A few people might have an adverse reaction to the contents of this post. Proceed with caution.
I sometimes use my blog as a sketchpad for what might later be included in my memoirs. I jot down rudimentary ideas, see if they sound interesting, observe how others react to them. Unfortunately, for many reasons, I'm cautious and selective about what I write in this blog. It's not exactly the ideal place to reveal everything.
I know that many of the things I'd like to write about would be offensive to some readers. I try to be honest, but honesty with restrictions is frustrating.
I keep returning to the subject of Hollywood. Why?
Because I like writing about it!
I'm not proud of my sordid past, but I had a colorful life and enjoyed unique adventures that most people never had the chance of experiencing. Hell, why not share them?
About a year before I lived in Hollywood I was taken there numerous times by a special Orange County "friend" named Chuck. He claimed he wanted to "show me off" to some of his acquaintances. These people were a hodgepodge assortment of actors, editors, directors.
I was nineteen years old, naive, and greener than the emerald City of Oz. I knew nothing about the complex clockwork of Glitztown or it's unconventional inhabitants. Despite my glaring emotional impediments, I was intrigued by this smorgasbord of delicious decadence and eager to eventually partake.
I've already written about Darren - the aging drug-dealer, male prostitute, and editor (I was going to elaborate my encounters with him in this post, but it would take too long)
I've mentioned the two Lesbian vampires, who always wore black and never came out in the daylight.
I've already written a post about the movie director whom I called Mephistopheles Mephistopheles at Midnight
I never mentioned how I met him. It was another introduction by my friend Chuck.
"His name is Gianni," Chuck told me.
"Johnny?" I repeated. "Like Cash?"
"No. Gianni. Like Italian."
"Oh," I said. "Like Gianni Schicchi." Opera was always on my mind.
We come to an impressive but rather dilapidated mansion nestled in the intricate Hollywood Hills. A sleek black Ferrari is among the half dozen vehicles in the driveway.
A vampirian houseboy answers the door and lets us in. He looks alarmingly pale and gaunt, strung out, washed up. He leads us through several large, darkly Gothic rooms and out to the startlingly bright sunshine of a poolside patio. Our guide - much like Nosferatu - seems alarmed at the sunlight and quickly vanishes back inside. There are three or four young men splashing around in the pool - all of them naked.
Gianni rises like an apparition, from a lawn chair under an umbrella. Arrayed in a black velvet robe, smoking a pipe, he has black hair and a black goatee. His skin, much like the houseboy, is cadaver pale. The robe is open to his navel. Glistening against the dark mat of hair on his chest is a golden pentagram on a heavy golden chain.
Chuck had told me he is a warlock, a male witch.
To me, Gianni looks like a reasonable facsimile of Mephistopheles, freshly arrived from Hell. He is foreboding, yet (to me) extremely intriguing. He reeks of Hollywood theatricality and is infused with the mesmeric charm of Rasputin.
Gianni greets us warmly, with a slight Italian accent. He takes an immediate interest in me and asks "Are you here to audition?"
"No," I say, suppressing the fact that I'm puzzled. "I'm only here to observe."
"What a pity. You definitely need to audition. I'm always looking for fresh meat." He comes uncomfortably close to me and says "And you look deliciously fresh." He squeezes my ass with an annoyingly friendly hand.
"Sit, sit," he urges, "And have a drink."
We are served Malibu Red margaritas, which nearly knock me into the middle of next week. I'm still far from being a hardcore boozer.
The potent effects of the alcohol seem to expunge my apprehension at Gianni's intense interest in me - and soften the brazen impudence of his questions.
He tries to extract an inventory of my sexual tastes and repertoire (which at that time were pathetically limited). He wants to know if I could sufficiently "perform" before cameras and maintain staying power during stress.
"Are you a top or a bottom?" he wants to know.
At the time I was uninitiated with advanced sexual terminology. I feign knowledge and take an educated guess.
"I'm a top."
He smiled with more than a hint of satisfaction. "We'll get along just fine," he says.
Besides being a weekend warlock, Gianni is a full-time director of gay porn films. His latest masterpiece was The Boys in the Back Room - or some such title.
Although I have no desire to put my limited sexual repertoire on display for public consumption, Gianni has incredible optimism concerning my potential, and seems more than eager to experience it firsthand.
Before we leave, he jots down his "private" phone number and tells me to call anytime, 24-7.
Am I flattered?
Do I call his number?
About two years later - when I'm living in Hollywood and my sexual experience has impressively advanced - I happen to encounter Director Warlock Gianni at a party. I went to the party with an actor whom I'll call Nick. Nick was working on a film at Paramount.
Gianni, all dressed in black, still looked like Mephistopheles. To my astonishment, he actually remembered my long-ago poolside visit and expressed regrets that I never called. I assured him that I still had no desire to bare my ass before a camera. He assured me that it wasn't a requirement. He invited me to his Hollywood Hills abode for a "visit", not an audition.
I surprised myself by accepting the invitation. I now had two years of Hollywood experience under my belt. I was street-wise. I had toughened. My sexual expertise advanced from student to virtuoso. Ample booze and sporadic drugs increased my confidence and widened my horizons.
I visited Mephistopheles on numerous occasions and immersed myself in the semi-conscious Gothic underworld of his invention.
The rustic terrain of the Santa Susana Pass
I even accompanied him and his cinematic "crew" on a location shoot. We went to the Santa Susana Pass in the Simi Hills, which had long been a very popular place for motion picture shoots.
Corriganville had been there - - where I saw TV shows being filmed when I was a child. The old Spahn Movie Ranch had also been there, but it was destroyed in a 1970 brush fire. The Spahn Ranch is where Charles Manson and his murderous clan of cronies lived during the Tate and LaBianca murders.
The area is brutally hot, even in May, but it's a perfectly private place for filming outdoor sex scenes. If you can ignore the potent potential for sunburn...and the snakes, horseflies, and tarantulas. This didn't seem to diminish anyone's enthusiasm or staying power - which was enhanced with plenty of cold beer (for the record, I wasn't in the movie - I was merely a spectator....).
a couple of Gianni's boys
Eventually I drifted away from the private sacraments of the underground director. I was merely one entree in his sumptuous banquet of infinite delights.
Despite my seasoned facade, I was no warlock, no party animal, and no hopeful pretty boy auditioning for a porn part. I was simply a lost soul in desperate need of escape.
Mephistopheles was a momentary diversion. The adventures waiting on the horizon were infinite.
Reluctant to audition for a part in a porn film, but willing to bare all in a memoir......maybe