Monday, November 02, 2009

They're tearing him apart!

                     Where are the cigarette burns?

 If James were alive today, he would probably piss on those who have lied about him.

Writer Kenneth Anger made accusations in his "Hollywood Babylon" book regarding James Dean, that were manufactured lies. And his book has been quoted in many stories on James Dean. Anger said Dean was a sadist and used to put out cigarettes on his chest, leaving small scars. He said Dean was called a "human ashtray." I want to clarify something and will go further into detail. Jimmy Dean was an actor. There is no way he would have mutilated his body. There are photos of Dean, taken during the filming of GIANT, with his shirt off in front of the cast and crew. If he had had scars from burns on his chest, I doubt he would have done this.

Anger further writes, that on the eve of his death, he had been to a gay party in Malibu, ending with a screaming match with his ex-lover. Fact: Jimmy was going to drive to Salinas to race his new Porsche. The night before, he had been to dinner with Marcus and Ortense Winslow, his aunt and uncle who had been visiting him from Indiana. His agent, Dick Clayton, had also been with them. Jimmy had to get up early to start his drive to Salinas. This makes it very doubtful that he would be visiting a bar the night before he drove there. And Dean, having become a major star from his first two films, wouldn't be creating a scene, "screaming at his gay lover," in public. Dean was at his home in Sherman Oaks, sleeping.

Anger stated, "Dean had taken to hanging out at the Club, an East Hollywood leather bar. The predatory night prowler, who dug anonymous sex, had recently discovered the magic world of S and M. He had gotten into beating, boots, and bondage scenes. Regulars at the Club tagged him with a singular moniker: the human ashtray. When stoned, he would bare his chest and beg his masters to stub out their butts on it. After his fatal car crash, the Coroner made note of the "constellation of keratoid scars" on Jimmy's torso."

Rereading his words makes me sick. Why did so many people believe his lies and reprint them as fact? In my manuscript I show several photographs of Jimmy with his shirt off. Smooth as hell. Not even a pimple on his chest. Jimmy's closest gay affairs were with his friend Jack Simmons, who had lived with him at Dean's rented home in Sherman Oaks, and Bill Bast, who had known Jimmy from college, and they lived together in Santa Monica and New York. He had a few dalliances but no known male lovers. The house in Sherman Oaks had belonged to a chef at Patsy D'Amour's VILLA CAPRI, where Jimmy often ate Italian food. He leased the home to Jimmy. It had, since then, burned down and been rebuilt.

I must admit, when I bought and read Anger's book, I took this as being true. Aren't writers supposed to be like investigative reporters? I'm aware that the National Enquirer, and similar tabloids often make-up stories. They have a weekly deadline and have to have stories to fill up space. The Hollywood Star, my newspaper, was a gossip and expose type of paper too. I only published it about every four months. I researched my stories and didn't have to concoct anything.

The person, who has turned out to be worse than Anger, is writer John Gilmore. I have deleted six pages on him, from this manuscript. I know him like a book. I will recap a few things about him and his writings. I met Jonathon, after he had written a book on James Dean titled "The Real James Dean." I had started my newspaper and wanted to meet him to do a story on Jimmy. We talked awhile at his home near Los Feloz Boulevard. He would later move into the apartment building where I lived, in Hollywood, the Amor Arms on Orchid Avenue. He was getting a divorce. We would often drink beer in his apartment. He had a large one single and mine was like a small closet, where I had interviewed Dean Stockwell, and a few other young actors.

One day Dennis Hopper had phoned me from Taos, New Mexico. He played Willie Nelson's recording of "Shot Gun Willie," several times. Willie was new on the recording scene at that time. I mentioned talking to Dennis to Gilmore. In a recent book he mentions Dennis talking to a scurrilous gossip writer and playing "Shot Gun Willie," but added he had told me he had written "Easy Rider," and that Dennis stole the story from him. He said I asked Dennis about this and Dennis denied it. When in all reality, I had never known Gilmore had alleged this until I read his book. Knowing Gilmore, he would have started a civil lawsuit, if this had been true.

While drinking beer, he was playing Hank Williams recordings. I told him I had met Hank a few months before he died. I had been with him backstage in Flint at the I.M.A. auditorium. In Gilmore's book he says he got drunk with Hank in a parking lot in Hollywood and in the book, had a picture of Hank, obviously drunk. But, the photo was taken from a book on Hank. If he had met Hank, I think he would have mentioned it to me. The dead can't talk or defend themselves anymore.

He had taken a few items to a Hollywood collector's store on Hollywood Boulevard to be sold on commission. Among the few things was a leather jacket he claimed to have belonged to James Dean. Gilmore is over six feet and James Dean was five-eight. Gilmore had often worn it. There is no way that the jacket belonged to Jimmy and Jimmy's real leather jacket was at the Winslow home in Fairmount. A copy of Jimmy's life mask was among the items he sold. Artist Kenneth Kendall had given it to him. He received a total of $1,000 for the items.

I have omitted a lot of personal things about Gilmore and will try to stick to his stories about James Dean and many who contradict him. I talked to Gilmore's ex-wife, who was working at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant. She told me that if she hadn't edited and rewritten the Dean book, it would never have been published.

I was managing an apartment building in Hollywood and Jonathon had been living in San Francisco. We talked on the phone and he said he would like to move back to Hollywood. So I rented an apartment to him. The Hollywood Star newspaper and Gayboy, a tabloid I had published, were developed in a basement layout room. Jonathon said he would like to write a story on James Dean, things he had left out of his book, sexual things he had experienced with Jimmy. I agreed to let him do it. I headlined the story, I HAD SEX WITH JAMES DEAN. I then learned he had phoned various places, telling them he had worked for the Hollywood Star so he could get "free passes" to various events. He didn't work for the Hollywood Star. He had written the Dean article and one column using the name Rocky Sands, (this was before he had moved to San Francisco).

