Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Well, it's been a couple of days now and the news of Jamie Gillis' death at 66 from melanoma still has me reeling. Skip the first two paragraphs if you don't want to hear about it, but I'm shocked at how much it's affected me, really - what a funk it's put me into. I guess we all have certain people in life we don't know personally but feel a strong connection to nevertheless: James Ira Gurman was a really big one for me.
I regret my timidity in not simply emailing the guy - as I almost did many times - and thanking him for his work, maybe seeing if he'd answer a few questions. I did try & 'friend' him once on Facebook a couple of years ago, and he thanked me for the interest but politely said he was limiting himself to real-life friends. I know he had a history of answering what he felt were erroneous online accounts and commentary about his life, and I hope that, if he ever saw the profile I did on him, he approved of it, at least overall.
What are we left with? The films of course and, for those that knew him personally, the memories. Looking around online, it's strange, and a bit sad, to see the traces he may have left behind -- an old poker account, for instance. Such things are the flotsam and jetsam of our existence online, and all too soon they'll be washed away and disappear.
His love of many years, Chef Zarela Martinez, has put some wonderful photos of Jamie up on her flickr page. A quote atop her restaurant's website reads "Alone one can not share life" -- my thoughts turn largely to her now, the woman Jamie ended his life with, the woman he left porn for, and with whom he finally seemed contented and even happy. I hope that she finds herself surrounded by loved ones, and will continue to share life (and food) for a long time to come.
As to tributes, I will link the best of what I've found thus far. I'm pleased to see so many people recognize what a unique person he was and how lucky the world was to know him. Will the years to come see any kind of in-depth biography*, whether in print or on film? The subject is there, the life lived. Certainly Jamie moved in circles filled with the sort of talent that could make such a project happen; only time will tell now.
Susie Bright's Journal (contains audio interview)
The Blood Spattered Scribe
John Holmes: Inches
The Blog of Pro-Porn Activism
AV Maniacs Board
The Gore Gore Girl
There's a particularly good quote in this one, ha ha.
And here's another audio interview I just discovered tonight.
*At present, the closest things we have that I'm aware of are probably Metasex #4 and a chapter in Nicolas Barbano's 1999 work Verdens 25 hotteste pornostjerner. Whether Gillis had in fact written memoirs remains to be seen.