High life

When I played softball for Esquire, against Screw

Word had got round that Screw would provide oral sex to anyone who scored a home run...

18 January 2014

9:00 AM

18 January 2014

9:00 AM

Al Goldstein, who died recently and made the front page of the New York Times, was among the world’s most disgusting men. But hardly as repellent as Charles Saatchi and certainly without the coward’s bullying manner — against women, that is. Goldstein founded Screw magazine during the Sixties and pushed hard-core porn into the mainstream without the usual excuses of it being art disguised as porn, or vice versa. He apologised for nothing and took no prisoners and gave the finger to an outraged establishment who thought him rather vulgar, to say the least. I met him once and it was on a baseball diamond.

Back in the Seventies there was a regular softball competition in New York’s Central Park among magazines — most of them, like Life, Look, Collier’s and the Saturday Evening Post, now gone. I played third base for Esquire and as luck would have it we drew Screw in the first round. Word had got around that Screw would provide oral sex to anyone on either side who hit a home run, and the vile act would be performed right at home plate. Catching for Screw was an enormous bull dyke, who I noticed during the warm-up was throwing the ball like a man, and then some. My first two times up she yelled at the pitcher that ‘sunny boy here couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn’, and other typical baseball barbs. I was able to fly out deep both times up at bat, then on my third time got hold of one which fell between left and centre. I flew around the bases and approaching third I saw the coach holding up both hands signalling me to stop with a stand-up triple. But I had made my mind up and never broke stride. Heading for home, I was beaten by a mile and the bull dyke had gone down on her knees with her shin guards blocking the plate.

In such a situation, in real baseball, the runner barrels into the catcher at full speed, lowering his shoulder and aiming for the catcher’s head, more often than not injuring the receiver and knocking the ball off him. (Major League Baseball is now trying to change the rule because of the injuries involved.) But this was softball, a joke of a league, and the catcher was a member of the weaker sex, her size and voice notwithstanding. So I did the gentlemanly thing and slid into home plate and was tagged out. Both sides were laughing and booing me when Al Goldstein, non-playing captain, ran from the bench and screamed at me, ‘You didn’t want the blow job bad enough, you f***!’ Then he gave me the finger. I was already on the ground and stunned at his reaction. Then I burst into laughter and that was the end of it. But I did notice the catcher wink at me. (We won, by the way, but never tested the home-run rule.)

Mind you, had I scored, I wouldn’t have accepted the prize, certainly not in full view of everyone in Central Park. I may be many things but a sexual exhibitionist I am not. Why am I writing about a coarse pornographer like Goldstein in High life? Well, first and foremost he was extremely funny. He once appeared on national television, and produced a certified cheque for $10,000 as a reward for anyone who would shoot him dead if he ever married a Jewish woman again. He then produced a pistol to go along with the cheque and was thrown off the show.

My friend and mentor Professor Ernest van den Haag, now also gone, was a big fan of Goldstein. I hate to think what those two dirty old men got up to, but I was sad to read that Goldstein died penniless in a nursing home in Brooklyn, the millions he made by the foulness of his business all gone. He lived to shock and offend but technology finally beat him. Why buy Screw when the internet is full of what even Screw wouldn’t publish and in full Technicolor, to boot. The $10-billion-a-year industry he pioneered should have taken care of him once he went broke, but expecting a pornographer to have a heart is like counting upon Charles Saatchi to act like a gentleman. (Incidentally, I read that Trinny Woodall is now accompanying that particular cowardly slob. Trinny is a nice, disturbed woman, but she should lecture not on addiction to drugs but on dependence on filthy lucre.) The art world is full of rogues and pirates, and in my book the heroic man who grabbed Nigella by the throat is both of these things, and he is most welcome to come and try to grab my little throat anytime.

But I didn’t answer my own question about why I am writing about Al Goldstein. He certainly made the world a worse place, and perhaps that’s why he died broke and alone and miserable. Which means there is a higher power that judges us, which also means the Saudis and Qataris will one day be judged for the misery they are paying for, meaning the paid jihadists spreading death and destruction in the Middle East. Are 4,000 dead Nepalese worth a single football match in that sandy hellhole? Ask Sepp Blatter and the rest who voted for the World Cup to take place down there. The Almighty takes his time but, trust me, one day, like the rest of us, they will be judged, and I wouldn’t want to be in their turned-up shoes.

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Show comments
  • Redneck

    What, if anything, links these two men / vile specimens?

    • Kennybhoy

      Theodoracopulos? A third vile specimen?

  • Larry

    Al Goldstein was a desendant of those who took part in the orgy in Judges 19:22-25.

    • Doggie Roussel

      He might even have been a descendant …

      • Larry

        Muhammad said there were only 2 positions for women in society:


        The first was too CATHOLIC, so he prefered the second!

  • jmjm208

    Where is Goldstein now? For all his arrogance and fame he still had to die and face God. “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this to face judgement ” Hebrews 9 v 27

    Every one of us will have to give account of ourselves to God and then be ushered into Heaven or cast into Hell. Only those who have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will enter Heaven.

    • Daniel Maris

      What about the borderline cases? Seems a bit ridiculous that person A who committed 1 thousands sins gets to go to Heaven and enjoy bliss for all eternity while person B who committed 1 thousand and one sins, is despatched to Hell, to be punished for all eternity. Where’s your sense of scale?

      • jmjm208

        In James 2 v 10 we read that if we commit one sin we are guilty of breaking the whole of God’s laws.

        The only way we can get to Heaven is by having our sins forgiven; the only way for that to happen is to repent and accept Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour.

        • Doggie Roussel

          At the Jesuit school in which I was imprisoned for five years, there was a priest who advised us, during one session of indoctrination, that having lustful thoughts about someone would result in eternal damnation… when one impudent boy then suggested that one might as well go the whole hog, for the same punishment.

          The poor fool was subjected to the maximum punishment available for his impudence… twice-nine ferulas.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Casanova makes a deathbed act of contrition and enjoys eternal bliss, while some young boy carks it during his first carnal tryst and is subjected to everlasting hellfire….

        It really is the most absurd load of b……s !

    • Doggie Roussel

      Is this the same all-loving, all-caring God who allows so many innocents to suffer horribly, and so many vile bastards to prosper ?

      • jmjm208

        Who are you, o man, to reply against God – Romans 9 v 20. Your rebellion against God will lead you into the Lake of Fire.

  • I read an interview with Honeysuckle Divine where she said Al Goldstein was the only one on the magazine who treated her with respect.

  • ploppi

    an interesting article indeed.

    Goldstein made a fortune and died penniless. Surely a result of arrogance and greed.

    Saatchi brought us porn in the form of Britart, the vulger purile toilet wall daubings by the likes of the massively deluded crass Tracey Emin. Hirst and the two Chapman dickheads.

    Now it looks like Karma is paying back Saatchi.


  • River P

    Brilliant! And a jolly good laugh too. If only I could be digustingly vile and rich I would’ve been charming to the Doemstic Godess I swear, sadly thats the only way she would’ve had me, disgustinly vile and rich….