The Adams Report by J.C. Adams – Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 26, 2006 | Comments Off on The Adams Report by J.C. Adams – Sunday, March 26, 2006

It’s been almost two weeks since the rowdiest GAYVN Awards in years and the fallout is still settling over Michael Lucas‘ incendiary comments from the podium which prompted booing, hissing and thrown ice from JD Slater at the Raging Stallion Studios table. Even though various industry bigwigs (Messrs. Lucas and Slater as well as Chi Chi LaRue and Chris Ward) have been kissing and making up — Mr. Slater apologized to Mr. Lucas, who apologized to Ms. LaRue, etc. — there are still some ruffled feathers and hurt feelings that should be soothed before anyone gets in the same room together where alcohol (and ice) is being served.

Okay, a quick recap: As noted in this space, the 8th Annual GAYVN Awards went down Thursday, March 9th at Rage nightclub in West Hollywood, followed immediately after by the official afterparty cohosted by Channel 1 Releasing and SureFlix.com. In a night of upset victories, no award was more shocking than the Best Picture tie between Lucas Entertainment’s DANGEROUS LIAISONS and Rascal Video’s WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS 1-2. Some people cheered, some booed, everyone gasped in surprise.

Why? In part because Ms. LaRue and Mr. Lucas have been lobbing spitballs at each other in the press (this column, their respective blogs, “AVN” and elsewhere) for months. And now the two would be sharing the stage together. Ms. LaRue was the show’s host and she’s a consummate pro; no one expected any thrown punches. But Mr. Lucas is a canny publicity expert; there’s no one in gay porn today more skilled than this guy. (C’mon, last year he compared himself to Jesus Christ when he said “I’m also 33 years old and everyone wants to crucify me!”) So when he got in front of the microphone and boldly declared, “Fuck you to everyone who didn’t vote for me!” the response was predictable — people jeered, they groaned, they threw ice.

“It was a joke! A New York-style joke!” he told me this week via cell phone. Although he was 3000 miles away I could hear the steam hissing from his ears. “I cannot believe people are this upset over a stupid joke.” He went on for a few minutes in this vein, swearing very creatively.

Mr. Lucas’ ire was stoked by an open letter to the industry posted on GAYVN.com from Raging Stallion’s JD Slater. “Dear Friends, I write this letter to set the record straight and to apologize to the management and staff of ‘AVN’ for my unfortunate lapse of character at this year’s [show],” he says. He goes on to take responsibility and apologize for lobbing ice at Mr. Lucas, which Mr. Slater called “a knee-jerk reflex to [Mr. Lucas’] outrageous and uncalled-for ‘fuck you’ to the judges in particular but also to the industry in general.”

Citing his three acclaimed decades on both sides of the camera in gay adult, Mr. Slater also lists personal hardships including “Senate investigations, indictments and extradition attempts, cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and a debilitating seizure condition. Through all of those periods it was members of our community (both print and video) that came to my aid. When I look upon the esteemed group assembled at [the GAYVNs] it is with the thankful eyes of a man who knows to whom he owes his success and life.”

Mr. Slater explains that Mr. Lucas “insulted not only his co-winner Chi Chi — he insulted the whole room.” He explains that he apologized to Mr. Lucas afterwards. However, “[o]nce again I say to Mr. Lucas that I have the utmost respect for you as a filmmaker, but that in the future perhaps you should consider that the path you now trod was paved by the work and sacrifice of others; others who might take offense when the efforts of their lives’ work is condescendingly pissed on by a colleague they have graciously embraced — I offer my deepest and sincerest apologies for my unfortunate indiscretion. My intent was never to disrupt the event but rather to defend its honor.”

To be fair to Mr. Slater, who is a friend of this column, he has dialed down the rhetoric since that letter was posted. But I also spoke to Ms. LaRue about the GAYVN brouhaha. On the one hand, the directrix was pleased with the high turnout. Always the industry’s most ardent booster, she says “there are more companies, bringing more people. More porn stars want to go. And it’s free. It’s a place to be seen and it’s a fun time for the industry to get together. [The Rage] was at maximum capacity! It’s time to move it to a larger venue.”

Moving onto the Best Picture imbroglio, Ms. LaRue says the tie “couldn’t have been any more fabulously politically scandalous” and that when presenter Dean Phoenix announced the tie, “I knew it wasn’t going to be me and ARABESQUE!” she laughs. “I knew it wasn’t going to be me and BEYOND PERFECT! It wasn’t gonna be Michael Lucas and [DECAMERON]! It was gonna be Michael Lucas and I so that they could see how we’d interact with each other.” She paused for a moment to choose the right words. “And I was as gracious as I could be. And [people] are still talking about it.”

I relayed to Ms. LaRue the quotes Mr. Lucas gave this column, that his comments were meant to be taken as a joke. “Sometimes the way Michael says things, it doesn’t come out as a joke. People don’t get it. And people think he’s being completely arrogant. And I don’t think so. I think he’s a cartoon character. As I am! I’m a big, giant drag queen up there! He’s a caricature of himself.”

