Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast

By Josh Eliot

 

The first time I met Steve Rambo was in 1992, when our general manager Mike sent him over to the set of Nutt Crackers to fill in for a model who never showed up to work. Steve knew Mike from Drake's Bookstore, which Mike also managed. I think he worked there briefly as a cashier, but I’m not entirely sure. He showed up to the set, a complete porn virgin, with no experience in front of the camera at all. He was personable, friendly and cock-hungry as hell. What started off as a bummer of a day due to the no-show ended up turning for the better once Rambo’s hungry hole(s) started doing their thing. Little did any of us realize that on that day Catalina’s new exclusive was born, and he would end up shooting 67 movies for our company. He won Best Actor at the Grabby Awards in 1999 for his amazing performance in CatalinaVille. The last time I worked with Steve Rambo was around 2006, when his contract ended and he retired from the business.

 

Nutt Crackers VHS & DVD covers featuring Steve Rambo

Nutt Crackers VHS & DVD covers featuring Steve Rambo

 

The first time I saw Will Seagers in a movie was when my roommate Brian brought home the Joe Gage classic L.A. Tool & Die on VHS from a video rental store in the Castro. I think it might have been a double bill that night as I believe we also watched, re-watched, re-wound and watched again The Biggest One I Ever Saw starring Dave Connors, Lee Ryder and Rick Donovan. As I’m sure most of you are aware, Will Seagers had an amazing career, with a couple of his earliest films being 1978's Dune Buddies (Hand in Hand) and Champs (Falcon). 1979 was a very good year for Will with headlining roles in both Fire Island Fever (also Hand in Hand) and L.A .Tool & Die, two instant gay classics. In 1980, he was in Steve Scott's Wanted (Mustang) with Al Parker. I was invited to watch the filming of the jailhouse scene, at age 18, but my nerves got the best of me and I didn’t accept the invitation from producer Frank Ross, who was my boss at the time when I sold tickets at San Francisco's Screening Room Theatre. You can read all about that and the great Frank Ross in my previous blog, “Frank Ross: The Boss.” Will brought his hotness to the screen in many more movies until he retired in 1994, according to IAFD. Will, If I’m wrong about any of this forgive me!! It wasn’t until some point in 2022, when Steven and Jules at Bijou asked me to be a contributor to their blog page, that I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to meet Will Seagers face to face.

 

Hugh Allen & Will Seagers on vintage Dune Buddies poster
Hugh Allen & Will Seagers on vintage Dune Buddies poster
 
Champs front & back cover

Champs front & back cover

 

Being out of the industry since 2009, I kind of left “all of it behind” and focused on re-imagining my future. I worked as a manager at an incredible spa for the JW Marriott and the Westin Mission Hills in the Palm Springs area and was very happy. It was tough at first, as I had worked in the gay adult industry for 22 years and didn’t really know anything else. But slowly I adjusted, not missing the stress of production one bit! But for me it was always the creative part of developing and making movies that gave me the most joy. Being so far removed from it all, you can imagine how delighted I was when in 2023, within three weeks of each other, I sat down with both Steve Rambo and Will Seagers for breakfast, separately.

After his contract was up, Steve Rambo moved back to Rochester, NY where he was born November 25, 1956. I hadn’t heard a peep from him or about him until Covid-19 when I discovered The Catalina Collection channel on YouTube. It seemed that the movies CatalinaVille and Boy Band had gone viral, with thousands of straight and gay fans around the world watching and commenting on the camp dialogue in the PG versions posted on the channel. There were also dozens of memes created from a Boy Band scene between Rambo and Brad McGuire, one even created with AI showing them singing in Russian. Around the same time, I discovered Instagram, during those long days of staying home due to the virus. I discovered @Jeffreymixed, whose Instagram was featuring Steve Rambo Saturdays, with clips from his movies. Somehow, @Jeffreymixed was the go-between with Rambo and myself and arranged a breakfast at Palm Springs Elmer’s Restaurant for a reunion a few weeks ago, while Rambo was in town on vacation. Seeing Rambo again after 17 years was incredible, it was like we were never apart. Rambo has this intoxicating laugh that hits you like a freight train and trust me, the heads were turning at Elmer’s every few seconds. I think it's gotten much louder now that we are older! We reminisced and had such a great time; after all those years working on the set together, we really became family.

