Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Inches" & Beyond

Presently, Jennifer and I are moving forward at a good pace with respect to publicity and promotion of the book as our primary focal point. The comprehensive biography is now available at all major online outlets like: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com, Chapters.Indigo.ca, etc., and also at our own website: www.johnholmesinches.com

Please visit our myspace page at: John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches.

Watch for upcoming reviews, interviews and mentions of the book in various newspaper, magazine publications, and websites such as: Film Threat, HUSTLER, SWANK, L.A. Weekly, P.S. Babylon, Gay Porn Times, Luke is Back, the Toronto Star, AVN, www.Tod-Hunter.net, Adult Industry News, and more!

We are currently working toward making the biography available at store locations throughout the U.S. and Canada!

In related news: In September, VCX will be releasing Johnny Wadd, the very first film of the famous nine part series. (The entire Johnny Wadd collection is reviewed in our book.) This 1970 film, co-starring Holmes' real-life girlfriend, Sandy Dempsey (distinguished by her infamous butterfly tattoo on her right thigh), has not been available since it made its theatrical debut in the early 70s. Additionally, never-before-seen footage from various John Holmes' 1980s feature films, is now available as VOD at http://www.johnholmes.com/ - "John Holmes Basement tapes", Volumes 1-4.

Excerpt from Chapter 14 ~


Bob Chinn: People are always going to be curious about somebody that is endowed like he. So there's that curiosity factor that got a shot in the arm with Boogie Nights. And with Boogie Nights, they reached a whole new mass audience that had never been aware of it before.

Laurie Holmes: The way he's been portrayed has been wrong and people have this perception already in their mind. There's nothing you can ever do that's going to change it. It's better sometimes that they just don't know.

Sean Amerson: In short, I don't really care about his drug abuse, the adult industry or the mass murders. None of that affected my relationship with him. That's not who I knew. I miss him, and the kindness and bond between a scared, abused little boy and a man no one understood was a human being.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Author Interview: Naked City

Audacia Ray at Naked City recently interviewed Jennifer Sugar about "Inches"!


For the last few years, writer Jennifer Sugar has been on a mission to bring porn legend John Holmes' life into print in a definitive biography. She added co-author Jill C. Nelson to the mix last year and the final product, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches hits the stands today. The duo interviewed 35 people, reviewed 200of Holmes' films, and did a whole lot of leg work to produce this book.

Naked City editor Audacia Ray emailed with Jennifer and asked about the process of doing the research for the book and what they found out along the way.

[Also, trivia fact - August 8th would have been John Holmes' 64th birthday had he not died of AIDS]

Audacia Ray: What drew you to the life of John Holmes and made you decide to write a book about it?

Jennifer Sugar: I was 21 when I saw the film Wonderland and at that time, I didn't know who John Holmes was. In fact, I'd arrived at the theater at the wrong time to see a different movie, but Wonderland was playing next, so I decided to see it. The movie depicts about one week in John's 44 years - when he was in the depths of his addiction to freebase cocaine and was working as a drug mule between several people, including the so-called "Wonderland Gang" and Ed Nash, a notorious L.A. nightclub owner. As the movie shows, John orchestrated a robbery by the Wonderland people at the home of Ed Nash, which police believe precipitated the gruesome, unsolved multiple homicide at the Wonderland Avenue home less than 48 hours later. Holmes was implicated when his palm print was found on the bed rail above one of the victim's bashed-in heads. Although there wasn't evidence to prove that John had participated in murdering anyone (he was eventually acquitted of the related murder charges), Wonderland shows John taking part in swinging a pipe.

When I left the theater, I felt like I hated John Holmes and I remember saying that I would never see a John Holmes film. However, within a week, my curiosity had grown and I saw two of his films. I also wondered how a boy from Ohio could become the world's first and most famous porn star, before becoming addicted to drugs and being involved with the murders. I wanted to read a book about it, but found there wasn't one devoted solely to John's life, so I decided to write the definitive biography.

AR: How did you conduct your research about John Holmes?

JS: First, I watched all of the documentaries about John and read his autobiography, Porn King, plus all of the news and magazine articles that I could find. In August 2004, I went to Hollywood for the "Fit for a King" celebration, which recognized what would have been John's 60th birthday. There, I conducted my first interviews, and I met Bill Margold (a.k.a. Porn's Renaissance Man) and Cass Paley (who directed the best documentary about Holmes, WADD: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes). Bill and Cass were both very helpful in providing me with research material and contact information to do other interviews. I also began to watch and review Holmes' films. In 2007 I invited a Canadian, Jill Nelson, to co-author the book with me. Together, we completed 35 interviews with people who knew John Holmes, including Bob Chinn, Laurie Holmes, Detective Frank Tomlinson and Detective Tom Lange. Between the two of us, we watched and reviewed a total of 200 Holmes' films, including the entire nine-part Johnny Wadd series. The book includes all 200 reviews, a filmography that is not available online, and three photo sections (that include nude photos of John from the early days of his career), in addition to 14 chapters that chronicle all aspects of Holmes' life.

