*Now updated with new cover, new interior art, and vintage movie posters.
“John Holmes was every man’s gigolo, a polyester smoothie with a sparse mustache, a flying collar and lots of buttons undone. He wasn’t threatening. He chewed gum and overacted. He took a lounge singer’s approach to sex, deliberately gentle, ostentatiously artful, a homely guy with a pinkie ring and a big dick who was convinced he was every woman’s dream.”
John Curtis Holmes had the longest, most prolific career in the history of pornography. He had sex on-screen with two generations of leading ladies, from Seka and Marilyn Chambers to Traci Lords, Ginger Lynn and Italian Member of Parliament Cicciolina. The first man to win the X-Rated Critics Organization Best Actor Award, Holmes was an idol and an icon, the most visible male porn star of his time.
Holmes started in the business around 1968 and made more than two thousand movies. But after descending into a world of drugs and crime, he became the central figure in one of the most publicized mass murders in L.A. history, the 1981 Wonderland Avenue killings in Laurel Canyon, in which four people were brutally bludgeoned to death. Holmes was tried and acquitted of the crimes in 1982. He died from from complications of AIDS on March 13, 1988.
Read the story that inspired the movies Boogie Nights, with Mark Walhberg, and Wonderland, with Val Kilmer and Lisa Kudrow. Now with restored edits and updated information. The collection includes three bonus stories. “Little Girl Lost,” about the life and death of beautiful porn starlet Savannah, among the first of the Vivid Girls; “Deviates in Love” about swingers and amateur porn; and “The Porn Identity,” about a divorced man’s search for retired porn starlets in an effort to get his mojo back.
“The Devil and John Holmes” is one of the most terrific sagas we have ever published.”
— Jann Wenner, editor and publisher, Rolling Stone
“I can recognize the truth in these stories— tales about the darkest possible side of wretched humanity. Sager has obviously spent too much time in flophouses in Laurel Canyon.”
—Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hells Angels.
“I once described Mike Sager as “the Beat poet of American journalism.” The title is still apt. For decades, he has explored the beautiful and horrifying underbelly of American society with poignantly explicit portrayals of porn stars, swingers, druggies, movie stars, rockers, and rappers, as well as stunning stories about obscure people whose lives were resonant with deep meaning—a 92-year-old man, an extraordinarily beautiful woman, a 650-pound man. He became a journalistic ethnographer of American life and his generation’s heir to the work of Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. His imposing body of work today is collected in more than a dozen books and eBooks.” —Walt Harrington, award-winning author, and head of Journalism at the University of Illinois, emeritus.