"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!

By Will Seagers

 

Hello, Friends! Matt here. After writing a blog a while back mentioning Jim Bentley and my common love of Moluccan Cockatoos, I am back to do more detailed story telling of my lifelong love of birds.

Once again, my childhood buddy, Michael, who I have mentioned in several of my blogs, shared yet another hobby with me - having cage birds. It was his grandmother, " Nana," who started us both on this journey. In her backyard and in her house she had quite a "community" of birds. In her back yard was a freestanding modestly sized aviary filled with many finch varieties as well as some soft-billed birds. Inside her home were Cockatiels and some very operatic Canaries! I was mesmerized by this collection. On almost a monthly basis, Michael and I would accompany Nana to "The Bird Farm" for supplies and sometimes new family members! That's when the bird bug bit me!

I decided to build an indoor aviary in our basement... much to my father's surprise. I built it under our living room's bay window. So, when I added the flat wall of wire mesh to enclose it, a trapezoid was the resulting shape. Sorry, I have no existing photos of this aviary. It turned out surprisingly well. I was quite successful at breeding finches that I traded to the local pet shops for bird seed and other avian supplies. Every time there was a family gathering, the basement and the aviary were part of the celebrations.

 

Star Finches
It all started in my teens with finches like this lovely Star Finch!
 

When I went away to college I had the depressing task of disbanding my aviary and "farming out" my rather large bird collection. While in school and staying with my Aunt (the Finnish one), a very good friend of mine gifted me with a Toucan. I was blown away by this spectacular gift. He was the original Biki Noka - Finnish for big nose! Not every experience in the bird world was a pleasant one. At this time (1969), aviculturists had not perfected a diet for many exotic soft bills like Toucans. You had to improvise a lot. The suggested diet of the time was soaked Monkey Chow with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Alas, the tough part about Monkey Chow was that it was very hard on birds' livers. Ultimately,I lost this beauty and I was crushed. It was several years before I had birds again.

"San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gates" - bird cage gates, that is! When I settled in with my first partner Tommy, I felt secure enough to start back up with a new bird family. This time, I was not only interested in finches but in Parrots and Cockatoos! Finches and rare Parakeets came first. I had great luck again in breeding them. My "aviary" in the living room bay window seemed to be the perfect spot for all sorts of finches to live happily and reproduce. I regularly went to pet shops in town where my little folk were eagerly scooped up for sale. My first attempts with parrots were a wild captured cockatoo and an African Gray - both with no success. The wild captures were too afraid of humans to bond.

 

Flight cage in S.F. apartment
This bay window had more than a view! It was a small apartment with a large flight cage.
 
Shafttail Finches
Two of the S.F. Flight cages residents, Shafttail Finches.
 
Parakeets in hutch
Also from S.F., a converted hutch cabinet with breeding Splendid Parakeets.
 

It was around 1986 or so when I went to a bird show in town (S.F.) and met a local breeder of fine Cockatoos by the name of Gloria. She had a spectacular female Moluccan Cockatoo with her at the show that wasn't quite weened or ready for sale. I left her my name and number for when this youngster became available. In two months the bird was ready. I traveled down the peninsula below San Francisco to a lavish compound/park where Gloria bred her birds. I made the purchase that day and took my "Gloria" home. I had never known a bird to be so affectionate and cuddly. Tommy and I loved to hold and caress her.

 

Gloria, the Moluccan Cockatoo
One of the grandest birds I ever owned – a Moluccan Cockatoo... Gloria!
 

In 1989, I lost Tommy to AIDS. Without him at home to lavish her with attention, I had to re-home Gloria. Cockatoos require enormous amounts of attention and will self-mutilate without. I came home to find her cage bloodied from her attack on her own air sacks. I was in tears. I tried to make it work. But, Gloria needed the constant attention I could no longer give while I was away at work. A painful lesson and memory. A similar tale was to be told bout "Bingo," my one and only Macaw. He was adorable and cuddly but would go berserk and shriek when I left for work. It was not fair to my neighbors. A great friend with a bird collection came to our rescue and gave Bingo a great home.

