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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Filtering by Tag: Eric Danville

Stumbled Upon - the Week of March 3

Kristin Battista-Frazee

There’s never a shortage of stories out there that can inspire or cause you to stop and think. Also I’m lucky to know so many amazing people doing great things. Here’s some interesting items I stumbled upon this week. 

Murray’s Tribute to Ramis

The Oscars is famously known for the couture gowns worn by beautiful actresses and inspirational acceptance speeches and this year's show had great moments. Matthew McConaughey’s  “alright, alright, alright” was quirky and Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto looked beautiful and spoke so eloquently and with great humility. But my favorite moment was when Bill Murray paid tribute to Harold Ramis while presenting the Oscar for Cinematography with Amy Adams.

Even though Murray and Ramis had a falling out years ago, the connection between them was still evident and Murray acknowledging this publicly was touching. It’s true that once you connect with someone in a special way, no matter what happens or how much time passes, that never changes. Think of when you visit with a good friend you haven’t seen in years and feel like no time has passed at all. Good people become a part of you.

Italian Women Called to Share Their Story

Calling all Italian Woman, like my family members, check out the Italian Women Project by Samantha R. DeMuro. It reflects what many of us strive for —to tell and discover our family’s story.  I’m fascinated with the idea of creating an online space for Italian Women. And I have to say, we’re a unique bunch.   I’ll be sure to throw some “odds and ends” to this project and if you’re an Italian woman, you should too. The italianwomenproject.wix.com/iawp    @ItalianWomenSay

Running for Your Life

You might have read about Kayla Montgomery, the high school runner with multiple sclerosis who has become one of the fastest distance runners in the country. When Montgomery was diagnosed she said to her coach, “I want to run faster— don’t hold back.”

This is an inspiration for anyone feeling down on their luck. And the running seems a symbolic and defiant act in the face of adversity. This running scene (above) from Forrest Gump I think illustrates this point in a comical, yet poignant way.  So whether you are running towards or away from something, just keep running, and things will work out.  

Relaunch of The Complete Linda Lovelace

I was sorry to miss Eric Danville’s book relaunch party this week for The Complete Linda Lovelace which was held at The Cutting Room in New York City. Danville has served as Managing Editor for High Times, Masters of Rock, Screw, Penthouse Forum and The Girls of Penthouse. He’s also author of The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists (BackBeat Books). Good luck to Eric and check out my interviews (part 1  and part 2) with him from a while back.

For more information go to www.thecompletelindalovelace.com or follow www.Twitter.com/thcmpltlndlvlc.

socialworkmonth2014.jpg

It’s Social Work Month, to honor the contributions of social workers everywhere. This is a profession close to my heart so I’ll be blogging about this later and I hope you participate in this observance. This year’s theme, All People Matter, invites social workers to tell their stories online using the hashtags #allpeoplematter and #socialworkmonth.  For more information visit NASW’s site.

Eric Danville Interview Part Two

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Lovelace_200dpi_Cover
Lovelace_200dpi_Cover

Here is part two of my interview with Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace. Detailed here is Danville's personal collaboration with Linda Lovelace on this book and his experience as the first creative force behind the upcoming  film Lovelace. KBF:  Eventually you had a rare opportunity to personally collaborate with Lovelace.  When did your relationship with her turn from that phone call where she pretended to be a secretary to talking to you regularly, and contributing a great deal to your book?

ED:  I worked on the book on and off for about three years, and I gathered up all these magazine articles, books and movies.  I read her Meese Commission testimony and some other public testimony about pornography.  As I was getting close to finishing the book I called her again.  I thought she got screwed in the media. She'd been saying this shit about pornography for a long time, and it wasn’t just like she just decided to flip for money. So when I called her I said, "Linda, I called three years ago and you told me never to call, but don’t hang up the phone!  I got something that I want to tell you."

So I told her one of the things that really struck me in Out of Bondage was when she said that all these people write books and articles about her, especially when the Deep Throat anniversary comes up, she always gets blindsided with the story and then reporters call her up. I told her, "Look, I want you to have a heads-up.  I am publishing this book and I'd like to interview you for two hours.  You can say whatever you want, slam the business, I don’t care what the fuck you say. I’m not going to edit it, and I'll let you see it if before it goes to print, whatever you want. This is your chance to get it all out.  She says, "Well, it sounds like you’ve got a million dollar proposition.  We should get together and talk.  I like to judge people face to face.  I want to see what you're about."

So I traveled to Englewood, Colorado, to meet her, right outside of Denver.  She picked me up at the airport and drove me back to her place. On the way she says, "Well, do you want a beer or something?" I'm like, "Yeah, sure," so we stopped at a liquor store.  She says, "Do you want one or two?" And I said, "Oh, two."  She says, "What do you drink?" I said, "Heineken." So she comes back with two six packs of fucking Heineken, and I’m like, “No, I meant just two bottles!”   We just went back to her place and got real drunk.  She could put it away.  Better than I could at the time, and that's saying something.

KBF:  She drank you under the table?

