The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 2)

By Josh Eliot

 

Steve Rambo posing with gun and CatalinaVille DVD cover

 

When I left off last week in my blog "The Making of CatalinaVille," Steve Rambo's lover was killed by underworld hoods trying to get a floppy disc Steve possessed. Steve was on the run with the disc, via a ferry taking him off Catalina Island. He makes his way to Breckenridge, Colorado to meet up with his professor (Ray Harley) from when he was in IT Tech school. When he arrives, Ray is tutoring four young studs played by Logan Reed, Sean Dickson, Dillon James, and Brian Daniels. The four models were local Coloradoans who were driven to our house rental by our Denver agent. This time, the crew going to the models instead of vice versa helped keep our travel expenses to a minimum. It was the first time working with most of them, and Brian Daniels was dressed in this hideous disco shirt, so I literally took the checkered flannel shirt off my back for him to wear in the scene. He was super cute, which definitely added some spice to the scene when the veteran models chowed down on him! Breckenridge is at an elevation of 10,000 feet, which makes the air very thin. It was hard on our lungs, and just walking upstairs made it hard to breathe. We hated that, but all really loved the location and fabulous restaurants we would go to each night!

Ray sends the boys home, then works with Rambo to see who is behind the murder of his lover. When going through the virus on the disc, he sees the "fingerprint" of underworld kingpin Robert Carpathian. They devise a plan to get Rambo onto the kingpin's property by going undercover as a catering assistant for Ray's friend Lyle. Tired and exhausted, the two hit the sack, but evidently they weren't too tired to revisit their past sexual connection. Even though this movie came out way after his debut in Meet Ray Harley, this was truly the first scene Ray Harley shot for Catalina. I was surprised how natural he was when shooting dialogue, and how "un-nervous" he was shooting his first sex scene!

Rambo heads to Sedona Arizona, filmed in Scottsdale (because we really couldn’t afford to shoot in Sedona). I had some great footage of Sedona from a previous vacation, so I incorporated it and used it as the location. Rambo meets up with Lyle, played by my right hand man and head of the crew, Brad Austin. They are catering the Kingpin's poolside sex-party where hard cock and bubble butts are on the menu. Robert Carpathian is played perfectly by Tony Bullitt. Can I just say that Tony Bullitt was one hot fucking stud on the set that day. Not a typical look for a Catalina movie, but what a look! His two henchmen, Cole Tucker (winner of the GayVN for Best Supporting Actor 1998 for this role) and Tom (DJ Tommy Rocker) Walker (winner of the Grabby 1998 for Best Non-Sexual Performer), really elevate the movie with their performances.

The pool scene was shot at the beautiful home of a doctor and his lover... who thankfully gave me a prescription, because I had a terrible case of bronchitis that came over me the day before. I was wheezing and feeling like shit, but the movie needed to be made. To make matters worse, I was barely able to breathe (again!) and had to shoot a good portion of it with an underwater camera. A hot blond model who I had never worked with before named Matthew Anders had the best bubble butt I'd seen in ages! The shots of him getting rimmed and sucked underwater while hanging onto a raft was some of the hottest footage of the day. Even if it nearly killed me. Just the day before, we were at a gay resort in Phoenix where we were supposed to film scenes for another movie and reside there for the time we were in Arizona. The owners were nice, but the resort was pretty sketchy, with some shady characters coming in and out of the place. The whole vibe sucked and it was right across the street from what seemed to be "no" income housing. I felt like we were going to get our equipment stolen if we ever let it out of our sight. The crew was freaked out as well, so Brad Austin and I called around and found a great "hetero" place in Scottsdale, which was so accommodating after hearing about our predicament that they gave us great room rates. I was convinced that the shitty showerhead from the gay resort that basically had you shower in a "mist" gave me the bronchitis. The poolside orgy scene with the large cast worked out great and Rambo got the information he needed by sneaking into Tony Bullitt's office!

