Once Is Just Not Enough!

By Will Seagers

 

Hi, folks! Will here with a blog for you! This time a bit more storytelling than the past few photo blogs of late. I have noticed that in my life I have a tendency to return to some of the work that I have enjoyed in my earlier life to experience "The Second Time Around."

 

Will at the Fire Island Pines Boatel in the '70s
Here on the deck of the Fire Island Pines Iconic Boatel deck is one of many times that I was a waiter in my early years.
 

I guess the most obvious of these returns is my return to the porn world. This time around, however, is more reminiscing about the great times I had doing "The First Time Around!" LOL. This second time started with a simple reply to the question, “What ever happened to Will Seagers?" Because of the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, so many of my fellow screen stars had passed. When a death was not published, it was just assumed by many that one had! So, I emailed off a quick reply to the blog editor at Bijou to head that rumor off at the pass and fell into a deep and wonderful conversation that has lasted for about two years now! I did have the eerie experience of seeing myself listed as "passed" once in a gay publication... once was enough of that!

 

Will in screenshots from L.A. Tool & Die and Fire Island Fever
Will in Joe Gage's L.A. Tool & Die and Jack Deveau/Hand in Hand's Fire Island Fever, both 1979 releases.
 
Will in promo images for L.A. Tool & Die and Fire Island Fever

 

One of my earliest jobs (circa age 18) was selling men's clothing at a well known affiliate of Macy's on the Jersey shore. That was repeated two more times. Once in the prestigious Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco - again in the men's department (circa age 40). And, the same placement happened in New York at Bloomingdales - in the men's designer department (circa age 45). Those were tough places to work if you were a clothes horse - the temptation to spend every thing you earned was all around you!

Another realm of selling that I really enjoyed was in consumer electronics. I loved electronic gadgets of all sorts and was quite the consumer. My favorite salesman, Harold, at Eber Electronics in San Francisco, referred me to the manager for an interview. That was a slam dunk. I knew almost everything in the store already! LOL. My second time around in electronics happened in Santa Fe, NM. My partner and I had recently moved there from NYC. I was not too happy with my original job there and was on the hunt for something more satisfying. Voila. I was given a tip that the local and independently owned Video and Hi-Fi store was in need of a salesman. I arrived in a midnight blue Giorgio Armani suit (from Neimans!). The owner was from NY. and a bit taken by my dressing up for the occasion. We hit it off and I was placed as the Hi-Fi manager. Yippee! Although the owner and I would bump heads from time to time, he loved how I merchandised and laid out the sales floor.

 

Will in a suit as an Eber Electronics salesman
“Picture This!” Here standing before a wall of TVs in San Francisco’s Eber Electronics back in the mid '80s.
 

Music, music and more music! After I left San Francisco in 1991 and returned to New Jersey, I really had no planned path in terms of my next job. So, I relaxed but kept my ear to the ground for any leads. My younger sister introduced me to her fiance's brother who worked selling organs and pianos. Organs were one of my lifelong loves. So, I scored well in that job and was soon to manage two other stores. Fast forward to 2003 and spin the globe to Tucson Arizona and I find myself playing and selling organs for the second time... albeit a briefer stay. I was too used to being a manager and didn't take kindly to this manager's tactics... so, I moved along.

 

Bill and Will with Bill's organ
Friend and client Bill proudly showing off his Lowrey MX-2. (L); At Bill’s lovely Lowrey organ. (R)
 
Will playing the organ
Not selling – but giving away (my sister) and playing at her wedding!
 
Fishing boat trip
Our NJ organ store managers were invited each July on a deep sea fishing event. That’s me on the far right (pardon my back!). I had the scare off my life moments after this picture was taken when I hooked a Mako Shark! That’s one I did NOT reel in!
 

