Register on the forum now to remove ALL ads + popups + get access to tons of hidden content for members only!
vintage erotica forum vintage erotica forum vintage erotica forum
vintage erotica forum

Go Back   Vintage Erotica Forums > Discussion & Talk Forum > Vintage Erotica > Vintage Erotica Talk

Follow Vintage Erotica Forum on Twitter
Best Porn Sites Meet Our Girls Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices
Vintage Erotica Talk Talk about vintage erotica right here!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-23-2017, 03:37 PM   #1
deepsepia
Vintage Member
 
deepsepia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Upper left corner
Posts: 3,252
Thanks: 13,699
Thanked 27,604 Times in 3,234 Posts
deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+
Default The Spider Pool girls -- a bit of hidden Hollywood Babylon

Big thank you to Solarbear for alerting me to this story, its a great one. It seems to be a bit of a precursor to Hefner's Playboy Mansion . . . here's a bit from an LA history blog, the writing is a bit overwrought, but still, its a great story.

There is something so delightfully decadent and downright pagan about Hollywood in the 1920’s. Maybe it was the heat and the transformation of desert wasteland to an arena of dreams and star making machines or perhaps the country’s overall shedding of prudish Victoriana morals and decor. Social and creative mores were pushed, at times, in the most delicious and evocative of ways. (As anyone who has studied pre-Hays Code films can probably assure you!) Sitting in the Hollywood Hills, like some pastiche Abbey of Thelema meets Silver Screen ambiance was the “Crazy House.”

“Crazy House” belonged to silent film writer/director Jack McDermott. McDermott was born in 1893 and originally from Green River, Wyoming, a mining town known for being one of the first in the country to ban door-to-door solicitation. When his family moved to Los Angeles in the protean days of filmmaking, it was kismet for an unrestrained soul like McDermott’s. Settling in the desert landscape like a holy burning bush as witnessed by a tribe of mescaline-dosed fops, McDermott’s reputation would soon grow legion. With directing credits dating back to at least 1916 and the last credited film of his being released in 1926, intriguingly titled The Love Thief, McDermott’s legacy in Hollywood mythos has become less solidified in silver nitrate and more in surreal antics and architectural wonderment.

Stories about McDermott the Hollywood Imp would soon circulate by the 1920’s. Gags such as giving guests a ride in his Model T in some of the rockier parts of the landscape, only to pull the steering wheel completely off and throw it out whenever his company started getting nervous, were just the tip of the iceberg. (McDermott’s car had foot controls installed that helped prevent certain auto-crash doom.) Driving shenanigans aside, it would ultimately be, as described in a 1927 issue of Picture-Play magazine as “The Strangest House in Hollywood,” that would make him a whispered name decades past his expiration date on this mortal plane.

Described by McDermott himself as his “crazy house,” what the structure lacked in modern cohesive design, it more than made up for with slackful ingenuity and a mega-ton of studio sets and props. Not just a few odds and ends here and there, but that the house itself was largely composed of set-pieces and what would now be viewed as Hollywood artifacts and relics.

The “Crazy House” featured rugs, furniture and walls straight off the sets of films like the 1924 Raoul Walsh actioner The Thief of Baghdad, a roof constructed from Lon Chaney Sr.‘s classic Phantom of the Opera, fencing from one of Rudolph Valentino’s last films, 1925’s The Eagle, among many others. McDermott even reportedly utilized the tombstones used in the 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame to form part of a stone wall on the property.


As you would enter the house, you would be descending into a realm full of secret passageways, sliding panels and even a tunnel guests would have to go through to simply enter the living room via a manhole. Speaking of the living room, looking up you might notice that the chandelier is a bit….unusual looking? That’s because it is not a chandelier at all but instead an inverted baptismal font that McDermott himself absconded from a church going through some re-construction.

Not surreal enough for you? There’s a whole room where all of the furniture was nailed to the ceiling. Its main purpose was to serve as an un-sanctuary for any party guests who had imbibed a little too much bootleg liquor. The room was even complete with peep holes for the more fortunate ones to peek and get a mean-spirited giggle out of the highly disoriented lost, hung over souls. In a borderline Subgenius move, McDermott even had the handle to the main toilet connected to his fire alarm, undoubtedly scaring the bejeesuz out of both the bathroom user and any nearby new guests.


It’s not hard to believe that for a moment in time, Jack McDermott’s Crazy House was party central, with its funhouse Dada and tales of specialty bathing suits for female guests that would immediately disintegrate in the water. But bizarrely enough, that would not be the crown jewel of the estate. Like any proper West Coast castle, it’s all about the pool and Jack McDermott created the pool of pools to match his crazy house.