 

Macaw on Will's shoulder in S.F.
Last of the S.F. pics... Bingo, my Harlequin Macaw!
 

It was 1991. I was recuperating from my devastations in S.F. at my Aunt's house in N.J. I was shell shocked... I needed a bird! Oddly enough, a wonderful opportunity opened up with a friend of my Aunt. This friend was desperate to find a home for their Yellow Headed Amazon parrot. I moved like lightning to get that bird! It was a life saver for me and the bird! This bird was already a great talker and loved me from the jump. I had this bird for several years until I had to move. My sister rose to the occasion and was delighted to be his new Mama!

 

Buddy on Will's shoulder
Another time and place... My return to N.J. and my “Buddy,” the Yellow Headed Amazon.
 

Next step - my new life with my current spouse in NYC. I was bird-less for almost two years. It felt like a hole in my heart. So, I started up with finches, then Love Birds. Then my partner discovered a great bird store downtown - Urban Bird. While touring the store, we came upon Dede. It was love at first sight. Dede is a Red Lory... a talker and one of the cutest birds on the planet. Besides being a striking color, Dede had quite a rambunctious personality. Without hesitating, we made the move. A couple of weeks later, my partner was back at Urban Bird and happened upon a beautiful Citron Cockatoo. So, we went down to see "Louise" and she came back home with us.

 

Dede on Will's shoulder
Having dinner with my new friend Dede a few years later in NYC.
 
Birds perched in kitchen
Dede's pal and soulmate, Louise, a Citron Cockatoo.
 

The Southwest. It is not an easy thing to move across the country with birds... in a car anyway. So, My partner flew with them from NYC to the desert. They had to go to a vet first to have their health certified. That's when we found out that Dede was a boy and Louise was indeed a girl. They adjusted to our new location quickly. The second "Biki Noka," an African Gray, joined the family in 2001. He is my "papa's boy!” Smart as a whip and a loving bird, as well.

 

Biki Noka
A few years later and Biki Noka joins the family!
 
Birds at Christmas
At Christmas time, helping unwrap the gifts.
 
Two birds in dramatic lighting
Mr. DeMille, we're ready! A magic lighting moment with my two “hams!”

 

Our complete family is currently 19 birds consisting of Dede, Biki, and Louise; in addition there's a pair of Love Birds, a Jenday Conure (Biloxy), five finches, three parakeets and three Cockatiels. They are a handful and a lot of maintenance... but, I love every minute of it. I particularly love Sunday breakfasts when my partner is home and cooking up a storm. At the table he and I act like trees for all of the "kids" to perch upon. I am so happy that our lives have settled down and we have been able to keep these birds for decades! They're our kids! Yes, after all of these years I am truly glad that "the bird bug bit me!" They are incredible creatures!

 

Will's current bird room and aviary
The Bird Room & the aviary.
 
Will, present day, with birds on both shoulders
Morning rainbows with Biki and Louise!
 

 

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!

 

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The Many Faces of Adult Film Star SHARON KANE

By Josh Eliot

 
Sharon Kane

 

Hands down, the very best part of my career with Catalina Video was the projects I shot with adult film icon Sharon Kane. Muse is a word that comes to mind when I think back about all the projects we worked on together. We first met when Chi Chi introduced her to me. The movie was Valley of the Bi-Dolls and I was casting the role of Ceily Fontana based on the Neely O’Hara role, as you probably already know if you’ve read my previous blog, “Whatever Happened to Neely O’Hara.” I’m pretty sure anyone reading this knows and loves the performance Patty Duke gave in Valley of the Dolls, and as things turned out, Sharon was able to get right up there with her, in my book, and take things up a notch with the original music she wrote and performed in the movie. We took things to a whole other level in Revenge of the Bi Dolls, where I got to imagine how things would have progressed had Jacqueline Susanne written a sequel. Neely gets her revenge on all those who rubbed her the wrong way. Sharon has the ability to say a particular line fifteen different ways. I would create entire movies around her. In the boy/boy movies where she would do a non-sexual role, I made her a central focal point. Case in point, the music agent Nance Freely in Boy Band and the school superintendent Ms. Narkwurst in the Rascal series. In the bisexual movies, she was not only a central character but also a screen vixen, even playing three different characters in Night of the Living Bi-Dolls: Zombie Ceily, Tanya and Margo Peyton. In between my projects, Sharon also worked with other Catalina directors like Brad Austin and Chi Chi LaRue on roles with very diverse personalities.

