At Lit Lounge: The Hottest Person to Ever Say Hi to Me & The Melvins

It started innocently enough; a Sunday night stroll through the hood and a look-what-we-found by the trash and the decision to give this sassy little painting to our friend Adam at his new tattoo shop Magic Cobra Tattoo Society (775 Driggs Ave., off South 3rd). The next thing you know I’m getting yet another pin-up tattoo. No worries, I’ll only have it for the rest of my life… and besides, I love it more than the dinner I was craving at Pies-n-Thighs. Adam Korothy did the honors on me while his partner-in-crime Kati Vaughn did my partner-in-crime Amanda’s tattoo. While I was there and half naked, we added a little to the "boxing babe" on the back of my arm who preaches my downfall with "I LIKE ‘EM SASSY.” Adam retraced the large damsel in distress on my bicep who proclaims…lest I forget … "DON’T BET ON DAMES.” We were looking forward to the Inked Magazine “Sex D.R.U.G.S. & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL” issue party Monday at Lit Lounge, my favorite hole-in-the-wall, and figured the new ink would set the right tone.

Monday night we gathered our regulars and BINGO’ed at Bowery Poetry Club as usual and, of course, the usual and unusual Linda Simpson and the returning Murray Hill kept us laughing and praying and begging for ultra-important things like  N31 or O67. B Bar barkeep and his lovely Katie won big, representing our tables large. After the last chance at Bingo glory was over, we kissed our friends goodbye and popped into the jammed Lit. We headed to the attached FUSE Gallery space which was the VIP holding pen.

There, it was decided that LIT/Fuse honcho Erik Foss, and A.R.E Weapons drummer Eric Rabin and I were going to get bro tattoos from Jes of Smoking Tattoos (18 St Marks Place). We three musketeers got cobwebs from the fabulous Jes. Mine says Lit. The cobwebs represent the many great years that the old club has given us and carries the hopes of many more.

Back at the Inked event, the Jagermeister and slamming DJs kept the usually incoherent rockers positively stoopified. Former Inked cover girl and quite possibly the hottest person who ever said "hello" to me, Alesandra Nicole, who I was told was a model / Internet celebrity kept me mesmerized and fearful of my life. 

Steve Lewis tattoo Amanda and I had our usual "that’s the kind of girl you should be dating" chat and I swore allegiance and pointed to our still-healing matching tattoos. I spied or was told these fab folk were there, Joshua Wildman (artist/photographer), Gen of Genatorturers, tattoo model Raquel Reed, chef Chris Santos, Steven Tyler’s daughter Mia, and artist Nikki Sneakers. We got to chat up the wonderful Zosia Mamet who we just love, love love in Girls.

Lit is banging all week with Natacha Sanchez and Just C presenting Worlds Collide 4 tonight with performances from Gswagga, AHGEDA, and Streight Angular and DJs El Rojo, OG Chino, and Sonido Confirmacion.

On Friday night Brent Barber and his Bicycle Film Festival has their 12-year opening anniversary party at Lit starting at 9pm. It figures to go real late.

The whole thing will culminate with a huge bang Saturday night when Melvins and Hammerhead play LIT in a very small intimate engagement Erik Foss told me is his "dream come true! Only next to Elliot Smith playing his last NY show here, nothing this monumental has happened at Lit before.” Save maybe the night I walked in with Ron Jeremy and a bunch of gals left with my number one.

Lit remains a reason to be cheerful. It is an old-school saloon-type joint that hits hard when it hits. The Melvins will be an incredible show and I will be there. 


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Average In Every Way But One: Pray For Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy, the blue-collar porn star, is in a coma at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A. He needs our prayers. As much a comic as a sex symbol, Ron, from what I can gather, suffered a cardiac aneurysm. Average in almost every way except one, Ron wanted to get into movies but didn’t get far. He ended up exploiting the one way in which he was more than ordinary. Endowed beyond belief, he became a hero to those who found him easier to relate to than some handsome stud. He was the everyman porn star with a humorous edge.  

