September 26, 2004 | Comments Off on The Adams Report, September 6 – 12, 2004
The Adams Report by J.C. Adams
September 6 – 12, 2004
A particular era of gay porn retreats further into the past with the August 25th passing of performer and director Geoffrey Karen Dior. Ms. Dior had seemed fairly indestructible despite struggles with drug addiction and an HIV diagnosis that took several harrowing turns in recent years. Geoffrey Karen Dior (whose birth name was Geoffrey Gann) was 37 years old. He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood with his boyfriend at his bedside. The official cause of death was cirrhosis of the liver. His remains were cremated and returned to his home state of Missouri where his family held a private memorial service and burial.
Karen Dior (he added “Geoffrey” to his stage name some years later) was part of the infamous gay porn “Brat Pack” that caroused from roughly 1988 through 1994 or ’95. That crew included directrix Chi Chi LaRue, drag performer Gender, Sharon Kane, Crystal Crawford, reviewer Mickey Skee, models Christian Murphy and Joey Stefano, O Boys founders Marshall O Boy and Alan Gassman, plus a constantly rotating supporting cast. They made movies together and partied together and generally tore it up. With Karen Dior’s death, it seems clear that era has finally passed.
Joey Stefano died from an accidental drug overdose in 1994; same deal for Christian Murphy in 2001. As for the others, Gender has disappeared into anonymity. Alan Gassman lives and works quietly in New York City. Crystal Crawford, Sharon Kane and Mickey Skee are still around, but only Ms. LaRue and Mr. O Boy are still actively working on the scene.
I guess you could say the Brat Pack era had a certain carefree, live-fast-and-die-young mentality to it. Porn these days is more mercenary. There are few parties for the sake of having fun. The industry rarely comes together to celebrate anything. And the breakneck pace at which technology is evolving will force the lifers who still run this business to adapt or go under with a ruthless efficiency that neither the advent of videotape in the early ’80s or DVD technology in the mid-’90s could have possibly foreshadowed.
I heard about Ms. Dior’s death on a film set Monday, August 30th. Videographer Ed Maxxx told me s/he had passed away the previous Wednesday (August 25th), but it took several days for word to get around.
I spoke a few days ago with Dior’s close friend Marshall O Boy, who expressed deep appreciation that various online memorials for Karen Dior had sprung up around the ‘Net. Soon after Dior’s passing, he got KarenDior.net up and running as a resource, and told me early plans are afoot for a memorial fundraiser October 10th in Los Angeles. Other details can be found at Oboys.org.
The last word I’d had of Karen Dior came last year, from performers Jason Nikas and Blake Andrews, who had contentiously broken away from a partnership with Dior after a string of poorly received videos under the Macho Man label. It does no dishonor to Karen Dior to note that he had burned his share of bridges in this industry. You cannot survive long in this industry without butting heads with someone sooner or later. Nevertheless, his friends and more than a few enemies rallied around Dior about five years ago when he was at death’s door, suffering terribly from one HIV-related complication after another.
As a director (usually under the pseudonym “Rick Van”) Dior was prolific. He was unabashed about the fact that most of his 100 or so titles were considered B-list. “I make porn, not art,” he told me years ago, 1995 or ’96, at a backyard party at Mickey Skee’s house. “Did you jack off? Then I did my job.”
You can place Karen Dior/Rick Van into the wave of performer-directors who endeavored to become personalities equal to the famous models in their films. Chi Chi LaRue, of course, is the patron goddess of this movement. You can include Ms. Dior with Paul Baressi, Gino Colbert, Crystal Crawford, Chip Daniels, Marcelo Reeves, Johnny Rey, Blade Thompson, all of whom worked frequently through the mid-1990s with varying degrees of success. Several of course are still around (Baressi, Colbert, with LaRue and perhaps Daniels the most skilled at combining business savvy with their public image). Other directors from this period — your Kristen Bjorns, Bruce Cams, John Rutherfords, John Travises — deliberately chose to subsume their public personas in favor of the films and models.
Indeed, Karen Dior as a performer and director came along at a peculiar and particular moment in time for the gay porn industry (1988 through roughly 1995), and left his mark on it.
Karen Dior managed to cross over into mainstream entertainment with a featured cameo on “Veronica’s Closet” in 1995 and in 1997 on an episode of “Xena: Warrior Princess,” as well as commercials for Fox Sports Net and Braun razors. He produced a memoir, “Sleeping Under the Stars,” which spilled the beans about his various assignations with porn celebrities, and appears on the “Porn to Rock” CD in a duet with Stacy Q (yes, Stacy “Two of Hearts” Q from the ’80s). Go to KarenDior.net for more details.
DEPT. OF SELF-PROMOTION
In the current issue of “Adult Video News” (Sept. 2004) I’ve got a brief Q&A with newcomer Corbin Michaels. And my interview with Chi Chi LaRue can still be found in the Features section of OutinAmerica.com (where you can find this column in the subscription-only Uncut section).
Two additional reviews are in for my directorial debut, CATCH ME (All Worlds Video). Both Arizona’s “X-Factor” and “Adult Video News” had positive words for the flick, joining New York’s “HX” magazine and ManNet.com. Available now on Allworldsvideo.com, CATCH ME will be released to stores on VHS/DVD September 24th. It stars Chris Bolt, Jasper Collins, Ben Damon, Deacon Frost, Jonathan Gabriel and Wade Mohawk. Check it out! And stay tuned for news of my follow-up to CATCH ME…
Porn Star Birthdays from September 6 through September 12: Brian Hancock, Dave Nelson, Sean Tarantini (September 6); Trent Everett, Brad Rioux, Tommy Roy (September 7); Ryan Block, Chris Canyon, Ricky Cash, Axel Garret, Perry James, Suny Tessier, Cutter West, Kurt Wolfe, Tyler Zane (September 8); Tony Belmonte, Alan Braun, Alec Danes, Tony Lexus, Sidney Sampaio, Luke Savage (September 9); Coby Kincaid (September 10); Adrian, Andy Anderson, Dean Edwards, Francois Kagylo, Arpad Miklos, Bobby Morelli, Logan Sajnal, Blade Thompson (September 11); Cade Devilin, Fabrice Felder, Jens Hammer (September 12).
J.C. Adams has covered the gay adult entertainment industry since 1995, and has served as the editor of “Inside Porn Magazine” and “Unzipped Monthly.” In addition to the “Adams Report” weekly gossip and news column, his work has appeared in “Adult Video News,” “Gay Chicago,” “Genre,” “HX” and many other print and online publications. You can reach him at JCAdamsXXX@aol.com
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