Mattresses? You know you have seen me on a few of them... But, selling them? For this I needed to consult the Stars! Yes! In my more than 50 years of being an amateur astrologer, I sometimes look to the heavens for answers. In the early 2000s, after a fiery termination at the Santa Fe electronics store, I aimed my head to the sky and mused over a few possibilities. I had a natural knack for selling, from the strong Sagittarius influence in my 6th house. And my 10th house, ruled by Pisces (the career house) dealt with cinema, the arts and affairs of the bed! Selling mattresses came quite easily to me. I started off in this trade in Santa Fe (after my fiery dismissal!), took it to Tucson till 2005, then brought it back to NM where I regained my original position with the original company until my decision to retire in 2019.

 

Santa Fe garden images

From my 1st mattress selling/management job in NM (L) and my 2nd mattress selling job in NM (R).

 
Santa Fe garden images
One of my favorite Bimmers parked in front of the store I managed for a dozen years.
 

So, in my life there have been many "full circles" - returning back to familiar turf. In each of these jobs, it was my intent to bring pleasure to the selling process and make every client feel enriched by the process. I don't miss the quotas and other related pressures. But, I will always miss the wonderful interactions I had.

 

Decorative circle

 

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! 

 

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UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele

By Josh Eliot
 
Undercover box cover

 

The movie Undercover, directed by John Travis, won Best Picture and Best Director at the 1989 Adult Video News Awards. The year prior he also won for Powertool, which starred his discovery, Jeff Stryker. To put things in perspective, 1989 was the same year that I directed my very first movie called Runaways. We shared a few of the same cast members including Danny Wade and Jake Corbin. Recently I cut a trailer for Undercover, which I posted on my YouTube channel as part of a tribute for John Travis, Scott Masters, Chet Thomas and Cameron Leight. The four of them really influenced me with their talents, all in different ways, and they really all were the pioneers at Catalina Video, so I thought that since they are no longer with us it would be special to add clips and trailers from their movies to keep their legacy alive. When viewing the footage from Undercover, I was surprised to see how young Jake Corbin looked. It made me remember that we were about the same age when we shot the movie. I was 27 and he was 26 and we both shared the common bond of being born and raised in the state of Rhode Island. When I met Jake Corbin, I remember thinking that he was very sexy and I was impressed by elements of his personality. He was very East Providence, as we would have said about a street-wise guy back in Little Rhody. He was like that hot guy in high school who could easily have been a bully, but the fact that he was gay and not “gay for pay” made him even more attractive. His accent was much thicker than mine, as I moved to San Francisco at age 17 and he still lived back east in Rhode Island. When I discovered that he had passed away at the young age of 29, on September 27th, 1992, I was in a state of shock. Just three years after shooting Undercover and Runaways. Scott Masters broke the news to me and we were both very upset and saddened.

On a positive note, when revisiting Undercover’s footage for the trailer, I was pleasantly surprised by the fabulous sets that Dan Allman (aka Cameron Leight) and I built for the movie. Shortly after building the sets, Dan Allman broke the news that he was leaving the company. I was suddenly the studio manager and their only videographer. The pressure was on. Thrown onto main camera for this big budget movie was terrifying, but luckily those cool sets gave me a lot of ideas visually, assisting me on finding the best angles. These sets were the bomb, and in addition to building life sized sets I had to build a miniature set of the apartment complex. The miniature set blows up at the end of the movie, which was fun to shoot! The life sized sets included: a fire escape where Butch Taylor lays out overnight on a mattress to beat the summer heat, but once asleep, a hooded leatherman (played by George Madera) climbs up and over him; a rooftop set where undercover cop Brad Phillips busts Paul Coder for rolling a joint, then proceeds to bust his ass; and an alleyway set between buildings where Jake Corbin and Danny Wade chase down, tackle and attack sweet young twink Danny Bliss. All these locations are watched over by Tom Steele and Doug Niles from their stakeout apartment set on a high floor overlooking the complex. Rear Window at its finest, emphasis on “rear.” Detective Tom Steele gets hornier and hornier watching all the action around the complex, causing him to give up his “straightness” to detective Doug Niles, shoving his oversized cock right up the keister. The final set we built was an exterior apartment, viewed through a picture window that housed Michael Britten, who was hosting a play date with Rick Stryker. Rick Stryker, the real life brother of Jeff Stryker, made his debut in Undercover, and the crew was very excited to be a part of what we thought was going to be very important porn history. “Stryker’s brother?…OMG I can’t wait!”

