Thursday, December 19, 2013

Josh Alan Remembers Al Goldstein

"As the ‘Screw’ turns: Josh Alan Friedman recalls his long tenure under pornographer Al Goldstein," from the Dallas Morning News. Click to read.

photo: Young Al Goldstein at his Bar Mitzvah

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Red Lights and Black Humor": Street Carnage Talks With Josh

"In the old Times Square neighborhood — there were boxers from the old days and the burlesque joints. You’d meet guys in the ’80s who had been boxers back in the 1920s or 1930s. Demented young starlets; sitting side by side with old decayed boxers and old men. It was a great dichotomy that I always loved."

"Red Lights and Black Humor: An Interview With Josh Alan Friedman," on Street Carnage.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy 131st Birthday, Bela.

To watch on YouTube, click above. For higher quality video and audio,
click below to watch on Vimeo.

From THE WORST! Josh Alan's original musical based on the life of Ed Wood.

THE WORST! is available on CD and digital download from CD Baby. Click here to purchase.

© 1994, 2013 Josh Alan Friedman

Video by Wyatt Doyle, with artwork by Drew Friedman (from WARTS AND ALL by Drew Friedman and Josh Alan Friedman). Visit

Monday, July 15, 2013

Josh Alan back in the studio!

"My next album finally just began."

Photo copyright © 2013 Josh Alan Friedman

Monday, July 1, 2013

WANTED! More Readers Like...

From the editor's desk:

The voice and architect of Wall of Voodoo. The man who brought "Camouflage" out of the bush and taught Rumble Fish to swim. Storyteller troubadour extraordinaire. And the best thing to happen to Mexican Radio since Vicente Fernandez.

Stan Ridgway does the cover.

Mr. Ridgway will appear at McCabe's in Santa Monica Saturday, July 27. Git yer tickets here, while you can. His latest release is Mr. Trouble.

For music, merch and all things Stan, visit

Black Cracker is available NOW; signed copies are available here.

Photo copyright © 2013 Wyatt Doyle

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Help Save a Great Independent Bookstore

From the editor's desk:

Mystery and Imagination Bookshop needs our help.

You'll recall Mystery and Imagination as the Glendale, CA bookshop where Josh Alan appeared not long ago, performing a special birthday set for the great Twilight Zone writer George Clayton Johnson. In addition to its first-class selection of new and used books, the shop has long served as a unique hub for both writers and book lovers, offering frequent signings, readings and fiction workshops that connect brilliant talents with their readers and fans. In addition to Josh Alan and George, Mystery and Imagination has  hosted Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan, Earl Hamner, Jr., Ray Harryhausen and many others.

Josh Alan performs in Mystery and Imagination's intimate upper alcove.

It's where Frank Black (aka Black Francis of The Pixies) got his signed copy of Black Cracker...

...and it's where you can still get yours.

Today, the shop is in crisis, with less than a week to raise the money they need to keep the lights on. Your purchases can help save the store, and the shop is asking for your help.

We've lost far too many great independent bookstores in recent years. Whether in person or online, please support Mystery and Imagination.

Mystery and Imagination Bookshop 
238 North Brand Boulevard 
Glendale, CA 91203 
(818) 545-0206

From the bookshop's staircase wall, home to graffiti from visiting luminaries.

photos copyright © 2010, 2013 Wyatt Doyle

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bruce Jay and Josh Alan, on Isaac Singer's favorite bench (around Broadway & 82nd).

Photo copyright © 2013 Josh Alan Friedman

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Peep Show Girls of 1982" (Part II)

Peep shows were the meat-and-potatoes attraction of Times Square, like slot machines in Las Vegas. Ghetto girls subwayed in from the boroughs for hard cash tips, one filthy dollar at a time. A pipeline of girls from Eastern Europe added to the merriment, before the Iron Curtain fell.

Depraved, pathological? Lighten up, Charlie, don’t get all academic. Overt racist caricature, you say? J’accuse! Go ahead, if that makes your day. You might consider that brother Drew doesn’t make white people look too pretty, either. But I witnessed poor womenfolk at Show World revolving on platforms in their ninth month of pregnancy. My usually taboo–defying editor, Jeffrey Goodman, at High Society’s line of mens mags, balked at running this comic strip. And so this Times Square sitcom ended after two episodes. I hereby present “Ubangi Our Wangi” for the first time ever.

"Ubangi Our Wangi" by Josh Alan Friedman and Drew Friedman
(click images to enlarge; click twice to maximize view)

Copyright © 1982, 2012 Josh Alan Friedman, Drew Friedman. Visit Drew

And for further enlightenment, here’s a 1981 Show World vignette from Midnight Blue, that I produced with my associate, Richard Jaccoma:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Peep Show Girls of 1982" (Part I)

Upon Ed Koch’s election as Mayor of New York on Jan. 1, 1978, the glass partitions of Times Square peep shows began to disappear. The “Peep-Alive” mechanisms, which utilized a worm gear to raise the shade, had their glass windows removed. This allowed for bodily contact or abbreviated prostitution through the portholes. All hell broke loose. Mayor Beame, who had personally padlocked the front entrance of Show World, had retired.

For me, this was Mayor Koch’s greatest legacy, which went unmentioned in his New York Times obit. So in honor of his passing, here is Part I of an obscure Friedman Bros. series on Olde New York. It ran in High Society Live in 1982. Part of a monthly section assigned to me called “New York: The Wrong Side of Town.” Koch said at the time, “You’d have to be insane to love West 42nd Street.” Well, what’s not to love?

"Peep Show Girls of 1982" by Josh Alan Friedman and Drew Friedman
(click images to enlarge; click twice to maximize view)

Copyright © 1982, 2012 Josh Alan Friedman, Drew Friedman. 

Visit Drew

Sunday, January 20, 2013


From the editor's desk:

Regular readers of this blog likely need no introduction to the wild world of vintage men's adventure magazines. Josh Alan has written extensively on the subject here, in the books Men's Adventure Magazines and It's a Man's World and elsewhere.

But the focus of this new book emphasizes an essential aspect of the magazines inexplicably never given its due until now: the magazines' stories.

And so, six decades, countless man hours and hundreds of weasels later, we proudly present Weasels Ripped My Flesh! Two-Fisted Stories From Men's Adventure Magazines of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Collecting 22 stories by master scribes from three decades of men's adventure writing — most of which haven't seen print since their original publication — Weasels Ripped My Flesh! supplements them with interviews, commentary and reminiscences by the original authors, plus iconic illustrations and wacky magazine advertising from the mags.

Weasels Ripped My Flesh! is your paperback passport to this all but forgotten era of American letters.

To learn more or to buy your copy today, visit the book's official website here.