More Speak Out On Damiano's Legacy

LOS ANGELES - The tributes to legendary porn director Gerard Damiano continue to flow in ... but first, how about some quotes unearthed by editor David Sullivan from an interview with Damiano in the mid-'70s conducted by film critic (and porn fan) Roger Ebert:

"The only thing that's kept hardcore going this long is the FBI and the Nixon administration," Damiano said. "Without censorship to encourage people's curiosity, the whole thing would have been over six months ago."

"I find pornography by itself to be boring on the screen. The only thing that perpetuates it is censorship; people like to feel they're being slightly daring to go to a hardcore flick. But sexual intercourse does not lend itself to cinematography.

"I don't care what the 'Kama Sutra' says. There are not 101 different approaches to the subject. There are only three or four."

And speaking of interviews, director Roy Karch sent in this memory from the same time period:

"In April,1974, I wanted the debut telecast of The Underground Tonight Show to be spectacular. Who better to appear on the first XXX-rated cable TV show than the grandmeister of them all, Gerry Damiano?

"It was Marc Stevens, Mr 10-1/2, who put me in touch with Gerry. Gerry asked two things when I got him on the phone, 'Where and when?' I told him the date and and that it would be taped at Richie's Havens' Cafe Wha? on McDougal St in the Village. After a pause, he said, 'It'll cost ya.' 'How much?' I cautiously asked. Another pause...'A nice pastrami sandwich on rye with mustard and a pickle.'

"That Friday night, The Underground Tonight Show aired live in New York City residents' bedrooms at 10 p.m. EST on both Sterling-Manhattan Cable channel C as well as on Teleprompter Cable TV channel D. Gerry had made history again. His twenty-minute interview gave fans an inside look at the very beginnings of an industry that was about to change big time.

"There was Gerry Damiano, one of the original XXX filmmakers, whose work heretofore had only been seen in theaters on the big screen, now appearing on what was to be the very first adult material shot on video and brought into the privacy of viewers' bedrooms and shown on those 'small screens' for the very first time.

 "I'm sure, Gerry, there's a nice pastrami sandwich, just like you like it, waiting for you when you land in that special place you've gone."

The complete Damiano interview will be available for viewing on in early 2009.

And finally, since the Damiano family has asked, in lieu of other remembrances, that fans of the late director's work donate something to the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation, it's only fitting to hear from that organization's head, Dr. Sharon Mitchell:

"Gerard Damiano has passed after 80 years on this planet. Gerry was quite an influence on me as young starlet in New York City. I starred in five movies directed by him, and had parts in many others. It was an honor to work with such a talented director. He would rehearse me for about a week before my performance; it was wonderful. I have not only been blessed to be in porn when it was big budget and an art form, but also to be vulnerable enough to someone who knew how to get stellar performances out of me. I won Best Actress for three of the five movies I starred in for Gerard. He was a talented man, a loving father, a great friend and mentor to me, and I will miss him so. I know where to find him though; all I have to do is press 'PLAY.'

"Gerard's family has been thoughtful enough to ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to AIM in Gerard's name. I can assure you as the Founder and Executive Director of AIM, these donations will be earmarked in Gerard Damiano's name, and solely used for the purpose of the indigent who cannot afford funerals, detox beds for the addicted, and education for the 'Life After Porn' program. We are grateful to the family, and our condolences are with them in their time of need."

A donation button has been added to AIM's home page, and all contributions will be gratefully accepted.