Tag Archives: obituary

Gloria Leonard, 1940-2014

mos4Gloria Leonard passed away a few weeks ago and we were bogged down with personal things and hadn’t had time to put keyboard-to-blog to give her a memorial.

But, I fear, nothing I could write could compete with a series of articles that Ashley West put together over at The Rialto Report.  (If you’re not familiar with The Rialto Report, let this be your introduction.  While Ashley (or Benson Hurst as he sometimes writes) does most of the work, he has a handful of contributors who have made their mark in the preservation of the Golden Age of Adult Cinema — Steven Morowitz who runs Distribpix, author Jill Nelson and Gerard Damiano, Jr – the son of the respected filmmaker.  The mainstay of the site is a series of interviews Ashley has conducted with notable personalities of the era.)

Ashley put together a series of memorials for Gloria which I figure I’d just point you to, since they’re better than anything I could come up with.

The shitty camphone picture tarted up by Instagram on the right is from the one time I briefly met Gloria, after a panel discussion at The Museum of Sex on June 12, 2012 with the girls of Club 90: from the left moderator Elizabeth Stephens (Annie Sprinkle’s partner) Annie Sprinkle, Gloria Leonard, Veronica Vera, Veronica Hart and Candida Royalle.

RIP, Carlos Batts

carlosbatts_and_joshbarnett
Carlos Batts (left) and former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett; from Carlos’ Twitter feed.

We send our condolences out to April Flores who unexpectedly lost her husband and partner, Carlos Batts, last night.

Gram Ponante wrote:

Carlos Batts, according to a jumble of tweets and status updates from friends, died suddenly last night, found by his wife, muse, and model, April Flores. Born in Baltimore, Batts came to L.A. and slowly but purposefully carved out a niche in “artcore” glamor photography using high-contrast L.A. (in addition to its porn stars) as a backdrop, and joining contemporaries Dave Naz, Ed Fox, and Steve Diet Goedde. Batts was 42.

But it was in April Flores that Batts found his anchor and inspiration. Batts was a relentless promoter of his work, and loved his wife, who was so often the subject of it. I am shocked that this vital young man is gone so soon, and am so proud to know April Flores, a beautiful person.

Back in 2001, CityPaper, the alternative paper in Baltimore, ran a profile/interview of Batts, subtitled Carlos Batts Wants You to Know That He Is Not a Pornographer. So What Is He?

He sums up his origin like this:

I went out there and I showed them this stuff, all my manipulations, all the images . . . I’m styling, I do the body paint. And I happened to have an outtake–before I beat the image up, I had an outtake of one of the girls, a Polaroid test. And the girl was very voluptuous, had long Bettie Page black hair, and [an editor said] said, “Would that girl be interested in working for our new magazine called Leg World?”

I had photographed a lot of people naked, but not in a superficial sense where it was about them being naked, you know what I mean? So even if she was hot, I’m never like, “Oh, yeah, you’re hot.” It was always like, I’m going to paint her green and do something with her. . . .

From the outtake, I asked my model, I said, “Hey would you be interested in doing this, something like a Bettie Page thing for this magazine.” She said, “Oh, yeah, that’d be cool.”

And growing up watching ’70s porn, ’80s porn . . . I’m driven to warm, deep yellow-orange-red colors. And I light everything backwards. I’m working at the lab, [and] Agfa film was the cheapest film. You get a three-pack for like $2.99 plus [an employee] discount. This film was so warm. And I lit it wrong. I used the wrong bulbs. The stuff came out really deep, really moody colors.

And they loved it, because it was almost like Bettie Page, and it was contemporary, but kind of ’70s. It was really warm. I love lighting it that way. And from there, they were like, “Oh, Carlos, shoot some stuff.”

His work was captured in four books, Fat Girl, Crazy Sexy Hollywood, American Gothic and Wild Skin.

He was 40.

