Tribute to Murray Roberts
A life devoted to Cinema Spankings
I first met Murray in 1975 in a Japanese restaurant in the City of London. It turned out that we worked some 500 yards apart. It was the start of a friendship that was to last some forty years. The last contact I had with him was a Christmas card in 2014, written in a very shaky writing, sounding very depressed as he was nearly blind. He died two months later.
Murray, or Peter to give him his real name, turned out to have an incredible network of contacts, which stretched around the world, and especially into United States. He spent much of his non-working life researching cinema spankings through this network, as well as spankings in "western" novels, his other great passion. (I never could quite understand his passion for cowboys spanking nubile young women, as he referred to them.) People all over the world sent him references and/or clips, but predominantly from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, where he had the best contacts. As a result, he claimed, rather erroneously I suspect, that he had tracked down most of the cinema spankings that had taken place! As part of this exercise he needed to have the facilty to copy and post the clips around the world. Peter liked and saw the value of technology, but never was really able to master it. So when VHS came along, he assembled a large collection of films that included spankings. However, extracting them and producing a compendium of the results was beyond him. Hence, I was commandeered to fulfil this role. I produced the first half a dozen of his "Compendium" tapes for him to distribute to his loyal following. It was only when I went overseas for a year that he eventually rolled up his sleeves and did the job himself. The only fly in the ointment was the American (NTSC) system; he could never understand why the Americans had not adopted the British (PAL) system. He felt that it would have made his job so much easier. Peter was very proud of his research and was delighted when Janus magazine asked him to produce a series, A-Z of Cinema Spankings, to run over several issues. The first two went very well and the articles proved popular. In the third, Janus reduced the size of the pictures to miniscule proportions, presumably to save space. Peter was incandescent and a beautiful relationship ended over night. The advent of the PC made Peter's life much easier and roughly coincided with his retirement. He kept me and his local computer expert pretty busy with endless phone calls as he became determined to master the new medium. Unsurprisingly, his network of contacts expanded enormously and the flood of clips mushroomed. It enabled him to improve his links in Europe, especially France and Germany. There he started to turn up a substantial number of scenes from European films that he was totally unaware of. Thus I added a new role to my function; that of his interpreter in French, German and Spanish, even if my knowledge of the last two was a bit sketchy. Like so many things, something comes along to tarnish things. Peter became more and more irritated by the rising sexual content of spanking scenes. To him, a spanking should be a nubile young lady receiving her just deserts. But he was old school; he never quite understood how spanking could become a sexual turn on. As a final aside, I kept all Peter's VHS tapes. When we decided to build the Moonglow Database of Cinema Spankings, I thought that we would be hitting the road running. It turned out that every tape had perished and we were starting with a virtually clean sheet! Anyway, working with Peter was fun and my annual trips to his retirement villa (he obviously had a good pension) by the sea was always enjoyable. These took place while his wife went to visit their daughter in the Antipodes, so we could discuss freely and sort out the long list of computer issues that he always had ready for me. RIP, Peter. You are missed.