Conducted on Saturday, March 29, 2003
ME: What were your first impressions of Rob?
GQ: I met Rob on the first trip out there. He was loud, cursing up a storm and a little bit intimidating. That second time I was there he was real cool. I walked in the office in a suit and that's not really common there and he just smiled at me. He probably called me a 'fag' or something, but he was real cool and I liked him that second time. He was the kind of guy you had to get a vibe for, and he had to get a vibe for you, and then things would work out. But it was definitely about that first impression. He knew that I was GQ Money from the moment he saw me. He came up with the name. 'The Agent to the Stars' was something I was already doing myself. I was "The soon to be Pullitzer Prize Award Winning Author and Agent to the Stars. The Pop Superstar, Crossover, Mainstream Media Sensation" Rak GQ. That was the gimmick I created for myself when I left the CWO looking for new work. I used to be known as "Ringside" Ryan Andrews.
ME: That's what I've always liked about your work, especially your promos. They always were so wacky and unconventional, but also they seemed really natural.
GQ: Thanks. I'm real comfortable talking on the fly, and coming up with "out there" stuff. I think I developed that because of my interest in hip-hop. I appreciate that people notice, so thanks.
ME: Yeah, that's something I think people don't give you enough credit for. You're so comfortable in front of the camera, it seems.
GQ: I prefer live shows to on camera stuff, but thanks.
ME: Oh, OK. What were your first impressions of Lizzy Borden? Were you aware of XPW's porno connections and did that intimidate you or make you think twice about working for XPW?
GQ: Lizzy was real nice and friendly. I was definitely aware of the porno ties and it definitely made me think twice about joining.
ME: Were you aware up front that they'd want you to be working on the porno side, too, along with the wreslting side?
GQ: I wasn't concerned about wrestling for XPW (as in that sense the porno ties didn't bother me), but working in the office was most definitely a tough decision, as I wasn't really into being affiliated with adult stuff. I just wanted to work for a wrestling company. I just wanted to work for a wrestling company. At this time, The Giant, TJ Rush and me were in town, and we were helping with the Rob Black for Mayor campaign.
ME: Oh, yeah - I remember that.
GQ: We went to dinner with Kevin and Kevin told us that they had two office jobs available - a receptionist and a warehouse guy. Kevin was expecting Giant to take the warehouse gig, and me the receptionist one, but I wasn't interested in working in porn. So Giant took the receptionist gig, and TJ the warehouse. Giant loved his job. I mean the girls loved him. It was nuts.
GQ: He's sitting there up front as the 7-foot receptionist/bouncer/bodyguard and every porn girl wanted to hook up with him.
ME: LMAO! LOL.
GQ: I remember he would hook up with like 2-in one day, at the office and then go out with another at night. It was just amazing...Anyway, he seemed to like his job...and I was having a hart time finding something I was into. I started asking Giant to talk to Rob about letting me edit or something, because I had experience. At the same time, I got a call about an opening at LFP-Publishing, working on some of their non adult publications. But Giant had set up the meeting with Rob. When I met with Rob he saw my portfolio of various things. Brochures, flyers, show programs, graphics, music videos I edited News appearences I was on and all that crap. He liked my work and he said he'd come up with a position for me. That position became to assist Thomas Zupko in the PR, part time, and edit on my own time. I made a lot of promotional flyers for various movies, and then worked on the website a little. The work I did on the website was making comical Flash movies, like one about adult star Lucinao and his trip to Prague. It was real comical and everyone liked it. It was real comical, and everyone liked it. At that point, they asked me to start shooting some scenes and I was real sketched out. I'm talking totally uncomfortable. I'm thinking, "Oh My God, I've got a mainstream career to worry about. Aaighhhh, what am I doing?" but I was in a position where I still hadn't debuted in XPW and I wanted to be a part [of XPW] real bad. Plus, I was starting to make better money, so I did it. And that's when I started doing a little of everything. The web, editing, shooting, and whatever else needed work. I started working longer hours, and putting forth a lot of effort. I was getting frustrated because I still hadn't debuted, and then Rob sat me down to find out what was bothering me. We talked. He made me happy, and at the next show GQ Money made his debut.
ME: Cool. Now, did you study technology, computers, graphic arts, etc. in school or college, did someone teach you it, did you teach it to yourself, etc.?
