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The Tom Byron Interview (kinda NSFW)
January 10, 2011 | 9:00AM

All Words: Jeff Jetton

All Photos: The Cobrasnake

It’s porn week here at brightestyoungthings.xxx and we’d like to kick things off with the first of a set of interviews from the Adult Entertainment Exposition that took place this past weekend in Las Vegas Nevada. We called up our buddy from Los Angeles, Mark the Cobrasnake, and asked him to join us for a weekend of debauchery.  Expect updates all this week…

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As a male porn star other than Ron Jeremy or John Holmes, chances are your name won’t be recognized by the average chap on the street. If there are legendary male porn stars outside the likes of Holmes or Jeremy, Tom Byron is one of those stars. A star of over 2200 films, a quick flash of his mug will illicit a common response among the casual porn watcher: ‘ah yes, I’ve seen his work many times’.

We sat down with Mr. Byron in the main hall of the 2011 Adult Entertainment Expo to recap his career and find out a little more about one of the adult industry’s leading leading men.

Jeff: Tom Byron, pornstar.  Is that how you refer to yourself?

Tom Byron: Pornstar, director…I wear so many hats.  I’m an editor, I shoot stills, you know?  What do you got, I can do it, or figure out how to do it.

Jeff:  So, how long have you been in the adult entertainment industry?

Tom Byron: Since 1982.  In 2012 it’ll be thirty years.

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Jeff:  Thirty years!  I remember your films from when I was a growing boy, definitely in the eighties.  I don’t remember any specific movies…

Tom Byron: [laughs] I don’t either!  That was a long time ago.  I just remember there was a lot of pubic hair.

Jeff: Yeah, back in the day.

Tom Byron: And hairspray!

Jeff:  Do you prefer the pubic hair and hairspray?

Tom Byron: Nope!

Jeff: Clean shaven?

Tom Byron: Well, at least well-trimmed.

Jeff:  When would you say the heyday of the industry was?  With the onset of the computer?

Tom Byron: I had a company back in the late 90’s, and that was pretty much in the internet age, but VHS was still prevalent.  We did real good in a really short amount of time selling VHS, so there was probably more money made in this industry in the VHS era, but, I don’t know, there’s a lot going on with internet too.

Jeff: The internet just gets it out there for free.

Tom Byron: Yeah, but that doesn’t help the bottom line in productions.

Jeff: So what’s the future of the industry if you can get it for free?

Tom Byron: I don’t know, maybe direct live streaming? I don’t know. The genie is out of the bottle on it.  Unless there’s a way to legally sanction uses, which seems to be impractical. If something is perceived to be free, and with very little effort you can get it, a lot of people just say, “Why not?  It’s only porn,” you know?  Or some kind of software. We tried DRM [Digital Rights Management], but people don’t like that.  People see a nice scene and they want to watch it again, not just once.  We gotta figure out something, that’s for sure.  Maybe Broadway shows.  Like live hardcore Broadway shows, you know?  You can’t steal that!

Jeff:  Has anybody ever tried that?  I know you’re joking, but—

Tom Byron: Am I?  It’s kind of a good idea that just came to me just now.

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Jeff:  Who’s leading the charge in the industry figuring out how to make money?  I mean, people must still be making money.

Tom Byron: Yeah, there are still people making money, there’s just a lot less of it to spread around.

Jeff:  A lot less money and, I would imagine, a lot more people wanting to do it, with the globalization and opening of new markets.

Tom Byron: Yeah, I mean, basically anyone with a camera and basic knowledge of HTML or whatever can build a website and all of a sudden they’re a business.

Jeff:  Plus, you go to Russia or China, all of these places where there are billions of people, and bam!- increased supply. But I guess the opportunity to sell to other countries has opened up as well.

Tom Byron: There was actually a bigger foreign market in the VHS day.  Because we used to sell rights. They would get the masters and do whatever they wanted with them.  Then the DVD came along, and it became a pieces deal.  I don’t know what the format is now; I’m not involved in foreign distribution as much as I used to be.

Jeff:  How about the mobile market?

Tom Byron: Yeah, with the iPads and tablets coming out, they can figure out a way to make that work.  People don’t want to fuckin’ have porno playing on their big screens at home a lot of the time, they wanna watch while going to the bathroom or at work.  It definitely has potential.

Jeff:  Are the actors and actresses making money still?

Tom Byron: Not as much.  There was a big boom period back in ’03, ’04, ’05, where all the internet companies were blowing up like crazy and they needed content, content, content.  So yeah, there was a period back there where talent was basically able to call their own shots and set their rates.  They set ‘em high but that ain’t the case no more, daddy!  Now, it’s like you make a deal if you want to work.  Unfortunately during that time I was retired from performing.  I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.

Jeff:  How long did you retire for?

Tom Byron: For, like, three years.

Jeff: What did you do?

Tom Byron: Sat around and edited, got fat, you know.

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Jeff:  Did you see ‘The Fighter’?  Was it like that?  Where Mickey Ward took some time off and then has to get back in shape.  Was it like Rocky?

Tom Byron: Yeah, I did the whole diet, got on the treadmill and fucking worked it.

[Jeff starts humming the Rocky theme song.]

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Tom Byron: I have that playing sometimes, I’m not gonna lie to you!

Jeff:  Doing jumping jacks with your dick…

Tom Byron: Yeah, exactly!

Jeff:  Dick exercises!

Tom Byron: Dicksercise.

Jeff:  Do you watch a lot of porn?