Ron is a friend. Actually, we share a best friend. We grew up near each other and went to the same college at the same time. I’m a month older, but we didn’t hang until the 90s. I brought him to the last Bartenders Ball I helped throw at The Hammerstein Ballroom. He just took over. The B-52s headlined, but it was Ron who brought down the house. Sometimes we’d walk down the city streets together with our mutual friend and some others in tow. Everybody knew him. Construction workers shouted "hey, you’re that guy," or just applauded. Somehow, his average looks let them relate to him. He was getting what they wanted and – save for just a couple of inches and an abandonment of their entire way of life – they could have. Thousands lived vicariously through him.

Once we were on some yacht in the Hudson and got perilously close to the Fourth of July fireworks. The coast guard boarded us. Their commander was in a foul mood. We were overcrowded with club people, including hot girls in various stages of dress/undress. The commander did a double take on Ron, and I jumped at the moment. "Sir, may I introduce you to Ron Jeremy? Ron shake the man’s hand.” Ron jumped up and they shook hands. I quipped, "Sir, can you imagine where Ron’s hand has been?” Everyone laughed and the attitude changed. We were told to move away from where we were, and no tickets were issued.

Everyone loves Ron. Now he needs everyone to pray for him. His inner circle is with him. They want me to say that "all content put out to the press was BS" and from "people who are not here.” He’s in Cedars-Sinai’s top-level Cardiac ICU. You cannot visit but you can pray.

Five Questions With Houston, Porn Goddess Turned Author

Adult film star Houston—a Guinness World Record holder for her work in The World’s Biggest Gang Bang 3: The Houston 620—is adding another role to her resume: author.

Houston: Pretty Enough, The Story of the Gang-Bang Queen is out these week and tells the tale of Houston’s rise to fame, life as a porn superstar, battle with cancer and day job as a Las vegas real estate agent.

“I’ve seen that very few women have had the far out, wild, and crazy experiences that Houston has had,” Ron Jeremy writes in the book’s forward. “She’s been a porn star and a prom queen; a gangbang record holder (and STILL the record holder) and a mother. From multiple contracts for major adult film companies to having more partners in one day than most people have in a lifetime; from hosting huge media events to attending a high school prom in Staten Island to selling her vaginal lips on the Howard Stern show (ultimately purchased by Dennis Hof at The Worlds Famous Bunny Ranch.)”

We caught up with Houston to find out more about her latest endeavor.

What made you decide to write a book?
I decided to write this book because I have experienced and done things people wouldn’t even dream of. I’ve always felt misunderstood even in the adult world and always been asked over and over, Why? Here is a chance to get to know me a little and maybe see how I became the queen of porn.

You’ve exposed yourself before, but writing an autobiography does that in a different way. Was there anything specifically difficult to reveal?
There was nothing difficult per se to reveal, however there were memories that I didn’t really want to have to rehash and found it at times hard to be able to put into words all of my craziness so that it made some sort of sense.

What are the aspects of your life that you think will shock fans the most?
I think my brutal honesty about myself, the industry and how I dealt with life will be most shocking to readers. What does an adult film star wear while she’s writing a book? That’s a funny question actually because as much as I’d like to say I wore nothing but my birthday suit or a sexy outfit, the truth is I started this book during chemo. So I wore sweats most of the time. In the later part of the book I was finishing medical assistant school, so I was wearing scrubs. Sorry, I probably blew the whole porn star fantasy.

Is there much reading on the set of your films? Between takes do people pick up their books and kill time?
I retired from doing movies in 2003 when I was inducted into the adult Hall of Fame. When I was shooting I was always busy. I had scripts and lines to learn and rehearse.There was no down time until I got home, but then that’s when my other life would begin as you will soon find out.

