Flash!’ takes an entertaining inside look at ‘GGW’ (though it could use more pics)


If you’ve seen a Girls Gone Wild commercial—and I know you have—you probably have some questions: Who are these girls? Are they real college students or porn actresses? Who gets them to “go wild”? How do they do it? Well, Ryan Simkin has some answers for you, and you can find them all in his book Flash! Bars, Boobs and Busted: 5 Years on the Road with Girls Gone Wild.

Simkin spent half a decade as a cameraman for wildly successful (and now infamous) entrepreneur/pornographer Joe Francis and the GGW gang. He racked up his fair share of awesome stories (and awesome hookups) along the way. He also got to know Francis really, really well: “‘The brand is everything.’ If there was one thing Joe repeated and then re-repeated, that was it. You either understood the brand, or you didn’t; and understanding the brand was really just a fancy way of saying ‘knowing the girls Joe liked and wanted to see in his videos.’”


Flash! Bars, Boobs and Busted: 5 Years on the Road with Girls Gone Wild
Four stars
By Ryan Simkin
4 Park Publishing, $25

What kind of girls did Frances want to see? “Young, wholesome, no piercing or tattoos, no fake boobs.” Duh. That description leads me to my biggest complaint about the book: There should be more photos of the girls. There are a couple, but they’re black and white … and small and unclear.

Some of the sentences could have used an editor (e.g., “They literally packed up all of our shit”; “I’m not really sure if we were technically afraid of him or just nervous to be around him; it was probably a bit of both”), but you don’t read Flash! for flawless prose; you read it for revelations like this: “It was tough to go into a bar or club and just start getting hot chicks naked; sometimes we need a nice momentum starter. And sometimes that meant fat girls.”

Highly entertaining and revelatory.


Previous Discussion:

  • The producer and writer for Fox’s ‘Empire’ takes on issues of race, property and family in this melodic rural noir.

  • So what is the sound of silence, anyway?

  • The debut novel describes a young boy forced away from his family into a dangerous desert plain.

  • Get More Print Stories
Top of Story