 

CatalinaVille cover; Josh & Steve Rambo before and 20 years later

CatalinaVille cover; Josh & Steve Rambo before and 20 years later

 

I started communicating with Will Seagers through Jules at Bijou when they got together over the holidays. After that, Will and I worked together on a few joint ventures for Bijou Blogs like our Deep Inside the Castro series and Diving Into SOMA/Folsom series. When my partner Tony and I planned a trip to Santa Fe to see our friends and go to the Pride event there, I contacted Will to see about meeting up for breakfast when we passed through his city. I was thrilled when he agreed, and we met up at a little restaurant joint named Weck’s. I recognized him immediately as he was walking through the parking lot; I have to say, he is very statuesque in height and still features his leading man good looks. We had a great time getting to know each other, sharing stories and learning about each other's interests. I was thrilled to see his blog with all of his plants, which I wish we had time to see in person, as well as his bird collection. Breakfast was yummy, of course, and it was a little surreal being surrounded by so many families who hadn’t a clue about our past histories or what we were discussing. There was definitely an alignment of the stars this summer for me to be able to catch up with both Steve Rambo and Will Seagers in the same month. I’m happy to say they both look great and are in a good and happy place!

 

Will Seagers in character; Will with Josh & Tony

Will Seagers in character; Will with Josh & Tony

 

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

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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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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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"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade

By Will Seagers

 

Hi folks! Will here. Today's blog will be a bit of a departure from the last few in that it will be primarily a "Photo Essay" courtesy of my trusty Pentax K-1000. Although considered a beginner's 35mm SLR, it was good quality and easy to use! From the mid-70s 'till the mid-80s, when it was replaced with a Nikon SLR. Yes! I used some of that "pin money" from my porn adventures to buy lots of nice toys! LOL.

Although this was not the first S.F. Pride parade, it was my first. I had only been in town since September of 1976. And, during the weeks leading up to this event, I became increasingly excited to see it. My partner Tommy as well as many of our friends went on and on about how festive it was going to be and all of the beautiful people that were going to attend. So, I immediately got out my Pentax and made sure it was in perfect working order.

Sign reading Human rights are absolute
Pride parade and all of its political beginnings.

Ornate yellow dress

The glee and beauty exposed at the parade!
 

Footwear close-up
Fashionable footwear on the floats.

Roger and Tommy watching parade
Roger Magan (left) and Tommy (right) both high as a kite! Roger was instrumental in my move to SF. And, Tommy was there when I arrived!

Tom Junnell on Oil Can Harry's float
A dear buddy and laser mouth cut up – DJ Tom Junnell from Oil Can Harry's disco.

Crysler wearing a Stud shirt
Tommy's bestie Crysler wearing an original Stud t-shirt.

Anita Bryant protest sign equated with hate symbols
The very political theme of this year's parade equating Anita Bryant and Hitler.

Orange-shaped sign protesting Anita Bryant
The “Orange Lady” Anita Bryant was getting more pie in her face!

June in San Francisco is one of the most stellar months, weather-wise. The sky could not be any bluer nor the Sun any brighter. With the temps climbing into the mid-70s, it was shirts-off weather for sure. And, that is exactly what happened - with both men and women! Although it took a decade or two for S.F. to reach the Sodom and Gomorrah heights of the Folsom Street Fairs, this parade for its time was pretty "edgy!"

Tommy and I had a leg up on a lot of the parade revelers in that we lived a mere two blocks from Market Street - the parade route. We decided to walk a few blocks downtown where the crowds were really piling up. I climbed atop a (Walk/Don't Walk) traffic signal for my photo perch. I guess I was up about 8' – 10'... a perfect vista. Although I got a lot of choice photos, I did miss out on taking pics of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone who both attended. As this was the era of Gay Empowerment both fiscally and politically, it was great to have our heroes with us!

One star that did not escape my lens was Sylvester. At this time he was quite a rising musical talent. Originally, he performed in neighborhood venues. But, that soon morphed into national and international attention! As I mentioned in a former blog about The Castro, Syl and I became friends. He came into the bar where I spun records (The Badlands) to say hello and drop off new releases (that I was delighted to play - on the spot!).