 

Jake Corbin Rick, Stryker and Tom Steele

Jake Corbin Rick, Stryker and Tom Steele

 

Well, the hype kind of fizzled while shooting the scene, so a stunt dick was brought in to handle all of the fucking. But not just any stunt dick – one who could match the length of Stryker and was a “true closer” to get in, get busy and make some magic. The stunt dick called to service was none other than David Ashfield (Surge's Therapy and Strange Places, Strange Things), already an icon in the industry. It was surprising how quickly Scott Masters could get stunt dicks to the set, almost like he had them on standby. This was my one and only time meeting and working with David, so I don’t have a vivid memory of things, but I do remember his rock hard piece going to town on cute Michael Britten, and he was also very friendly and personable.

 

David Ashfield in Therapy and Strange Place, Strange Things

David Ashfield in Therapy and Strange Place, Strange Things

 

Tom Steele was introduced to our team by John Travis when he directed the movie Powerline a month or two earlier. The first time I met him was at SFO Airport when he arrived on the “Midnight Flyer.” Scott Masters and John Travis were arriving from L.A. the next day, so I had to chaperon him for the night at the condo Catalina rented for cast members and out of town crew. It was a great two bedroom apartment, far away from the Castro and Polk Street districts to keep the models in check. One room had two queen beds for the models and the other bedroom had a king sized bed with a $1000 Airflex mattress that Masters splurged on for himself, pissing off GM Chris Mann. These days those mattresses start at around $4000. It was really comfy, but became much more so when during the night Tom Steele poked his head in and asked if he could sleep with me because the queen beds were as hard as a rock. Of course they were – Masters only let me spend like $200 on each of them. This was Tom Steele and I was 27 so let’s face it, I was hit with some major temptation. Right from the start when I picked him up at the airport I was comfortable around him. He is exactly like the character from all his movies that you see on the screen. Not too much of an actor, just him reading the lines. For such a handsome super hung stud, his personality is really sweet and down to earth, no hang ups and no attitude ever. I tried my best to be professional by offering to just switch beds with him, but he insisted on sharing the luxurious king size. King sized was right! But I did feel guilty when I saw Travis and Masters the next morning.

 

Powerline promo shot and box cover featuring Tom Steele

Powerline promo shot and box cover featuring Tom Steele

 

Getting back on subject, Undercover, in my book, was one of John Travis’ crowning moments. Just being on the set of this movie put him in a good mood. We experimented with the dolly tracks to get some cool shots. We lit the shit out of the sets with color gels and Travis taught me the importance of backlighting the models. At one point, midway through a scene, Travis said: “You know this is all going to look like mud once it gets down to VHS.” Going from 3/4 inch source material tape down to 1/2 inch VHS really took away so much quality. Thanks to modern technology, quality loss is a thing of the past. The cast and crew all felt like we were making something very special, so we tried everything in our power to make it look sensational. John Travis’ ultra-specific direction on framing each shot, lighting each shot and directing each shot was priceless to me. When you learn from the very best, all you can hope is that you can emulate their style and somehow make it your own. I was so honored to have worked on Undercover, and am so grateful to my mentor and idol, John Travis.

 

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

 
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Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!

By Will Seagers

 

Hi folks! Will here for a slightly different (and a bit tamer) photo blog than the last few! This time it is about my lifelong love affair with plants and gardening - both indoor and outdoor.