Ron Jeremy on His Long Career in the Porn Industry

In Boy Scout camp, I bent over to put on a pair of hiking boots and I could kiss my schlong. I called my dad and asked if it was normal for a guy to be able to kiss his own schlong and he was like, “Is anyone in the room with you right now? No? Good. It’s a little weird, and I don’t suggest you tell anybody. But don’t worry about it because, by the time you’re 18, girls will start kissing it for you.” I never thought, 10 years later, they’d be doing it in movies.

My goal was always to be a mainstream actor. I was accepted to the Lee Strasberg school in New York. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in acting at Queens College and I also taught at a school in New Jersey. I was trained, but I settled for porn because, without connections, it’s difficult to catch a break. You can be the best actor on earth, but who can tell when there are 900 kids in line for the same role? Porn was such a nice change after all of those auditions in roach-infested basements where I had to read Shakespeare soliloquies. Back then, there were no DVDs or computers, and a lot of porn, like Co-Ed Fever and Café Flesh, had pretty classy storylines. I still felt like an actor, whereas today, it’s the opposite.

There were so few porn stars in the old days because you had to be able to get an erection, hold an erection and finish. But any guy can now be a star with the help of a pill. I’m proud to say I have never taken one in my life, which is funny, because I’ve endorsed many. In one TV spot, they have me in a tyrannosaurus costume calling it “Reptile Dysfunction.”

I never asked for extra money because of the size of my schmekel, although it was without question my moneymaker. You’d be amazed at the number of girls who still come up to me, while I’m hosting a club gig or something, and ask to see what’s dangling between my legs. But it’s a trade-off: you fl ash some boobies, I’ll fl ash the schmekel. Paris Hilton and Bijou Phillips were at the wrap party for Wonderland and Paris wanted to see it—this was before her sex tape came out—so me, Paris and Bijou went to the bathroom and traded flashes.

I do a series with younger girls called Jurassic Cock. I love working with some of the older girls, too, but it’s not what people want to see. They want to see MILFs and cougars with young boys. People always expect to see the captain of the football team with a gorgeous cheerleader, but then they see me with a gorgeous girl and say, “Hey, that’s good for all of us.” Drew Carey did the funniest bit about me: “Brad Pitt is supposedly hung, and that’s totally not fair. He’s a nice guy, great looking, gives to charity and he’s hung? Mother Nature should take you at your birth and be like, “Look, you’re either going to be hung or good looking—not both. Look at Ron Jeremy. Now that’s fair.”

Egg Creams and Memories

Lit’s 8th anniversary was, as advertised, a zillion great DJs and 5 zillion great people. I met up with Ron Jeremy on 9th street at the 24 hour staple, Veselka with two very broad-minded broads. They’d have to be able to put up with our antics. We talked about how Veselka was really the last of the really good Polish/Ukrainian late night restaurants that kept eons of club denizens alive. Cafe Kiev on 7th street was the standard, but alas, the owners kept tweaking their winning formula until it just wasn’t any good anymore. In the old days, it was common to see Steve Rubell in a tux at the counter or a rock band that just headlined The Ritz and their groupies eating kielbasa and mushroom barley soup while taking turns to shoot up in the rest room. Every club employee in town fueled up before they crashed out. Kiev was the after hours for the after hours clubs and a very big part of nightlife. Although always a tamer version, Veselka still delivers great food. Ron and I talked about many a night eating way too late after way too much fun. After dinner we did the walk of shame fame to Lit just three blocks away. Three blocks from the stuffed cabbage and horseradish beets and the polite stares from diners who wanted to say hey to Ron but whispered and giggled instead.

We whisked into the party like we were walking onto a yacht. My hat was strategically dipped below one eye but my scarf was not apricot. I did have one eye on the mirror as I watched myself walk by, but then the only two frat boys in the place went nuts over my porno pal. They bellowed and laughed and shook his very used hand and Ron was a great sport about it. We went to the back to the Fuse Gallery and I introduced Ron and the entourage to Lit proprietor and cool, cool friend Erik Foss. Foss rushed to greet Ron and used his correct nickname “the hedgehog”. I gave Foss a cub scout knife from the ‘50s that I’ve had for a very long time but seldom appreciated. I told him now that as he (Lit) had turned eight, he was old enough to have my old treasure. At 4 a.m., he texted me to thank me for the knife and for the hedgehog intro. Apparently, they were still hanging out. Thank god I wasn’t a fly on the wall for this one.

