RetroStuds of the Past: Focus on Dick Fisk

posted by Madame Bubby

Dick Fisk

On October 31, 1983, Falcon Studios model Dick Fisk was killed in a car accident with his lover, Joe Howard and the driver of another vehicle in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. He was only 28 years old.

Dick's real name was Frank Ricky Fitts, and at the time of his death, he was employed in Atlanta gay clubs.

Dick was very much one of the famous faces of gay erotica during this period when the unabashed gay macho culture of the 1970s was still in full swing. Yet ominously, the mysterious “gay cancer,” (still not called AIDS) was beginning to claim victims in the urban gay ghettos of the period.

From the research I did, his porn career was not prolific, but he appeared in two of the main gay rags of the period, Mandate and Torso. His most famous image has become almost iconic: he appears as one of a trinity of porn gods of the time: Al Parker and Casey Donovan in Falcon's classic movie, The Other Side of Aspen.
 

Dick Fisk, Al Parker and Casey Donovan on the cover for The Other Side of Aspen

In the Bijou Classics repertoire, he makes an appearance in the star-studded Cruisin' the Castro, but admittedly, he does not appear in one of the more distinctive points of the movie (Richard Locke reigns supreme here).

He really ascended to the pantheon of gay gods in the famous eight-page spread in the February 1978 issue of Mandate magazine, called “A Man to Size Up.”
 

A Man to Size Up Dick Fisk spread in Mandate

Yes, he's got that overall macho look, and it's not just the mustache. It's the combination of a supremely confident (one might say arrogant) facial expression on a face that is both mature and youthful, the perfectly muscled chest, arms, and abs (muscled, but not overly bulked up), and the towering thick cock that rises like an obelisk between amazing legs that I could easily dub the Pillars of Hercules. And just enough hair, sexy growths in the most lickable places (I am thinking of the armpits).
 

Dick Fisk image from Mandate

I think he will always be an iconic image of a masculine ideal that so many gay men aspired to during that turbulent period in LGBTQ history. He died before the horrible plague, and perhaps the attraction, at least for me, is that he remains untouched by it. Of the trinity of porn gods I mentioned above, he did not suffer in body and spirit.

He is pure image, an Adonis killed tragically and suddenly as in the mortal beauty loved by the goddess Venus in Greek mythology (he was gored by a boar). But he does not (and nor does his lover) come back to life.

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Blue Collar

Ed Wiley in Rough Trades
Ed Wiley (aka Myles Longue) in Jack Deveau's Rough Trades

When I was younger, much younger, I slept with a guy who one could safely say was blue collar. He worked at various constructions jobs (mostly unskilled). He was hot (muscles, beard, deep voice, big hands) and he was gay, and he was kinky. What more could one ask for? In fact, at a gathering I held when I was sleeping with him off and on, a cultured friend of mine who sold suits to mostly white collar executives met him. He blurted out to me, “You slept with him! Can I touch you?” He meant it jokingly, but I think much was implied in his reaction, much about class, education, sexual orientation, and how that all ties into how we view what is masculine.
 

Hot Truckin' before/after color correction images from upcoming restoration
Before/after color correction from Bijou's NEW restoration of Tom DeSimone's Hot Truckin' starring Gordon Grant and Nick Rodgers as truck drivers

Where does the term blue collar even come from?
 

Hot trucker

The term blue collar was first used in reference to trades jobs in 1924, in an Alden, Iowa newspaper. The phrase stems from the image of manual workers wearing blue denim or chambray shirts as part of their uniforms.
 

1930s men's work uniforms

Some blue collar workers have uniforms with the name of the business and/or the individual's name embroidered or printed on it.

Historically the popularity of the color blue among manual laborers contrasts with the popularity of white dress shirts worn by people in office environments.

The blue collar/white collar color scheme has socioeconomic connotations, which comes from the British class system, especially as it transmuted because of the Industrial Revolution.

