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March 20, 2019

Industry Friends Gather for Spirited Toast to Bill Bailey

TARZANA, Calif.—"We're having beers for Bill." So Bill Bailey's longtime agent Robert Moran of 101 Modeling proclaimed as people began filtering in to the rear bar lounge at perennial adult industry haunt Corbin Bowl Tuesday evening for a casual tribute to the late Bailey, who was killed in a calamitous accident just over two weeks ago while attending the Expo Sexo convention in Mexico City. Between hugs and clinks of beer glasses as the room slowly filled, one refrain was constant: Bill was a truly, almost guilelessly good guy. "He's the Freddy Couples of porn," Moran's partner, AVN Hall of Famer Bud Lee, said of the 10-year veteran performer. "He's so laid back and cool, you know, and he was always like, 'Just relax, man, it's gonna be OK.' I think he had that natural, like James Dean type of thing about him, where he was just cool. I liked him, I thought he was a great guy." Lee continued, "Every time you saw Bill, he made you feel like, 'Wow, it's great to see you man, it's been a long time.' He was genuine, and I think he was genuine in that Southern, folksy way, that sometimes some people didn't believe it, but it was genuine." Moran revealed that he gave Bailey his nom de porn: "I named him after Axl Rose. Axl Rose's legal name is William Bailey, that's who we named him after." At the time, Moran and Lee were both working as agents at LA Direct Models, but split away in 2011 to form 101 and recruited Bailey as one of the first male clients on their roster. "He was a good looking dude," Moran said. "Wouldn't you agree?" "Yes, but he did the wonderful thing that I enjoyed as a director and a cameraman," Lee submitted. "He did his job." "Yeah, he killed it," Moran agreed. "He was a woodsman. Across the board, he was a fucking solid male talent." Vet producer/director Shylar Cobi chimed in with a tale of how legendary director Paul "P.T." Anderson could never remember Bailey's name, and thus when he wanted to cast him, he would request "that guy, the one that looks like the ball player, Mickey Mantle, who is he? I always knew it was Bill." Fellow performer Mr. Pete remembered when Bailey first got into the industry. He enjoyed Bailey’s company and he believes, though he’s not sure, that he introduced Bailey to his fiancé, AJ Applegate. Pete recalled urging Bailey that Applegate was a keeper. “You better jump on it,” he told Bailey, pointing out their careers were both going well and they could grow together. Ike Diezel said that although he hadn’t known Bailey well, he and director Chris Streams had just spent a full day with Bailey right before the accident and was getting to know him better. “He was a funny guy,” Diezel said, noting that he was wearing cowboy boots in memory of Bill. “If he were here, he’d say, ‘What are you motherfuckers doing here?'’’ Diezel joked, imitating Bailey’s drawl. He added, “He was very compassionate. Everybody loved Bill.” Other directors in the crowd included BurningAngel founder Joanna Angel, who said Bailey was one of the male performers she felt comfortable casting with new girls. “There were only a few guys I really trusted,” she said. “I knew the girls would never have a bad time with him.” Francesca Lé and Mark Wood worked with Bailey as well, both for their own LeWood Productions and also for Kink.com. “He was a guy I always trusted to do a good job,” Wood said. Lé concurred, and added affectionately, “Bill was a know-it-all.” They both recalled how Bailey enjoyed giving direction to other performers, especially in group scenes. “You stand there and you bend over like this,” Wood said, describing how the irrepressible Bailey would order talent around. At one point in the evening, organizers Randy Quintana and Nina Elle of talent agency Society 15 took to the lounge's small stage and called for attendees to come up and tell fun stories about Bailey to be recorded and sent to his family so they could share in the celebration of his life. A particularly amusing one came from production manager and sometimes performer "Little Nate" Whitescarver (aka Winston Burbank), who recalled, "One time we had a party, everyone got drunk, and I took Bill to my room. Crash, pass out. Well I drank more, and I forgot that he was in my bed. So once everyone left, I went upstairs, and I laid down, and he grabbbed me. And he was snoring, but he felt someone get in the bed with him, and I spooned with [Bill]. I tried to get out for about 10 minutes. I tried to pull off his grip and it didn't happen. And I just accepted it. I'm like, 'I'm gonna sleep with him tonight.' I woke up the next morning, he still had his grip on me, but I was able to finagle out. "I gave him one of his big shots when we did a big parody with Dukes of Hazzard," he added, referring to 2010's Not Really the Dukes of Hazzard from the now-defunct Vouyer Media, "and he has always been one of my best friends. I'm so grateful that I got to meet him." More toward the sentimental end, performer Lea Lexis related how Bailey recommended Key West to her and her now-husband as the ideal destination for their honeymoon (the suggestion was perfect, she reported), and non-industry friend Monkey Mike said Bailey helped him recently start his own company and introduced him to his current girlfriend. Co-organizer Kendra Lust remembered meeting Bailey as one of her earliest scene partners in 2012: "I was on one of Brad Armstrong's sets, so you know there was a lot of dialogue, right? So I was extremely nervous, and my co-star was Bill, and I just remember him—because I was literally shaking and nervous, I had only done like three scenes—and Bill was so sweet, he was so kind. And he didn't have to be nice to me, but he took the time to calm me down and just help me get through the scene, which was really awesome. "But what I noticed most about Bill is that throughout the years, he never changed," she continued. "Bill was a solid guy from day one until the last day that we saw him. He never changed—he asked about my husband, he asked about my daughter, he loved to talk about boxing ... he [knew] a lot about a lot of things. But I just loved his heart, he was always kind, always thinking about others, and he never changed, and that for me is a genuine human soul. We've truly lost a good human being, so rest in peace, Bill." AJ Applegate was in attendace at the event, but chose not to speak, instead allowng others to share their remembrances of Bailey before the group or directly with her. She did, however, tell AVN, "I just want to say how beautiful it was to see so many people come together to celebrate Bill's life. I don't think he knew how much he was loved. I can't even put into words how much he meant to me. I appreciate everyone so much that came and donated and reached out to me in my time of mourning. A special thank you to Mark Spiegler for being like a dad to me throughout all of this. Thank you to Society 15 for helping put this memorial together." Others on hand to take part in the commemoration included Shyla Jennings, Brad Knight, Suzanne Kelder, Indiana Bones, Brad Sterling, Dolly Leigh, Alex Jett, Ramon Nomar, James Bartholet, Dakota Skye, Tommy Gunn, Christie Stevens, Penny Pax, Chris Streams, Brad Armstrong, Mark Spiegler, Dana DeArmond, Aiden Starr, Small Hands, Abella Danger, Mackenzie Moss, Anny Aurora, Seth Gamble, Kenzie Taylor, Just Dave, Judy Jolie, Stills by Alan, Gina Valentina, Alina Lopez, Will Pounder, Ryan McLane, Whitney Wright, Gianna Dior, Chloe Cherry, Lola Fae, Tony T., Rick Shameless, Cyrus King, Jessy Jones, Craven Moorehead, Liv Revamped, Manny Bucks, Jonny Gash, Eric John, Lexi Lore, Manuel Ferrara, Xander Corvus, Lena Paul, Ive Lebelle, Romeo Price and Cadence Lux. Donations collected at the event add to the over $12,400 collected so far through GoFundMe to aid Applegate and Bailey's family in the expenses they've incurred laying him to rest. Sharan Street contributed to this story. Pictured (l. to r.): Bud Lee, Robert Moran (photo by Gordon/Orly/@emmreport), Bill Bailey from Wicked Pictures' Holly...Would.

 
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