 

Santa Fe garden images
A beloved garden in one of our Southwest homes. A long shot (one of my favorites!); my spouse feeding the Fishies; up close.
 

It all started when I was seven. I was in 2nd grade. Miss Garneau was my teacher - loved her French accent so much! She had invited a member of the Burpee Seed Company to visit with our class. He showed slides and narrated a nice dialog about his company and the world of gardening. At the end of this tutorial, he asked if any of us were interested in being "salesmen/saleswomen." We were offered the opportunity of selling Burpee Seeds from door to door. I don't know why but I leapt at the opportunity. We were given a small stipend for selling the seeds and were also given the opportunity to choose some seed packs for ourselves.

I took to it like a duck to water. As I remember, I came out #1 in sales for the whole class. This not only threw open the door to a selling career (where I spent nearly 50 years), but started me on my lifelong love of gardening, both indoors and out. My choice of seeds were "King Tut" marigold seeds. It was the late 50s and that naming came from the fact that Egyptologists had started making unbelievable finds in that King's tomb! There was a whole "Egypt Chic" that followed in that era.

 

Marigolds in Will's garden
It all started with these guys - Marigolds!
 

So, I proudly told my father about my recent success. He was partially pleased... being a very successful salesman, himself. But, he wasn't to keen on the fact that I wanted to start a garden with my "King Tuts." He was watching my pre-adolescent development leaning towards more artsy things instead of little league - like he wanted for me! In any case, I was granted a small parcel of land on the side of our house no more than 2' x 3'. To my delight, I had great success with the "Tuts." I don't believe that my delight was shared by my father, however. Being a headstrong young kid, I persisted with gardening in our other homes during my childhood. My father grew used to it. No future "shade" was thrown on the subject!

 

Will's lawn
Ground zero for any garden is a hearty lawn!
 

Add a decade to the timeline. I entered engineering school in Newark, N.J.; I moved in with my Aunt in nearby Jersey City. The gardening bug was still within me and I lavished my talents upon my Aunt's backyard. Her house was a duplex. The lady that lived upstairs was a childhood friend of hers and fellow Finn. I always enjoyed listening to them banter back and forth in Finnish - not understanding a single word. Ida, the lady upstairs, was very impressed with the garden that I had created and complimented me frequently. She called the local newspaper and told them about this "Urban Oasis." To my surprise, one afternoon a photographer showed up to do a little spread in the paper on my garden! I was more than proud of this little patch of heaven!

 

Will at age 18, gardening in a newspaper photo
The garden that made it to the papers! Circa 1970.
 

Without going through each and every garden that I created over the years and across the country in the following years, I would like to highlight just a few of my favorites... outside and inside as well.

From '76 through 1991, I was an apartment dweller in San Francisco. For 12 years on 10th St. in the South of Market area, I gardened on the apartment buildings sunroof as well as in my very modestly sized one bedroom flat. I shared the roof garden with several other tenants. It had a very 1970s S.F. commune vibe. And, all of the sun bathers loved this garden in the city!

 

San Francisco outdoor and indoor gardens with cats
Our beloved Siamese cat "Shelly" posing before Gazanias on our South of Market apartment rooftop! (top); Our South of Market apartment living room and its garden! (bottom)
 

Living in New York City with my current spouse, Alan, presented quite a challenge. We had a rather cook book fire escape summer garden. But, in the living room a much bigger year round tropical garden flourished. That started my adventures into the orchid world.

 

Orchid images
Recent photos. The garden corner of the living room with the orchid in bloom. (R); This performer was gifted to me by my friend George! (L)

 

Fast forwarding to the present, both indoor and outdoor gardens are a mainstay in my day to day retired life in the desert.

 

Recent photos - morning glory closeup and hollyhock in the garden
An “automatic replacement “ these Grandpa Ott variety of Morning Glories come back each Spring. (L); Another beauty that’s on auto pilot is this lovely Hollyhock. (R)
 
Desert lawn image and icicles
Summer and Winter in America's Southwest.
 