Built reportedly from expensive tile samples via Italy and France, thanks to McDermott posing as an LA-based tile dealer (!), his pool featured a vibrant mosaic with the centerpiece being a spider in its webbed home. It was this mosaic that must have seared its way into many a visitor’s head. It was also this same arachnid art that outlived McDermott himself, who passed away at the young age of 52 in 1946 and even the house itself, which suffered a major fire in 1947. While the silent film funhouse that McDermott had worked so hard to construct was long gone, the pool and its spider steadfastly remained.

In a twist that perhaps McDermott himself could not have foreseen, his pool and its spider mosaic in particular, would go on to have a new life thanks to an assortment of camera club enthusiasts, as well as professional pin-up photographers. Even a legend from McDermott’s film era, in the form of silent film comedian Harold Lloyd, who took a number of pin-up style photos by the spider, including one of a pre-Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! Tura Satana. (Several of Lloyd’s pin-up work would years later be published in the tome, Harold Lloyd’s Hollywood Nudes in 3-D.)

Other famous nude and pin-up models would get to work their buxotic magic in front of McDermott’s spider tile, including Diane Webber and one of the best burlesque queens ever, Dixie Evans. However, once the seemingly-now tame era of cheesecake started to segue into an era of more explicit sexuality, both the rosy-cheeked coy nudies and the striking landscape behind them, faded into dust. Until recently.

A Dutch-Indonesian photographer by the name of Tom Stratton, born 26 years after McDermott’s passing, had found out about the legend of the spider mosaic via a friend and an artistic obsession began. Most would be happy to go on the treasure map hunt and simply find the old loot, but in a nod to his pulchritude-picture-taking-predecessors of the past, Stratton has created some incredibly striking pin-up shots of his own that could have been found right out of an abandoned film lab. Most impressive given that the pool’s address is not readily known and is basically landlocked by several private properties.

But this is not just a tale of fun art and sexy women in front of one admittedly beautifully tiled spider. No, this is a tale of a man who was so defiantly, so beautifully weird in an era that was desperately trying to rebel against its old ways and forge an identity, that he built an entire home and lifestyle damning the torpedoes and sending them into a stratosphere that went past Hell and entered firmly into a joyously demented wonderland of manic weirdness and Theatre of Cruelty splendor. Jack McDermott may be a mere footnote for silent film enthusiasts but his legend in the landscape of all that was truly strange, beautiful and eternally unmatched lives on in a desolate and decayed section of the Hollywood Hills. The best treasures are often the ones seemingly forgotten and covered in rust. On Jack McDermott’s tombstone, it simply says “a genius” and really, doesn’t that say it all? Life’s too short for anything else.

from "Dangerous Minds: Of Spiders, Pin-up girls and Silent Movie Mad Men: The Legacy of ‘Hollywood Imp’ Jack McDermott" -- can't link here.

deepsepia is offline   Reply With Quote


Old 08-23-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
solarbear
Member
 
solarbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 82
Thanks: 212
Thanked 473 Times in 77 Posts
solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+
Default

Excellent.. Another Spider Pool model was dolores du vaughn (edit: i thought that was her name, but i just did a search in the softcore models, she isn't there), i think she was one of the unofficial talent scouts also, she was in quite a few group stills. She was kind of ugly in the face, with bleached peroxide hair.

I am still searching for the Betty White connection.....her topless photos are high quality, and she was posing in groups, like the spider pool theme.
__________________
Smutus Emeritus

Last edited by solarbear; 08-23-2017 at 05:55 PM..
solarbear is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to solarbear For This Useful Post:
Old 08-23-2017, 08:34 PM   #3
deepsepia
Vintage Member
 
deepsepia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Upper left corner
Posts: 3,252
Thanks: 13,699
Thanked 27,604 Times in 3,234 Posts
deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+deepsepia 100000+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbear View Post
Excellent.. Another Spider Pool model was dolores du vaughn (edit: i thought that was her name, but i just did a search in the softcore models,
I think you're thinking of "Dolores del Monte" (the early Playmate).