In The Big Switch 3: Bachelor Party, Chi Chi LaRue’s bisexual movie, Sharon played a stripper jumping out of a giant fake cake we rented, playing upon her days as a dancer at Alex DeRenzy’s Screening Room Theatre in San Francisco where, she recently told me, Desiree Cousteau also worked and was quite a wild child. In Brad Austin’s Cockpit 2, Sharon played Mama, a hillbilly with two sons who held a couple of survivors from a plane crash hostage on their psycho farm. She stole the show in a scene where she was talking to her sons on a two-way radio. In order to get a better signal, she improvised by raising one of her pigtails (wrapped around a metal hanger to keep them firm) into the air and adjusting it like an old TV antenna! The crew roared with laughter! It was moments like this where we fell more and more in love with this fabulous actress. She would literally become her characters and try to think and react how they would, always bringing a surprise and delight to every situation.

In the Rascal series (click link for trailer), she played Ms. Narkwurst, an Ilsa She-Wolf knock off who ran Rossmore Academy where little Ricky Haskell attended. She took him under her wing to her own detriment, as he was too much of a “little monster” for anyone to handle. She nailed the role with her accent, and when her character went blind because she had an itch during her Lasek surgery, she improvised on set again with a show-stopping scene of her falling out of bed then tripping and smashing into anything and everything in her way. In Cracked (trailer link), She played Joan, a bitter mother-in-law who is “dead-set” on getting her deceased son’s fortune away from his surviving wife. Based on the Patty Duke movie You’ll Like My Mother and the Joan Crawford movie Strait-Jacket, this movie is not straight nor will you like this ax-wielding mutha.

Sharon Kane costumed for a variety of roles
More of Sharon Kane's characters

 

In Boy Band (trailer link), Sharon as Nance Freely, music director, stole the show away from the boys with her over the top, fouled-mouthed, spoiled rich-bitch character, who would instill fear in anyone and everyone she dealt with. As Miranda in His Terrible Twin (trailer link), she took a different approach as a very grounded, down-to-earth theater performer and singer, drawing upon more of her real life persona. It didn’t pay off for her, unfortunately, because that dirty rotten twin, who was so sweet with her during their duet of “When Trouble Calls,” stuck it to her in the end - not in a nice way. Now, Ms. Challenger, on the other hand, from SwitchCraft (trailer link), was all about handing out the punishment and abuse. Sharon didn’t hesitate to chop off her beautiful golden locks to get into the character of the butch gym teacher from hell, obsessed with firm and tight muscular bodies. When frump Edwina Simplestein, played by Chi Chi LaRue, crossed her path, it sent Ms. Challenger into a frenzy! Challenger smacked around and wrestled to the ground poor Edwina, humiliating her in front of the other students. The tables turned when Edwina got her revenge on the gym teacher in the end, turning her firm body to flab, and breaking bones in her body through (s)witchcraft.

The movie The Hills Have Bi’s (trailer link) was the most different type of role I wrote for Sharon - that of Clarice. She played a rich Beverly Hills matriarch whose husband’s behavior with other women, including their son’s fiancé, causes her to lose her self-esteem. The son’s fiancé, looking like a young Heather Locklear, has a secret in that her mother and relatives are hillbillies, played by Chi Chi LaRue and Moist Towelette. Their visit to the mansion contributes positively to Clarice’s growth as a sexually charged, newly independent and proud woman. Sharon performed two songs, one as a duet with Clint Yeager (“Desires of the Heart”) as well as the theme song (“The Hills Have Bi’s”). That’s caviar on her face in the photo, in case you were wondering.

