” HINDSIGHT by RICHARD PACHECO”~ a work in progress”
“~ A work in progress”
THE MASTER’s CLASS ( an excerpt from the book) © by Richard Pacheco
It started out as a class. It ended up as an event that actually surprised itself. In another era, it would have been called a happening. It was a happening, too, the real deal. An experience that could only happen because it was “The Mad Satyr,” Jamie Gillis himself, who had sounded the call to the congregation. Maybe he was beginning to understand that we’d all come out of the woodwork for him. With Jamie Gillis, it was like Robin Hood calling out to the Merry Men of Sherwood… and the Merry Women, too, for that matter. Jamie always liked to mix the sexes. On a good day, it always made everyone just a wee bit merrier.
“Jamie Gillis’s ‘An All Day X-Rated Seminar,’” said the ad, “with guest appearances by porn stars Annette Haven, Kym Wilde, John Leslie, Richard Pacheco, and others.” It was billed “Learn the ins and outs of making amateur and fetish videos.” It was held on July 16, 1994 at the downtown San Francisco Holiday Inn…
… and the place, dear friends, was packed.
Some of the “others” turned out to be John “Buttman” Stagliano and Ed “Dirty Debutante” Powers. The Adult Video News (AVN) sent Mark Kernes and Yoram “Don” Dahan. San Francisco’s own Empress Madeline of EROTICA SF TV was there. Joe Elliot came to tout his new line of videos. There was Steve & Sindy from Candyman Video, Dr. X from High Society, REDBOARD’s Duck Dumont, starlets Taj Mahal, Valeria, and Sherri Parks, Mistress Vicky Gold, actor J.P. Anthony,
and Bay Area Talent Agent Dan Barros
…and we were all hosted by the charismatic Mr. Gillis. He was the grand ringmaster of this dog and pony show. “Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, step right this way…”
My lord, did those people ever get their money’s worth! After nine hours, nobody wanted to leave. The hotel had to kick us out. Speakers at the end of the day were jammed for time. Nobody expected what happened to happen. Not even Jamie.
Flashback. It’s 1982. I’m having a Jamie Gillis flashback. We’re in Hollywood. We’re staying at a remarkably seedy motel in a blighted neighborhood. They serve a weird Chinese breakfast here. Naked women,naked women that you really don’t want to see naked, are standing out by
the newspaper racks in the late night. They scream and cackle and they talk to themselves. Lots of bottles get broken in this neighborhood. There’s lots of glass in the streets. It’s like New York. Jamie feels right at home. That’s Jamie Gillis, he’s in the next room. Jerry Butler lives across the hall. We are making an X-Rated movie (BAD GIRLS IV). We are working for Svetlana, the
wicked witch of the West, Los Angeles by way of Hungary. They serve us new, young female porn stars for lunch. And we have to memorize lines and work in this second grade production that passes for adult fare because there is naked sex in it. The movie is being illegally shot on the city streets of L.A. There are no permits. They didn’t offer them back then in L.A. We have an Israeli security chief as a production manager who watches out for the police. He is the kind of guy who can make Orthodox Jews cheer hard for the Arabs.
Jamie Gillis got me through that job. Svetlana was a sadist who practiced improvisational sadism on her actors. We just didn’t get along. She fired me three times. I quit twice. She got under my skin. She appeared to enjoy it. Some guys pay extra for that, but I never responded well to abuse.
Wasn’t my thing. It was all Svetlana’s turf, though, she was the director. I would never have gotten through it without Jamie. The witch was paying very well. I wanted to be able to finish that movie. Svetlana just didn’t get to him the way she got to me. They had a history. He was a big star and
she owed him for past kindnesses. I had no such diplomatic immunity. She put the itch in bitch and ran me ragged. Never would have made itwithout Jamie. He got between us and defused things before they boiled over. At night in the crazy motel, he’d get me to chill out and we’d laugh
at her chaos. Made it through two weeks on that job. Got my fat paycheck. Earned every fucking penny. Never would have made it without Jamie.
“Do you think it went alright?” He asked me later after his workshop was over. There was me, him, and John Leslie. We were having the post-game show at a North Beach bar. I had video-taped an earlier version of Jamie’s class some months before. After that one, we had discussed the strengths and weaknesses in great detail. “So, what did you think of this one?” he asked. “Tell me, What
was the downside?”
“The downside? The only downside,” I told him, “was that we had to leave! The downside was that the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella’s carriage turns back into a pumpkin.” I told Jamie that I thought we had just witnessed the birth of an X-Rated BINGO LONG and the TRAVELING ALL-STARS. I counseled the big guy to drop the whole business part of the show, add a few more name stars with stories, a couple of songs and strippers, put in some big screen video clips from adult movies, and let’s take the whole show to Broadway!”
I thought he had the makings of an extraordinary Golden Age of Porn Review. We could all hang out with each other and feed for a long time at that trough. We could tour the country. We could go abroad…
Jamie Gillis was the Pied Piper of people pursuing personal pleasure. He was like a viral infection of joy. Where he went, joy seemed to follow.
Y’know, folks, nothing is ever as it appears to be. They tell us that pornography is supposed to be this and that and the other thing. And porn’s leading men, guys like John Leslie and Jamie Gillis, they’re the men’s men that good society purports to dismiss and dishonor as brutes
and rulers of an indecent empire.
Well, John Leslie, he of the cobra-green eyes and volcanic Alpha male mentalities
is also among the most sensitive of human creatures I have ever met. And Jamie Gillis,
the Casanova of our generation, the dark prince who wanders in all those places that
most of us only see with our eyes closed, he is a man so bursting with life that others can’t help but bloom in his presence.
These are not the bad guys, world. These are supreme sensualists. I’m honored to call them both friends. Their ideas, their lives fascinate me, enrich me. I am bigger for having known them.
At dinner, John tells me a story about Jamie. It’s about a time when Jamie was so broke that he couldn’t afford to buy the fruits and melons of which he is so fond. “You know what he did?” John asks me. “He used to go to that fruit store, pick up the melons, and just smell them!” It’s a story that amazes and touches John. Later, Jamie, well-lubricated by a few glasses of red wine, is recounting a tale of lost love to us. Unexpectedly, tears fill up his eyes and roll down over his smile. He is more surprised and embarrassed by this sudden display of emotion than we are. He apologizes to us. It is so unnecessary. He is our big brother. This world, my friends, is often an upside-down place. Secretly, scumbags are frequently hidden behind the masks of public virtue while those free spirits we would so quickly condemn and dismiss from polite society are often apt to be the
real people of heart and substance that are the worthy.
Justice? As I recall, Justice was a right-fielder for the Cleveland Indians and then the Atlanta Braves. I think he may even have played a season or two for the Oakland A’s.