I have been writing for over 30 years. From Chiller Theatre Magazine to Screw and to my own publications like Grindhouse Purgatory and Grindhouse Resurrection. It’s been a strange ride. As for the next issue of Grindhouse Resurrection, there has been a breakdown in communication and I honestly don’t know when I’ll have it in house. 

I am now at the point where I don’t know if all the aggravation of self publishing is worth it anymore. If you listen to my last interview on Fusebox, you’ll know where I’m coming from. A lot of work goes into these publications and the rewards are few. We hardly get any feedback as to what people like or don’t like about the magazine. And that I truly don’t understand. 

Decisions will have to be made shortly as to how I will proceed. I might just use this as a venue for my writing as I need to keep something going on. It is a very strange and dangerous time we live in right now. People want to ignore or change the past. The past was a better time. HBO created a series called “ The Deuce.” my opinion on it has been asked many times, but I had never seen it up until last week when I bought the first season on Blu ray. Hey, it was discounted to ten bucks.

So trying to have an open mind, I watched it. A lot of it was complete bullshit. Yeah, pimps did stake out Port Authority watching for young girls getting off buses from the mid west. Yeah, street walkers were routinely beaten and murdered by psychotic tricks. Yeah, the cops took payoffs. That is all documented. Now to the bullshit. 

No hooker ever took a double endorsed personal check. The woman playing the hooker is pretty spot on, but she would never have been allowed to smarten up and get a piece of the real action. Some real names are used like Martin Hodas, who might have still been above ground when this was shot, and mobster Matty the Horse. The guy, Vinnie, wasn’t “family” but was hired to run things, well, that would have never happened. Porn was a mob run business, period.

The other bullshit senario was the cops running hookers off the streets and into some very classy massage parlors. Yeah, like the mob really rented girls from the pimps because they couldn’t be out on the streets without getting busted. Most wise guys considered pimps stupid and wanted nothing to do with them. The mob wanted nothing to do with street walkers, but massage parlors were another story.

In the early 70’s, there were over 3 dozen massage parlors and ‘leisure” spas in New York City all run by mob associates. Marty Hodas converted two of his book stores into massage parlors. When some black pimps opened a couple of parlors, they were fire bombed out of business. Also the ‘parlors” shown in this series look like suites at the Hilton compared to real parlors. Most were dingy, depressing places.

Then we have the street itself. All of the theater marquees look the same. Not so in reality. They all had a different look. As for hookers tricking on 42nd Street, well I can’t recall any. A few might hangout near the book stores, but they would get rousted either by store owners or cops. The street walkers stayed on 8th, 9th, and 10th avenues turning tricks in cars. Yeah, every election prompted a clean up for a couple of months, then it was business as usual.

Then we had scenes of hookers standing in trash filled sidewalks. Yeah, there was a garbage strike and trash piled up. But you had legit businesses also operating on the block and the main drag was never that dirty. The peepshow busts were real, before hardcore hit mainstream, these shops were constantly raided. Once the cops had to get a garbage truck to haul away all the films they confiscated from one warehouse.

The other thing was that people who actually worked in the industry were never approached for their input. Shaun Costello was very vocal about this. When they shot this, Shaun was still with us as was Carter Stevens, Phil Prince and others. People have asked me why I was never approached. I have no answer. All I can say is that very little records were kept back then because of the illegality of it all.

Everyone who lived or hung out in that area would have one or two crazy stories. Why make up fiction when the facts are crazy enough? I’m just glad that I lived that era and I’m still alive to tell the stories. 

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