The people who worked in factories were called the working class, and they varied in degrees of respectability, ranging from the skilled laborers who could afford a small house and raise a church-going family (think Archie Bunker types), to unskilled day laborers at the bottom of the social ladder.

These individuals, because of their lack of education, were stereotyped as coarse and ill-mannered, but also as physically strong and big-hearted; perhaps Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners exemplifies the best and the worst of this image.
 

Ralph Kramden
Ralph Kramden

The people who ran the factories and eventually created the big corporations of the Gilded Age and beyond, combined with the older, genteel professions of teachers and doctors, became the white collar middle and upper middle classes, and at the top of that ladder, the nouveau riche.

This structure pretty much held for a long time in the United States, but once factory jobs moved to China and other places because of globalization, a new working class replaced it, working lower paid service and retail jobs jobs, and also in office jobs, ostensibly white collar, but working mostly as servants to upper middle class and upper class high level professionals like lawyers and corporate executives.
 

Robert Rikas in American Cream
Robert Rikas as a power-hungry white collar executive degrading his employee in the brilliant and satircal 1972 gay porn classic, American Cream

Now, how do gay men fit into this social picture? The stereotype of gay men is definitely not the “rough” guy who works with his hands, but the effeminate artsy-fartsy queen who thrives in refined cultural environments, the “sissy.” If you weren't out in that way and consigning yourself to stereotypical gay professions like acting and hairdressing, you conformed to the social structure above, and if you were in the working class, you definitely didn't proclaim your sexual orientation.
 

Henk Van Dijk and Garry Hunt as a ballet dancer and a trucker in Ballet Down the Highway
A ballet dancer (Henk Van Dijk) & a closeted truck driver (Garry Hunt) having an affair in Jack Deveau's 1976 film, Ballet Down the Highway

Thus, in the book Maurice, the aristocrat Maurice is really taking a risk by loving Alec Scudder, a gamekeeper, much below him in social class.

So, what was a gay construction worker or trucker to do?

Hide their true selves, it seems. But note, so many gay porn fantasies involve these blue collar guys in places like truck stops and construction sites, but how much are they the projected fantasies of white collar gay guys who fetishize the conventional masculinity of these straight guys?
 

Vintage ads for Grease Monkeys and Hardhat
Hard working mechanics and construction workers in the vintage Jaguar releases, Grease Monkeys and Hardhat

Tellingly, we saw this projection become dominant very soon after the initial liberation of Stonewall, when the gay clone look involved construction boots, denim, and keys hanging from belts.
 

Richard Locke in Cruisin' the Castro
Richard Locke, the ultimate blue collar man of '70s gay porn, in Cruisin' the Castro

And of course, one of the Village People guys was a construction worker.
 

Village People construction worker

Thus, in my case, it was almost a status symbol that I really slept with a real blue collar guy (I also slept with a fireman).

Neither relationship worked out, and it wasn't because of the social gap.

Yet, since the 1990s, when those relationships occurred, some social distinctions have blurred, but not all. Even in the increasingly mainstream LGBTQ community, upper middle class wealthy white educated males have wielded the most power and influence, ostensibly for the good of all in a diverse community, but the dynamic mirrors the class structure of the society as a whole.

The Veda Pierces (the snobbish daughter of Mildred Pierce) who looked down upon dollar days and men who wear uniforms (today what many retail employees have to wear) still exist, but they come from all social classes as the world of cyberspace creates a level playing field for everyone.
 

Veda Pierce
Veda Pierce

Yet, the world of Twitter can create identities that don't correspond with one's real life social status, and thus the opposite of the above can occur: an Amazon delivery person can show more class and education and insight than a nouveau riche person, the most powerful man in the world, who embodies the worst stereotypes of the blue collar worker every time he tweets.

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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Pierce Daniels

Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Pierce Daniels

“Pierce is quite stunning and every time I look at him I do get a bit weak. Looking at his photos that night I began to want to see him naked immediately.” – randyblue.com

I must say I agree with the above quote, especially after looking at some of the photos in our files.
 