Tom Byron: I edit a lot of it so I’m forced to watch a lot of it.  Do I watch other people’s?  Not as much as I should.  I should probably pay attention to what my competitors are doing.  So that’s a good point.  I should probably do that.

Jeff:  When you do watch, what do you like?  Like, when Tom Byron’s jacking off, what is he jacking off to?

Tom Byron: See, I don’t know.  I’m still performing.  I’m gonna be fifty this year, so I really don’t jack off that much anymore.  To me, it’s a wasted sex scene.  I could have done that all over a girl, and had this movie done a lot earlier, you know what I mean?

Jeff:  Fair enough.

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Tom Byron: I like asses, though.  So obviously I’m going to watch something ‘ass-oriented’ as opposed to a foot fetish.  That’s what I’m drawn to.  I just don’t jerk off that much anymore.  At least to porn, you know?

Jeff:  I think I get where you’re going…live Broadway shows, eh?

Tom Byron: Exactly. (laughs)  I don’t know—it’s just a waste of energy at this point.

Jeff:  I understand. When you were back in your jacking off days, what’s the most times in one day?

Tom Byron: Depends on what drugs I was on.  Most times in one day?  I don’t know…four or five?  I’m one of those quality not quantity kinds of guys.  If I’m gonna go for a good session I’m gonna make it last and have a big pay-off at the end.

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Jeff:  Let’s talk about music.  You were in a band?

Tom Byron: I fucked around a little bit in the early ‘90’s.  I grew my hair long and, you know—

Jeff:  Listened to metal?

Tom Byron: Yeah.

Jeff:  Which metal bands are the biggest pussies, in your opinion?

Tom Byron: I don’t know.  What are the metal bands now?

Jeff:  Now?  You got—

Tom Byron: Danzig!  Danzig’s the biggest pussy.

Jeff:  Did you see that picture where he was buying kitty litter?

Tom Byron: Nah, I saw the one where he got punched the fuck out.

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Tom Byron: He fuckin’ sued me once.

Jeff:  Danzig sued you?  For what?

Tom Byron: When we had XPW wrestling.  We used his song in our little fuckin’ cable access TV show.  And we had permission to do it because their bass player was our fuckin’ general manager of XPW.  He decided to be a prick and fuckin’ sue us. Danzig’s absolutely the biggest pussy.  What a scumbag.  Fuck him in his ass.  If you fuckin’ come near me I’ll shoot you, you tough motherfucker.

(ed. note: that was my favorite quote on BYT, ever).

Jeff:  Do you prefer directing or making movies?

Tom Byron: I actually just got this question.  I would like to say performing, being in them, but I’m not a spring chicken anymore.  If I was in my twenties, I would say performing, definitely, but right now I probably get more satisfaction out of getting a project done.  The performing is fun too, but a lot of it is five or ten minutes of fun and then twenty or thirty minutes of getting enough footage so I can fuckin’ come and have a sandwich.

Jeff:  What program do you use to make movies?

Tom Byron: Final Cut Pro.

Jeff:  So, you’re self-taught?

Tom Byron: Yeah.  Well, I learned how to edit on an FXE-100, you know, the beta reel-to-reel thing.  I knew the concept of editing going in, so it was just a case of drag this, then drag this.

Jeff:  Do you do anything besides porn movies?

Tom Byron: I did a few XPW videos back in the day.  I can edit anything.  I’ve done trailers and stuff, not stuff that’s solely porn-related.

Jeff:  Any regrets?

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Tom Byron: Yeah, you know, I wish I’d been more financially responsible.  Maybe put my energies more into the internet side rather than dropping the ball there.  Extremeassociates.com at one time was a very high-traffic site.  We had a really great website.  We kinda dropped the ball and missed the boat on that whole internet revolution.  That would probably be my biggest regret, not seeing that come through.

Jeff:  Was it worth whatever else you were doing at the time?

Tom Byron: Yes and no.  I was having fun, but…no.

Jeff:  So what’s next?

Tom Byron: Just gonna keep plugging these movies and try to make ‘em better and sell as many as I can.  Hopefully I’ll catch up with that internet thing.

Jeff: Godspeed.

MORE (interviews, photos, reports) TO COME……..

Comments:

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Recent Comments:
  • Anonymous says:

    Jesus, is he stupid, or what?

  • Shauna Shauna says:

    I’m pretty sure Jeff can die a happy man now.

  • Jeff Martin says:

    BYT + Cobrasnake = XXX

  • Valentino fan says:

    Tom Byron used to date 80′s legend Gina Valentino aka Rosalind Lowe. Gina left the business in 1985 right before she was about to become a huge star. Does Tom Byron ever hear from her? what’s Gina up to these days?

    • Hackers says:

      Hi CTM: nice article as usual:) i didn’t join you guys for dssousiicn as i’m caught in an embarrassing position – i’m in-between 2nd & 3rd generation!Agreed w/u: 2nd generation should be split into 2 generations, 20 years is too long, big difference! Born in 1946 can be parents of kids born in 1965!

  • Valentino fan says:

    Does Tom ever hear from ex girlfriend Gina Valentino?

  • Tiny Mack says:

    Gina Valentino had sex with a Midget in Santa Comes Twice, the late Louis Shortstud. Maybe Byron dumped Gina because she was the sloppy seconds from a midget?

  • Michael king says:

    Dude… get over the Gina Valentino thing already, you sound like half a stalker.

  • Tiny says:

    Hey Michael, do you know where Gina Valentino is? Gina WHEREEEE AREEEE YOUUUUU!!!!!!!!