“Little Joe never once gave it away…” He still got it out there, Joe Dallesandro. Factory doorman cum Warhol superstar. Zobb behind the zipper on the Sticky Fingers LP. Downgazing gigolo on the cover of the Smiths first album. Underground film icon and wildside-walker of popular music lore. The story went that John Schlesinger was pinching Warhol’s proteges for extras in Midnight Cowboy. With the art icon almost rubbed-out by Valerie Solanas’s lead-sketching, the Factory crowd schemed up their own hustler movie. Joe was their ace in the pack.
Flesh gives us cock shots and candour aplenty as Joe and the camera vie for who loves Joe the most. Sent out by his missus to earn the money for her girlfriend’s baby-rethink the blonde boy-ho hooks up with a succession of johns, all the while rocking a half asleep cool and a pallid gym-junkie physique. As Jon Voight’s Texan cow-whore herded them in at the US box office, Joe’s cocksure kerb service brought the real mccoy to arthouse screens – he may not have scooped any acting awards but there was no arguing the size of his part.