Sylvester at the 1977 parade
Sylvester at the 1977 SF pride parade.

Shot down Market St. with Women's Contingent in background
A long shot of Market St. (the parade route) and the many revelers!

Dykes on Bikes
The ever popular women's contiengent from Oakland, “Dykes on Bikes!”

Carmen Miranda drag
Carmen Miranda – move over!

Musicians performing on float
On this sea of floats talent abounded.

Drag royalty
San Francisco's royalty of the day in all of their splendor.

Sign reading The Right to be Human
Voicing our rights!

Sign readign Ministers for human rights
Again!

So many wonderful names and faces were in this crowd! Many became life-long friends. The experience was dazzling and it became an annual affair for me. It has been great to recreate this time capsule. I hope you enjoy! Will.

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

 

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David's Sexual Underground - 5/22/23

 

bijouworld.com - LGBTQ History - BijouBlog - Page 2

David's Chicago Sexual Underground header

 

Greetings All,

 

It has been a rough week for me, which has put us behind schedule this week. I have been assisting a dear friend and mighty force in our greater LGBTQ+ community these past few months. When I came to Chicago in 1976, one of the first friends I made was Marge Summit, then owner of His N Hers, a popular community bar located under the L tracks on Addison.

 

Marge Summit in westernwear at His N Hers

 

Marge created a wonderful space that brought many facets of our community together to celebrate. Marge’s staff served us great drinks, prepared fabulous food including the best burger I ever enjoyed in Chicago. And Marge made a space for lots of local talent to perform, grow and succeed.

She became a dear friend and mentor to me in the service industry. Those of you who joined me for Chicago’s Original Country Dance after closing Carol’s Speakeasy should remember Marge helping us serve drinks at various spots along the way Pusch Studios, Paris Dance, Whiskey River, Bedrock to name a few.

 

Marge at the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

 

As an icon of our community, Marge was there when AIDS first struck Chicago. Her support for many of the early organizations that came to be in response to this emergency was fantastic. Howard Brown, Chicago House, Open Hand and numerous others were causes championed at His N Hers in the 80s with the support of the talented artist that performed at the bar.

Marge did more than just host benefits; she took action when needed. One of my favorite things she did was to push peoples’ comfort zones.

 

Frank Kellas and Marge Summit in newspaper photo, cited as being named as Organizers of the Year from Gay Chicago for their commitment to the Gay Dollar Campaign

 

To stress the economic force of our community, Marge and her leather buddy Frank Kellas launched the Gay Dollar campaign. She bought rubber stamps that read Gay Dollar and stamped thousands of one dollar bills. In the 80s, that got the attention of the Feds. They visited her and threatened her if she persisted. She did persist and straight folks were forced to be embarrassed by handing over “gay money” when shopping, dining, etc.

You may not remember there was a small grocery store at the corner of Belmont & Broadway. The owners were unhappy as the neighborhood became “New Town” with gays moving into the area. Bars, stores catering to gays sprang up. With the fear of AIDS, the owners were afraid of contact with us. Marge would get friends to join her to each grab a grocery cart and fill it with all kinds of items, the smaller the better. Filling the carts, they would leave them at the checkout announcing they were gay. The fearful owners and staff would be forced to wipe off all the handled merchandise, fearing contamination of AIDS. Sound familiar?

Marge met the love of her life, Janan, in her later years and I was honored to host their wedding at my Country Dance at The Call. Sadly, we had to celebrate Janan’s passing there too. The past few months were hard for Marge, failing health and loneliness made it a vicious circle. I was fortunate to spend time with her, sharing memories, meals, helping her cope as she became weaker.

 

Marge and Janan

 

I got to sit with her one last time on Tuesday in her finally hours as she passed from this world knowing she would be reunited with her wife, Janan.

Marge was not part of our leather community, but she understood our side of the family. She was a great friend of Chuck Rodocker, Chuck Renslow and Jim Flint, all leather bar owners in the 70s and 80s. She stood with us as AIDs decimated the clubs and took the lives of so many leathermen.

This loss is not felt just by me but many others of our leather community of that era.

Thanks for allowing me to share this passing with you.

 

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