I cut out with my new friend Amanda to get some air, as it seemed to be scarce inside. We walked over to Gem Spa to get their chocolate egg creams, the best in town. Egg creams are a lost art. Years ago you could get them anywhere. Clubbers going to the Mudd Club (off White and Broadway) would stop by Dave’s on Canal and have one or maybe two. Maybe a crisp hot dog as well before destroying their bodies and brain cells. Now there are only a few joints in town that do it right. The proprietor/counter man has been slinging egg creams for 30 years at Gem Spa off a recipe and technique and tradition he inherited from excellent egg creams for 70 years before. I explained to Amanda that the key is to have the chocolate, the seltzer and the milk at the same temperature so that it mixes right. The professional nodded in agreement and showed us the egg creaming equipment. Most places that still offer this very New York delicacy just offer chocolate milk and a splash of club soda. The egg creams help me get some sleep as my days are becoming more hectic than ever.

It was a cold driving rain outside, almost enough to have me pine for Miami…almost. Let’s not get hysterical. Amanda and I perused magazine covers as we sipped nirvana from a waxed paper cup. One periodical caught my eye. The cover image of a wispy gal in a tattooed white blouse and ornate bodice intrigued me but the continued egg cream chatter and the proprietor’s conversation about the history of Gem Spa and the egg cream kept me distracted and fascinated. It was a cold rainy night and the egg cream and Lit’s goings on and the tasks of Tuesday had me longing for my pillow. I headed home and don’t remember closing my eyes.

My doorbell and frantic puppies woke me at 8 a.m. an hour after my alarm had failed me. When the bell rings that early, it can’t be good. In this case, it was. A delivery of two mysterious brown paper-wrapped packages. After a blurry signature, I opened one up. The wispy gal in the tattooed white blouse and ornate bodice stared at me from the book’s cover. It’s been rare lately that the same girl that put me to sleep was there in the morning to welcome me. Even though she was only 2-D, it felt fabulous. Most of the people I date these days are extremely 1-D. The tome was not really a book but an ambitiously thick magazine with a hard cover. The second issue of Grey was indeed a wakeup call. The fine-printed Spring/Summer ‘10 offered me optimism, even though I could hear frantic taxis splashing all too familiar rain on my daily frenzy. Grey is the work of my jet setting pal/editor, Brantly Martin, and his wife and editor in chief/fashion director, Valentina Ilardi Martin (and, I’m sure, many others). Brantly used to work in clubs as a model wrangler/promoter type and in management. He left in a storm of rumors that were completely untrue except that he had fallen in love and settled in Italy. I ran into him in an obscure deli a few months back as he was passing through New York and he told me then about the new issue. It’s stunning straight through and a wakeup call to finer things and elegant ideas/. You can get it a Gem Spa (and a very excellent egg cream too).

‘Shutter Island’, Ron Jeremy and ‘How to Make It in America’

A business trip to Miami and its not New York cold climate was supposed to give me a much needed break from everything. Instead I came back more agitated than before to a pile of work that had only gotten bigger in my absence. Feeling my stress, my dear friends basically dragged me from my desk to see the new Martin Scorsese, Leonardo Dicaprio flick Shutter Island. The complexities of the plot and the ambiguous ending did the job. I machinated over the ending, seeking internet chatter and clues and this had the Effect of a Prozac.

But just as I was getting my groove back, distress cried out from my blackberry . A text took me to a different, desperate reality. A friend of mine was correctly dragged to the psych ward at Bellevue. I was tasked to visit. A one-visitor-at-a-time policy left me in the psych ward’s holding area, where one prisoner/patient who was handcuffed to a wheel chair immediately lost it and started screaming at the top of his lungs. He then proceeded to bang his head violently against the wall. For literally a minute nobody even looked. It was business as usual.