Then I received a letter from the special collections department of UCLA thanking me for submitting Gilmore's material from the Hollywood Star to be added to his files. I phoned them and informed them I hadn't sent anything to them and was not aware of their "special collections." They said they had received a letter from me and the material I had requested be put into the Gilmore collection! What nerve, signing my name to letters.

Gilmore alleged to have been a close friend of Jimmy and in Joe Hyams' book, "LITTLE BOY LOST," he quotes Gilmore going into explicit detail of his sexual escapades with Dean in New York. Jack Simmons said it wasn't true. He said he had introduced Gilmore to Jimmy, after Gilmore had sat on his doorstep begging to be introduced to Dean. Jimmy had tried to get Jack the Sal Mineo role in "Rebel Without A Cause," but director, Nick Ray had decided on using Sal Mineo, a good choice. Jack said Gilmore was always trying to get close to famous actors, but Jimmy didn't want Gilmore hanging around. Maila Nurmi (Jim's friend who was Vampira on TV) told me Gilmore had only known Jimmy a few months before he died. Gilmore's story was that he had known Jimmy in New York prior to his Hollywood fame. It's strange that when Jack introduced him to Jimmy, Jimmy never acknowledged he had known him before. Would Dean ignore someone, who he was alleged to have had sex with?

Gilmore has written a few other Dean articles or books, and goes into explicit detail of the so called encounters wih Dean. This surprised me of the explicit sex he claims to have had. Then I recalled one time on Hollywood Boulevard, we stopped at an adult bookstore. He picked up a couple of adult paperbacks and said, "These are mine. I wrote them under another name. They still owe me money for them." Anyone who has read these type of paperbacks, know they go into descriptive sex. This is what sells them. Now if anyone has had sex with a personality and wrote about it, there would be no need to describe it, in detail, what sex acts were performed. Just the fact that they had sex with a personality and said that, would suffice.

I met a man who said he had worked with Gilmore on one of Gilmore's books. He said he had told Gilmore about some things he had experienced in Hollywood. When Gilmore completed the book, the things the guy had told him, had become things Gilmore had experienced. He is a very clever writer. He will write about things that happened in the past, things most people had read about, then he will add some things he alleges to have happened around that same period. When people read it, they will assume that, "well I do recall those other things, so what he says must be true too."

In one of Gilmore's books, he sort of contradicts his friendship with Dean. He states, "Many have noted how difficult is was to get 'close to Dean.' For most of us who came in contact with him, "it was impossible."

I went to Amok Books, who had published one of the Dean books he wrote. An employee said a girl who had dated Gilmore, for two years, said he had never mentioned James Dean the two years she had known him. Never "mentioned" him.

At the apartment, I was holding some mail for tenants that was too large to fit in their mailbox. Gilmore came into the apartment and looked them over. One was in a large manila envelope, that had been opened/damaged in the mail. Suddenly he pulls out a manuscript from the envelope. I said, "What the hell are you doing?" He said he just wanted to see what the writer had been writing. He laughed and said, "It says here that Gene Hackman would be good for the lead role. You never say that in a manuscript." Well, Joe Gayton was the writer. The manuscript was "Uncommon Valor," and later it starred Gene Hackman. Joe and his brother Tony, lived in an apartment above Gilmore. They both worked for The Hollywood Star putting the newspapers in newsracks around the city, when they were going to USC college studying film. Both are now successful screen writers. I mention them in another chapter.

I end this by mentioning Dennis Hopper. I used to talk to Dennis on the phone, from Lima, Ohio. We discussed James Dean. He was going to appear on the Dick Cavette show in New York and said he would phone me. Well, it was the anniversary of Jimmy's death, and he almost forgot it. He wept over the phone. He was always very emotional about Jimmy. I would later drive to Taos, New Mexico when he was editing "The Last Movie." In a Dean documentary, I believe it was "The Last American Teenager," he drives towards the camera in his truck. He gets out and talks about Dean. He said they smoked pot, did Peyote together, etc. Then a few years ago, he appeared on the Bob Costas late show. He told Costas that he never actually knew Dean away from the movie set, that they weren't real close friends. Bob sent me a copy of that show. I could hardly believe it when I watched it. Dennis, all of his career, was saying how close they had been. In actuality it was Nick Adams, who had been close to Jimmy.

Artist, Kenneth Kendall, once had a store on Melrose Avenue, filled with memorabilia, antiques, etc. He had completed a bust of Marlon Brando, that was in the front window. A one-legged gal brought James Dean to the store. (This was prior to Dean's screen roles.) Jimmy, looked at the bust and asked, "Could you do a bust of just anyone, or do they have to be famous?" Ken said, "Well, I guess I can do anyone, I'm an artist." Later, after Dean died, Kenneth did a large bust of Jimmy, more of a caricature than an actual photo like image, although everyone recognizes it as Jimmy. (A copy is at the Griffith Park Observatory where scenes from REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE were shot.) But, Kenneth changed Dean's wording and said Dean asked, "Would you do a bust of me?" Dean hadn't commissioned or asked Kenneth do do one, because in photographs, Dean is shown doing a bust of himself. Jimmy was also an artist. Kenneth got publicity with photos of the bust being printed in numerous publications around the world. (Kenneth died in September 2007.)

These have been lies written and told about Jimmy. Hope I have clarified things.

"I find Bill Dakota very funny and gutsy. Professionally, I think he is appalling. I wouldn't dare print a lot of stuff I know, but he's got total freedom. As bizarre as it sounds, I would never call Bill Dakota a liar." - Jack Martin former New York Post columnist and now with Beverly Hills 213



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( GOSSIP Part 1