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The 1st banned coloring book

On February 14, 2017, CRITES' COLORING BOOK by Tom Crites became the first coloring book in the history of coloring books to be banned.

Specifically, the ban is a Calfornia based ban, Crites' book having been placed on the Centralized List of Disapproved Publications by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Thus  preventing it from being delivered to inmates statewide. 

The reason being is that it shows obscene material depicting frontal nudity, which is a violation of Departmental policy.

Tom's art is beautifully rendered, and don't be put off: there isn't much nudity outside of a bunch of weird human-animal hybrids.

More on Crites' Coloring book here»

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RIP David McGowan

Headpress is very sad to report the news that David McGowan, author of Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream, has passed away following a courageous six month battle against lung cancer.

Although his literary work was only one part of David’s life – among other things he was also a father, son, brother and businessman (he worked in construction – which may come as some surprise to readers of his books) – it was of course the part that Headpress knew him for, and we sincerely feel that he was one of the most talented authors we have had the privilege to publish, and that Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon was one of the best books we’ve ever released.

For those that haven’t read David’s work, it could be classified as “conspiracy literature”, certainly, but was head and shoulders above the vast majority of that unfashionable genre in terms of its insight, originality, and style. David was a very eloquent, moral, and droll writer, and Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon – which looks at the counterculture of the 1960s from a conspiratorial perspective – is one of the most original and compelling books in the conspiracy canon. Many of us at Headpress ‘had to’ read and re-read the work for commissioning/editing/proofreading/marketing (etc) purposes and it always but always seemed to read itself, the pages burning the reader’s fingertips as they flew by.

One thing that comes off of David’s work whenever we read it is its glaring humanity. David sincerely hated to see all the violence and injustice in the world, and his indignation powered his books.

As a collaborator, David was reliable, dedicated, serious, kind and sometimes tempestuous! We had our clashes, here and there, en route to the book’s publication and beyond. But we always made friends again, and members of the Headpress family exchanged some very moving correspondence with David during his final months. During that time, David was particularly full of praise and gratitude for his family, his doctors, and his readers – the thousands of people that read Weird Scenes and afterwards went on to reach out to David through his website and the book’s Facebook page, expressing their admiration for his work, and, while he was ill, their sadness, advice and moral support.

He is survived by his three daughters (Alissa, Megan, and Shane) and also his parents and two brothers.

RIP to a great and original writer. Below is an interview with David from 2014, around the time of the book’s release.

Dangerous Minds David McGowan»

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We didn't know this when putting together Mark Goodall's Gathering of the Tribe, but are pleased to report that Deathpile's G.R. - covered in the book by Jennifer Wallis - is now available on vinyl. Limited to 500 copies, it can be bought from here»

Excerpt from 'Deathpile, G.R.'

'... There is romance in hostility. “It’s comparable to why people create and watch horror movies,” says [Deathpile frontman Jonathan] Canady. “I remember the first time I listened to Slayer’s Reign in Blood album ... I found it literally frightening. I wanted the audience to experience the same thing with Deathpile.” And G.R. is uniquely attractive: the use of [Gary] Ridgway’s own thoughts in Canady’s vocal introduces the genuine voice of ‘evil’ into the proceedings, whilst waves of sound convey periods of calm before the storm (Genesis), seething anger (Addicted) and gloating reflection (Kenworth). For 38 minutes, the listener takes part in a condensed version of Ridgway’s homicidal career, from the thrill of the hunt to his capture. They Were So Close is a startlingly articulate take on Ridgway’s questioning by police: Canady’s voice reverberates and at some points is difficult to decipher, masked by an unrelenting, interrogative drone, but his voice emerges apparently victorious: “They never found her body and they never will.” Details of the crimes are provided in Shrine, focusing on the fake ritual settings Ridgway rigged for the benefit of police. Beginning with a gravelly chant of “Body and blood”, the track has a suitably hypnotic quality; he mocks the police’s failed efforts to capture him, whilst gloating about his inspired placing of “Two fish across her body” to mislead investigators.'

Malsonus, the official website of Deathpile/Jonathan Canady here»

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Save the Screw Two. Al Goldstein in familiar chains. (Click here for larger image.)

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Image: Al Goldstein graffiti by Mark Critchell

Why is this the most hated man in American? The Al Goldstein Story has it all...