GQ: My freshman year of college, the Internet was just starting to pick up, and I took a senior level web class. This was back when HTML was real basic - there wasn't streaming media and really no control of your pages, but I learned some basics and then kept teaching myself. Same thing with graphics. Trial and error (especially when I wasn't using the best software). So, I kind of taught myself, but I always used those skills to achieve success in college. I did some independent studies with a Professor of mine which was a big internet project discussing the Politics and Language of Distance Learning By Using the Internet to discuss politics in classrooms in two different parts of the country.
GQ: It was fun. Great professor. Dr. Frank Beer.
ME: That was his real name?
GQ: Yeah, that was his name....
GQ: I need to take some new classes. Technology is moving fast now, and I'm falling behind...he was my Political Science professor...kind of nerdy, but still real cool.
ME: So, what was the atmosphere like in EA headquarters? Set some of the rumors to rest or confirm them - were there nude porn stars walking around every hallway, etc.?
GQ: It was fun, it was fast paced, it was wild, it was hard work, and it was exciting. You never knew what was going to happen, and anything could happen. It was like a sitcom, or a movie, or a drama show all rolled into one. Yes, naked porn stars would be walking around the hallways a lot. In truth, it was incredibly hard work, and it took an incredibly hard working person to survive and keep a job there, but it was awesome. I enjoyed working hard and was having the time of my life - well, kind of....The office was always real cool. like I said though, real demanding. Hard work was an important quality. And getting shit done took priority over fun. So, it's not like it was this huge party.
ME: Now, you worked for EA, I believe, at the same time as the immensely controversial "puppy dog/snake proposed webcast" incident. What the hell happened with that? Was that Rob's doing? Were you involved?
GQ: Not at all. He had no involvement what so ever. Rob had pretty much given free reign of the website to the webmaster (who at that time wasn't me) and that was a publicity stunt done by that webmaster. And it was damn good. That webmaster had talent, and that's why Rob trusted him. There was no intention to feed any puppy to the snake, and people who believed that we were were out of there heads. I've always thought that anyone who believed that was the biggest idiot around. our site focused on the ridiculous, out there and insane. The webmaster truly was good.
ME: Several, though, did take it seriously and EA got a lot of complains from animal rights activist groups and other associations. Were the phones ringing off the hook in EA offices?
GQ: Oh, yeah. Pet people. And animal cops were at the office. And they were like, "We need to see the dog," and then you'd hear the PA-system go off with someone yelling, "The dog is dead. The snake just ate him." It was really funny. The dog was fine. The snake was normal. It was all good. The dog got a lot of love from everybody, as all the animals that are at the office do.
ME: Was there ever a real snake or was that made up?
GQ: We had a real snake. And turtles. And fish. And other dogs. And other dogs. The fish came recently. Everyone likes animals there. The turtles are still swimmin and climbin away, but the snake is gone. It got a new home.
ME: Yeah. It sounds like it was really blown out of proportion, but a lot took it quite seriously., Were there ever any serious threats in terms of lawsuits if it was to be carried out, police getting legitimately involved in terms of shutting down the offices, or any really serious threats like that?
GQ: No, there was nothing wrong being done. It was all fun and games and it just had to be explained.
ME: OK. I'm sorry for focusing on it. It's just that it turned into a major deal on the Internet and provided the blind XPW bashers with another reason to hate the company.
GQ: I know...It's cool....
ME: So, once the office explained to the police what happened, they stopped bothering you guys?
GQ: Yeah...it was no longer a problem, or an issue, or anything. The stories on the website changed, no harm, no foul!
I was actually about to be fired from the company at that time.
ME: Oh, really? Why? What happened with that?
GQ: Just the webmaster and me not getting along. It wasn't really personal, or maybe it was, but he got upset because I couldn't focus all of my attention to one thing...the web. At that point I was editing movies, shooting movies, working on the website, at that point I had just picked up the XPW website, I was making flyers for the wrestling shows and various other things that had to be done. Believe me, I would have loved to have done one thing. But I was always pulled to do another. When that happens, a lot of things get started, and a lot of things don't get finished, so everyone was getting annoyed, and everybody was annoyed for different reasons.
ME: So, did he complain to Rob about you?
