Author John Gilmore Talks “Nash” With VICE Magazine


So according to Gilmore, Eddie Nash was in some pornos? I read that paragraph 4 times. What. The. Hell. Actually, I just checked the book, and he is talking about Holmes there and the dead girl. Read more quotes from Gilmore’s web site at the bottom of this post.

From the original article:

VICE: Your most recent true-crime book, LA Despair, centers on five separate, equally tantalizing stories. The first is about John Holmes, the donkey-dicked 70s porn star involved in the Wonderland Avenue “Four-on-the-Floor” murders. But you focus on the guy who most likely pulled the strings, an oily creep named Eddie Nash. Was Nash a born psycho, or was it just the 24/7 freebasing?

John Gilmore: That certainly helped. Eddie was a guy who just wanted to make as much money as he could and live the ultimate cool life in Hollywood. And that’s what he did. He opened a little hamburger stand on Hollywood Boulevard in 1959. I remember going there a couple of times with [actress] Susan Oliver. He got increasingly involved in the porno thing in the Valley, and it got bad. There was a producer-director guy shooting a movie for him, and the girl OD’d in the middle of screwing him. He was only concerned about the footage. “Turn her around, we can finish it with an over-the-shoulder shot. We won’t show her face.” As the years went by I accumulated bits and pieces of things that interested me. I thought, “I’m just going to write about all of these things as short pieces.” That’s how LA Despair came into existence.

What’s weird is that Eddie Nash wasn’t busted for the Wonderland murders at first. He was busted for cocaine possession and got out early because he bribed a judge. Then later, when he was under the gun again for another aspect of the killings, he got off by bribing a juror. Did he ever do any hard time?

He only served 30 months or something.

Any idea what he’s doing now?

Nobody knows what Eddie Nash is up to these days. He bought a home for his mother.

Do you think John Holmes had a criminal mind? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

John wanted fame. He wanted to be admired and respected, not simply because he had a big dick. He started getting into porno and getting heavily into dope. He’d go through thousands of dollars of coke in one weekend.

Which seems like the wrong drug to take if you’re trying to maintain an erection.

Yeah, that bothered him a lot. And then people just took advantage of him. He got himself in way over his head. Basically he was a nice guy. The first time I met him was on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was a vacant lot and they used to have swap meets there. He was selling some kind of Indian jewelry and leather jackets. This was way back, before he was famous.

Q&A from John Gilmore’s web site:

Let’s talk about the John Holmes piece. What do Holmes and Eddie Nash mean or symbolise to you?
John Holmes is like an LA Frankenstein monster. He comes here. He prospers. And then through drugs and sex and the whole scene, he becomes a Frankenstein. To me, that section, Bad Eddie, represents the core, the basis of what LA is all about. It’s a whole other world. The whole Laurel Canyon scene. The hip Hollywood world of the cheesy nightclubs and dope. Nash owned this club called Starwood, and all the kids went there because all the major rock groups went there. It was a major disco place, and they’d give kids dope as they walked inside. They’d actually dish out coke. It was their policy. Nash was a major crime figure. You could not touch Eddie Nash. He was too fucking smart. There were murders and everything going on all the time, but they could never pin anything on Eddie.
Holmes comes to LA almost innocent, and is then corrupted, but Nash comes to LA on the make, and thrives…

Well, if you’re evil, you can come to LA and you can do your thing. From day one, Eddie Nash was like a hungry wolf. I don’t think Eddie Nash ever did anything for anyone where he could not exploit it or benefit from it. His whole raison d’être was to get what he could out of everything and be on top. He always felt like he was on the run. So he had to keep running, and grab things as he went, like nightclubs. He bought judges, jurors, people downtown [in city government]. Have murders going on. Pay people off. LA is the place where you can do your thing. The city doesn’t care what you do. You couldn’t pull off what Eddie Nash did in New York, it’d be of a whole different structure. But out here it’s the West. And there’s still kind of a shoot-’em-up mentality.

John Holmes, though, mutated from that innocent thing you mention. He liked to work with his hands. He loved thrift shops and buying old furniture and fixing it up. Even in the porn scene, he was kind of an outsider. But drugs took him to the other extreme. He was a lost cause with drugs. It destroyed him. And drugs were available. It was part of everything out here. It’s interesting that the juries trying the Wonderland murder cases [where four members of a drug den were bludgeoned to death] hated everyone who got killed. They felt it was good all these people got killed because they were rotten people anyway.

I’m not interested in making a historical document. I recreate these things. My presentation is a very clear portrait of the city. The only part that drifts from the city, although it starts there, is the Billy Cook case. This is a book about the way things are, not the way Hollywood wants to see them.

Considering your view of LA, why do you live there?

Put it this way, you come here and you write your own ticket. Eddie Nash wrote his own ticket. John Holmes wrote his ticket, though it might not have been the one that was most favourable to him. Certainly the ticket Barbara Graham wrote was not in her best interests, but if that’s the ticket you want to write, it’s your ride, baby. Why am I here? Well, I’m writing my ticket, and LA says, “Cool, man, go for it.”

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