Soon other inmates started to get agitated and the authorities took the poor fellow to the “blue room.” Really nice doctors and nurses came to chat with the people around me, who were seeking meds and food for what ailed them. One seemingly nice and sane fellow told me that the headbanger probably was seeking the better meds available at Bellevue. “He didn’t want to go to jail tonight. It was too late to get processed. He’d rather just sleep and be himself here.” Through glass windows people with Albert Einstein’s hairdo and Kramer’s walk stared at me and into space. Some smiled at me. deep secret smiles or sad smiles or “soon you will be in here” smiles. I lowered my hat over my eyes to the exact point where I could still see them without attracting their interest. In a rather chilling moment, reminiscent of the film I just saw, a doctor came to me and said, “Now, how can I help you today?” I swore to him I was just visiting a friend as his trained smile and “I’ve heard this all before” eyes fumbled to believe me. I fumbled for my visitor’s pass and he went back to his flock. When my sad friend and I finally chatted he assured me that where I was was way better than where he was.

I met up with porn pal Ron Jeremy who is in town for a bunch of meetings. Ron and I were born a month and a couple miles apart and attended the same college and share common and uncommon friends. We’re going to go to Lit’s 8th anniversary soiree tonight. A zillion DJs and a creative crowd will descend on this bastion of grungy fun to celebrate and hope. Lit is, as we mentioned here before, the subject of intense scrutiny and legal actions. Targeted as one of the clubs where smoking was prevalent, the jury is literally still out on its fate. We all hope for the best as 50 peoples’ jobs and the cultural importance of both the club and the attached Fuse gallery are at stake.

Last night’s episode of How to Make It in America had to be watched. The show, which fairly accurately describes how to make it in New York, features places and people all to familiar to me. Nightlife locations like Freemans and 1Oak are the background for this very NY scene series. It’s been described as an East Coast Entourage and that seems fair.

Mark Wahlberg produces both shows. Mark used to be a regular at my clubs and was always a gentleman. When I was at my lowest point I remember him stepping up to help. How to Make It in America also features my old friend and club manager Donal Lardner Ward, who I still call Donnie. I spoke to Donnie after I saw the show. I asked him about his role on the series.

“The pilot was made before I was hired. I actually pitched the guys getting the break of being invited to sit with Varvatos and then getting placed so far at the end of the table they might as well have been in another joint. Shit like that happened to me all the time when I was coming up, trying to meet show biz people. So close yet so far. It’s a fun gig, good group, trying to make something true to New York.”

He went on to talk about working with the show’s amazing Luis Guzman and other crew. Donal is one of those people I always talk about. They work in clubs year after year, pursuing their career, their dreams. Without a vibrant nightlife they could not survive. Castings and meetings are unpredictable and during the day. The entertainment crowd needs to work at night until they can support themselves. When a club closes these people desperately pound the pavement or are forced to head back to the wilderness. Donnie was my manager, who jumped in to become my chef one hectic New Year’s eve. He fed Grace Jones and hundreds of others who never suspected he was to have a bright future in showbiz.

After Donnie I caught up with My friend Eli Morgan Gesner, who is a creative consultant for the show. Eli ran the crew that occupied the skateboard ramp I had put in the Tunnel back in the day. I had seen Eric Goode put a small half pipe in Area as part of an installation. The one we placed in the Tunnel was four times the size. Eli supervised the whole thing, maintained the ever-chipping wood and made sure the young skateboarders were in control. Harold Hunter was there, as well as some future bold face names. Eli told me, “Ha! I miss that ramp. I built it. It’s funny. I helped make the movie Kids and I’m skating and I’m skating that very ramp in that scene in the Tunnel. I’ve always wanted to work in film, just got distracted with making skate board companies. How to Make It is a project I’m really proud of. I think it’s a fun and accurate depiction of life hustling in NYC.”

