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Opinion In Market: Fort Worth’s ties to late Nevada brothel owner

In Market: Fort Worth’s ties to late Nevada brothel owner

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

On Oct. 16, America’s most famous pimp partied for days with porn stars, political pals and others to celebrate his 72nd birthday, but the revelry ended when Dennis Hof was found dead in one of his Nevada brothels.

Hof, a Donald Trump-style Republican who won a GOP primary for a seat in the state Legislature this year, spent his last nights in a series of celebrations across Nevada that drew notables from politics and the sex industry — two worlds he managed to bridge.

His final party Monday night at the Pahrump Nugget hotel-casino, about an hour’s drive outside Las Vegas, included aging porn star Ron Jeremy, tax-cut activist Grover Norquist, one-time “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss and ex-Arizona sheriff and politician Joe Arpaio. All of those, including Hof, would have been – and most had been – guests of Dallas-Fort Worth radio personality Richard Hunter when he was still broadcasting in the area. Hunter, who once ran as a candidate for mayor of Fort Worth, has been working with Hof for the past several years. Here is a column from October 2015, when Hunter found himself in the spotlight after another celebrity with Dallas ties found himself with unwanted attention.

In the midst of all the news about Lamar Odom falling seriously ill at the Nevada brothel, Love Ranch, there was plenty of media attention.

After all, in the universe where Odom lives – the NBA and the Kardashian family – TV cameras, TMZ reports and 48-point screaming headlines are the order of the day.

Odom was found unconscious at the brothel Oct. 13 with white and reddish substances coming from his nose and mouth, according to an Associated Press report.

He was to be flown by helicopter about 80 miles southeast to Las Vegas but had to be taken by ambulance because the 6-foot, 10-inch tall former basketball star couldn’t fit into the aircraft.

Then the celebrities began marching in, past the throng of photographers, reporters and gawkers. Odom’s estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, rushed to his side that night at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Since then, friends, teammates and loved ones – including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Kobe Bryant, etc. – have visited and posted messages on social media asking for prayers.

Meanwhile, authorities took a blood sample from Odom to find out if he overdosed on drugs or alcohol, but the results could take several weeks.

Amid all this celebrity magazine-Entertainment Tonight-TMZ attention, there was one name that caught my eye, the man credited with making the original 911 call: Richard Hunter, identified as a brothel spokesman.

Hunter, just out of the glare of the spotlight, was born in Fort Worth. Known sometimes as “Big Dick Hunter,” he is a former musician, radio personality, talk show host and, as identified on his Facebook page, a “public figure.”

Hunter, as host of “Big Dick’s P1 Wild-Ass Circus” on KTCK, The Ticket, put on one of the more entertaining, off-the-wall and skirt-the-edges-of-FCC-rules radio shows before the days of podcasts made such radio seem a bit silly. “P1” by the way, is not some weird sex term, but a phrase that means someone who is a fan of a particular radio station. The show ran for several years on The Ticket in the early 2000s and then Hunter bounced around with several stations.

What I liked about Hunter was that he didn’t have that snickering, teenage boy attitude toward the more sensual side of life. He was serious about it, getting his guests to examine their sometimes extreme choices. Well, OK, he was as serious and adult as anyone nicknamed “Big Dick” can be when talking about sex. One of his frequent guests was Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof, and apparently they struck up a friendship.

Hunter was also in the band Killbilly, a Texas group from the 1980s that is worth checking out. They were often described as the bluegrass Sex Pistols, and that may not be far from the truth. Hunter played bass and wasn’t a key member of the band, but those who saw the band knew it was special. Check ’em out on YouTube. Killbilly is looked on fondly by the likes of Rhett Miller, now of the Old ‘97s, whose band owes something to them.

Hunter also ran for mayor of Fort Worth in 1996, running in the race to fill the spot left vacant by Kay Granger, who eventually won a congressional seat. While he was one of those fringe candidates, he made an impression, though not enough of one to win many votes. But like most things Hunter does, he was entertaining, intelligent and enlightening at the same time.

And now here he is again, just slightly out of the spotlight.

Robert Francis is editor of the Fort Worth Business Press.

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