This is but a quick bullet point blog about my favorite gal in the adult film business. It’s just the tip of the iceberg as she has worked with incredible directors and co-stars for many decades. There is an amazing podcast with her, which was recorded recently and released through The Rialto Report. I was truly blown away with all the information and experiences this wonderful woman has lived through and experienced. If you click on only one link in this blog, this is one to pick. It’s amazing!

 

 

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

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A Love of Cultures - A Knack for Languages!

By Will Seagers

 

Hi folks, Will here. Although I consider myself neither a consummate world traveler nor an accomplished linguist, it has brought me great pleasure throughout my life to study, visit and listen to the people of many lands.

Admittedly, I was born with a curiosity bug. Even as a wee child, I wondered how things worked and what things meant on a larger scale. My first exposure to a foreign language was through my great aunt and her Finnish family. She was my mom's aunt through marriage. Although like myself she was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the rest of her family and lots of her friends were born in Finland, primarily Helsinki.

 

View of Finland with Finnish flag
 

I remember hearing my great aunt's parents (who lived above her in their city duplex home) chattering away in Suomi (what the Finns call the Finnish language), not understanding a word of it. I loved visiting for not only the exposure to this marvelous tongue but to savor a treat and a staple in most Finnish homes - "Finnish Bread," correctly known as Pulla. A loaf would be left out on the kitchen table where coffee, tea and just nibbling would be the treat of the weekends. I loved it. Almost like a coffee cake but not nearly as sweet, it helped me develop a taste for more subtle flavors that would remain with me throughout my life.

 

Loaf of pulla
Loaf of pulla
 

My great aunt would occasionally join their conversations. I would watch and listen very intently. Afterwards when we went downstairs to her flat, I would ask her what certain English words were in Suomi. That started it all. I learned some very basic vocabulary and some wonderful little phrases that I would recite to myself and my siblings. It is interesting to note that until the mid 1800s, Finnish children were taught Swedish in school. Their own Finno-Ugric based language had not yet become recognized!

Next in my timeline was second grade. I had just escaped the rigors of parochial schools for kindergarten and first grades. I was so afraid of the nuns that I literally had stomach cramps as I left for school in the mornings! In second grade, things changed. I had a wonderful repatriated French lady as my teacher. "Miss Garneau" was lovely and had a charming French accent. She occasionally peppered her teaching with French vocabulary. Although it wasn't until high school where I actually took French classes for three years, the seed had been planted for me to study this language.

Spanish. While in a rather progressive middle school and in sixth grade, we the students were offered the opportunity to take primary level languages. My childhood buddy Michael and I chose Spanish. I have mentioned Michael in a number of prior blogs. We had fun bantering our basic phrases back and forth. I found myself progressing rather rapidly in terms of grasping both vocabulary and grammar. I tucked this away to use with my future study of French. And, many years later in 2008, I won a prize at work in a sales contest for a trip to Barcelona. Funny thing... that part of Spain preferred Catalan or even French over Spanish. At the time of my visit, political upheavals were happening in downtown Barcelona! The town and surrounding areas were quite beautiful. The food was amazing, too. Being on the Mediterranean, seafood of all kinds was abundant. I had never seen olives the size of baseballs before!

 

Sagrada Família in Barcelona
Sagrada Família in Barcelona
 
Will in Barcelona
Will at 57 in Barcelona, 2008
 

Oh! Let's not leave out Puerto Rico, where I was based as a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines. The Spanish was quite different and very colloquial. It was amazing just how much I could understand from my background in French. And oh là là, those Puerto Rican men!

 

Beach of San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 

French. As I just mentioned, Miss Garneau was the catalyst to start me on a lifelong Francophile journey! I was lucky to have a very talented and very strict French teacher for my three year stint in high school. Although he did not have the best of accents, he was thorough and complete with instructing vocabulaire and grammaire! I took to this language like a duck to water. I fantasized about seeing Paris and then traveling out to Normandy to see Mont-Saint-Michel - the legendary castle fortress on its own island! Well, with some of the funds that I had been making in movies and print work, I finally made it to Amsterdam and Paris with my first partner Tommy in 1988. Oh! And, let's not leave out that I used this French to make announcements as a flight attendant. "Eastern vous souhaite la bienvenue!"

