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Gay porn star Jamoo died this week from a drug overdose. He was 26. Investigators are still determining whether the OD was accidental or deliberate.
Jamoo was a native of Texas. He had a mixed-race background, having French, German, Black, Cherokee, Spanish (all from his mother) and Irish (from his father) heritage. Jamoo often wrote about his childhood and his experiences with racism and poverty, and he had a life-long fascination with men with mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds. His closest friends were gay porn stars with varied racial backgrounds (like Talvin DeMachio). His idol was gay porn director Kristen Bjorn, who often features multi-racial men in his films.
Jamoo saw the television movie "Shattered Innocence" (about straight porn starlet Shauna Grant's suicide) when he was 15, and told his mother he wanted to be a porn star. He managed to get his first issue of "Advocate Men" a year later. The hard-core sexuality (erections, masturbation, exposed assholes) depicted in the magazine helped frame his burgeoning homosexuality. Photos by Kristen Bjorn were showcased in the magazine, and it was through these images that Jamoo discovered that other men had foreskins and were mixed-race just as he was. At the age of 17, Jamoo obtained a copy of Bjorn's seminal film "Caribbean Beat," which helped to further raise his awareness of his racial background and sexuality.
Jamoo wrote his first published piece of fiction at the age of 17. The short story was "Screwing Sergeant Steiner"; it appeared a year later in "Advocate Men" magazine in November, 1992. Jamoo left home in 1992 at the age of 18 and moved to Los Angeles. According to the myth Jamoo himself told repeatedly, he was "a virgin with only $200 in his pocket" when he arrived there. He shortly began going to the gym, and having large amounts of sex. A year later, he was a gay porn star.
Most of Jamoo's films were made during his first three years in the industry (1993-1995), when he worked primarily for now-defunct Planet Group. A top, Jamoo preferred working with multi-racial casts featuring hairy, uncut men. But Jamoo's on-set antics, his increasing inability to get an erection, and his drug use lost him work as time went by.
Jamoo suffered from a two-year bout of depression that began in 1994, during which he largely withdrew from porn, friends, work and writing. His drug use increased dramatically in 1996, and he overdosed in August of that year. Friends say he began putting his life back together after the incident, but he continued to take drugs extensively. He continued to suffer from recurrent episodes of depression. Although his peers and friends held numerous interventions for him, Jamoo refused all their offers of help. In the last year or so, Jamoo had been stalked by a former assistant who had insinuated himself into his life and fallen in love with him. Jamoo struggled to rid himself of this man, and had to fight repeatedly to counter rumors and innuendo this individual spread about him.
Jamoo was a difficult person to work with. His ego was over-sized and fragile, and he was touchy about his looks, weight and ability to get an erection. Industry insiders say he suffered from massive insecurity, and needed constant ego strokes to adequately perform on film. Jamoo was fond of wearing fur coats; when confronted by the un-PC nature of such actions, Jamoo countered with the narcissistic response: "I'm worth it." Jamoo often fought back viciously when he perceived he was being criticized; he published the real name of one performer he had fought with, and revealed that others abused steroids, alcohol and illegal drugs. He had largely been ostracized from the industry at the time of his death.
Jamoo was the author of three books: "Superstars" (Companion Press, 1996), "The Films of Kristen Bjorn" (Companion Press, 1997) and "Superstars 2" (Companion Press, 1999). His most famous short story, "If New Orleans Were Paris," appeared in John Preston's edited anthology of gay erotic writing, "Flesh and the Word 2," in 1993. He had written it at the age of 17, and it originally appeared in "Daddy" magazine. Jamoo wrote for a number of gay adult magazines, including "BLACKfire," "BLK," "SLC," "Black and Gay," "Daddy," "Advocate Men" and "Freshmen." He had columns appear in "Freshmen," "Unzipped" and "Skinflicks" magazines.
Jamoo's most recent on-screen appearance was in the documentary "101 Rent Boys" (produced and distributed by World of Wonder), which recently screened on the Cinemax cable network. It's making the rounds at various gay film festivals.
When asked why porn is so important, Jamoo responded: "I think gay men rent so much porn because it's like watching God."
The Films of Jamoo:
A-B-Cs of Sex (Planet Group, 1993)
PS: I found Jamoo's penis wonderfully attractive....long, thick, heavy foreskin, thick pubes, big and full balls, etc. But his ego and obnoxious behavior came across on film, even when he wasn't speaking. Others have suggested that Jamoo was drive to drugs because the "stress" of porn got to him. They suggest that when fans called him a "hooker" or "did sex for money," that this put pressure on him and led him to do drugs to excess. The problem is that Jamoo's drug use long preceded his porn work. Jamoo was a damaged human being, the harm having been done during his childhood. The shame is that he was never able to overcome that. Jamoo was a rotten human being, even so; I eye sceptically those many individuals today who shed tears for him and tut-tut over his death. There were a few people who did care for Jamoo, and I don't doubt their sincerity. But the rest are crying crocodile's tears.
I heard by Porn Star Talvin DeMachio That Jamoo Has Died due to drug use. here is a copy of his email.
To my fans:
Today is a sad day for me in that a fellow porn star and friend has passed away. Jamoo was the one who put me on the cover of the book of Porn Superstars 2. He has also published many other books and done some great things for the gay community.
I just talked to him just a few days ago and I guess I am still on shock. I just cannot believe it. What saddens me even more is that it is believed that he passed away due to drugs. The porn industry is a very hard place to work in believe it or not. There is a lot of pressure on porn stars that I do not think the fans know. Many of us (including myself at times) get called names on the streets of being a whore or he fucks for money. I have no problem handling the situation because I love what I do. But there are many out there who do "work" think that this is the only thing they can do and to forget about their troubles they resort to drugs. And like being drunk on alcohol, drugs feel good while you on them...but the come down is terrible.