 

CatalinaVille sex scenes

 

Rambo now had what he needed to get in the hands of his buddy (Doug Jeffries, who started the whole mess), so he flew to Chicago. Unfortunately for him, Carpathian knows he's going there and sends his two henchmen after him. Being a two hour porno movie where the name of the game is sex, the two henchmen simply stumble upon Steve Rambo in Chicago while he’s in a phone booth talking to Jeffries. A foot chase ensues, which was great fun to film on the streets of Chicago, mostly around the Ramada Congress Hotel. Rambo on the run is cornered in an alley and slips through the side door of some unknown building. Once he enters that door, we see that he has found himself backstage at the Congress Theatre where the 1997 International Mr. Leather Contest is in full swing. We were set up to shoot the show and only had about one hour to get some shots of Rambo and the henchmen running through the halls of the theatre filled with leather men. I swear, they barely even noticed us shooting the scenes because this place was a cruise fest! It seemed such a waste to be having to work while all this was going on! Rambo runs and hides in a bathroom stall in a scene that we shot the day before when the theatre was empty. He overhears two guys going at it, then the henchmen come in and he overhears their conversation. Once the two leather dudes blow their loads and the henchmen leave, he comes out of the stall only to run into old friend Tony Zerega, who he hadn't seen in years. Zerega is at the contest with Rambo’s old buddies Max Grand, Cliff Parker, Mark Hamilton, and Antonio. The group of guys help Rambo trap henchman Cole Tucker by seducing him before overpowering and handcuffing him. That group scene was also shot the previous day in the theatre. I'm exhausted just remembering all we had to pack into that shoot day!

To wrap things up, Cole Tucker is detained, but henchman Tom Walker shows up, pulls out a gun and chases Rambo through the theatre and down into the bowels of the complex. Rambo's only way out is through a sewer drain. He jumps down into the sewers, followed by the gun-wielding Tom Walker. The sewers, actually, were filmed in this really cool pool off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. The house was a few houses down from the gates to Jack Nicolson’s home, which added to the fun! After shooting the box cover for CatalinaVille with Rambo in a tank top, waist deep in the sewer, we shot the scene between him and Walker. Kudos to both of them, as it was fucking freezing (for L.A., that means 60 degrees) and the water was even colder. We ran garden hoses down the stone walls of the pool, which made for a great effect, and got very creative with the camera so as not to ruin the illusion. Rambo conquers all, of course, with a kick ass fight finished by shooting the henchman. Weeks later, we shot him coming out of a real sewer in Tarzan, California, near the 101 freeway and the Catalina Offices. He gets the floppy disc to the authorities. "The End." Credits roll.

 

CatalinaVille PG version ad

 

Making CatalinaVille, for me, was one of the very high points of my career. Even though it’s not a perfect movie, it has a lot of teeth and some really fabulous sex scenes. I just finished restoring and re-polishing the "PG" version of the movie on my YouTube Channel for a Thanksgiving release. The "PG" version is only 38 minutes, perfectly “do-able”… take a peek if you’d like. Steve Rambo won Best Actor at the Grabby Awards 1998 for his role in this movie and he just messaged me to say he would be watching Thanksgiving Day. Even if he was the only one I enhanced and cut this new version for, it would be worth it to me. Steve Rambo really gave everything he had to this role, got himself in the best shape of his life and, in turn, our bond as co-workers was sealed.

 

Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

Rate this blog entry:
113 Hits
0 Comments

Sex in the Woods!

By Will Seagers

 

Hi folks, Will here! Since a very early age, I have had some very hot sexual encounters... in the woods! It's the perfect place (weather permitting) when you don't have a cozy indoor retreat! And, there's also that element of danger - of getting caught - that looms over you, as well.

I remember way back to the tender age of six or seven playing naked in the bushes with boys and even an occasional girl. At that point I hadn't made up my mind as to what turned me on the most! But, the key excitements were body contact and and the naughtiness of doing it out of doors. This took place in one of several beautiful suburban towns in northern New Jersey where I grew up. How we didn't get caught I'll never know. But, I thank the powers that be for that not happening. LOL.

Puberty hits. And, with all my hormones coursing through me, building tree forts and dragging the neighborhood boys into them became my modus operandi! "Swish Family Robinson" of sorts. LOL. At this point, my family was living just off the Jersey Shore in a new development. Formerly a woodsy area and full of scrap lumber, it was a tree fort builder's paradise. And, I took advantage of that several times. Some were even elaborate, like the one that I built over a stream with a fireplace. I never wanted "it's too cold" to be a possibility. This was all before I had any inkling about coming out or even being gay. It seemed late grammar school and early high school guys were all game to try it out.