Amsterdam was easy... everybody spoke English (as well as all of the other principal European languages.) Tommy and I visited the legendary bath houses while there. We both got in "trouble." But, the fellow I tricked with was very charming and decided to come with us to Paris... our next stop. While in Amsterdam, my trick and now our tour guide showed us much of what this city had to offer as well as teaching me a few Dutch words and phrases.

 

Amsterdam canals
Amsterdam canals
 
Will in Amsterdam
Will at 65 in Amsterdam, 2016
 

Back to French - or should I say France! After having taken a wonderful train from Amsterdam to Paris, we arrived at Gare du Norde (the northern Parisian train station) and boarded a taxi to get to our little hotel - Hotel Claude Bernard - by the University Sorbonne. So, here it is "showtime!" I had to speak French with a French person. I was quite daunted, to say the least. After pouring out my carefully picked phrases to our charming lady taxi driver, she said I did a great job! Whew! that was a relief. I didn't take many photos of France, as I had a camcorder with me - that got quite a workout! The three of us had a wonderful time seeing the sites of Paris with me, "Mr. DeMille," filming away!

 

Eiffel Tower with rainbow

 

Will at Notre Dame, 1998
Will at 47 in Notre Dame, 1998
 
Will at the Arc de triomphe
Will at the Arc de triomphe, 2016
 

I decided to rent a small Peugeot and take a run out to Normandy to see Mont-Saint-Michel. I remember holding my breath as we negotiated our way out of Paris and onto the open road west. I also remember nearly wrecking the car as I yanked it over to the side of the road when I first laid eyes on Mont-Saint-Michel! It was more magical and mystical than I ever could have imagined. A castle rising out of the North Atlantic! It was one of the highlights of the whole European trip.

 

Mont-Saint-Michel
Mont-Saint-Michel
 
Will in Versailles, 2016
Will in Versailles, 2016

 

And finally, German! While I took French in high school my friend Michael took German, as did one of my younger siblings. Michael delighted in showing me that you had to wait to the end of the sentence to argue with anybody because that's where the verb was! For me, it wasn't until junior college that I took German as an elective course. I LOVED IT! Once again, I took to it like a duck to water. I loved the vivid differences in grammar and pronunciation from French. What I learned in one very short semester has stayed with me to present - including pronunciation. I was and still am able to construct minor conversations with a few of my German speaking friends... all of this from a six week course. Ich habe nicht vergessen!

 

Rothenburg, Germany
Rothenburg, Germany
 

So, I have "tasted" a fair amount of the world by travel and language. It is wonderful to feel a part of this beautiful globe of ours!

 

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! 

 

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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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8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd

By Josh Eliot

 

Living and working in Hollywood / West Hollywood in the 1990s for Catalina Video was very different from shooting movies at the studio we had in San Francisco in the 1980s. Most tourists come to town hoping for a sighting of their favorite celebrity when they purchase a “map to the star’s homes” from a  vendor on the border of WeHo and Beverly Hills. I know I was a little star struck when I had celebrity sightings that happened quite by chance. Once in the Century City mall, my friends and I spotted Michael Nader (Dex Dexter from Dynasty 1981-1989) after the show ended production. In LAX the timing was just right for me to pass Elizabeth Taylor, being pushed in a wheelchair on her way to the gate. I positioned myself just right to get close to her as I passed. I started my stare, and when our eyes locked onto each other I said, “I love you, you're fabulous,” and she replied, “Thanks sweetie.” It was a moment for sure! Helen Hunt used to be a regular for breakfast at Hugo’s Restaurant, and Shelley Winters pulled up and parked her ass at our table one morning for breakfast at the Silver Spoon. It started when she asked us to use our ketchup, then when she finished her meal and her friends left, she sat at our table and chatted with us. Cell phones and selfies weren’t a thing yet, and how I wish I had a photo!