Towards the end of the show my ex, Nicole Pope, appeared as Jon Varvatos’ assistant’s secretary. She had a line and looked amazing. I replayed it 20 times. We’re great friends again. She makes her money in clubs as she pursues her passion acting. I facebooked her in Paris where she is shooting a movie. She was filled with glee that I caught the show. One of the ways Nicole and Donal and Eli and thousands of other talented people can make it in America is if they have jobs, night jobs. Mr. Mayor please stop closing down clubs or making it impossible to keep them viable. An experienced club investor told me that opening anywhere else in this country, you deal with a business climate that encourages you to open and has a “how can I help you?” attitude. For the most part you take in as much money and you don’t have constant harassment from city agencies. He asked me why he should continue here, why should he bother? My answer “because this is where we live” satisfied him … for now

Ask the Experts: Adult Film Stars on Body Scanning

CNN had the experts weigh in on the body scanning debate over the weekend. No, we’re not talking about privacy advocates, airport security personnel, or half-naked German pirates. We’re talking about those that really know and understand safety and exposure. We are talking, of course, about porn stars.

At the Adult Video News Awardsin Las Vegas, adult film stars ranging from Ron Jeremy (Homo Erectus, 13 Cum-Hungry Cocksuckers) to Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience, Ass Eaters Unanimous 19) weighed in on body scanning, as did Robin Leach — remember him from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?…yeah he’s still alive.

AVN attendees seemed split on the topic. Ron Jeremy spoke out against body scanning but advocated racial profiling, while Sasha Grey has the exact opposite opinion, saying “body scanning I’m all for, racial profiling I’m not.” Angelina Armani (Teachers, You & Us) quipped “Every time I’m at the airport, I wind up taking my clothes off anyway.” We can only hope this is ushering in a new era where CNN will look to adult film stars for their opinions on the major issues of the day every day.

Uncle Stevie Does Vegas

What happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas. I’m going and I’ll tell you what I see. This will be a short entry today as I must hit the sack early. Airport security issues have me leaving home at 5:30 am and I’m not happy about that at all. A dude like me needs his beauty rest or I get cranky and ugly. I am going for business, which has fallen directly into my lap (dance), not the porn convention. It is absolutely a coincidence, but nobody believes me. I am not at liberty to speak of the project I am working on out there so it does seem a bit suspicious. Hopefully I’ll run into my old pal Ron Jeremy.

Ron and I are the same age, attended college together and share a best friend, Venice Adrien, who I have written about often on this blog. When Ron’s in town I always try to hang with him. Walking on city streets with the man known as the “hedgehog” is hysterical. Way too many people recognize him. Construction workers scream, “Yo, that’s that guy,” and less repeatable stuff. Women have a tendency to laugh, flirt and repeat. Frat boys scream his name. Cab drivers honk and scream out their windows. Everyone seems to love him. I don’t know if I’ll have time to appreciate the convention, but a good friend said “don’t be ri-dick-ulous, make time.” In the next week I will do my best to capture the essence of the coming together of the city of sin and the world of porn.

In the era of the Tiger Woods scandal, waitresses and bottle hosts may be the new porn stars. With this in mind I’ll be back in Vegas on March 20th for the Nightclub and Bar Convention and Trade Show. I am always honored to be a judge. I have just received the list of 2010 finalists for the Nightclub and Bar Awards, which I will share with you when allowed. Winners will be announced in February. I didn’t notice if there were best bottle host nominations or note the criteria for winning this category. The rules might need to be re-written.

As we told you this week, our darling friend Gilbert Henry Stafford has passed. His birthday is January 20th and I think what has been decided is to have a memorial service on that date simultaneously in LA, Miami and New York, the three cities where he made his mark. As a door person, actor and bon vivant, Gilbert impressed us during his life. The outpouring of love seen on Facebook, text messages and other outlets has emphasized the positive impact he has had on our lives. The NY venue hasn’t been firmed up as of this writing, but I will keep you informed. Everyone wants to help out. Gilbert was a great man a kind gentle soul and he will be remembered in an appropriate fashion.