Then, by the end of high school, details and sexual definitions started to fall into place. I knew who I was and what side of the fence was my preference. By 18, I was running into guys while just being out and about... chance encounters. Not having my own place yet, we would always opt for a secluded and undeveloped stretch of wooded areas to get it on. Ha, I remember ticks being the greatest problem of that day!

While living with my Aunt (yes, the Finnish one), I used to do my weight lifting in her garage that faced the street. One day, a handsome dark haired and nicely built guy walked by our driveway, paused, smiled and then was on his way. It was peculiar... but, very arousing! This happened again soon after. This time, I walked to the edge of the driveway and struck up a conversation. Well, after about the third one of these encounters, he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. I knew what was up and I agreed. He was married and couldn't use his own place. So, off to a local patch of woods for some fun! His name was John. And, he was hung like a horse... much to my delight. Nothing serious ever came of it. But, it was sure fun while it lasted. He was one of several guys with whom I carried on in this outdoor fashion. It was fun and quirky.

Fast forward to my years on Fire Island - working and playing. Although I could hardly consider it work, in the movie Fire Island Fever, I had a J/O scene that actually took place in a tree (as part of one of the other porn star's fantasies). I don't know what came over me. But, I really got into this fantasy and shot about 15 feet from my arboreal perch! Along with myself, most of the crew was amazed and pleased.

 

Will Seagers in Fire Island Fever and director Jack Deveau behind the camera)
Fire Island Fever – matters in hand & being filmed. (Will Seagers on screen / director Jack Deveau behind the camera)
 

Being a naughty boy at heart, I loved to wander in the infamous "meat rack" section of Fire Island that straddled between The Pines and Cherry Grove. All sorts of mayhem could be found there and at all hours of the day and night. This stretch of thick shrubbery allowed for some privacy when needed. But, it was more known for being more of an outdoor gang bang. And if my memory serves me, I remember being the meat in several sandwiches when the opportunity presented itself.

 

A stretch of path and trees in Fire Island's Meat Rack area
The Meat Rack – need we say more?
 

San Francisco also had several fun outdoor wooded areas of note. One of them was literally up the street from where I lived on Buena Vista Terrace. It was Buena Vista Park - which I nicknamed "pants down park!" So close to my home and yet I never took advantage of it. I guess I was too busy with indoor activities! The other spot where I do remember having a few hot sessions was Lands End at the end of Golden Gate Park. It could be brisk and windy at times being right at the Golden Gate and the Pacific Ocean. I remember having my mouth pleasantly occupied while hearing a symphony of fog horns nearby! You did have to be on your toes as the police regularly patrolled the area!

 

Peeking through the trees in San Francisco's Buena Vista Park
An “in the trees” view from notorious Buena Vista Park.
 
Two views of San Francisco's Lands End
Lands End – the Pacific and the fog it creates.
 

All very pleasant recollections. So far in my past, yet still so vivid in my memories. Just a couple of months back during my family reunion week in Pennsylvania, we had an outing in a heavily wooded area. It was a hike on a trail in a state park. Although ambling along with my siblings on this 10 mile course, I could feel my mind drifting back decades to memories of sex in the woods!

 

Bio of Will Seagers:


Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted careers and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model, film performer, and DJ, just to name a few. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.
 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills
Merry Christmas (and Getting Re-Organized)
Now and Then
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Badlands
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: Moby Dick Bar
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: "Just Another Stroll Down the Castro!"
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Hamburger Mary's
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Long Live the Stud!
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Club Life..."Hit me with your Rhythm Stick!”
A "Split Ticket" - SoMa/Folsom and The Haight!
Back to Basics: "Staying Vanilla in a Flavorful Culture!"
A Little Secret
"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade
Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach
Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!
Once Is Just Not Enough!
A Love of Cultures – A Knack for Languages!
"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!
"It's About Time!" My Love Affair With Clocks & Fine Watches
The Perfect Storm
Hello Chicago/Adieu Fire Island Pines!

