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aka: Billy, Loco Jones (?), Bill Young, William Eld, “Big” Billy Eld, Jimmy
Bill Eld interview (excerpts)
IN HEAT #2 - 1977
IN HEAT: Let's start with some of the basics-where you were born, what your childhood was like...
BILL ELD: I was born in Rochester, New York, in 1945. From the ages of 9 to 12, I was in foster homes – than I went to an orphanage and stayed there 'til I was 18.
IH: How did you get involved in the "porn" industry?
ELD: It was a lot of things. People were always approaching me. 'Course, I was working out in gyms and was very athletic, and also I was dancing at the time – that was in San Francisco, up on Broadway. I was about 23, and did an adagio act with a girl. It was a love act, but not anything like they have in New York. You couldn't just get up there and act like you were screwing, or whatever – it had to be part of the act. Like I said, I was approached by a lot of people and started doing a lot of photography work. Then I was asked to so some loops, and eventually people started getting ahold of me or I'd get ahold of them, and it grew and grew until it's where it's at now.
IH: Were you more into the gay or straight area at first?
ELD: Oh, the gay, because at that time there was so much straight stuff on the market. The gay stuff on the market was good, but not that good; and if you had the necessary equipment, as they say, you stood out. And, of course a gay is going to be more attracted to a male's body than a straight is, anyway. You could have a beautiful body and work in straight porno pictures and nobody gives a fuck. The mai jority of the audience, they're not looking at the guy.
IH: A trend is going on with the newer porn stars, like Peter Berlin and Jack Wrangler, to market their own photos and control their career. Had you ever thought along those lines?
ELD: I suppose I could do it if that's all I wanted to do. but that's not all I want to do. (Jim) Cassidy was very successful – I would say he was probably the first to really market himself. It depends on what you're geared to.
IH: Do you think the porn industry has changed?
ELD: Oh, yeah... everything changes, or it dies. Porn's much better. They're putting a little art, a little professionalism into it. The audience demands it, I think.
IH: Are porn actors being treated better, or worse?
ELD: I think they're being treated the same. You've still got the charlatans in the business. Until they legalize porn or make it illegal – one of the two – you can't keep it on the line. One day it's legal, the next day it isn't – that's why it's where it's at, and that's way it's in the hands of the people it's in.
IH: You came back to New York not too long ago after living in California. How do the working opportunities compare?
ELD: There's more work out there, but better jobs here. Because, number one, you've got more people out there – l mean more people they're looking for. You could take seven-eighths of the United States and move them all to California and there wouldn't be that much of a social change. But you move them to New York and it's a different world. To be successful – or just to live – in this city, it's three times harder. The pace is much faster. But I find it easier to live in New York. I like doing things late at night. I can do it here, whereas in L.A. you're tied down to an automobile – you can't do anything without a car, and that gets to be a bore. That's what the lifestyle is out there. They want to live it, fine – I don't, so I don't live there.
IH: In your photos, you often come across looking surly. Are you?
ELD: I find this – a lot of people approach me and they're very shy, because when I photograph, I come across very mystic, and I have... well, a look. It's enticing, but it's stand-offish – you know: "Don't touch." I'm not that way, but that's the way I photograph. That's what sells, and fortunately I've worked with people like Jim French and Lou Thomas who knew that and caught it, and it's some of the most beautiful work I've ever done. It was enticing, and sexy, and come on-ish, but very "Don't step on me or I'll hit you over the head." And people like that.
Thanks to IN TOUCH Magazine
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: see COLT STUDIO at GEA
PAGE UPDATED: November 2007
Main Images © COLT Studio Group / Falcon Studios
Thanks to IN TOUCH Magazine for permission to reprint Interview with Bill Eld.
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