I am pleased to say that I have a lot of the original house plants that I purchased in San Francisco - some 40 to 50 years ago. About 20 years ago, an artist friend of ours gave me a cutting of his amazing 20' tall Euphorbia plant. It was spectacular in his gallery/atrium! I am proud to say that our 12 footer is doing quite well and cohabitating with one of my original Christmas cacti purchased from the Church St. Safeway supermarket in San Francisco back in 1976! TLC seems to really go the extra mile with my "planties!" And, they have brought me a lot of joy over the years.

 

Recent garden photos of two plants
Brought home from a Lowe's nursery department some 13 years ago, this Trumpet Vine thrives! (R); This rose is a perennial favorite and a bit of a chameleon, another 13 y.o. in the garden! (L)
 
Amaryllis plants indoors
A glance of winter time in my living room garden with Amaryllis ready to bloom. (L); Amaryllis celebrating Christmas! (R)
 

I am pleased to have been born with a green thumb. It has been an enriching experience to help bring beauty into this world. And, for all of you fellow gardeners, I say thank you! The care you lavish on your botanical family is the real beauty of love!

 

 

Indoor potted flower
A cherished Adenium from my late friend Mike, here thriving indoors in the winter!
 
Recent garden flower close-ups

The Adenium hails from the Arabian Peninsula and loves every bit of our desert heat waves! (L); Caught with the early morning rays, this Bougainvillea is a new comer and gift from my close friend and DJ, George. (R)

 

 

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

 

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IN and OUT and All ABOUT

By Josh Eliot

 

The year was 1991. Catalina Video’s GM, Chris Mann, had left the company and started running things over at Video Team. As soon as Chris was OUT, The new GM, Mike, was IN. He was handpicked for the position by David Weiss, William Higgins' right hand man. Weiss and Higgins had an investment business called Drake’s Bookstore on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Mike had proven himself to be a great manager when they put him in charge of the high end bookstore and he kept the business in the black when tough times called for radical changes. The first was when MOM (the “Merchants on Melrose”), a group representing about 3000 residents, complained to city officials. All the peep show booths needed to be removed because the city investigators found Drake's and another shop named Taboo in violation of the zoning code intended to keep adult entertainment stores away from schools and residential areas. The battles lasted many years, before and after Mike came to manage Catalina Video’s operations. The city also demanded that they reduce the percentage of sex-related adult products in each store, replacing content with products unrelated to sexuality. Drake's eventually closed.

I’m sure it was a real pain in the ass for him dealing with this stuff over and over again. Catalina must have felt like an escape to him. We were a pretty well-oiled machine when he came aboard. Scott Masters was producer, I managed the video crew and John Travis was one of the top rated directors of the time, bringing success and big bucks in sales from movies like Powertool and Undercover. Chi Chi LaRue and his best friend, Kevin, worked in sales and promotion. TJ worked in the art department and designed all the boxes and one sheets. Costello Presley was composing and providing all the music for the movies, and Chet Thomas was the full time editor. As soon as Mike came into power, he started shopping for a new location in Reseda. Our palatial North Hollywood headquarters was too big and expensive to suit Mike’s taste and he had one thing in mind: stop the bleeding of money. In the early 90s, the sales started to decline on new releases as the market was suddenly overblown with competition. We were all kinds of shocked when we saw the size of the new place. The warehouse was a decent size, and Mike’s office could have easily been split into three, but the rest was divided into small offices just big enough for a desk and a path to walk around it. Chet had a nice space for editing, though it was also supposed to be where Costello stayed, but shortly after moving to the new location Costello Presley left the company.

