Long before I was a St Claude avenue junk man, I was called the hitman

* make us famous

It was 1970 and I was living with my really hot girlfriend in New Jersey. She was a punch card operator, which is about as exciting as it sounds. One day I convinced her to call in sick and we went to Fun City (they didn’t start calling it ‘The Big Apple’ until the until World Trade Center was built). Central Park, The Zoo, lunch at Tavern on the Green.

The Supreme Court had ruled in the late ‘60s that entertainment with any aesthetic value whatsoever was protected under the First Amendment, which triggered a free-for-all in the porn industry. Times Square, especially 8th Ave., exploded with dirty book stores, peep shows, “massage” parlors, and live sex shows. Linda Lovelace in “Deep Throat” was packing the grindhouses 24/7.

On the way back to our car on 8th Ave. and 42nd Street, we were walking by all these sex shops. One of the live shows on 8th and 45th had a “help wanted” sign.

Having been one of the first to be caught when they started busting white men for smoking pot, I was made an example. A typical career was out of the question; no one would hire me or keep me once they found out I was a convicted pot user. Fueled by a blossoming alcohol problem, my attitude turned outlaw.

I could dig having a job in this atmosphere, so I asked the barker about it. He told me that I needed a woman to work with, since there were plenty of guys up for this gig, but not enough women. I pointed to my girlfriend and he said we could work for him if we had what it took. He gave us entrance to the show, which was in a gutted-out store with benches and a platform for a stage. They played a 16mm porno film. A girl would do a strip show for about ten minutes, and then a guy would come out, strip down, and they would have real or simulated sex for that audience. After the show I went back out to the barker and asked what it paid. $800 a week! In 1970 that was like four grand.

My girlfriend was very submissive and would go along with anything. I took her into the bar next door and asked if she was up for it. I went back to the barker and told him we would like to try it that weekend. He liked our looks and said he would have a backup if we chickened out.

We went into NYC that Friday night and did six shows for $90.00, then came back and did seven shows on a Saturday night for over $100, and we had fun. We did this for about a month when she complained that she got more money for one night than her straight job paid in a week. I was just goofing off, fishing, hanging out, and drinking beer with my derelict friends, so I said, “let’s go full time porn and move to the city.”