 

Rate this blog entry:
51 Hits
0 Comments

The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

By Josh Eliot

 

The biggest movie in context of size, scope and budget I ever made was called CatalinaVille. I was tasked by our general manager to come up with a title that incorporated the company name. It took a couple of days going crazy before I finally came up with one that I somewhat liked. One of my very favorite movies is Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show. Its not-so-epic sequel Texasville somehow, some way popped into my head. I went into the office thinking, “This is shit, he’s going to hate this title, it’s so random.” To my surprise, he not only loved the title CatalinaVille, but L-O-V-E-D it! Okay, check that one off. He immediately became excited and shared specifics of what he was looking for in this movie. He wanted it to be a showcase for Steve Rambo that featured him as an “action hero.” He said he was willing to double or even triple the normal budget (normally $13k). I was told to come back to him with an idea and we would work it into our production schedule to shoot in conjunction with the other two movies per month we were normally producing.

 

CatalinaVille DVD cover art

CatalinaVille DVD cover art

 

Well, I can’t say it wasn’t music to my ears when he basically told me it would cost what it would cost. It released me from the chains that held me down from coming up with big ideas. I immediately knew that I wanted a huge cast of at least 20; we ended up casting 23. Double cum shots are always a plus, so whenever possible we would shoot the oral and cum shots one day and then the anal and second cum shots the next day. Travel was definitely a must in my book. We couldn’t possibly shoot this movie in the same used and reused locations around Los Angeles, no way. We had been shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago for a couple of years by this point and I knew we had carte blanche access to the Congress Theater where the event was held. We always got to get into the theater a day or two before to inspect it for setting up to shoot the show. I was hopeful that they would let us in a day or two before the show to shoot some sex scenes. Luckily for me the producers agreed! I wasn’t sure about anything regarding the storyline at this point, but I knew that the climax of the movie had to take place at the Congress Theater during the International Mr. Leather Contest. I remembered seeing an Alfred Hitchcock movie with a dramatic climax (or was it the opening scene?) that took place during a live show in a theater. This movie needed something like that.

The previous year while shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest, we discovered a guy who we were determined to be our new exclusive. The hotel had two towers that looked into each other’s rooms. This hot man in leather had stuck a giant dildo to his window sill and was “showing off” for everyone to see. Like any great head of production would have, Brad Austin counted the windows and went to that tower, tracked down that room and got this stud to meet us in the lobby bar. We created a verbal exclusive contract, verified with a hand-shake. This guy had to be in CatalinaVille! His name was Ray Harley, and we would shoot his premiere movie, Meet Ray Harley, and his scene for CatalinaVille in the same weekend at our second location, Breckenridge, Colorado. It was a gorgeous location, very picturesque, although the altitude was atrocious and made it hard to breathe! We chose Colorado because we regularly booked models from Colorado, where one of our top agents lived. We figured the money we saved on their airfare could be used to fly myself and the crew to Colorado.

 

Ray Harley magazine photo with Josh Eliot quote

Ray Harley magazine spread with Josh Eliot quote

 

Catalina Island was a no-brainer as yet another location - it had our company name! Just off the coast from Los Angeles, it was the perfect place to start the movie. Lovely, picturesque and the perfect rural setting for our star Steve Rambo’s locale. The movie opens with Steve Rambo and his lover, played by Brad King, enjoying each other orally on the open seas in a motor boat. That setting wasn’t planned, though. We rented the motor boat, took off with the crew and equipment along the coast and found a secluded cove. The plan was to shoot the oral and anal in this beautiful setting. We anchored the boat and swam to shore with the equipment on a blow up raft - at high tide, nonetheless. I don’t have to tell you how grueling it was; we were in freezing cold water, struggling and out of breath, but we made it to shore. I started to shoot a bit of dialogue when suddenly a pontoon showed up with about two dozen tourists and laid their anchor right the fuck in the middle of our cove! I couldn’t believe our luck, or lack of it. We thought we would wait them out, but they all started snorkeling and we knew they weren’t going anywhere. I made the decision to take Rambo and King along with Brad Austin and myself out to the open sea in that tiny fucking motor boat to shoot some sucking. I could not under any circumstances let this day be a bust, so that was my plan B!