In 1985, Pierce did a spread for Honcho magazine, challenging the viewer to touch, yes, just touch his virile, richly textured cock: “I know what you want; you're not the only one who wants it. But not everyone can have it. What makes you so special? … This is what you want. It takes something special to make me give it to you. Show me your hidden talents. Not bad; go ahead and touch it. If you're real good I'll let you do more than touch it.”

Getting aroused? I hope so. Sometimes the hunger is actually the satiation. Like Gypsy Rose Lee, he'll take it off, ever so slowly, but by doing to edge you to the point of ecstasy.

Pierce Daniels, aka Rusty Wolshez (Russell Wallace), was born on September 5, 1958 in Fresno, California. He was active as a performer from 1985 to 1994.

I don't have any more biographical information. Pierce's legacy, however, lives on in several movies Bijou Video carries (on DVD at bijouworld.com and streaming instantly at bijougayporn.com), including Gotta Have It, Perfect 10, Therapy, Lovers and Friends, Windows and Century Mining. He doesn't take on the starring role in these movies, but his “gay macho” look combined with his effortless sexual technique (he's so confident wielding his uncut manmeat) make him stand out.

In Gotta Have It, a silent Pierce Daniels (“rugged, bearded and pretty all at the same time”) is shown voyeuring the massive black hunk Tyrone Washington and Bobbie Davis,while jerking off his uncut dick.

In Perfect 10, Pierce Daniels gets a vigorous butt-pounding by Chaz Holderman while he's swallowing Chad's hard-on (he swallows all of it too, only matched (at least on video) by Gino Del Mar in that feat). Strong jabs encompass this hot fuck and the camera zooms in to show him pulling all the way out of Pierce's hole.

In Therapy, a guy enters an alley where two men are hanging out and sucks one of them off through his chaps. The second man (Daniels) whips out his foreskinned, cockringed meat and gets it beat off while watching the blowjob. Anal sex leads to a three-way and squeezed balls leading to orgasms.
 

In Lovers and Friends, Pierce Daniels rims and fucks Joel Curry (the lover of Ron Pearson in this movie) in a kitchen. Cole Taylor, playing a waiter, joins the twosome and throws a second fuck into the insatiable Curry. Kinkiness in the ensuing threeway includes Daniels turning Curry over, spreading vanilla topping all over his ass, and licking every bit of it off. Now, that is true food porn!

And in Century Mining, Daniels is in the opening scene. Eric Ryan lies in bed. His fellow mine worker, a ravishing Pierce Daniels, enters and scolds Ryan, "you're gonna be late!" Ryan has other things on his mind, mainly the throbbing boner beneath the sheets. He attempts to lure Daniels into bed, but is denied, as Daniels wants to keep his job and pre-shift sex will surely get them fired!

Daniels appears in the last scene of the movie, the orgy that occurs after the mine collapse. Yes, sex and death, always a combo! He spends what might be the last few hours of his life stroking his snake and twisting his low hangers around his shaft while fantasizing about some hot fuck-piggery he'd engaged in with Eric Ryan.

Tragically, the sex-death combination caught up with Pierce literally.

 

Like many of his compatriots, he died of AIDS-related complications, in his case, on July 8, 1995.

If anyone has any more information about this totally hot retrostud, please email bijouvideo@gmail.com.

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Retrostuds of the Past: Whatever Happened to Will Seagers?

Retrostuds of the Past: Whatever Happened to Will Seagers?

 

One of the greatest stars of 70s and 80 gay porn, one of those gay macho idols who just exuded steamy uninhibited mansex, is gone. I've tried to locate him, and I can't find him.

 

Where are you, Will? 
 

Will Seagers and Richard Locke

 

Will Seagers and Richard Locke


Will appeared in some of the legendary gay porn movies of all time, and he worked with gay porn icons like Al Parker and Bruno. He made notable appearances in WantedFire Island Fever, the Bullet Videopacs (available on DVD from bijouworld.com and streaming at bijougayporn.com), and of course, the Joe Gage classic, L.A. Tool & Die
 

 

 

Ramrod magazine cover

 

Scene featured in Bullet Videopac 3


But what I was trying to dig up was some personal information ala “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” He's achieved celebrity status as a gay porn retrostud par excellence, but what do we really know about him off camera? 