AR: What was the most surprising thing you learned about Holmes in the course of your research?

JS: Given my introduction to John Holmes with Wonderland, I was surprised to learn that John was a "normal guy," and he meant the world to some people. Although it's indisputable that John did some very bad things associated with his drug addiction, it was heartwarming to learn that he was a very devoted godfather to the children of his best friend and manager, Bill Amerson. Amerson's son summed this up best when he told Jill and I, "The John Holmes I knew was not the monster often summoned up in people's imaginations. He made sure I had new clothes, money for lunch. ...[He] always took a general interest in me and my life when no one else did."

With sentiments such as Sean Amerson's, Jill and I were able to present not only the most complete, but the most balanced look at John Holmes available to date. It truly is a fresh look at The King of Porn.

AR: Of the people you interviewed for the book, who was the toughest nut to crack?

JS: Everyone we interviewed was very kind and helpful in sharing their memories about John, but in answer to the question, John's widow, Laurie Holmes, was probably the toughest person with whom we secured an interview. After Jill called Laurie for the first time, Laurie checked in with Bill Margold to ask about us before she agreed to do the interview. She is very protective over John's estate and her memories of him. So, we were very happy to get a chance to interview her about her five year relationship with John and ask questions about John as a stepfather to her son. Laurie kindly granted us permission to use quotes from John's audiotapes and Porn King, which worked beautifully within our book. Readers of Inches will be pleasantly surprised that John - who was well known for his ability to spin a good yarn - was remarkably candid at times in many of these quotes that we chose. We couldn't be more pleased with the help from everyone who made John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches possible!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gala Photos

Ron Jeremy & Bill Margold

Cutting the cake

Mark Novick

Jill with Joel Sussman & Bob Chinn

Laurie Holmes & Don Fernando

Jill with Rhonda Jo Petty

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Love L.A. - Part Two

Laurie Holmes & Bob Chinn

Yes, Jennifer and I truly experienced lasting memories during our L.A. sojourn. The live Playboy Radio interaction was a lot of fun as it gave us an opportunity to warm up our chops before our appearance at Book Soup on Friday evening. It was really wonderful to be surrounded by so many terrific people who remembered good times with John, as the gala signified a celebration of the birth of the book, and John's 64th birthday.

One of the evening's highlights occured when Jennifer read a heartfelt letter contributed by Seka, that was designated for John, with a special inclusion for Laurie Holmes. Jennifer's articulate and moving presentation brought tears to Laurie's eyes, just prior to her introduction, where she expressed sincere praise for us and our work. Bob Chinn, in his humble but genuine manner, told the audience how it all began for John, when Chinn and Holmes combined their efforts to create the legendary playboy of the blue screen -- detective Johnny Wadd.

WADD documentary director, Cass Paley, recalled how four years ago, he had warned Jennifer just how challenging it would be to attempt to write a book about Holmes, and Bill Margold was in good form as he regaled the audience with stories of the "old" days when porn was illegal and its participants were considered outlaws.

Jennifer and I took turns reading select excerpts while the full house listened attentively, before we made our way toward the back of the store to personalize copies of the book for fans and friends.

Many guests attended the event, such as the lovely, Rhonda Jo Petty, and Porn's Ambassador, Ron Jeremy, along with still photographers, Joel Sussman and Kenji, former L.A.P.D. detective, Frank Tomlinson, psychologist and (now) author, Vonda L. Pelto, and former director of early Holmes loops, Mark Novick. Jennifer and I were also supported by our spouses and family, and my good friends, Lyn and Terry, flew all the way from Southern, Ontario to be with us at the signing! The evening was a resounding success as we posed proudly with our book, while our guests ate cake sporting the cover of the biography, that was specially crafted for the event.

Afterwards, a group of us hooked up for refreshments at the Rainbow before heading down North Fairfax Avenue to catch the midnight screening of one of Holmes' best, "Eruption", presented on 16 mm by "Chicago Joe".

No, we certainly couldn't have tailor-made a more spectacular event. To borrow a line from Mr. Holmes: "If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a stroke." It was a blast!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from L.A.!

Jill and I just got back from Los Angeles! The Playboy Radio event last Thursday night was a lot of fun with hosts Christy Canyon and Vanessa Blue, plus we were joined by John's widow, Laurie Holmes, who helped us a lot since this was our first public speaking experience related to the book! The following evening, we were joined by guest speakers Bill Margold, Cass Paley, Bob Chinn, and Laurie Holmes, prior to doing a reading from Inches and signing the book, which was officially released that day. It was a great evening -- a wonderful tribute to the late John Holmes and also a great book launch! Both of us are catching up and adjusting back to Eastern Time, but we will post more details about our week in L.A. soon!

~ Jennifer Sugar