 

Vintage Catalina promotional ad
Vintage Catalina promotional ad designed by TJ
 
Josh Eliot and TJ

Josh Eliot and TJ

 

From the very start, we were shown that Mike and Chris Mann were very different in their management style. There was tension between Scott Masters and Mike regarding how things were handled in the production department. The good ole days of blowing money on non-essential things was definitely gone for good. It wasn’t so drastic that our company cars were taken away or anything like that, but we would be tightening our belts on everything that had to do with production expenses. Things started to boil over when Scott Masters and John Travis were told that royalties were a thing of the past and the company would no longer compensate them monthly on their previous movies' sales. They settled on a flat fee. All future movies would be on a flat fee basis as well.

My contract with Catalina never included royalties from the get go, so there weren’t any financial changes for me. The whole thing between Masters, Travis and Mike came to a head behind closed doors and, like a flick of the switch, Masters and Travis were OUT. Masters called to tell me they were parting ways, but assured me that they would be starting their own production company (later to be called Studio 2000). He wanted me to leave Catalina with them and join them on their venture, but could offer no financial detail on how and when I would be compensated. It was in limbo. Deep down, I really did not want to leave Catalina, because I had a great rapport with Mike and all the other associates. Luckily for me, before Masters could come back with a concrete offer, Mike pulled me aside at my 30th birthday party at the Gold Coast Bar in West Hollywood and offered me the job of Catalina’s producer, which I instantly accepted. The whirlwind began, and for the next 15 years we pumped out two to three movies a month until our very last production: Hot Buttered Cop Porn in 2006. Sometime over the next number of years, once David Weiss passed away in Amsterdam, Mike quietly purchased the company from William Higgins.

 

Hot Buttered Cop Porn box covers

Hot Buttered Cop Porn original and re-release box covers

 

After wrapping Cop Porn, we spent the next three years remastering and re-releasing all of our VHS movies onto DVD. It was kind of a relief to have the pressure of producing lifted from my shoulders and I could focus strictly on video editing, something I thoroughly enjoy. Going back to my early teens when I would sit on the living room floor with my 8mm editing unit, complete with splicing tapes, editing my home movies like Avalanche, Bionic Boy vs Big Foot, Crash, Earth Quake, and The Last Voyage. You can see trailers of those movies on my YouTube channel if you like disaster movies or if you just want to torture yourself! Here’s the link to: Josh Eliot, What A Disaster.

 

Josh Eliot's What a Disaster 8mm movie images

 

OUT of the blue one day in 2009, Mike came to visit me in Palm Desert, where I had moved to while continuing to edit and remaster for the company. I was shocked and surprised to hear that he was selling the business known as Catalina Video to Channel 1 Releasing. C1R had several partners including Chi Chi LaRue, so it seemed like it was a great choice for the library to go to them. He explained that part of the negotiation of the sale included keeping me and a couple Catalina employees on payroll for two years from the sale date. Though I was asked to produce new content for them, the thought of producing again was a real turn off to me, so I ultimately decided to only work as an editor for them, which they agreed to.

Two years to the very date of the company’s purchase of Catalina Video, I got my walking papers, and just like that, I was OUT.

 

 

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

 
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Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach

By Will Seagers

 

Will Seagers with camera on Men's Hairstylist magazine cover

With camera on the Oct. 1975 cover of Men's Hairstylist Magazine

 

In keeping with the season, I have another photo spread blog for you. Beaches, beaches and more beaches in many corners of the country and outside, too!

This first photo was from the trade magazine Men's Hairstylist. It was shot by a prominent N.Y.C. Fashion photographer. And, my hair was clipped for the occasion by the legendary coiffeur of the time, Sabu. You see, I was in front of and behind the lens. Nothing to do with the beach, but it was coincidentally the Nikon I used in a lot of these shots.

Starting off at a very early age and living in the northern part of New Jersey, my family (parents/aunts & uncles) would shuttle the kiddies down to the "shore" on sultry hot summer days. Pic #1 is of Asbury Park. It was famous, festive and usually loaded with city escapees like me.

 

Ashbury Park, New Jersey
The beach at Asbury Park. Not from the 50s when I first went!