Goodnight, Reviewer-man: Den of CAVR Passed Away

“Desperate as the night moves on, just a look and a whisper, and they’re gone…” – Bruce Springsteen, “Jungleland”

My friend and colleague Den passed away on Thursday; I only heard about it this morning from an email Dirty Bob sent over.

I’ve known Den since 1996 or so; we’d see each other once a year at the trade shows (ECVS or, later, AEE) and we’d be in email contact often.

Den had some health issues back in 2006 which slowed him down physically (and eventually, a few years later, made it impossible for him to travel to Vegas for AEE).  It was around that time that Den approached me about taking over hosting responsibilities for his site and making sure it would continue to exist after he was gone.  Luckily for all of us, this first event was just a scare, and we were granted five more years worth of reviews.

Shortly before Den announced his retirement, he called to tell me that he’d gotten some bad news from his doctor and it would seem that his time left was short; but he was adamant that no one know about his disease until after he was gone.  Like everything he did, he didn’t want to draw attention to himself.  He wanted to go on his own terms; I convinced him to tell a few mutual friends who lived nearby so at least he would have someone close.  He agreed and a few days later he wrote up his retirement announcement.

He was very concerned that his site not go away, and I assured him — as I did back in 2006 — that his site (and his legacy) will stay online as long as the IAFD does (which I hope is forever.)

Since I’ve been a pretty behind-the-scenes guy in recent years, I am flattered he thought enough of me to induct me into his Hall of Fame.

Attempts at writing much more are failing right now, so I will leave with some links to some nice writeups in the trades and his colleagues, so here are the links.  I hope to write a proper tribute soon.

XBIZ: CAVR Founder Den Passes Away

AVN: CAVR Founder Den Passes Away at 67

Gram Ponante: Den of Inequity: Legendary Porn Reviewer Dies

Roger Pipe’s Tribute to Den: Den Retires, All Hail the King

Den’s Retirement Announcement: CAVR remains On-line!

This is how I remember Den (he’s the one who doesn’t look like Buttman): at the ADT Party in the Rivera in 2003 just hanging back and smiling at his good fortune to be in the same room with people he loved watching and talking to. (Den’s write up here)

Here’s another shot from a few moments after, which is notable if only for having Den and Peter van Aarle (in the white IAFD sweatshirt on the left) in the same shot…  (and apologies to Stagliano for catching him mid-blink.)

Den, I hope you and Peter get to meet up again wherever you are.

Goodnight, Big Tit Queen… Echo Valley Dies in Car Crash

Another sad addition to the Dead Pornstar List at rame.net

Big bust actress Echo Valley died over the weekend as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in San Antonio, Texas. She was 56.

Fox San Antonio reports that Echo was turning into a bar when her car was rear-ended by a pickup truck.  Finding seatbelts difficult to wear due to her large breasts, Echo was thrown from the car and passed away at the scene.

News Source: Fox 29 San Antonio: Adult Entertainer Dies in Crash

Photo Credit:  Mommy Got Boobs

Filmography at IAFD: Echo Valley

Good night, Blues Man…

News came that industry veteran, John Leslie, passed away on Sunday (5 Dec 2010) of apparently a massive heart attack at his home in California. He was 65.

I only met him once — if you can count shaking his hand and mumbling something along the lines of “big fan” — but he was a guy I looked forward to; either as a performer finding his stuff as a kid or later on, coming to appreciate him as a director.

Sexually, John’s greatest talent was his ability to orgasm unencumbered. He’d pull out, and as if by magic, he’d cum. No hands, no frantic jerking – just a pop that made you feel he wanted to be there, wanted to be doing what he was doing.

The movies he directed — especially his earlier ones — showed a great deal of style. Often relying on original soundtracks laid down by his blues band, they seemed to strive for a bit more than most of the titles put out at the time.

Jamie, my fellow editor, pointed me to these videos of an interview John did as part of the movieDesperately Seeking Seka. They really seem to capture what I’d pictured John as — a little aloof, thoughtful, ready with a smile, bemused.

We extend our sympathies to his family and friends in their time of grief. We mourn alongside them.

Some interesting JL links: