We’re all working for the skin trade.
There has always been a culture of using sex as currency in the industry. Whether it be intentional or not it is as much a part of Hollywood as the Greyhound Station on Vine where the new meat comes into town daily like clockwork to participate in the pursuit of the dream. Musicians, Actors, and Writers. They all come to Hollywood , with a dream in their heart and reminders from home in their suitcases. Why do you think Hollywood has the most beautiful service professionals in the world? Because degree or not, experience or not, the industry is a fickle mistress, one that desires your complete compliance, in body and soul. There are thousands of beautiful boys and girls in this city, with more coming in everyday. The prettiest girl in her hometown, the best guitarist in his area, but nothing they ever imagined could prepare them for a city filled already with beauty queens and rock gods who have already fought their way into queue to give up anything and everything that was theirs for a chance, any chance. And they, the daily arrivals, haven’t even figured out yet how to get in line.
I remember all the Sunset Strip Pay to Play bands; by day those boys worked at Guitar Center, or in telemarketing, or record shops, the only jobs they really could get because of the long hair that was a part of who they were, along with the permanent traces of mascara and eye liner that clung to their tattooed skin. Barely surviving, most of them were supported by girlfriends who bared their bodies on stages across the city, or were hopefuls who slaved away in the more corporate world, hoping that someday their man was going to get that big break. I had a friend who was in the latter category; she even had two lovely children with her rock and roll boyfriend. She supported him and his band through the good times and the bad. Sadly when the band won a Grammy in 1994, well let’s just say she watched him in television with a flashier girl while she was sitting home with the children, she knew it was over then. I’ve since lost touch with her, but his career is nowhere now, it’s nice to know that sometimes there is karmic justice in the world.
Though there is always more call for men, the bands, the roles. But it was always the women who, (according to many “experts” were exploited the most) found ways to make the skin trade work for them. Not just the Heidi Fleiss lot, either, and anyone who thinks that putting Heidi out of business ended that scene is naïve beyond imagination. I remember a story told about a rather smarmy guy known as Bleecker Bob. He ran a few record shops in NY, LA, and London. He was fond of telling stories about one particular female singer who did sexual favors for him just so he’d carry her demo tape in his shop. The mere thought of doing ANTYTHING intimate with this guy was repulsive, I’m just glad that fame was never my mistress. Now whether the stories were true or a figment of his imagination, the singer, well she’s a superstar now, uber famous, there are few who don’t know who she is, but Bob? I hear he still has a store in New York apparently, but unlike her, worldwide domination seems to have eluded him.