 

In 1963, my parents bought a house in West Deal located in Monmouth County about three miles from the beaches of N.J. This second pic is of the (evolved) Elberon Beach Club. When my family had a membership there, it was quite a bit simpler... but, still a great day at the beach!

 

Elberon Beach Club
Although a lot more glam than when I went in the 60s, a great beach and pool!

 

About four years later, my parents got the itch to move to the lovely shore community of Spring Lake about 15 miles south of W. Deal. It was a well-to-do community with a rich history. Picture #3 shows one of the remaining sprawling Victorian hotels left from the turn of the 20th century - The Essex and Sussex Hotel. Typical of the Jersey shore communities, one had to have a membership and badge to get on the beach or to the pool houses.

 

The Essex and Sussex Hotel
Where I spent my high school years - Spring Lake, N.J.
 

Fast forward to the early 70s and we have moi around the age of 21 clad in one of my first Speedos (striped to boot!), Picture #4. Although this pic was taken at the lovely guest house resort Arcos Blancos just south of San Juan's Condado area in Ocean Park, I was not posed near the wonderful pool or very entertaining bar for which they were famous. Actually, I think I had just finished a trick with the owner, again!

 

Will Seagers at Arcos Blancos, San Juan
Fresh off the Condado Beach of San Juan!
 

Now, the next sets of pictures refer back to the old question: which came first - the chicken or the egg? In this case it was both!

In the late 70s, I was shuttling frequently between my new home in San Francisco and my prior home in NYC... let's make that Fire Island! A simple headshot, Picture #5 was taken on the beach in The Pines... probably during a work break. For three years, I worked for John Whyte's Boatel as waiter, bartender and life guard. Pic #6 shows my lifeguarding domain. This pic was taken from the top deck of the Boatel to which the pool belonged. Pic #7 welcomes you into the private harbor, which was just down the boardwalk from Mr. Whyte's Blue Whale, where the grand institution of the "Tea Dance" was held every afternoon around 4. Pic #8 Shows another institution in The Pines for the muscle boys and those who aspired to be - Merrill's Gym. It was his back deck and boy did it get packed right after the beach and just before Tea Dance... guys getting their pre- Tea Dance pump! And, pic #9 shows how everything on that beach was beautiful... from the boys right down to the not-so-normal sand castles!

 

Will Seagers headshot at a Fire Island beach

Relaxing at the beach after my lifeguarding at the Pines' Boatel pool.

 

Boatel aerial shot
A nice aerial shot of my “domain" taken from the top deck of the Boatel!
 
s Fire Island Pines sign
Once you’ve been there you’ll never forget - Fire Island!
 
Fire Island gym images
The first “gym” on Fire Island - Merril’s Gym - where the boys would get a quick pump before showing up at Tea Dance!
 
Fire Island beach photos
There are no ordinary sand castles on Fire Island!
 

On the professional side of photography, I was proud to be selected for Pic #10, taken by the photo/artist Tom Bianchi, which appeared in his photo book, Fire Island Pines. Another man of many talents (DJ and photographer to mention just two), Henry Winslow, snapped a very impressionistic photo of me fresh out of the shower at my hosts Dr. Bob Oliveri's bayside Fire Island home in Pic #11.

 

Tom Bianchi photo of Will Seagers from his Fire Island Pines book
From the Tom Bianchi photo book, Fire Island Pines!
 
Henry Winslow photo of Will Seagers
One of my favorite “artsy” photos, taken by the multi talented Henry Winslow. Fresh off the beach and fresh out of the shower.
 

Back in town. For those who couldn't make it out to The Island, there was quite a nice consolation prize... The Christopher Street Pier. With the ruins of a former pier warehouse, lots of shenanigans went on... if the police were not in the vicinity! It's very truly yours sitting there for all to see in Pic #12. This was one of my first print work assignments for Man's Image Studios of New York. Barely legible along the left border of this picture is an autograph and message to my soon-to-be partner Tommy.