We went out into the ocean and shot that oral scene, which was a nightmare to shoot. I almost fell out of the boat while trying to get different angles so many times. Brad Austin had to take us further out to sea to get away from other boats so they could not see what we were doing! Luckily Rambo and King did not have any hard-on problems or trouble cumming on cue! After shooting the oral scene, we went back to the cove to pick up the rest of the crew and equipment. The snorkelers were still there, of course. We headed back to the mainland, returned the boat and had a great expensive dinner, which we 100% deserved. The next morning, we rented a golf cart, because no cars are allowed on Catalina Island, and shot some footage of Rambo jogging with island vistas in the background for the opening credits. I felt okay but not great about the opening scene. The fact that there was no fucking bothered me, because it’s not the best way to open a movie! In the storyline, Rambo’s character plays an IT computer tech who gets a phone call from a co-worker (Doug Jeffries) based in Chicago. The co-worker is involved in some shady practices with underworld characters from Scottsdale, AZ (another one of our locations). Long story short, Rambo tries to help his friend by downloading the info onto a floppy disc (because floppy discs were all the rage in 1998?), causing the underworld characters to now target Steve Rambo. While trying to get their hands on that disc, the underworld characters shoot and kill Steve Rambo’s lover Brad. Distraught and confused, Rambo narrowly escapes and runs off with the disc and is next seen on a ferry heading away from Catalina Island and off to ______????

 

Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners

Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners

 

That is where I need to end “Part 1” of this blog. Sorry to leave you with this cliffhanger, but a movie as big as CatalinaVille definitely needs a two-part blog. See you in two weeks!

 

  Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE

Rate this blog entry:
109 Hits
0 Comments

Hello Chicago/Adieu Fire Island Pines!

By Will Seagers

 

 

Hi folks! Will here. Today's excursion back into my past deals with a mishap that turned into a very fun experience. Getting to know Chicago!

The year was 1978 and it was my last of three consecutive years working for the world-famous model John Whyte and his Boatel in The Pines on Fire Island, N.Y.

 

Ad for John Whyte's Boatel

 

For all three years, I drove cross country from San Francisco to Bayville, Long Island, N.Y. where I parked my vehicles in the Fire Island Pines Ferry parking lot. As most of you know there are no personal vehicles on most of Fire Island.

I loved the long drives. Once I passed Grass Valley, Ca. on my east bound I-80 trek, I entered a zone." The whole driving experience became more relaxed and my mind drifted into many exotic places. I usually allowed about three days for the trip. Meals and rest stops were a must in order to keep it from being too laborious.

This last trip, I drove a recently acquired Peugeot 504. To tell the truth, I don't remember the exact year. Although it was lacking in power with its very modest four cylinder, it made up for it with a spectacularly smooth ride! Going through the Continental Divide was a bit challenging. But, when I hit the flat and extensive plains, it was smooth sailing. True to plans, I arrived in N.Y. in just over three days. I was excited to be back on "The Island!"

 

Blue Peugeot 504

A Peugeot 504

 

John Whyte had surprised me with a call early in 1978 and asked me if I had a lifeguard's license. I didn't. But I quickly acquired one at a San Francisco YMCA. That set the stage for a very different summer working on The Island. Along with watching over the safety of the Boatel guests at the pool, I had a new and very cute bar to tend. Piña Coladas and daiquiris of all flavors were to be made by yours truly! But, that wasn't all. Adjacent to the pool was the "Cultured Elephant," one of John Whyte's restaurants just down from the Boatel. The rear of this restaurant opened to my pool area. So, slinging drinks as well as food was once again part of my job description. Now, add just one more thing. A gym! It seemed that someone had given Mr. Whyte a huge assortment of free weights and left them under the tent that connected the Cultured Elephant to the pool. I really loved setting up Will's Gym! I think between lifting and swimming, I was in the best shape of my life! And, I loved hosting the boys who came to work out, as well!