ED:  Yeah, pretty much.  Finally, she says, “Okay, I’ll talk to you for the book.” Three months later I went out again and did the interview with her and it was the last chapter of the book. It was the first time she spoke to someone from the porn business on the record in 25 years.

KBF:  What was her frame of mind during the last session you had with her?

ED:  By then we had become pretty good friends, and we would talk pretty often. If she had something to say, she would give me a call.  If I'd just want to see how she was doing, I’d give her a call.  If she was drunk and depressed, she'd give me a call at three in the morning, or something like that.  We'd gotten to be pretty good friends, so I could really just ask her anything.  In fact, when we sat down I asked, “Do you want to see the questions beforehand so you can think of where you want your answers to go?" She said, "No, I've been doing this for long time. It's okay." And I asked, "Is there anything you want to clear up that I absolutely I cannot say?" She said, "No, you can ask whatever you want."  By that time she really trusted me.  She even said that to me, "Look, I feel very safe around you. I think I can trust you to do this, so let's get it down and out of the way."

Joe Bob Briggs said it was the most revealing interview that she had ever done, and I think he was right.  I asked her stuff that I always wanted other people to ask her but they never did, some of which was her claim of being a rape victim and protesting against pornography.  I asked her, "Why didn't you ever go into rape counseling? Why did you focus all your energies putting down the porn business when even you say it wasn't the porn business that was victimizing you, that it was this guy, Chuck Traynor. Your story is one of domestic abuse and rape. And, she said, "Well, you know, becoming a rape counselor takes time and money and you have to go to school," and she'd already hooked up with Gloria Steinem and the feminist cult.  So, she didn’t think of it in terms of her own career, or what she could have done to help people.

KBF: Do you think Gloria Steinem manipulated her to take a position against porn?

ED: “Manipulated”? No, I don’t think Gloria sat her down and said, “Okay, Linda, here’s the script.” I think they were both coming from the same point of view by that time, but I do think that Gloria and Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon and such definitely exploited her position and history to get their own agenda across.

KBF:  You published the first edition of The Complete Linda Lovelace in 2001 and you have a new edition coming up soon, when will it be released?

ED:  Sometime in September.  Lovelace will be out this fall although the movie is not based on the book at all.

KBF:  In the very beginning producers came to you, correct?

ED:  Yes.   The first draft of the screenplay was going to be “based on the book by Eric Danville.”  I was a character in film, and it was literally taken from my book.  It was going be her story as told though interviews to Phil Donahue, Tom Snyder and me, from 1973 all the way up until the 2000s. The producers got in touch with Linda's estate, and they lawyered-up with Catharine MacKinnon.  When I heard they were in touch with MacKinnon, I thought, "Oh, I see this whole thing going in a very bad direction."   MacKinnon knew Linda had contributed to my book and promoted it with me, and she (MacKinnon) was not pleased. After that, the Hollywood people wouldn't return a fucking phone call and all of a sudden they were rewriting the script.

One person told me it [script rewrite] was because James Franco wanted it. When James Franco was attached the project, or when anyone is attached to one of these projects, they have their people read the script and all this shit.  It's never final until they wrap it.  Then all of a sudden I’m out of the script but, it was still going to be based on the book.  And then their lawyer says, "Oh, well, we're not sure about parts of this book or if we can insure this.  I was like, "Fuck you. You know this book's been out for ten years! If anyone was going to sue me they would have done it already. The interviews are uncopywritable, no one's got a problem with it, and the book covers are all fair use.    Then they said, "Here's what we'll do:  we'll say that the thing is based on your book," and then the lawyer comes back and says they can't even do that.  So I got a decent amount of money to be a consultant, which basically meant I had a couple of phone calls with Epstein and Friedman. I spoke to them about Linda for about an hour.  They had copies of my book so they could pull whatever information they wanted for that, and then it became what it became.

KBF:  Have you seen the Lovelace movie?

ED:  I’m contractually not allowed to see it before it opens, but I can go to an opening or a screening. I think I’m gonna pass though.

KBF:  Why do you think it's taken so long for this movie to be made?

ED:  Because it's a real nasty story, you know? And forget about the fact that Linda's dead now, and she died in this horrible car accident after having kidney failure and the whole fucking thing, you know. It's not a happy story and there's no way to tie it up in a neat little bow at the end unless you did what I suggested in the book, which is make her escape from Chuck Traynor the story because that leaves her at a high point.  It's a bummer of a story, and Americans don't like bummer stories.

 Check out The Complete Linda Lovelace blog at ericdanville.tumblr.com and watch for announcements about the next edition of The Complete Linda Lovelace book due out in September.

My Interview with Eric Danville, Author of The Complete Linda Lovelace

Kristin Battista-Frazee

author pic twitter
author pic twitter

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Eric Danville who has been a journalist for the porn industry and heavy metal world for more than 25 years.  Danville is currently the senior editor at Penthouse Forum and author of The Official Heavy Metal Book of Listsand The Complete Linda Lovelace, the biography about Linda Lovelace and the original basis for the film Lovelace. Previously he was the editor at High Times magazine, Screw magazine and Masters of Rock magazine. Here he shares with me the details of his career as a writer and where it has led him. KBF:  When did you first become interested in writing, and start your journalism career covering the adult industry and the heavy metal world?