To the counterculture of the 1960s Al Goldstein was a freedom-of-speech warrior, while to right wing fanatics in Middle America he was a NYC Jew porn monster. He was the hate object of choice for feminists in the 1970s and 1980s, and to his employees at Screw magazine he was the most erratic and insufferable boss on the planet. To fellow travellers in the porn industry he was the dirty old uncle who passes out drunk at your kid´s birthday party - pathetic and embarrassing but also given to bursts of courageous intellect and wisdom in sober moments. A pioneer that everybody in some measure owes their livelihood to, but nobody wants to be seated with.

Along the way we witness the birth of the underground press in the 1960s, porn chic in the 1970s and the rise and fall of his home turf, Times Square, as the sleaziest square mile on the planet. We survive the sex wars of the Reagan 1980s and look on as the Goldstein empire crumbles to dust in the new millennium, while the man himself is swallowed up by the very world he made possible.

Divulged for the first time, in Jack Stevenson's unauthorised Al Goldstein biography Beneath Contempt and happy to be there:




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Beneath Contempt and happy to be there by Jack Stevenson. The incredible life of Al Goldstein, an overweight cab driver and carny barker who became the most outspoken leader of America's sexual revolution, is captured in this unauthorized biography in all its X-rated glory. Buy this book»


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Traci Lords model release form
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Traci Lords in her breakthrough film, New Wave Hookers

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Nora K., a Traci Lords fanzine

Explosive New Book Lifts Lid On Traci Lords

LONDON, United Kingdom (February 15, 2011) - Robert Rosen's international bestselling biography of John Lennon's last days, Nowhere Man, changed the way the world saw a hero. Now, his upcoming Beaver Street, an 'investigative memoir' detailing Rosen's two decades working in pornography, threatens to change the way it sees a pariah.

Rosen finds himself back on familiarly controversial terrain with a devastating attack on Traci Lords, the former 'child' porn star whose entire pornographic oeuvre, stretching from ages fifteen to eighteen, became outlawed, threatening to incarcerate an entire industry.

Rosen's attempt to shift the traditional weight of sympathy away from Lords, commonly thought of as a viciously exploited minor, to the industry thought to have exploited her, is guaranteed to ruffle feathers at a time where censorship, child pornography, and sex are as controversial as ever.

The Lords case is by now folkloric, but in Beaver Street Rosen provides a riveting, uncomfortable, and often hilarious account from those in the eye of the storm. Says Rosen: "Every film producer, magazine publisher, printer, video-store owner, adult-bookstore owner, newsstand proprietor, porn photographer and porn fan, overnight found themselves facing any number of charges for the creation, possession, distribution, or transportation of child pornography."

The crux of Rosen's revisionist critique hinges on the question of 'exploitation'. "It was beside the point," Rosen explains, "that this 'child' had admitted using a false birth certificate to fraudulently acquire a passport, using this phony passport to obtain a fake California driver's license with a false date of birth (making her six years older than she actually was) and then using both pieces of identification to prove that she was of legal age as she systematically sought work in the porn industry."

The portrait of Lords as an unusually judicious and ambitious young woman is compelling, and her ascent, from government witness to Hollywood star and bestselling author, brilliantly shadows the legion of porn professionals left facing unemployment and even prosecution. Like Raskolnikov looking for a stray spot of blood, Rosen alone discovers almost 200 pounds of Lords material in his office, while all around him an entire industry is in a frenzy of pulping, pulling and shredding, a result of that 'child's' singular and certainly precocious talent for selfpromotion and hard work.

Wherever people ultimately stand on the Lords debacle, there is no doubt that Beaver Street provides a valuable, vivid glimpse at a little-seen side of the coin. As with the rest of Rosen's book, what really fascinates is the picture of normal professionals trying to make ends meet in extraordinary circumstances. How many other journalists, photographers, and publishers are expected to scrape a living beneath the hostile scrutiny of the FBI, the Nixon administration, Billy Graham, Andrea Dworkin and a host of others? That, and wade day in and day out through an endless swamp of smut? If Rosen relished his two decades in porn, you feel it is because he relished it as a writer, for its delicious absurdity above and beyond anything. An absurdity Beaver Street captures in glorious Technicolor.

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For sixteen years Robert Rosen worked behind the X-rated scenes of such porn magazines as High Society, Stag, and D-Cup. In Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, Rosen blows the lid off the lucrative and politically hounded adult industry, providing a darkly engaging account of its tumultuous decades—from the defining Traci Lords scandal and the conception of ‘free’ phone sex to the burgeoning success of smut in cyberspace in the twenty-first century. Buy the book»

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