 

Vintage image of a young woman selling maps to stars' homes

 

Working with Catalina and shooting on location opened itself up to some close encounters – not with celebrities, but with their homes. Fatty Arbuckle was a silent film actor at the top of his career with Paramount, earning three million dollars over three years to star in eighteen silent movies. In the summer of 1921, he was accused of slaying 25 year old actress Virginia Rappe at a gin party in a suite at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Finally acquitted after three trials and his career in ruins, he worked behind the scenes directing under the name William B. Goodrich and died of a heart attack at age 46 on June 29th, 1933. Somehow, Scott Masters got us access to one of Fatty’s previous homes in the Hollywood Hills to shoot the movie The Bite, Directed by Chi Chi LaRue and starring Jon Vincent. I swear the people occupying the place were squatters, because there was little to no furniture, sleeping bags in an upstairs room and we needed to use generator power. It was a bit sketchy, but the character of the gothic interior was perfect for the vampire theme, and a little creepy at the same time.

 

Headline: Arbuckle Faces Gallows, Fatty Arbuckel mugshot, and Virginia Rappe

Fatty Arbuckel and Virginia Rappe

 

The show Eight Is Enough starring Dick van Patten and Betty Buckley ran from 1977 to 1981 and I remember watching it loyally while in my teens. When Masters and I went to scout the location, I was thrilled to see the front of the house (the inside, not so much) where the cast stood in the opening credits. I found out later that they also used the house exterior for episodes of Murder She Wrote (as a mortuary), Quantum Leap and the Rockford Files. For the Scott Master’s movie Reunion (1992) starring Cody Foster, we shot the main sex scene right there on the front porch, showcasing this famous house that was unfortunately bulldozed in 1996. Cody passed away from liver cancer in 2007, but lived a tumultuous life once leaving the industry in 1995. He had numerous run-ins with the law, ending up with a four year sentence in Jefferson County, Colorado for retaliating against a person he had victimized. He was a bit of a loose cannon on the sets and could turn on a dime. I was glad that Scott Masters was directing him, not me. We heard at some point that he’d been arrested for shooting a gun at the State Capitol in Colorado. I have no way of knowing if that was true or not. He returned to the industry in 2000 and 2001 in a couple of bondage movies from Grapik Art Productions.

 

Reunion cover and Eight Is Enough house

Reunion cover and Eight Is Enough house

 

On a lighter note, Orson Welles  had a beautiful home just a block or two up from Hollywood Blvd. We shot the Brad Austin movie Sunsex Blvd (1993) there with Zak Spears as Norman Desmond, the Gloria Swanson role. Brad worked for some time as the personal assistant to Ms. Swanson prior to coming on board as my right hand man and head of the crew. This movie was very personal to him and a huge success. We cast Max Stone as the character Max, Norma(n)’s driver, as he was a dead ringer. Scott Masters had connections and we rented another one of Groucho Marx’s vintage automobiles for Max to drive Norman in. We had previously rented a different vintage car formerly owned by Groucho for my movie Object of Desire. The reenactment of the shooting scene with the William Holden character falling in the pool and the scene of Norman coming down the stairs for his “I’m ready for my close-up” cum-shot were brilliantly shot in black-and-white. It’s a fun movie to check out!

 

Sunsex Blvd cover and Orson Welles' house

Sunsex Blvd cover and Orson Welles' house

 

Last but certainly not least was shooting in Sharon Stone's previous residence. We shot Revenge of the Bi-Dolls there, and from the grand staircase to the humongous master suite, this place was divine! The rooms were so large that we had echo problems with the audio, but the look of the place made our low budget movie look like a million bucks. Chi Chi LaRue and Sharon Kane perform their incredible duet which opens the movie throughout the many rooms of the mini-mansion. I’ve attached a link so you can watch it!

 

Sharon Kane & Chi Chi LaRue singing in Sharon Stone's home in Revenge of the Bi-Dolls

Sharon Kane & Chi Chi LaRue in Revenge of the Bi-Dolls

 

Well, that’s my little contribution to the Hollywood Babylon-esque world where porn and the Hollywood elite had six degrees of separation.

 

 

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

 
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