ED:  I was an English major in college, and a friend of mine in our little clique of stupid rebellious English majors suggested I write for the school paper.  I did and really got into it, and my stuff got a good reaction. I wasn’t afraid to say fucking anything about anything!

Later on, I had friends at High Times Magazine, and I ended up being in one of their photo shoots.  I played someone who was tripping and I had a pot of spaghetti dumped on my head.  A year later, they called me and asked for my resume.  I sent it and got a job as Managing Editor.  I worked there for almost three years.

After that, my sister told me about an ad in the New York Times for a men's sophisticate magazine looking for a managing editor.   She said, "I think that means porn."  I said, "Yeah, it does.”  I was like, fuck it.  I sent my resume in and got a job at Hawk magazine. This magazine was pitched to me like what Maxim is today but before Maxim even existed.  But they ended up getting real nervous with that concept and just turned it into another porn magazine.  I didn’t mind the job, but it was too corporate and I didn't like wearing a tie and all that bullshit.  I didn't like punching a clock and all that crap either. A friend of mine was working at Screw and they needed an editor, so I sent my resume and got that job.

KBF:  And, that's when you worked for Al Goldstein?

ED:  Yes, that's when I worked for Al Goldstein.  I was there for seven years, which is a long time to work for Al Goldstein!

KBF:  What was it like working for him?

ED:  He does occasionally have flashes of humanity!  He actually can be a real person.  You want to know something though?  Seriously, it was the best job I ever had.  He held me up to such a high level of accepting responsibility for my mistakes and he always said "Just because they're dirty words doesn’t mean we spell them wrong!"  You know, we came from the Henry-Miller-meets-Lenny- Bruce-meets-Mad-Magazine's School of Intellectual Eggheadism, because as far as sex goes, he also said to us, "You're all good writers and you get to do what you want, but if you fuck up, I'm gonna fucking pillory you!"  And, I got pillaried a couple of times, but it really builds character to have yourself embarrassed for a month straight in print.  It was great. This experience brought out the best in me, to create the type of writerly voice I wanted, and take my writing where I wanted to go.

KBF:  When did you write The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists?

ED:  This guy I’ve known since college was an editor over at Hal Leonard Publications, which published the heavy metal book.  He knew that I could do a really good research job and gave me the gig for The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists.  It had to be funny and correct and all that shit, too. I got the job basically because I can find any fact and spin some story around it.

KBF:  How did you become motivated to write the biography about Linda Lovelace in the first place?

ED:  When I started working for Screw I had access to their entire archives of fucking everything.  I'd be looking around 'cause they'd encourage you to look at old issues and learn the history of the magazine. As I learned more and more about the Linda Lovelace story, it was really interesting because there were so many crazy sides to it.

KBF:  Was there one moment where you thought, "I just want to write a whole book about this"?

ED:  Yeah, actually there was.  Around 1996 Ron Howard and Brian Grazer had optioned Ordeal to make the biopic film and that was all over the news. “Opie's going to make the Linda Lovelace story.” I had been working for five or six years at Screw and I wanted to get a straight writing credit, and a friend of mine had Linda Boreman's (Lovelace’s real name) phone number. I thought, “Wow, I'd like to interview her for something like Vanity Fair.” So I called her up and said, "Look, my name's Eric Danville and I’m a writer from New York City and I work at ScrewMagazine and I would like to interview you for a mainstream piece that has nothing to do with Screw. "

The second she heard I worked for Screw, she's like, "Goldstein, huh?" and then she says, "Oh, Linda's not here, this is the secretary. Can I take a message?"  But I knew it was her, I knew what she sounded like from watching her movies. I said, “If you can give her that message about a possible interview."  And, then she says, "Well, okay, I'll give her the message and do me a favor: don’t ever call this number ever again."  I hung up and thought, okay, that was five minutes of my life wasted. But I just kept the research going and focused on what I found interesting about her story.

As I was researching I realized that nobody wanted to talk about her.  Jerry Damiano wouldn’t talk to me about her. I asked Goldstein and he wouldn’t talk to me about her.  He'll talk to fucking anyone about anything! He's like, "No! When you get a publisher, I’ll give you the interview." I said, "I'm not going to get a publisher until you give me the fucking interview!" I was pissed off because years later when Inside Deep Throat came out all these fucking people were willing to talk about her: Damiano was in it and Goldstein was in it. But this [Inside Deep Throat] did regenerate all this interest in her. This film turned into an exploration of the history of Linda Lovelace and American pop culture.

Part two of this interview will be posted next week. In the next installment you'll learn more about Danville's relationship with Linda Lovelace and how he finished The Complete Linda Lovelace with her help.

Check out Eric Danville's blog at ericdanville.tumblr.com and follow him on Twitter @ThCmpltLndLvlc. The next edition of The Complete Linda Lovelace book will be available this September.