, Hollywood California, to see the Queen of them all, Ms. Georgina Spelvin.

(To be continued)