Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Rialto Report ( Happy 76th)

The Melody Burlesk and the Harmony: and you started work for men’s magazines at this time as well?

Dominique: I was also working as a photographer because I met Peter Wolff, who was the publisher of some of the big men’s magazines like Cheri. I used to babysit for him and his wife. He was my mentor. He would talk me into everything.

Whatever Happened to Honeysuckle Divine? Stripping, God, and Ping Pong Balls, Honeysuckle Divine,

In late 1976, the editor of the newly created Cheri magazine, Peter Wolff (right), asked Betty to write for the magazine. Her contract with Screw magazine had ended, and Wolff wanted her to continue the diary in the pages of Cheri. Betty started her monthly column, ‘The Beehive’, which she wrote for the next few years. Wolff gave her free rein to write about any aspect of her life, but wasn’t expecting the voluminous output he received. Each month she sent pages and pages of detail that had to be drastically cut back so it could be accommodated in the magazine. She wrote about touring as a stripper, her sexual escapades, and of course her ‘relationship’ with her ‘boyfriend’ Peter Jennings. (Wolff stipulated only that she refer to him with a fake name (‘Peter Lovejoy’) for legal reasons). Betty’s diary always opened with “Greetings Art Lovers”, and usually ended with her promise to reply to every letter she received. 

Lisa Cintrice:
Porn, the Army, and the scandal in Times Square
What was Peter Wolff  like?
Oh my God, Peter was the best. Peter was … he was so cool, just laid back, and his wife was amazing. I stayed at his house a lot. He was an alcoholic, but he always looked out for me. He was brilliant and knew everything about the magazine business in New York. He was crazy, fun, and wild.

So what did you do?
I went to see Peter Wolff and Richard Milner, who was another guy on the scene publishing adult magazines. I respected and trusted them both. I told them about the problem and asked if they knew a lawyer. The next day Peter called and said, “I have an idea. We’re going to get you out of the army.”

What was his idea? Peter said that if the army was so concerned about me linking them to the porn film industry… then that was exactly what we should do. I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but he insisted I should leave it all up to him. The next thing I knew, he wanted me to do a striptease in front of the Army recruitment office at Broadway and 42nd St! He told me to wear my Army uniform and to strip out of that. When the day came, I remember going into a Beefsteak Charlie’s restaurant with a big black body guard. I was wearing  some sort of overcoat over my army uniform, and then I just threw it off and walked outside when I got the signal from Peter.

“They set up people with cameras in Times Square, and I waited across the street in my army uniform. I was wearing a helmet like in Private Benjamin. So I slowly walked up to the recruiting station and started unbuttoning my blouse. The recruiter was inside, and he didn’t know what the hell was happening. And there were all these people walking by and taking pictures. We were there ten minutes, and we had two photographers there taking pictures so that we could get done faster, and then we got out of there – no cops or anything. People were applauding and following us down the street yelling ‘More! More!”

It was great; I got a kick out of it.” Peter and Richard had alerted the press that you’d be doing this? Yes. They’d called up newspapers, magazines and TV stations and told everyone to be there for the big event. And the press turned out in force – there seemed to more photographers there than people that day! We were covered by The New York Post, The New York Daily News, ABC-TV, the nightly news programs… you name it.

Who was Jill Monro? The Story of New York’s First Transsexual Porn Star
Extract from “Jill Monro: 1977 – 1982”, Adult Cinema Review, December 1982, by Boz Crawford (Rialto Report: This is Peter Wolff)

“I was probably the first person in the porn business to meet the extraordinary performer called Jill Monro, since it was to me she came for her first job, modeling for another men’s magazine. In her short, lamentably brief life, Jill was probably the most beautiful and adventurous woman ever created by the surgeon’s knife. Jill was possessed of an amazing sense of style. Unfortunately, the pressure of being a sexual pioneer eventually “got” to my friend. Last August, she was found dead in her apartment, the apparent victim of a heroin overdose. We will miss her. We hope that her untimely death will make yet another statement in the portfolio of pleas for sexual understanding and sexual tolerance. If people would just let each other be, perhaps we might eventually overcome the tremendous tendency for self-destruction among those whose gender-identity takes different forms than the norm”.

Glitter (1983): Scenes from an Adult Movie

In 1983, the New York adult film magazine luminary Peter Wolff sent a note to photographer Bobby Hanson.

Wolff had edited a number of men’s magazines since the early 1970s, most notably Cheri, and was now occupied with his publication Adult Cinema Review – using the pseudonym, Boz Crawford.

Wolff had heard that Roberta Findlay and her partner Walter Sear had flown West Coast starlets Shauna Grant and Rhonda Jo Petty into New York for a short series of adult films.

He’d agreed with Findlay that if he was given free access to the set to take pictures during rehearsals and between takes, he would run a pictorial in his magazine to publicize the films.

But Wolff wanted more than just publicity photos: his instructions to Hanson were clear in a note to the photographer that stated: “I don’t just want a series of pictures that show sex on set. Go further. Get me stuff showing the performers off-guard, candid, rehearsing, or just posing for the camera. I want an impressionistic portrayal of life in adult films. Show me the boredom, exhibitionism, sexual tension! Give me the reality of this surreal world!”

Peter Wolff was a pioneering adult magazine publisher in New York who changed the face of the business in 1970s. He worked on many titles, including Ace in 1972, High Society in 1975, Cheri in 1976, Partner in 1978, Adult Cinema Review in 1980, and Oui in 1981. He was almost as well known for being a bon vivant – partying all night, gambling at the OTB, and having tabs at numerous bars that he seemed to live in