 

Boatel full view
John Whyte's Boatel and Blue Whale Bar & Restaurant, home of the original tea dance
 
Will slinging drinks & food in The Pines (L); A Boatel view of its pool, bar & gym (R)
Will slinging drinks & food in The Pines (L); a Boatel view of its pool, bar & gym (R)
 
Will modeling photo from Fire Island

Will from a photo shoot on Fire Island

 

Getting to the point (or should I say title). One of my pool/gym guests was a very well built and handsome gent from Chicago named Bob. He was dark and swarthy. And, judging by his last name... Italian! We played around several times and I was extended an invitation to visit him in Chicago on my drive home at the end of the season. Yippie! He was so hot and I had never been to Chicago.

Well, the season had been pretty eventful with all of my work duties. But, I was also invited to take part in the yearly Fire Island Pines Fashion Show, which was held poolside... my poolside! I was pleased and proud to be a part of it. I modeled swimwear. I was naughty and did not follow the script. At the end of my walk down the runway (which was artfully suspended above the pool), I shed my bathing suit and gracefully dived into the pool. Gasps and squeals of laughter followed... except for Mr. Whyte... he was pissed! Oh well, I was just putting my best foot forward!

Late in the season during the Full Moon in August was my "swan song" with working on Fire Island. Fire Island was frequented by straights from local towns in Long Island, especially on the weekends. They could be rowdy and sometime altercations happened. It was after my work was over and I was having some tequila with co-workers at the bar of The Cultured Elephant. Out of nowhere, a fight broke out and one of my friends was being attacked. I am not normally a fighter. But with my friend and the restaurant in danger, I jumped right in the middle of it, and to my surprise I bodily threw out the culprits. Moments later, Mr. Whyte showed up to see what had happened. For some reason, he tried to pin the ruckus on me... I guess my tequila was showing. I became incensed and said, "Did you know that I just saved your restaurant and staff member from injury?" After which I expelled, "Son of a Bitch!" (This was just my anger and it was not directed at him.) However, he arose and commanded me, "Leave my premises!"

The next day, I returned to the pool (with a bit of a hangover!). The fellow who ran The Cultured Elephant came to me and asked, "Didn't you know that you got fired last night?" I was flummoxed. I didn't remember that happening. Balls to the walls, I walked right down to Mr. Whyte's palatial beach house and requested to speak with him. At first, he wouldn't. Then I asked him why he fired me. He told me that I called him a Son of a Bitch. I quickly told him that I did not aim that at him but at the situation at hand. After a moment, he relented and said I could finish the season (two more weeks). 1979 came around and I did not offer my services nor did he invite me back. End of an era!

One of the things that I did during the summer was to have the engine rebuilt in my Peugeot... BAD IDEA! I had nothing but problems with the car afterwards. It stalled in the Mid-Town Tunnel (Manhattan). And, on my way to see my folks on the Jersey Shore, it broke down once again. I was scared to death about taking it back cross country!

From N.J., I headed straight to Chicago to visit my Italo-Stallion, Bob. The drive there was deceptively uneventful... just the way I wanted it. I got into town and met up with Bob. The sparks flew and we both had a good time. He showed me around town for my (intended) weekend stay. At the end of this fun-packed weekend, I headed west bound out of town on the interstate. It was only 60 miles outside of Chicago when I saw smoke coming out of the back of the car and the engine seized! I freaked out. It took a while to get a service truck out there. I was more anxious when they looked at my car and said, "Oh, we can get this 'Porsche' running in no time!” My heart sank as I told them it was a Peugeot, not a Porsche! This part of the country didn't get to see many Peugeots I guess. When the repair truck people realized what it was, they decided to bring it back to Chicago to a dealer that was more familiar with the vehicle.

Meanwhile, I phoned Bob and told him what had happened. He welcomed me back to his place where I could launch some kind of rescue plan. But, it was then that he told me he had a relationship and he spent most of his nights with his other half. I said that I would be as unobtrusive as possible. The next day was Monday and I needed to contact local mechanics to see what I could do. That turned into a multi-day task.

Fate struck in two favorable ways. One, I got to meet Bob's other half. When I met him, I instantly recognized him. We had met several years ago in Phoenix. He was a very good looking guy, too! Although we had never had the chance to "get together," we certainly made up for it in Chicago. Bob was a teacher and was already back to work by the time I visited. His other half was a concert pianist and had a totally different schedule. We took advantage of this schedule several times that week. I don't think Bob picked up on what was going on (even though I was walking a little funny! Lol.)

