(SCENE: A West Hollywood apartment where the notorious twosome has arrived and settled down with
lots of beer and cigarettes.
SKIN: How did the two of you get together?
FRED: I met Mr. Yale one stormy evening in 1969, in front of a Hollywood
leather bar. I was in my Army pants and long hair, and I walked by him, noticing him, and I thought,
"Why am I going into this bar when
there's this cute kid right here on the
street?" So I took him home and
fucked him, and we've been doin' it
JOEY: I had on tight white pants, old
construction motorcycle boots—
FRED: —engineer boots—
JOEY: —engineer boots, that I had
stolen out of somebody's garbage
can and that were a size and a half
too large, that I stuffed paper inside
to make them fit. Because they
looked so good. And I was too
young to go into the bar—
FRED: He was the cutest blond I'd
ever seen, and I decided I had to get
into his pants, there was no sense in
going into the bar and getting
JOEY: —and I kept hoping he
would stop—because I couldn't get into the bar—
FRED: He was 19 at the time—and he looked about 12—
JOEY: I was an actor, did "Disney on Parade," the original traveling
roadshow, all over the states. I played Mowgli, "The Jungle Boy," in
a black wig and red diaper—
FRED: Now he wears a red wig and
a black diaper.
JOEY: Don't say that! That's not true at all! Don't tell jokes unless they're
gonna be true, okay?
FRED: (after a pause) Yeah.
JOEY: I had come from Indianapolis, when I was 17, with $100 in my
FRED: I was originally from Long
Beach, then up and down California,
then Hollywood. I'm 40.
JOEY: Just for the record, I'll be 32
SKIN: When did the two of you
FRED: Oh, I came out in ... 1959,
when I was 18—
JOEY: I came out when I was about
five. I knew I was gay from the first
time I can remember. I started sucking
dick when I was five. But to get
back to the subject, when I met Fred
he had this film in his head, and it
was something that was driving him,
that he had to get out—the film that
became "L.A. Plays Itself" —and it
was very structured in his head what
he was going to do. He saw gay pornography as a vehicle to set him
apart and launch a career in film. He
had something that he wanted to
say, and that had never been done
before, and knew that it could probably
catapault him to fame.
FRED: It took me three years to
make "L.A. Plays Itself"—shoulda
been able to make that in three
JOEY: Our films always take longer
than anybody else in the industry to
produce. But when Fred first told me
about this film, he told me it was a
film about nature, wildlife, and bugs.
He did not tell me it was a sex film,
when he first approached me with
the idea of being in it—
FRED: —he was so in love with me
at that point I could do anything with
JOEY: —so he basically told me a
bunch o' lies—
FRED: —there are bugs in it!
JOEY: I know, there are bugs, and
it's all full of nature in the film. It's
true. But then once we got involved
in it, then I was faced with a tremendous indecision because at that time I
was pursuing a quote legitimate act
ing career, and I thought, well,
gawd, if I do this, then I'm not gonna
be able to do those other things that I
think I wanna do! Actually, there was
another ending planned for the
FRED: Don't tell him about that-!
JOEY: I'm gonna tell him!—Halfway
through the film, I had such indecision about what I was doing that I
backed out of the project. Fred had
filmed all the major footage of me,
and then I decided, I can't handle
this because I was really young and
didn't understand what I was doing.
And so I didn't return his phone calls.
I didn't see him, and I wouldn't finish
the film the way he had originally in
tended it. So it forced him to be very
creative as an editor, to take the
existing footage that he had and
make it work. Which he obviously
did very successfully.
FRED: I hated Joey.
JOEY: He was pissed.
FRED: But the ending I was forced to
create was much better. I'm delighted
with it. But I didn't see Joey for
three years after that.
JOEY: There were times during that
three-year period when I would see
Fred's name in print, and I would see
the film "L.A. Plays Itself" advertised
in After Dark magazine, playing in
New York, and I would just cringe
and I'd think, Oh gawd, that's Halsted, and he's actually got this on the
screen! And me! And I'm in it. And, I
remember a very vivid conversation I
had with a friend of mine, and he
was looking at the ad, and there was
a tongue licking a boot, which I knew
was my tongue and my boot—
FRED: My boot.
JOEY: His boot. And my friend said
to me, "Look at that tongue, have
you ever seen any tongue that big?"
And I said, "No, I've never seen any
thing that big in my life. Isn't that just
horrendous?" But then, after it
opened in L.A., Fred and I still
weren't talking to each other. I must
have gone 20 some-odd times to see
it. And I paid! At this time absolutely
nothing is happening to my career,
I'm working odd jobs, living with a
fairly wealthy lover who occasionally
screams at me to get a job. Then, I
was out at a bar one night -
JOEY: Larry's. And Fred came in—
FRED: I had just screened the sailor
sequence from "Sextool" at the
JOEY: — and I saw him from a distance,
and I thought, Well, maybe
now's the time to go say hello to him
again—because I had really liked him
an awful lot—so I walked up and I
said "hello," and we went home and
we fucked. And that's it. I was still
living with my lover, and Fred had a
lover at that time, also.
