Industry News

Bill Landis was one of my Sources

Bill was a great guy who knew a lot of the inside happenings in the industry. He interviewed lots of people for his magazine Sleazoid Express. He gave me tips and stories. He was an interesting guy. He died last week of a heart attack. He was awfully young for that ( not yet 50), but he had some demons in his past and possibly in his  present that might have contributed to his early demise. Sometimes of the e-mails I got from him were undeciferable, but others were gold. Here are some snip-its of our correspondence…

Hey Bill, Haven’t heard from you in a while! How ya doin?  

Very bumpy ride Cindi.  Last month I had to recouperate from 3 broken fingers on the right arm which was stuck in a cast until 2 weeks ago  Chicago is not pedestrian friendly and I tripped after of all things having an ice cream on uneven pavement in not the best area of town by a strip mall of all places.  Thinking it was just a bruise, it got really swollen and lo and behold, it was fractures.

I did explain to you about the conflict with the original Luke Ford who I really think is a fucking jerk for reproducing my story in the Voice violating all copyrights and eventually resulting in a legal action by that paper against him.
 The Sleazoid Express book is STILL selling and the new method used to drive authors nuts is putting it in “print on demand: instead of returning the rights (besides the fact that it is being sold new by sellers on amazon, thus recycling itad infinitum).
 Frankly, I’ve been really active about writing for a long time (since 1980 when I was 21 and started Sleazoid and had a column in the weekly Soho News that was the “other” NY paper besides the Voice at that time,
 then began writing different urban color pieces for the Voice) – and found myself stymied at this point.
 I don’t know what your dealings with mainstream companies are like – but Sleazoid Express sold really well  
 I’ve been writing a huge amount on films again (I was approached by
one small but notorious publisher to redo that old – I can only call it camp – chestnut Sadism in the Movies so I  knocked off a 60 page sample of that.  I work very fast when I have the circumstances to.

I completely appreciate your help with my projects, and also believe strongly that favors be reciprocated.

   FYI when Body For Rent came out I was working rather  straighlaced temp gigs at law firms in NYC.  Wh en one of them hired me, I was rather horrified that LukeFord plagarized it word for word!  I immediately contacted the Voice lawyers and he put a paragraph or two summary of  it.  His company wanted me to “talk” to him,probably to get a transcript of how much it had upset me. Also I had a newborn child at the time (one myth shattered in many ways – people AREN’T necessarily nicer to you when you have a newborn, they take advantage of you in the  workplace financially; and also can do the cruelestthings.).
 I sincerely HOPE you are not carrying on his”flame” so to speak – he was one of the opportunists who saw a career for himself in something he
 knew nothing about.
For a while we wrote Alpha Blue’s catalogue, including the infamous Avon Dynasty story.  We did not know he would later use it to market the box set of Phil Prince’s criminal home movies.  Alpha Blue, since I’m an oldies music fan, was like our Morris Levy.
One last thing I’ll include – we worked for Taschen books for the Vanessa del Rio bio – we don’t have an author’s copy because it sells for some $800 price range but we did the story on the roughie auteur Joe Davian, who was a Dacchau survivor on top of it, aside from making some of the most imaginative films in that genre.  We had a most amicable time working with Dian Hanson there. 



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