Fate struck the second time. Not wanting to crowd anyone's lifestyle, I went on my own to explore what Northhalstead - otherwise known as "Boystown," the gay village of Chicago - had to offer. Right away, I met a very handsome doctor who lived in a beautiful brownstone in that area. I wound up spending most of the rest of the week there. Although great hosts, Bob (and his partner) seemed to be relieved at my transition. My doctor friend was into some of the kinkiest sex that I have ever had!

 

Chicago skyline and Boystown signage/view

Chicago skyline (L); Boystown signage/view (R)

 

So, toward the end of the week I got a dreadful call from the mechanics telling me that the engine had to be replaced. Not only would that have taken more than a week, I didn't want to spend the money. I called United Airlines and made reservations to come home to San Francisco. This was was more inconvenient than just writing off a car... I had the car packed to the hilt with all sorts of stuff that I had acquired from Fire Island and NYC. I based the booking of my flight on the extra day it would take to box up all of this stuff.

Being 45 years ago, I am a little fuzzy about who picked me up at the San Francisco Airport and with what kind of large vehicle for all of my treasures. I was grateful for the ride but devastated when I discovered most of the terra cotta plant pottery from the flower shop in The Pines was shattered during the flight. Nonetheless, I was finally home and grateful to be there. No more of the glamorous bi-coastal living for me! End of an Era!

 

Bio of Will Seagers:


Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted careers and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model, film performer, and DJ, just to name a few. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.
 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills
Merry Christmas (and Getting Re-Organized)
Now and Then
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Badlands
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: Moby Dick Bar
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: "Just Another Stroll Down the Castro!"
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Hamburger Mary's
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Long Live the Stud!
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Club Life..."Hit me with your Rhythm Stick!”
A "Split Ticket" - SoMa/Folsom and The Haight!
Back to Basics: "Staying Vanilla in a Flavorful Culture!"
A Little Secret
"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade
Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach
Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!
Once Is Just Not Enough!
A Love of Cultures – A Knack for Languages!
"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!
"It's About Time!" My Love Affair With Clocks & Fine Watches
The Perfect Storm

 

Rate this blog entry:
44 Hits
0 Comments

VAMPIRE'S GRAVE

By Josh Eliot

 

In 1993, I was videographer on the Catalina Video movie The Bite for director Chi Chi LaRue. It featured a great cast headlined by Jon Vincent, and featured Derrick Corbin, Dillon Reid, Londun, Max Holden and Rob Cryston. We shot it at the same time as a movie I directed called Sex Between The Lines in a Hollywood Hills house formerly owned by Fatty Arbuckle, but at that time occupied by squatters. Say what? Ask Scott Masters! He had some really funky connections! I do remember regretting that I had not come up with the vampire movie idea; it was right up my alley, as I was born and raised in one of the most haunted states in the union. But I was just glad to be shooting a horror-themed movie, and Chi Chi did a great job with The Bite and The Bite 2! I never went the vampire route in any of my movies, but I probably should have If I had, I would have drawn upon two of the most notorious cases below.

 

Cover art for Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite
Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite

 

The Grave of Mercy Brown

 

A farmer named George Brown lost his wife, Mary, and daughter, Mary Olive, after both became sickly and died one after the other. In 1892, another daughter, Mercy, died at the age of 19. Two months later, George Brown’s teenage son, Edwin, became sick and frail. The village doctor told George that it was “consumption” that was taking his son, but occupants in the town of Exeter had another explanation. The undead.

Between 1790 and 1899, it was not uncommon in New England, particularly Rhode Island, for family members to demand that the bodies of their deceased family members be exhumed. The reason being that they suspected the dead of being “undead” and afflicting the living. Sometimes going as far as to burn the hearts, lungs and livers and mixing the ashes into a solution to administer to the afflicted as a treatment.

