Industry News

Gene Ross Interview

Video: Gene Ross Interview Gene Ross II Gene Ross III

Gene Ross reports on Jade Devin.

Gene turned 60 February 25.

Luke: “What do you love and hate about getting older?”

Gene: “There’s nothing to love about it. The thing that you really hate about it is that all the chicks think you’re the funniest old guy in the building… When you go to the restaurant, it’s, ‘What can I do for you, sir?’ All that ‘sir’ s—.”

Luke: “Do you get senior citizen discounts?”

Gene: “I haven’t tried that yet.”

Luke: “How is your health?”

Gene: “Great. I work out stronger today than when I was 25.”

“The work schedule dictates everything… I’m up at 4:30 a.m. [every day]. I’m doing my thing by 5 a.m. I’m going until about 9 p.m. I’m either at the keyboard or interviewing somebody…”

Long an early riser, Ross typically falls asleep by 10 p.m. “If somebody tries calling me at 9:30 p.m., forget it. I’m out like a light.”

Luke: “What do you love and hate about your work?”

Rob: “Nobody pays.”

Gene agrees. “What I love…is that no day is predictable… I love the porno fistfights.”

Luke: “How often do you get physically threatened?”

Gene: “I don’t.”

Rob: “He’s not mean to people. Like you, you think you’re my friend. [Rob gets calls.] ‘Rob, I was reading on [] that your site only has ugly girls.’ Is that nice, Luke?”

Luke: “I don’t pretend to be nice.”

Rob: “But then you want to come here and talk to the girls…”

Gene: “Luke, how often do people tell you that you look like Bob Geldof?”

Luke: “Never.”

Gene: “I don’t get anybody who’s mad at me. I’m a loving, nurturing, caring person.”

Rob: “He’s like me. He’s not like you. For a guy asking questions like that, there’s a reason for that.”

Luke: “Out of all the people Rob Black has hurt in the industry, I can’t think of anyone he’s done more damage to you than you [Gene].”

Ross shrugs.

Later, we talk business. “I don’t approach people to advertise,” says Gene. “They come to me.”

Luke: “Who are your best friends in the industry?”

Gene: “I don’t know. I have some people I deal with more than others. Among my better friends is Skeeter Kerkove. …He’s always impressed me as having a steel trap mind for business. He has an incredible sense of its history and particularly his place in it.”

“I always have this sense that I’m going to be found dead somewhere with a two-week desiccated corpse… I just wonder if you really s— your pants when you die.”

Gene says he’s kept track of the number of women he’s slept with. “Over a thousand women.”

Luke: “How has your sex life changed over the past ten years?”

Gene: “There is none. You read more. I’m catching up on all the movies I missed going out to bars and chasing around.”

“Once I got into the Adult industry, I found my sex life subsided.”

Gene says he’s had sex with no more than four porn stars. “When I came out here [from Philadelphia in 1990], I didn’t know that many people, so one of the first things I did was get into the whole escort thing. I met some of the hottest women.”

“I’ve been reluctant to get involved with porn girls because there is way too much drama.”

“Kim Chambers and I were engaged for almost two weeks then she got nuttier than a fruitcake. I have no idea what that was all about.”

Luke: “How often have you been offered sexual favors to adjust a story?”

Gene: “Never. To this day, I wonder why that never happened.”

Luke: “Why?”

Gene: “I think women in this business are too dumb to figure that out, that this is probably your route to the fast track. They’re screwing the wrong guy. Stop screwing around with the directors, producers and owners, f— the journalists.”

Luke: “What are the smartest and dumbest decisions you’ve made?”

Gene: “In 1968, I was offered the Philadelphia Phillies beat by this newspaper. I turned it down.”

“Coming into the Adult business was one of the better things I did.”

In retrospect, Gene says it was a bad decision to leave AVN in 2000.

Luke: What do you think of Paul Fishbein [AVN president]?

Gene: “He was a stand-up guy with me. He was one guy in the business you never had to worry where the money was coming from. The checks were always good. The money was always there. It was a good living. He was a decent guy except on one account — [that he promised Gene a percentage of the AVN business and never delivered].”

Luke: “What should people in the business know about Paul?”

Gene: “I can’t say anything bad about the guy otherwise I’d be lathering my website with invective.”

“Let’s face it — the reviews are going to be skewed. The bigger advertisers are going to be more catered to. That’s a fact of business. He’s in it for the buck like everyone else. That’s what is going to dictate what goes into that magazine.”

“I have a phenomenal memory. Don’t f— with me. I remember stuff that happened 21 years ago.”

“My weak point [as a businessman], I am really loathed to chase money. I’d rather stick needles in my eyeballs than bring up monetary subjects with people.”

“Weak points [as a writer], I don’t have the time to sit down anymore and tailor a piece. We’re writing volume now…like s— through a goose. I can pump out incredible amounts of volume.”

“What were some of my dumbest hires [at AVN]? It’d have to be the last three or four.”

I assume Gene means Rebecca Gray, Bryn Pryor, etc…

“I ultimately looked at it as ‘I’ve created a nest of vipers and I have to get out of here.’”

“Bryn and I butted heads.”

Luke: “Do you think there’s much difference between being a porn star and being a prostitute?”

Gene: “It’s basically the same thing.”

“[Porn] provides a good living for girls who would have a hard time in the real world.”

Luke: “Did you ever find yourself wanting to be a Captain Save-A-Ho?”

Gene: “I did all that before I got into the industry and got burnt accordingly. You just can’t be a nice guy and you just can’t hand a woman a dollar bill. It comes back to haunt you.”

“As you get older, you have less desire for it. I had a good run with hookers. Some of the best women I’ve met in my life. It only got worse. That’s why I stopped getting escort girls. The quality went down.”

“All the girls I used to see, they all disappeared. No [contact]. I met some wonderful women who have all disengaged.”

“When I came back from my father’s funeral [in 1994], I got a father’s funeral freebie.”

“Both my parents were good friends.”

“My father knew [Gene’s occupation] and my mother didn’t. I know he wanted to ask questions but he never got around to it. I always suspected my mother knew but she never brought the subject up. One time out of the blue she says, ‘Do you know a Bill Margold?’ Apparently she saw him interviewed on TV.”

Luke: “What are the biggest misconceptions people have about you?”

Gene: “That I’m a rotten son of a bitch… I have a remarkably tender side.”

“I love the library environment. If you walked into my place, that’s what you would see. It’s a combination smoking room and library. That’s my life — reading and collecting movies. I have over 4,000 movies in the collection. Books, way more than that.”

Gene’s lived in the same apartment for the past 17 years.

Luke: “If you died, how long till somebody discovered your body?”

Gene: “About two weeks. They’ll find my dessicated body after the aroma hit Ventura Blvd.”

Luke: “I’m always struck by a defecation theme in your work.”

Gene laughs.

Luke: “You’re always talking about people taking a crap.”

Gene: “That’s an East Coast thing… There’s no sinister thing to be read between those lines.”

“I read a book a week if I’m slow and maybe two a week if I make an effort.”

“Back in Philly, I lost most of my friendships when I got in the Adult business. They turned their nose up at it.”

“It didn’t really matter once I moved out of the old neighborhood.”

Luke: “Did you notice a change in the way people treated you after you left AVN?”

Gene: “Most people would come up to me and say, ‘I agree with everything you did but I can’t say it on the record because I’m afraid of Paul.’”

Luke: “How are your relationships with Vivid?”

Gene: “I don’t deal with them. I don’t deal with any companies. If the story is there, I write it.”

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