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A History Lesson & Some X-Rated Movies, all in one- by Steve “Pudgy” DeRose

NL- I met Steve “Pudgy” Derose on Twitter, he was a wealth of information on porn in the “old days.” Steve has been holding shows of the older erotica for years now. I asked him a lot of questions and he sent me this blog in which answered them.

by Steve “Pudgy” Derose

The Chicago Reader article was from August 2006. I updated its old URL. Read it here:
Michael Felshman has since died. I still do not know who tipped off the Reader back in 2006.
That article has enough of the detail of how I wound up showing videos at the Twisted Spoke.  Going back a little further, when I finally landed on the World-Wide Web (not only Usenet & E-Mail, which occurred in May 1994), I was one who
voted for the creation of ‘rec.arts.movies.erotica’, undoubtedly one of the _last_ Usenet newsgroups properly promulgated. This was in April 1996. (

After the ownership group with which I was involved did not get the Chicago POWER indoor soccer franchise, I was in a funk (& not the good kind) until June 1997. It took a 23-day vacation on the west coast (Portland, OR., Tacoma, WA., & Costa Mesa, CA.) to break out of it.  On one of the days when in Costa Mesa, I looked in the yellow pages for shops selling used videocassettes. I had the current issue of Michael J. Weldon’s “Psychotronic Video”® magazine {RIP} (I had letters published in Psychotronic Video.). I was concentrating on the videos which he had indicated therein he was looking for. I wound up visiting four shops from its listing; but it turned out that the _first_ one where I visited had the best selection and the best deal. It was Video Movie Wholesalers on E. Edinger Ave. in Santa Ana. I found regular movies like “A Certain Sacrifice” {the NYU student movie with Madonna} and the Continental Video two-fer of “Sweet Sugar” and “Escape From Women’s Prison” in its front room.

But when I went into the room with its adult videos, I hit the motherlode. Boxed VHS videos, including a bunch with their original Caballero-style soft clamshells (encompassing “Girls On Fire”), were ten for $55.00. Bare videocassettes were $3.00. I think I wound up buying 36 videos. But not all of them made it back to Chicago. I played the ones about which I was not sure. Most made it into my carry-on. The others were left at the house where I was staying. Those became (& still are) the backbone of my library. The videocassettes all date from the mid-1980s, and are thus *uncut*. [The BDSM-light scene from “Girls On Fire” has been snipped from its current DVD version. I have been kicked and banned from on-line adult movie fora for encouraging forum members to _not buy_ the ‘authorized’ DVD release of a movie because it has been cut from its original videocassette version; notably “Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann” and “Satisfiers of Alpha Blue”.]

I met Roger P. Tipe on a subsequent trip to southern California in October 1998, at a brewpub in Anaheim. The Chicago FIRE soccer team got to the final of Major League Soccer in their first season. The game was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and they won. By this time, I was showing videos at the Spoke. It knew that I was going to be away that week. I went to Video Movie Wholesalers again and bought more VHS’. I am fairly certain I cleaned out all the good adult videos from it.

After we had an incident in late spring 1999 at the Twisted Spoke when a snooping anti-erotica zealot turned us in to the city’s liquor
commission, which caused the bags on the windows, I began accessing my position. Of course, I didn’t want anybody involved with family to know I was doing this. (Somehow, neither mom nor dad caught on why I was heading for the same tavern every Saturday night.) But what could happen if I was arrested? Since I was showing a lot of 1970s movies, I decided to base myself on the old test: I couldn’t be officially “obscene” if I could prove a ‘socially redeeming’ effect. So I began writing synopses for the movies I was showing. [This is ‘educational’.]

From magazines like “Psychotronic Video”, “Shock Cinema”, and a few others, I learned of other purveyors of rare and obscure explicit
movies. In the archives of r.a.m.e is an article I typed out longhand in which I listed the addresses of purveyors of tough-to-find adult movies on videocassette. One I highly recommended was Mark Johnston’s “Shocking Videos”. Mark shut it down for awhile, and he moved, but he is back in business. Another was David Naylor’s “Alpha Blue Archives”. It is still active. (But I think David has exhausted his stock, and is now mostly cannibalizing his library to publish compilation DVDs. I also think he charges too much.)