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

In March of 1892, villagers, a local doctor and a newspaper reporter, along with George Brown, entered the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, under the wild idea that one of the deceased members of George’s family was leaving the grave at night to suck the life out of his son, and only by killing the undead could Edwin be saved. The bodies of George’s wife and daughter Mary gave no clues, but when Mercy Brown’s body was exhumed, it appeared oddly well preserved, appearing like her hair and nails had also continued to grow. When they prodded the body with the shovel, they found it filled with fresh blood. They continued on and removed her heart and burned it on a nearby rock. All documented. The ashes were added to Edwin’s medicine, but he died a short time later. Rhode Island’s South County between 1870 and 1900 was known as the “Vampire Capital of America.” Rumors, accusations and panic set in. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula in 1897, kept newspaper accounts of “vampire” Mercy Brown in his files that were discovered after his death. For the less superstitious, the well-preserved condition of Mercy’s body could be due to the fact that she was buried in the ground during the two coldest months of the year. Mercy’s grave is one of the most visited to this day and is reinforced with a metal band connected to a post to protect it from being stolen. The Mercy Brown case is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation.

 

The Grave of Nellie Vaughn


Vampire's Grave is located in a rural 19th century cemetery by an old wooden church in West Greenwich Rhode Island, not all that far from the real Conjuring house at 1677 Round Top Road in Burrillville, RI.

 

The real Conjuring house

 

Starting back in the 1960s, stories related to an occupant of the graveyard spread like wildfire around the state. A teacher at Coventry High School told the students the story of Mercy Brown, a young woman whose body was exhumed and heart removed because family members were convinced she came back from the dead. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based in part on Mercy Brown, and she is currently buried in a graveyard in Rhode Island. The students, mixing up their details, tracked down the wrong cemetery and headstone belonging to Nellie Vaughn. Nellie Vaughn died in 1889 at the age of 19 from pneumonia. When the students came upon her headstone which read in epitaph, “I am waiting and watching for you,” the legend of Nellie Vaughn being a vampire was born. Still the talk of high school in the 1970s, my friends and I along with probably every other student in the state at some point went to Vampire's Grave after smoking a ton of weed. Of course we were 100% sure that she was in fact a living dead vampire. The night we were there was scarier than hell; to reach it you drive for miles through a thick forest to a very desolate area. It is at a crossroads where you come upon the Plain Meeting House Cemetery. It took us forever to find her headstone, and yes, no grass was growing over her grave like the story said. Although it was a very creepy experience, no sightings of strange phenomena occurred that night.

Today, that headstone has been removed because there was too much vandalism of her grave site over the years. Nellie Vaughn has no marker and is in an unmarked grave. However, people have reported seeing a woman in Victorian clothing in the cemetery before vanishing into the woods, and also hearing a young woman’s voice near the grave site saying, “I am perfectly pleasant.” Almost as if she is trying to clear her name. Trying to tell the visitors that she was not an evil, frightening vampire, but only a very pleasant, proper young lady. The worst thing for us that night was driving home from the grave, still very stoned, going down that very winding wooded road in the middle of nowhere. We turned a corner that opened up to a big field on the right side of the road. There was a huge barn fire with about twenty to thirty people in white robes standing around it in a circle. Very scary, “devil worshippy” and demonic! We all screamed when we saw them and hit the gas to get out of there, constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure no one was coming after us.

 

Vampire's Grave historical photos

Vampire's Grave historical photos

 

I promised that when I wrote this final “Halloween” themed blog, I would include a little bit of sizzle in keeping with the fact that this is after all for the BijouWorld website. So, after our harrowing adventure to Vampire's Grave, we dropped off the girls (our high school “girlfriends” at the time) and met up with one of their brothers named Michael and his “friend” Donald. There was a house in the neighborhood that was vacant and under construction. David and I had been “working” these two for what seemed like forever, getting a little flirt here and there, always followed by a big fat “nothing.” We met up with the boys, smoked some more weed; then, after months and months of build up, I did Donald, while my friend David did Michael.

 

PLEASE NOTE: No ghosts or vampires were spotted in the vacant house while exchanging blowjobs.

 

Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath
BAD BOYS SCHOOL

Rate this blog entry:
107 Hits
0 Comments

Contact Us | 800-932-7111 | Join our email list

Go to top