There's a comprehensive list of Spider Pool models, as identified by enthusiasts:

Betty Blue – (1931-2000) (Photo) A former Playboy Playmate of the Month
Betty Kidder –
Bobbie Reynolds – Real name Barbara Reynolds
Donna (Busty) Brown – (probably deceased) Very busty nude model and burlesque stripper of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Real name: Ruth Brown Talbot Anderson
Candy Paige –
Chris – A busty Hispanic.
Debbie Westmore – Popular petite, but busty, nude model of the 1950’s. One of the “Three Graces.”
Diane Webber – One of the most photographed nude models of the fifties and early sixties. Perhaps the most popular model after Betty Page. A two time Playmate of the Month. For many years a well known nudism advocate and belly dancing instructor. Daughter of author Guy Empey. Also photographed as Marguerite Empey.
Delores Del Monte (Photo) A former Playboy Playmate of the Month. Roommate of and model for well known artist and illustrator Zoe Moezert. Had a short career as a nude model.
Donna Watkins – Statuesque nude model of the early 1950’s who appararently had a long career as she is seen to age visibly across her photographic shoots. One of the “Three Graces.”
Jacqueline (Jackie) Prescott – (possibly deceased) A Playboy Playmate of the Month (Sept, 1957).
Kathy Suits – Very busty model who appears in many photo shoots.
Marge ? – A slender model with platinum blonde hair.
Marge Hammond -
Melody Ward –
Patti Conley – A bondage model who has a slight resemblance to early 70’s porn star Georgina Spelvin
Peggy Watkins – Also known as Ann
Polly – Also known as Sue; a picture of Sue provided the critical clue in rediscovering the location of the Spider Pool
Sybil Ball – Mousy blonde.
Thelma Montgomery – Nude model, mainstream magazine cover girl and one shot movie actress of the early 1950’s. Appeared in “Girl Gang” (1954) with Peggy Winters. One of the “Three Graces.”
Tura Satana – Busty Filipino/Japanese model and actress. She was photographed at the pool as a teenager by Harold Lloyd. Discovered by Russ Meyer and starred in several of his films.
Code:
http://www.backdrop.net/sm-201/index.php?title=Spider_Pool_Models
There's also a Yahoo group devoted to the subject . . .

Still a bunch remain to be identified . . . The "Spider Pool History Project" folks have devoted a lot of effort to this, definitely VEF-worthy. This group of photographers and models seems to connect with a lot of what would become Southern California erotica-- folks from John Willie to Russ Meyer to Hugh Hefner all are connected one way or another.

Last edited by deepsepia; 08-23-2017 at 08:53 PM..
deepsepia is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to deepsepia For This Useful Post:
Old 08-24-2017, 04:52 AM   #4
solarbear
Member
 
solarbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 82
Thanks: 212
Thanked 473 Times in 77 Posts
solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+
Default

Excellent.

The model i am thinking of was a busty one, but was way too homely to be a playmate.

she had bleached white hair and was in group photos quite often.

i remember the last name had a "du" prefix kind of like Du Pree or something
__________________
Smutus Emeritus
solarbear is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to solarbear For This Useful Post:
Old 08-24-2017, 09:24 AM   #5
badman999
Member
 
badman999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 39
Thanks: 196
Thanked 212 Times in 33 Posts
badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+badman999 1000+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbear View Post
Excellent.

The model i am thinking of was a busty one, but was way too homely to be a playmate.

she had bleached white hair and was in group photos quite often.

i remember the last name had a "du" prefix kind of like Du Pree or something
Dolores Du Vaughn. who was East Coast based I believe.
badman999 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to badman999 For This Useful Post:
Old 08-24-2017, 05:08 PM   #6
solarbear
Member
 
solarbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 82
Thanks: 212
Thanked 473 Times in 77 Posts
solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+solarbear 1000+
Default

Yes, that is her name, it is showing up on my local, but her model thread isn't there, i remember it once was.,,,,Anyway, thanks for clarifying, judging by the photo quality, i would have believed that she was one of the spider pool models..
__________________
Smutus Emeritus
solarbear is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to solarbear For This Useful Post:
Old 08-26-2017, 07:45 PM   #7
mot
Vintage Member
 
mot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: happy town
Posts: 840
Thanks: 13,282
Thanked 24,109 Times in 834 Posts
mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+mot 100000+
Default

Sandra nash was also a model that posed there. http://vintage-erotica-forum.com/t13...ndra-nash.html
mot is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to mot For This Useful Post:
Old 05-15-2018, 06:34 PM   #8
K_D
Veteran Member
 
K_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 4,038
Thanks: 22,206
Thanked 149,354 Times in 4,057 Posts
K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+K_D 500000+
Default Virginia DeLee @ The Spider Pool




Virginia DeLee @ The Spider Pool
from: "Adam" Magazine (1957)
__________________
KD

Meanwhile, I was still thinkin'
- Chuck Berry "Little Queenie" (1959)
K_D is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to K_D For This Useful Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump




All times are GMT. The time now is 06:40 PM.






vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.1 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.