Admittedly this name won’t mean much to most but to a lot of porners and particularly anyone else who was a true non-comformist the guy was a legend. His video store Mondo Video was a counter culture hangout in Los Feliz until it moved to Melrose back in 2002. Then finally closed shop in around 2007. Robert “Colonel Rob” Schaffner was found dead at his home in Lancaster this week. He was 57 years old and had suffered from pain due to injuries, spinal stenosis and arthritis, no official cause of death has been released.
Colonel Rob encouraged a no judgement zone at his store and among other things hosted transvestite BBQ nights where the local homeless would come and party with the transvestites . He also sold eclectic and totally bizarre videos and collectible like his controversial Ted Bundy Autopsy T Shirts. He specialized in anything weird, cult or offbeat from B-movies and cult films to homemade underground tapes, art-house classics and beyond. The music video section was better than any record store, divided up by Punk, Goth/Industrial, Garage, Heavy Metal, etc., all filled with hundreds of titles. Mondo was definitely the only video rental store in the world with a GG Allin or Kenneth Anger section. It was a total sanctuary of the weird and unconventional.
There was no judgment within those walls and wild behavior was not only welcomed but encouraged. It was a genuine beacon for the counterculture.
Goddess Bunny got discovered by Marilyn Manson, while pop singer Jewel (still living in her van undiscovered) got burped on by El Duce of The Mentors. GG Allin did one of his only L.A. performances there, while Russ Meyers and Kitten Natividad along with many golden age porners were regulars.
“If you were a paraplegic that wanted to sing Rocky Horror naked and get pissed on, here was a place where you could do that,” recalls former employee Erek Michael, now manager of the Museum of Death. “It was a product of its time and it will never happen again.”
Colonel Rob will be missed by misfits everywhere…and I use the term lovingly