Ms. LaRue says she’s had private moments with Michael Lucas in which he was more warm. And she remains offended by the crowd’s reaction to Mr. Lucas’ speech. “I don’t like the fact that people booed. I don’t like the fact that people threw things. It’s rude. It brings everybody down a notch.”

But Ms. LaRue also feels Michael Lucas needs to rein it in. “I think that Michael should take the time and talk to me outside of a party, outside of an awards show, with no cameras around. He owes me that. He said some really hurtful things about me this past year. I mean, he kept me [on his blog] constantly and gave me a lot of press.” But enough’s enough already? “I think so. He invited me to his birthday party and offered to send a limo for me. So do I think that Michael hates me? I don’t know. He’ll have to tell me. I don’t know.”

RIP: AUSTIN BLACK (1963 – 2006)
It is my unfortunate duty to pass on news of the death of yet another member of our community. Performer Austin Black died earlier this month in the Long Beach, California apartment he was renting from friend and fellow performer Randy Summers, who owns the building. It was Mr. Summers who discovered Mr. Black’s body and informed the industry of his passing. He was found March 9th and per an initial assessment from the coroner he had been dead for several days. “All I was told by the coroner was ‘natural causes.’ He wasn’t sick as far as any of us knew,” Mr. Summers told me via email.

I haven’t yet confirmed the specifics of his passing. How does an apparently healthy man of 43 suddenly die? Mr. Summers has promised to fill me in on the details as they become available. [03/26/06 Update: Mr. Summers, via Mr. Black’s family, says the official cause of death was complications related to liver cancer.]

Austin Black’s career in gay-XXX spans two decades, going all the way back to 1986. He committed dozens of films to celluloid, in many genres, and his legacy is informed by his status as one of the handful of non-Caucasian porn performers to achieve a notable level of fame. (He was black, Spanish and French-Canadian.) For a time in the late 1990s he and ex-lover Frank Parker made up one of gay porn’s most famous power couples, having met on the set of Brush Creek Media’s THE BACHELOR PARTY (1997; d. Steve Landess).

Austin Black wasn’t just another porno star. He was a mature man who was clear-eyed about the skin trade and his impact on gay culture. “First of all, I have a college education and didn’t jump into the industry as some starry-eyed kid who wanted to be the next James Dean,” he told an interviewer in 1999. “I have a degree in radio and television, so I take this industry as being just what it is. I don’t do this to bolster my masculinity — (s)ome people in the industry have a lot of problems and they get into the industry with these problems already attached and can’t deal with things like directors and people who want to use you up. You have to be smarter than the average Joe and not do stupid things [like abuse] drugs, alcohol.”

Mr. Black was also quite aware that his mixed heritage set him apart. “I think it has helped me,” he revealed in the same 1999 interview. “I can do all types of movies because I come from all types of people. Over the course of the years, there has been a push toward having all types of different-looking people in videos and that was the way porn started. Then in the ’80s directors got sidetracked with one certain type. But today they have realized, ‘Whoa, I can make a buck off these people, like black people, the Spanish people, the Asian people!'”

BIG SALAMI (Bijou Video), DUO #6 (Black Forest Productions) and JACK OFF (Eagle Studios) were produced in 1986 and would seem to be Austin Black’s first films. Some of the notable titles on his videography include BIG GUNS 2 (Catalina Video, 1998); BLACK BALLED 2 (All Worlds Video, 1998); CHICAGO MEAT PACKERS (Bijou, 1993); DAS BUTT (Hollywood Sales, 1996); DEMOLITION MANN (All Worlds, 1997); HUSTLER BLUE (Hollywood Sales, 1996); LARGER THAN LIFE (HIS Video, 1989); REAL MEN OF THE NEW WEST (Altomar, 1988); and SAID & DONE (All Worlds, 1997). He had recently completed several bareback titles for SX Video and ZyloCo as well as KNOB SQUAD 2 for Zaye Entertainment. Our sincere condolences to his friends, family and fans.

Porn Star Birthdays for March 20 through March 26: Gianfranco, Buck Phillips, Sven, Cory Taylor (March 20); Bamm, Jay Bergman, Diego Correa, Tommy Hart, Alec Martinez, Austin Masters, Walter Soares (March 21); Eric Leneau, Caleb Stone (March 22); Rico Clayton, Tony Cole, Milos Janek, Reiko Mantos, Mike Marino, Ricardo Neston, Collin O’Neal, Karl Tenner, Alex Villaboas (March 23); Mark Anthony, JC, Jeff Dillon, Cory Koons, Mark Montana, Ricky Shore (March 24); Hunter Daniels, Anthony Ericson, Brock Hensley, Pavel, Mike Rivera, Marco Rochelle, Joe Sport, Jake Summers (March 25); Ben Damon, Gordon Lee, Rick Ritter, Troy Walker, John Zorg (March 26).

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

500 Turtles Productions © 2002 – 2006

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