Sleazy Does It

Dirty martinis and filthy minds prevail at Screw magazine’s relaunch party.

“Stray Cat Strut” synchronistically shuffled itself onto my iPod as I emerged from the subway station and sauntered over to the Tainted Lady Lounge in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn—a trashy yet classy pin-up-themed bar, decorated with a plethora of paintings and old photos of bare-breasted beauties from before you were born. The DJ (Lynn K) was spinning a killer combo of ’50s sleaze, ’60s punk and old-school R&B—all on seven-inch vinyl 45s—creating the perfect aural environment to celebrate the relaunch of a publication that gives new meaning to the term “rag”—Screw magazine.

For the better part of four decades, Screw has been a bastion of bad taste and free speech, surviving a federal obscenity trial and pornography commission investigation while unapologetically exploring every taboo and presenting hard-core hand candy in all its black-and-white newsprint glory. The self-proclaimed “World’s greatest newspaper” was founded in 1968 by pervert extraordinaire and lifelong pot connoisseur Al Goldstein, whose outrageous exploits and self-destructive habits have most recently resulted in a conviction for aggravated harassment and the loss of his $11 million fortune, including a mansion in Florida that boasted a giant statue of a raised middle finger out back. But before Screw could shoot its last wad, a group of the mag’s vendors, printers and contributors stepped in and bought the title from Goldstein (who now works as a greeter at the Second Avenue Deli), promptly overhauling its look and feel, and choosing a worthy successor by appointing former freelancer Charlie Mordecai (an old bar buddy of mine) as the new editor in chief.

I arrived at the party relatively early. Charlie was entertaining a bunch of suits over at his table, so I stationed myself at the bar—eating cheese balls, pounding Pabst Blue Ribbons and skimming through a copy of Screw’s big revamp issue, including the Sexicon Maximus, an alphabetical encyclopedia of sex acts and terminology; the Shitlist (illustrated by former High Times (cartoonist Fuzzy Knight); several hilariously off-color ad parodies; and, finally, the main feature—a piece about, an erotic Web site featuring galleries of pierced, punky bad girls with names like Vendetta, Serendipity, Vixen and Nebraska, wearing nothing but their tattoos and engaged in self- (or mutual) stimulation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Read More

The Primary Colors of Cannabis

The first modern cannabis hybrid was created in the summer of 1969 in the Santa Cruz mountains by a surfer we only know by his first initial “G”, and legend has it that he crossed together three varieties from Colombia and created what the world has come to know as Original Haze.
Read More

OhGeesy Lets His Work Ethic Speak For Itself

The Mexican-American hip-hop star talks about early music influences, being an inspiration to his son, his latest album GEEZYWORLD 2, and weed as an economic tool.
Read More

Calm in Your Cup

Denver-based Lavender Coffee Boutique has big plans for CBD wellness, education, and craft coffee-drinkers.
Read More

Getting All of Comedian Joel Kim Booster

The Loot and Big Mouth star opens up on stand-up comedy, his creative process, and how he wrote Hulu’s Fire Island on a gram of Super Lemon Haze.
Read More

From the Archives: ATTICA! ATTICA! (1991)

The young, supple digital editor of High Times found out only recently about the Attica Prison riot of 1971 and is very glad to know that our beloved magazine covered the story on its 20th anniversary.