I found out he was born in 1951 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was active in making porn films from about 1978-1999. (He made one bisexual movie, Bi Surprise.) He appeared in some movies under the name Matt Harper. 

He showed up in many advertisements and reviews for the movies he appeared in in such retro rags as PlayguyHonchoMandate, and Studflix. But I could not locate one interview with him. Not one. 

 

Will Seagers in Playguy


I did some more digging (trying not to get distracted which happens when I look at pictures of him in his gay macho glory), and I did find out something not too exciting, but interesting: he was a disco DJ. He spun vinyl at San Francisco gay bars in the Castro district such as the Badlands and the Aloha. Chances are he probably played “Baby I Love You,” by Easy Going, which is the song in the bar scene in L.A. Tool & Die

One person on a message board claims he did not show up to spin in the big engineer and workboots he wore in many of his films, but in preppy Bass Weejuns. That person was disappointed. I empathize. 

I'm afraid that he may have suffered the same fate as so many porn stars of that era: death from AIDS, but I can't find any record of it. 

Does anyone know is Will is still around?

We at Bijou Video are preserving his substantive legacy, especially in our recent remastering of the Bullet Videopacs

 

Will Seagers cowboy sex scene from Bullet Videopac 3

 


Check out a couple of classic Will Seagers videos as an end of the summer snackgasm. 

 

UPDATE! From a private source: Matt Harper aka Will Seagers of #vintagegayporn fame is still alive and well, living with his long-term partner. Watch his movies now at bijougayporn.com/tour/sets.php?…

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“Poppular” Poppers: A Brief History and Photo Essay

“Poppular” Poppers: A Brief History and Photo Essay

 

Early ads for poppers in the late 1960s called them "aromas." At that time, aromatherapy was little known outside of France.

 

In 1969, outfits like JacMasters began to sell vials or "inhalers" containing isobutyl nitrite, and the first brand name was trademarked: Locker Room. Isobutyl nitrate, or amyl, is the original popper formula.

 

During the 1970s, poppers or "aromas" were marketed like a sexual incense to gay men. Rather than inhale the newly popular “aromas” of patchouli or sandalwood, gay men could inhale locker room or armpit scent, the smell of hot, rough, uninhibited sex. b2ap3_thumbnail_blacjackpoppersad.jpg

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_playgirlaugust1979.jpgPoppers had become so popular that, by 1977, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine claimed that the use of isobutyl nitrite as a recreational drug had become a substantial $50 million a year business.

 

And even more brands such Bolt, Hardware, Thrust, Quicksilver (not thunderbolt) were first introduced around 1977-78.

 

The Bijou started selling them around that time because the company (Great Lakes Products) that was making these poppers was renting space from us to manufacture their poppers These name brands were owned by Rush (someone named Joe Miller).

 

By the late 70s, the popularity of the drug even extended to straight men and women.

 

In the August 1979 issue of Playgirl, a "cautious" user's guide to drugs and sex reports that amyl nitrate intensifies orgasms but also smells like glue. The article reports that amyl was banned by the FDA and replaced by butyl, "which smells like old tennis shoes and is sold as a 'room deodorizer.'"

 

Old tennis shoes? Could be quite stimulating in certain situations, depending on your fetish.  And that smell certainly does evoke the locker room, literally!

 

Some of the ads appealed to icons of masculinity: the traditional statue of David, harking back to pre-Stonewall gay bars, and the then-popular gay macho images of leathermen and cowboy.

