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FROM SELTZER BOTTLES TO IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. Irv Charnoff and Jess Mack were the last remaining vaudeville/burlesque booking agents in 1984. They mourned the decline of wholesome American show-biz, as it devolved into pornography.
FREEING THE NIPPLE FROM SALES TAX. Al Kronish, one of the Melody Burlesk’s owners, was the first CPA to do tax returns for porn stars. Under constant legal harassment from the city, he kept Times Square’s last bastion of old burlesque open and spread-eagled.
Writer-guitarist Josh Alan Friedman was born in New York City in 1956. He was Senior Editor of Screw magazine when most of these cassettes were made on the fly. In a city of 50,000 writers, Josh was nearly the only one covering the Times Square beat, for the men’s magazines of the era. (His parents might have preferred he work for The New Yorker, but he also wrote for National Lampoon, Soho Weekly News and New York magazine.) By 1987, he’d had enough and followed his wife to Texas, a year after Tales of Times Square—the subject of this podcast—was published.