 

Will Seagers in Man's Image photo at Christopher Street Pier
At another “beach” in New York, the former Christopher St. Pier, I posed for an early Man's Image Studio photo shoot. That pier served valiantly as the local beach for the West Village.
 

Now, for the California portion of bi-coastal summer living! San Gregorio, located about an hour south of San Francisco, offered the quintessential "mountains meet the beach" west coast venue. Like Fire Island, it was clothing optional. That option was rarely chosen! Pic #13 shows the long and picturesque beach/mountain vista. Here again, in Pic #14, the no clothes option was taken! It was important to remember just how cold that Pacific Ocean water could be. Let's just say it had a shrinking effect! Many beach goers never set a toe in it!

 

San Gregorio nude beach
San Gregorio, just an hour south of San Francisco, was almost the perfect nude gay beach - except for ball-shrinking cold Pacific water!
 
Will Seagers at a nude beach
Quick in and quick out of those icy waters!
 

The other main area of interest just north of San Francisco was the Russian River Resort area. Pic #15 show me with both Tommy and my friend Roger in or near the river's edge. Both of these guys share a May 22nd birthday! Pic #16 shows the original and and playfully manipulated versions of me in the Russian River enjoying its perfect temperature. (Manipulation was courtesy of my buddy and talented DJ George Ferren!) Pic #17 was perfect at showing how "chance encounters" could happen at any time along those river banks!

 

Will Seagers with Tommy and Roger at the Russian River
Double take! My Tommy and I and my dear friend Roger (both May 22nd boys!) here frolicking or about to at the River!
 
Will Seagers, Russian River, 1976
Fast forwarding to 1976 and another “beach”… the infamous Russian River!
 
Russian River social life
“Social Life” was good along the Russian River banks… Random meeting abounded!
 

After losing my partner Tommy in 1989, I decided to reshape my life and move back to the east coast. Of course, this meant looking for a new beach to call home. In very short order, I discovered (another) very popular clothing optional beach at the northern tip of New Jersey's Monmouth County - Sandy Hook. Shy as I am, here we have another "here's looking at you" nudist shot - Pic #18. The calm and much warmer Atlantic was a treat for the unclad body! Socializing was easy at this beach, as the atmosphere was quite relaxed. Appearing with a beach buddy in Pic #19, the relaxed attitude is rather apparent. And for a final beach picture, me enjoying a drink at the Waikiki Sheraton in Pic #20.

 

Will Seagers at a nude beach
Yep! Another nude beach. This time it's NJ's Sandy Hook! After my return to the East Coast in the 90s this became my default summer home.
 
Will Seagers and friend at Sandy Hook beach
More fun and socializing on the Sandy Hook Beach. Names are withheld to protect the innocent!
 
Will having a drink at a Hawaii beach
Having a drink at the Waikiki Sheraton.
 

I truly miss the beautiful beaches, whether they be oceans or rivers. Those days are all in the past. My past few years have been filled with skin cancer related issues. My final photo, #21, is just last August - recovering from Mohs procedure #10. All of those glorious sunny beach days came with a price. I wish to share with all of my Bijou family a simple warning: The Sun is not your friend.

 

Will healing after a recent Mohs procedure
One last recent picture illustrating what happens after a life of chasing the Sun. My skin cancer surgeon and I are on a first name basis!
 

Thank you to Will Seagers for use of his photos.

 

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.

George Ferren, a close friend of Will's frequently mentioned in his blogs, was a major figure in the San Francisco music scene in the '70s/'80s. His current music is available for your pleasure on Soundcloud: BY GEORGE

 

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

 

 

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trident1000
Hi, Will! Wishing you speedy healing. "What's an SPF?" when Hawaiian Tropics Deep Tanning Oil doubles as lube? All the best, ... Read More
Wednesday, 05 July 2023 21:27
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