GQ: Yeah, all the time. He liked being a boss and he hated that i always did my own thing, because there were other just as important things to get done, and he didn't accept me not being his errand boy. It was cool. I used to like him, but he has a vendetta gainst me, like so many others, from what I've been hearing lately. At that point, i was the most replaceable, so it seemed I was on the outs...When that happens, a lot of things get started, and a lot of things don't get finished, so everyone was getting annoyed, and everybody was annoyed for different reasons.
ME: Now, were you hesitant in involving yourself in shooting the porno scenes? Or were you pretty comfortable with it?
GQ: I was real uncomfortable. I never wanted to be seen on camera doing stuff. Shit, I used to edit my voice out of the movies and stuff. Never performed. Never wanted to. Had no problem editing, but shooting wasn't easy. After time, you just get used to it and then it becomes no big deal, just a day at the office, but with the way porn was, there's always things that made me uncomfortable when shooting. It really wasn't my bag, but it was a job and my involvement with XPW was growing.
ME: Yeah, I'm about to get into that. :-) When did you first meet Veronica Caine and what were your intital impressions of her?
GQ: Veronica was my first friend when I moved out here (to Cali). We met briefly some time. I met her when I first started hanging at the office, but the first night we ever talked was going to the XRCO awards. We met at the awards show...in the limo on the way there...and it was a fun night...A huge group of us. Limos. 7-foot bodyguards. A hot ass chick like Veronica.
And a load of people. Tom Byron was pimped out. We drank. We had fun. Good times.
ME: HEHE. So, were these like the Grammy Awards for adult films, basically?
GQ: Yeah. XRCO was the X-Rated Critics Organization. It was real fun because we were like the Renegades. It was very "wrestling." You had this adult movie awards show and then the wrestling crew came to crash the party. Fun as hell.
ME: You mean the XPW wrestlers crashed it? LOL.
GQ: No just a few of us...with the girls, the ginat, bodyguards, Byron, Veronica, me in decked-out suit, the limos...it was just very "wrestling."
ME: Very cool. EA was one of the top three or four adult film companies in the US around that time, right? (and still is, I think)
GQ: Extreme's always done real well. The XRCO's last year were great, too. The limo again, the drinking, all that, but then they sent me up to accept the award for Worst Movie of the Year. All hell broke loose when I went off on a free-style rap acceptance making fun of everyone, and staking Extreme's claim as the best, and the most extreme, complete with me bumping on the stage.
ME: LMAO! God, I gotta' get this on tape...
GQ: I don't know if anyone has video of that...but it was so much fun. Damn!!! I got drunk that night. It was like total rock star shit. Kaos was at that one with the belt. Veronica got on the mic....good times....real good times!!!!!! We were just like, "Fuck the lies, fuck the bullshit, fuck everybody!" We were just doing things how we did them, and that was Extreme.
ME: Very cool. Sounds like a typical Enterprise-style party.
GQ: Very much...it's kind of how the gimmick came to evolve. We were having fun - going to concerts, making appearences, and having a good time, definitely building good memories.
ME: Yeah. It seemed so real. You guys played the characters flawlessly.
GQ: At this point, I was the webmaster for Extreme and XPW and also working on the booking. I was making good money, I had moved into my new place by myself, and was definitely living the dream.
ME: You helped book XPW?
GQ: Yeah...from the era of New Year's Revolution (the bums) to Hostile Takeover; a lot of people hated that era, but TV, which is what I worked on most, was really funny. The storylines were building, it was getting more exciting and the production value was increasing due to Webb. I started giving Webb graphics, he was learning and trying more and more, and TV started to get real good. Webb has done the production stuff like forever, but stopped a few months ago.
ME: Yeah. So, is he actually gone from the company or just on hiatus, so to say?
GQ: In truth it's not my business to say, but hey, what the hell? He's gone from the company.
ME: OK. It doesn't come as a surprise to me. I heard from Veronica on XM radio she basically said that straight out.
Sorry, but part 3 won't be coming for awhile now. Maybe as much as a month. I'm still in contact with GQ, but he's working a lot of shows now and isn't free as much as he was when I first began this interview. I have a bit more stuff I can post after this, but after that, I'll have to wait to continue it.
Feedback is appreciated.