FRED: No, I didn't.
JOEY: Yes, you did. D_____
T_____ was your lover.
FRED: No, he wasn't.
JOEY: Yes, he was! He was a
"studette"—a big guy that is basically
FRED (explaining): Guys who look
like studs, but really aren't.
SKIN: Did you coin the word
"twinkie" to describe Joey?
JOEY: Yes, we did.
FRED: I did.
JOEY: We did.
FRED: I did!
JOEY: He always wants to take all
the credit! Anyway, then he courted
me, many afternoon lunches, wanting to get me to be in "Sextool." And
his whole logic behind it was that we
had been in "L.A. Plays Itself" together,
and he'd never fucked with
anybody else—onscreen—up to that
point, and he said, "Why should we
destroy the mystique? Let's just carry
that on and create something with
it." And I like melodrama, and that
appealed to me. So I finally said,
"Okay." Now, it sounds like I had to
be talked into all this, but in truth I
was very willing in both instances,
but I enjoyed the whole act of Fred
coming to me and persuading me
and using his whole technique of
getting me turned on. I enjoyed that
quite a bit.
FRED: Well—I'm finding out a lot in
this interview. He's never talked
about this before!
SKIN: How did you decide what
kind of a scene to do for the two of
you in "Sextool"?
FRED: I was so nervous when we did
it that I dropped two tabs of acid—
JOEY: And I dropped two tabs of
acid! Because we knew that people
would expect us to top what we did
in "L.A. Plays Itself" —the first time a
fist fucking had ever been filmed—
FRED: On the day of the shoot, I
didn't know what I was gonna do!
JOEY: There was no script for our
scene. Up to five minutes before we
shot the thing, we had no idea what
we were gonna do! Neither one of
us. And that's the honest truth! We
were as nervous as hell. We made it
up as we were doing it—it was spontaneous—
FRED: It took us five or six hours to
shoot. That beautiful shot with me
breaking the mirror with Joey's face
in it—that was Joey's idea. The pissing was my idea, and putting it in
slow motion was the photographer's
JOEY: But after it was over, each of
us decided we wanted to get together
on a permanent basis, and basically
live our lives together, combining
everything. And then we started
living together, and the seeds of our
business started. Because Fred had
been ripped off by—
FRED (warning): Joey—!!
JOEY: Shut up! One of the reasons
was this distributor—
JOEY: I slapped Fred once . . . One
of the reasons Cosco got started was
because this man was distributing
Fred's films and I asked Fred, "How
much has this man been paying
you?" And Fred says, "Oh, every
couple of months he gives me about
a hundred dollars or so," and I said,
"WHAT?—I think we can do better
than that. Why don't we do this to
gether and form a partnership?
FRED: Yeah, it was Joey's idea.
JOEY: And I said, "You go and get
those negatives back from that man
—and we'll place our own ads and
see what we can do."
FRED: I finally got 'em back, but it
took a whole battle—but it was the
start of Cosco.
JOEY: "Cosco" is a word that was
just made up, by me. Doesn't mean
FRED: The "C.O.S." was originally
for "Contemporary Office Supplies."
JOEY: No, it was not—the word was
made up! It never meant anything.
FRED: So we've been in business
since spring of 1975, I think it was.
JOEY: Just this year we opened up
our printing company, "Cosco Printing."
We have four presses, one that
we can do four-color work on.
FRED: And personally we're in a real
romantic stage. I'm more in love with
him now than I ever have been.
We're closer and deeper with each
other than we ever have been. So
our sex life has changed and evolved
and the S&M between the two of us
is pretty much gone. Well—not completely—
JOEY: Not completely!
FRED: Joey's now the aggressor,
and I'm more of a passive, laid-back
JOEY: I'd compare it to any long
term relationship, in terms of sex. It
evolves and changes and it may
change again. It feels terrific right
now. But it's definitely not what it
was in '74-'75.
FRED: Well, the role reversal thing
hasn't happened sexually, but it has
happened in terms of business. He
runs the offices, and I run the house.
JOEY: When I come home from the office, Fred's at the door, and he's in his chaps and leather jacket, and his hat and dark glasses, and he hands me a beer, and you know
FRED: wants to get serviced
JOEY: wants to get serviced. And I think it's wonderful!
FRED: But in terms of 9 to 5, Joey's definitely on top. He runs the business. I'm just the delivery man, the warehouse man, the shipper. And I love it!