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_POSTEDON 2002-09-04 11:53:08 by jimmyd

Email jimmyd _writes "

The riddle of the Sphynx pales in comparison to the mystery surrounding the birth of the term 'gonzo,' i.e., regarding its use in the whacky world of pornography. But today, in a simplyjimmyd exclusive, the 'gonzo' connundrum is finally solved.

I received an email from AVN Senior Editor Mark Kernes today. Mark took time out to write and explain the origin of this often-used, perhaps often misused term.

Hey, Jim,

Since I was the guy who introduced the term "gonzo" into adult video, and apropos your thoughts on Henri Pachard's article, I thought I'd let you know how it all happened.

This was, I seem to recollect, late '91 or early '92, when we at AVN -- me, Paul and Gene -- were faced with a problem: We were getting shit from some directors about what category --" video", "amateur", or "wall-to-wall"; "specialty" and "film" really didn't enter into the discussion, since those were clear-cut -- their tapes were being placed in. The specific complainers were:

1) Ed Powers - We were putting Dirty Debs in our amateur section, and Ed was complaining that while he was SHOOTING amateurs, he himself was a professional, and besides, he was conducting interviews with the girls before the scenes, which he thought showed off his professionalism, so being put in "amateur" really bothered him.

2) John Stagliano - We were putting the Buttman tapes in wall-to-wall because they didn't have a set storyline (which would have made them ripe for the "video" section), but Stagliano pointed out that though his features were largely unscripted, they DID sort of tell a story, and in any case, what with Stagliano's now-well-published "Buttman" persona, they were certainly MUCH more than the "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" stuff that formed the majority of the wall-to-wall section.

3) Moonlight Entertainment - The company had come out with something called "Radical Affairs Magazine," which, besides sex scenes, featured
editorials (I think their P.M. JB did at least one), behind-the-scenes featurettes and other stuff that frankly made it difficult to classify the tape as either video (no storyline) or wall-to-wall more than just sex).

So anyway, Fish, in his ongoing effort to keep everybody (and I mean everybody) happy, decided we had to come up with a new category to cover everything that wasn't clearly either video or wall-to-wall -- and that really was the intention of the category: a catch-all for stuff we couldn't easily classify -- and me being a major Hunter Thompson fan, I piped up with, "How about 'gonzo'?" because the sort of hodge-podge we were talking about seemed to fit well with Thompson's idea of gonzo journalism. We batted the idea around for a while, and finally decided to go with it.

And that's the true history, subject to my not- always-entirely-accurate memory, of how "gonzo" came into porn.

Mark Kernes, Sr. Ed., AVN

Thanks Mark! Someday future archaeologists searching for the origins of gonzo porn might stumble upon this article in some archived database stored on a mummified hard drive in an ancient tomb. If so, another mystery of history might be solved.

By the way, any hard-core Hunter S. Thompson fans (are you reading this, Mike South?) who feel Thompson's memory has been dishonored, disrespected, or disgraced by the application of the term 'gonzo' to porn (a term virtually always used to describe Thompson's work), please address your complaints and/or concerns, including any terrorist threats or menacing hate mail, to Mark Kernes, c/o AVN.


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