  

The ubiquitous popper Rush was able to advertise in a plethora of gay publications; one famous add shows a giant bottle of “Rush” hovering over the “rush hour” of a city, which, in those days, didn't take place at the dusk of 5 p.m., but rather, in the late night and early morning hours (as implied in the image of the city) when the bathhouses and gay porn theaters were hopping.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_rushpoppersad.jpgThe popper bottle and the potent aroma one inhaled from it essentially powerfully rules from above but also, because it it releases an enveloping aroma, binds together the collective gay sexual culture represented by the titles of  gay magazines (as well as straight, looking at some of the magazine titles in the ad) of that time together. It was more than a powerful tool or symbol of sexual liberation; it became sexual liberation itself.

 

As the seventies progressed, the popper ads in gay magazines became more creative and catered to a variety of sexual tastes in this era of sexual liberation. For example, the ad for JacMasters in a 1976 Drummer Magazine shown below seems both campy and erotic.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_poppersad1.jpg

 

The bulging jockstrap on one of the action figures harks back to the physique magazines like Physique Pictorial. Yet the hand holding what vaguely looks like a bottle by the logo probably represents a handjob. Big bottle equals big cock. Inhaling the aroma will make your cock big and hard. Or even like a giant cock to the little men holding the big bottle of aroma!

 

And the imagery of fighting and bullets (in the ad above, the guys look like little G.I. Joes) often found in the ads featuring poppers was most telling; at one level, it fed into the archetypal sex-death trope, but it also could be read in hindsight as a frightening prefiguration of AIDS, when sex literally caused death. And now the gigantic brown bottle over the city in the Rush ad now becomes something a bomb or a missile.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_milwaukeecalendarpopperads.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_cowboypoppersad.jpg In the 80s, the AIDS epidemic swept away the sexually-charged gay culture of the 70s that created and responded to the popper ads, but poppers themselves went underground (unfortunately, in many cases, in fake, or non-amyl, formats). The mainstream gay press, because of the possible connection between HIV and the use of nitrate, eventually stopped running ads for poppers, but not after a struggle.

 

According to one source, “before the first official reports of AIDS in 1981, relatively few voices in the gay community had been raised to question what health problems poppers users might be causing themselves. A few attempts were made to curb sales, but the manufacturers always got around it by changing either the chemical formula or the product name. And the gay press, dependent on revenue from ads, did not care to blow the whistle on its own advertiser.”

 

Frighteningly, information linking popper use to karposi's sarcoma was apparently suppressed by both the gay media (because of the power of the advertisers) and by the right wing press, which of course saw AIDS as a deserved punishment for promiscuity.

b2ap3_thumbnail_statueofdavidpopperad.jpgThe FDA at first stood aside; as long as poppers were marketed as “room perfume for fags,” they would do nothing.

 

And one popper manufacturer even sent a letter to all the gay papers, reminding them just who was "the largest advertiser in the Gay press."

 

Then, upon the instigation of some activists and researchers in the mid-eighties, Congress passed a law outlawing the original amyl nitrate formulas; now the major ingredient is butyl.

 

There are numerous poppers being distributed under different names, and most people have their favorites: for example, Rush and Brown Bottle are old standbys for most people who first buy poppers (not taking away from long-time users that only like these brands); as time went on, people graduated to other brands.

 

Regarding false types of poppers,  for example, Can Opener, Private Stock, Platinum, and others, are truth are the same formula as Brown Bottle, but in different packaging, done to deceive people. Other current brands such D&E, Nitro, Zap, Man Scent, and Mr. Wonderful, will give people headaches; their manufacturers produce them to make money, not caring about quality and the intended purpose of the product.

 

About three years ago, the outfit that made the popper brand Rush was raised by the police. Supposedly, Joe Miller, the long-time manufacturer, committed suicide (this cause of death cannot be verified).

 

Six months ago, the story was circulating that someone had bought out the company. The outfit was back again selling its authentic product.

 

Will poppers ever become as “poppular” as they were in the 70s and 80s? As activities that were once part of the sexual underground become more mainstream in the 21st century, perhaps poppers in their true form will become once again become an exciting but now safe part of our diverse sexual culture.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_popperman.jpg


 

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