It was Mark who provided the VHS which cemented my spot at the Spoke. Mitch Einhorn had been looking for the uncut version of the movie which played the USA in an “R”-rated version as “They Call Her One Eye”. Mark found the uncut, _explicit_ version titled “Thriller: A Cruel Story” (now available on DVD from Synapse). The week I played it, Mitch was there, and he took it home with him afterward. I met a clutch of the posters on r.a.m.e at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 1999.

For awhile, I co-channel-operated an IRC channel, with Mike South, “#rame” on Eskimo IRC. We chatted once a week on Mondays. We positioned ourselves as a complement to “#!!!!!!!!pornstar-trading”. “#ps-t” is for fans of pornstars; “#rame” is for fans of the movies and videos they make. I was thanked in the opening credits of Mike’s “Georgia Peaches 2000” video.

I prefer porn with a plot. It doesn’t have to be a sturdy plot. I get political at times, in pointing out what USA-filmmakers did in the 1970s & 1980s which _they can’t do anymore_ lest they risk being arrested. And in conjunction with _that_, I began visiting Japan in December 2005, after seeing any number of video clips of Japanese-based content on the World-Wide Web. It seemed to me that Japanese adult video directors were still making pictures with the prohibited-to-USA-directors elements. The downside of this was having to put up with the mosaicing. I’ve been to Japan seven times now. I have over 514 JAVs brought back from there.

Some are on the trading block. A list of it is out on a forum which I can’t tell you about here. {Because I signed up there under my
semi-anonymous porn pseudonym, to which I do not admit on-line.} But many of them are presented. I show a video every Monday night @ 10 pm at the Risqué Café at 3419 N. Clark St., in Chicago, IL. [] There is no cover charge. Our specials are every draft beer is $3.00 [but for our *strong* beers, you get only 7 ounces], and all-you-can-eat-BBQ-Wings for $6.00. The URL where I mention what movies I’m showing this season is .

Richard Freeman has published me two times in his ‘Batteries Not Included’ zine. The first time was when I described in general how to
find shops offering JAVs in Tokyo. I suggested areas off the beaten path (e.g.: Akihabara). The second time, he asked me for an article because he was running short of content. I came up with a self-contained piece on reaching 10 years at the Twisted Spoke. It was a good thing it was self-contained, because immediately after that issue was published, Richard lost his review job when “Adam Film World” ceased publishing; and he felt he couldn’t afford to put out the ‘BNI’ zine. It was the first time I acknowledged that mom did not know I was doing this; and would people please not tell her. {“She listens to Laura Ingraham on the radio. She’ll either have a heart attack, or entertain thoughts of homicide.”}

The world really changed in September 2008. Mom had what turned out to be a stroke while feeding the cats in the garage. It was one of the wettest days in the history of Chicago, and dad and I thought she was hanging out in the garage waiting for the rain to stop. She never really recovered. She finally passed away in August 2009 after a second stroke (we had a day nurse for her here), which she had when dad and I were at the hospital for one of _his_ check-ups.

With her passing, and the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the U.S.A., I felt the Sword of Damocles was finally off my head. But in December 2008, the new bar manager at the Spoke, Shaun, told me the Spoke wanted to go in a different direction with the “Smut & Eggs” presentations. It wanted _older_ movies going back to the 1950s & 1960s. Since my library did not (& still does not) have any content that old, I thanked the Spoke and took my leave.

In March 2009, I contacted the proprietor of the Risqué Café via E-Mail asking if he would like to begin a series of presentations. He
was in search of something to pull in late-night crowds. Risqué has been showing softcore, and older “R”-rated movies. We managed to come to an agreement, and I selected Monday night as my new night. Since I don’t have to worry anymore about mom learning I do this, I have cranked up my marketing of this a little.

I’ve contacted people who have told me they enjoy classic explicit movies on DVD, but they haven’t shown up. Our crowds skew younger, and
they seem to prefer the more depraved scenes in movies. I’m experimenting with more rough JAVs and older loop compilations. I’m a
team player. If this is the direction the team is going; I can play that way.

Steve “Pudgy” De Rose  3=))
“Just work on what you enjoy for yourself and if a few other people share your enthusiasm, then it’s a bonus. Cut your own path and judge your achievements by your own standards and nobody else’s. Then you can only ever fail yourself.”
– Welly (‘Artcore’ fanzine)

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