Monday, March 8, 2010

Pulp Friction; a quick peek in my big box-o-steamy, sleazy smutty paperbacks

A few years ago, I was walking downtown to the Remember the Alamo antique car cruse, here in Coldwater. "The Alamo" was a drive-in restaurant here in the 50s and 60s where all the hot rodders used to hang out. the building is still there, but it's a butcher shop last I knew. Anyway, every year the city puts up orange cones for about a mile stretch of the main drag, and reserves one lane each way for old cars to cruise.

Anyway, I was walking down there, and I came across a garage sale. There were a lot of cool vintage dresses and stuff, so I headed back home and called Melanie so she could snatch 'em up. I head back and meet up with Melanie, and start digging. She finds TONS of stuff, but I'm not finding anything too great for me, and think about heading back downtown, when I literally trip over a box. I open it up, and it's FILLED with old trashy sex novels...probably 100 in all. They varied in condition from nearly pristine and seemingly unread, to falling apart and taped together...the majority being in pretty decent shape, for 50 year old books. I didn't see a price, and I only had about $10 on me, so I started picking out a few of the coolest looking ones. They were all too cool, and I couldn't make up my mind, so I hoped for the best, and asked the lady running the thing how much it would cost for the whole box. 10 cents. Sold!

Since then, I've added considerably to my collection, but the books from that box are still the best. Most of them are from Saber, Fabian, and Vega...3 imprints started by sleaze publisher and failed writer, Sanford Aday of Fresno, California. Most of the books are from between 1957 and the mid 60's. I've read a few of 'em, and they are so cheesy, the pages may as well be Kraft singles. Sanford Aday had a reputation for publishing books with taboo subjects, such as homosexuality(still very illegal most places at the time), incest, interracial relationships(also illegal in many places at the time), and violence...needless to say, he was a constant target for obscenity charges...and he ended up doing time in the pen.

This first one, "The Mirrored Orgy", is from 1965. Several of the books say "Saber TROPIC Books", which I assume is a reference to the 1964 Supreme Court overruling of Obscenity charges against Henry Miller's "Tropic Of Cancer".

"Desperate Moments" was first printed in February, 1958. This is the 2nd printing from January 1959. Inside the cover of a few of the books, including this one, it says Johnny C. Sims Jr. Johnny Sims also left little paper bookmarks in a few of the books with the page numbers for all the juicy parts listed. Johnny Sims also left a couple receipts in a couple books...He apparently favored Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Lucky Strikes, and books about violent sex.

"I Peddle Jazz" It's from 1960, and skimming through it, I see they call the cops "fuzz" a lot and say "Daddy-o" even more, but I've never read it.

"High Beat", from 1962, is a Beatnik murder mystery romance book set in Berkley.

"Joy Killer" is from 1960, and according to the blurb on the back, is "One of the most hilarious comedies ever to satirize the marital behavior modern man and his modern wife in this modern world of ancient taboos". Sounds Riveting.

I was just flipping through "The Girls Of Club Sappho"(1963), and I just made another discovery...A handbill(I'm assuming also from 1963) for shows at Buck Lake Ranch, Angola, Indiana(about 20 minutes south of here). Faron Young, Kitty Wells, Skeeter Davis, Larry Chene vs Crusher Cortez and El Gaucho vs Gino Britto...a Bloody Grudge Match!, Minnie Pearl, ect...

I have 2 copies of "B-girl Decoy"...I've actually read this one. It's about an undercover cop playing a hustler to break up a mafia run prostitution ring. She starts falling for the gangster bandleader of the club she's working, and he turns out to be an undercover cop too...What luck!

Finally, I give you 1959's "Sex Life of a Cop". My copy is beat to hell, and it's not the most interesting cover, but this is probably the most important book in the bunch, because this is the book that landed publisher Sanford Aday in prison. Of all the racy books he published(and I'm saving the best and weirdest ones for another post!), it's this book, that doesn't even have a dirty word between it's covers, that got him busted in 1963, because cops weren't happy with the picture he painted of them(The book suggests that cops might be dishonest and corrupt, how dare he!). He got charged with a federal offense of sending obscene material through the US mail(to, of all places, Michigan...where I found the book!), and sentenced to (depending on where you read it) 10 or 25 years, and $19,000 or $25,000.

Here's the cover of the 1967 edition, that I lifted from


  1. These images are amazing! Thanks for uploading some hi-res images, I'm totally going to make flyers out of some of these!!

  2. Dood, you majorly scored! Did you pay .10 cents for the whole box? If so I may just faint! They are super great for the illustrations!

  3. Yep...10 cents for the whole box, I couldn't believe it.

  4. Aday got 25 years, $25,000 fine in his initial sentence. Convicted on 5 counts of trafficking in obscenity initially, got maximum 5 yrs/$5k on each. Still not sure how much time he actually served, but I'm fixin' to find out. I read the Appellate Court's recap (which included recommendation for reduction of sentencing) just yesterday.