Sunday, 3 July 2016

The SPANKING Truth: Life and Times of George Harrison Marks.

As long time Yeowch readers will know, my all time favourite spank mag was KANE published by the late George Harrison Marks. Think I had every issue apart from number 2 which always kind of bugged me and it was only through the internet that I managed to see its contents. Came across a short piece about how GHM got into producing spanking content and how KANE was born. Really interesting read. Copyright to original author.

"In the late 1970’s Marks was hired as a photographer for Janus magazine- which specialized in spanking material- before taking a more editorial position. According to Peter Mason “he got the job at Janus because he had run mags before and was doing some work for them. He relaunched it as "New" Janus.” Marks even managed to get his bodybuilder friend Howard Nelson on the front cover of New Janus issue two (as a “spanking milkman”) and also began making short films on the subject for the 8mm market. Two of the earliest appear to have been ''Rawhide'', starring Come Play with Me’s Lisa Taylor and Sonia Svenberger and sold by Kelerfern circa 1977, in which according to the ad “the ageing headmaster really gives two naughty schoolgirls some punishment”, and ''Late for School'' copyrighted 'Janus Publications 1977' which was also the subject of a photo article in Janus (Vol.7, No.9) and Spanking Special (No.2, Martinet publications). Marks then made a series of 8mm spanking films, all of which feature the word ‘lesson’ in the title. These were ''The Nurses’ Lesson'', ''The School Lesson'', ''The Gym Lesson'', ''The Prefect’s Lesson'' and ''The Riding Lesson''. The Nurses Lesson stars porn actor Gordon Hickman as a sickly patient, who overpowers and spanks two nurses. While The School Lesson, features veteran film and television actor Ken Parry as a headmaster who canes two schoolgirls after catching them in a compromising position. The film was also the subject of a photo article in Janus (Vol.8, No.12) which featured a still of Parry spanking a girl on the cover. One critic later remarked that during the caning scenes Parry appeared “to be in grave danger of a heart attack”.

Parry’s involvement in Marks’ spanking material is somewhat perplexing given that he had a ‘legit’ TV career at the time, something that could easily have been compromised should a newspaper journalist have picked up on the films and decided to do a tabloid expose on him (a fate that befell Milton Reid). Parry was also gay, which would seem to rule out these appearances being sexually motivated. Curiously when the “Lesson” films were re-released on video in the 1990s, the publicity material erroneously credited actor Willoughby Goddard, best known for the 1950’s ITC Show ‘The Adventures of William Tell’, as playing Parry’s role in The School Lesson.

By 1979 Marks had been made full time editor of Janus, and continued to make 8mm spanking films including ‘Rear Attack’, released by himself, and ‘Warden’s End’ and ‘Slaves of Mistress Monique’ for the Janus people. Warden’s End is a self-referencing piece, with Marks name-checked in the dialogue and the Janus shop used as a filming location. Linzi Drew plays a traffic warden attempting to give the blokish, Janus shop assistant a ticket. Following him into the shop she is initially intrigued by all the spanking magazines on display, and persuaded to do an audition for him with predictably bottom smacking results. At the end of the audition Linzi decides however that she’d prefer to continue slapping tickets on cars, than being slapped herself; “I’ve had enough of this, and I’ve had enough of you” she complains to the shop assistant “I’d rather be a traffic warden”.

Harrison Marks’ 4 Gerrard Street Studio in the late 1950s

Seeing the revenue being generated by his spanking films and photo-shoots, in 1982 Marks jumped ship to set up his own magazine ''Kane'' on the same subject. Corporal punishment would now become Marks’ big theme for the final act of his career. Making the transition from 8mm to videotape in 1984, Marks first video production was “The Cane and Mr. Abel” starring Linzi Drew. With friend and business associate Peter B. Fairbrass handling the camerawork and the editing, Marks would go onto make around 80 videos of this nature with titles like ''Five of the Best'' (1988), 'The Spanking Academy of Dr. Blunt'' (1992), ''Schoolgirl Fannies on Fire'' (1994), "A Wacking in a Winter Wonderland (19??)", ''Spanked Senseless'' (1995) and ''Stinging Stewardesses'' (1996). “When Kane got going he got involved in running spanking parties which made most of his money apparently” remarks Peter Mason “the early issues of Kane have some pictures from those events. I asked GHM how he got away with putting out uncertificated videos in the days when the BBFC wouldn’t pass that sort of thing, he implied that the numerous Judges that subscribed to Kane might have something to do with his immunity but I think thats a bit dubious. I don't know how reliable his memory was and he was often pissed. In fact his interview for the doing rude things shoot (the 1995 BBC documentary on British sex films) had to be done twice as he was too far gone first time round.” Models who Marks photographed for Kane over the years included the aforementioned Linzi Drew (in the photo story “Meter Maid” that appeared in Kane No.9) and Vicki Scott. While Vida Garman and Liz Leather (of “Sexy Secrets of the Kissogram Girls”) had the dubious honor of being spanked by Marks himself in the pages of Kane. Marks took a similarly “hands on” approach for Teresa May’s appearance in Kane no.61, with Marks pictured groping the glamour model’s breasts, appearing visibly intoxicated and even donning his old Come Play With Me wig for several of the photos (Teresa’s sole memory of Marks “He was a creep!”). According to his official website Marks' spanking material “kept him in booze and cigarettes and an acceptable degree of comfort for the rest of his life". As with the 8mm striptease films and ''Naked As Nature Intended'', the spanking videos clearly existed solely for the purpose of titillation yet at the same time adopted an asexual stance, bringing Marks career curiously full circle.

Issue 1 of one of GHM's many glamour mags - from 1969.

After decades of heavy drinking, chain smoking, romancing and photographing beautiful women, Marks finally passed away at 6pm, on the 27th of June 1997, officially it was cancer that got him in the end, although his daughter Josie later remarked “it was a bit of a toss up between bone cancer and liver cirrhosis, really it was whichever got him first, he wanted to go as Errol Flynn with liver cirrhosis”. After his death what photographic and film work of Marks that he still owned was inherited by business associate Peter B. Fairbrass who currently runs the official Harrison Marks website, while Josie Harrison Marks took over the editing of Kane. Marks’ ashes were (unofficially) scattered throughout St. Paul’s Cathedral."

And there we go. Quite a character.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.