RetroStuds of the Past: Focus on Johnny Dawes

 

Johnny Dawes portrait

Johnny Dawes, famous face in 1980s pre-condom gay porn, was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 22, 1955. His birth name was Brian Lee.

His career in gay porn started in the late seventies, was in a loop called “Toilet Training,: part of Falcon Video Pac #23. Acccording to Gay Erotic Video Index, in 1978, he made a film for Falcon Studios, Dirt Bikes, aka F Truck.

Thus began a prodigious career for many studios, pretty much the major ones of the late 1970s and 1980s, such as HIS Video, LeSalon, Mustang, and Marathon, and and other less known ones such as Ari Productions and Stardust.

Johnny has starred with a number of actors which include Jose Garcia, Magdalena Montezuma Montez as well as Sharon Kane.

Paired together eight times, Chris Burns has had the privilege of being seen most frequently with Johnny Dawes, in flicks such as Pleasure Beach (HIS Video).

The collection of movies in which they have appeared together also includes The Private Pleasures of John Holmes (Stardust), School Of Hard Cocks (HIS Video), and Revenge of the Nighthawk in Leather (HIS Video).

Dawes retired in 1986, but came out of retirement in 1989, to make several films. In fact, a vintage gay porn magazine of that period, Thrust, celebrates his return, “the return of a bluemovie sensation,” in Who's Dat Boy.
 

Johnny Dawes in Thrust Magazine
Johnny Dawes in Thrust Magazine in never before seen photos

Bijou Video shows him at this versatile best in Knockout, originally released by Pan Pacific Productions. Touted as the “only homoerotic boxing film,” Knockout reveals the intense world of boxing, where a sport of knocking out merges into knockout sex. Johnny Dawes plays the previous boxing champion, and he joins Eric Stryker, playing the new lightweight boxing champion David West, and David's trainer, Mark, played by Andrew Ryan, in a three-way jack off. Johnny returns to fuck Eric on a bed; the ex-champion thus shows his real dominance by deftly topping the new champion in this scene.
 

Johnny Dawes wearing boxing gloves

Jack Deveau filming
Johnny Dawes and Eric Stryker in Knockout

Other Bijou Video classics he appears in are Games, where he plays a swimmer who fools around with Mike Davis in a locker room, and Bad Bad Boys aka Bad Boys, directed by Tom DeSimone (Mustang), where he plays a runaway who seeks solace in the company of a street gang called The Red Devils, undergoing an intense sexual initiation as well as rebelling against the gang's evil boss (and Dawes shows his acting chops here).
 

Mike Davis and Johnny Dawes in Games

Johnny Dawes rimming Mike Davis in Games
Mike Davis and Johnny Dawes in Games

Poster for Bad Bad Boys

And speaking of acting chops, according to the January 1990 edition of Manshots, he acted in the Los Angeles production of Night Sweat; he was a documentary filmmaker (A Dance with Death) and, most interestingly, an opera historian. He wrote an article on the Jewish-American soprano Alma Gluck, who sang at the beginning of the last century, for Opera Digest.
 

Jack Deveau filming

Wow! An embarrassment of riches; so much talent in that lithe yet sculpted body (not to mention his aesthetically pleasing cock, a shiny pole of power). Overall, in his performances, he manages to combine vulnerability with an easy, confident masculinity.
 

Johnny Dawes nude

Brian Lee aka Johnny Dawes died of AIDS-related complications on July 25, 1989.

He performed this finely crafted poem in the AIDS play Night Sweat, four years before his untimely death from that disease:
 

Robert Chesley book Hard Plays Stiff Parts featuring Night Sweat

Oh, let night speak of me for day
Knows not how breaks with woe my heart,
Knows not how I mournful stray,
Weeping for thee, so dear thou art.
The sad night weeps with me, and lays
His tear wet cheek against my own;
Although I walk in sunlit ways,
Still doth my heart in darkness moan.
The night shall speak of me and say
All things to thee I dare not show,
And to thy dreams my love display,
Till thou art melted by my woe.

 

Johnny Dawes black and white photo
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Wow! I Never Knew! 12 Former Jobs of Retro Gay Porn Stars

Wow! I Never Knew! 12 Former Jobs of Retro Gay Porn Stars

 

One totally awesome perk for working at the Bijouworld office (it isn't sex) is you never what you might find in the files.

 

Yes, files, think beige manila folders, not computer directories. We pretty much have anything, yes anything, related to gay sex dating to the beginning of the last century. Just ask!

I was looking for a retrostud to do a blog on for this week, and I pulled a file that contained a list of former jobs of 12 gay “porno” stars, by Leigh Rutledge, author of the book The Gay Decades.

Interestingly enough, these retrostuds didn't just work as the stereotypical bartenders or escorts or strippers.

Al Parker (below) worked as a butler, a video technician, and a personal aide to Hugh Hefner at Playboy magazine.
 

Al Parker


Keith Anthoni (below) was a waiter, an actor in Pepsi commercials (which one?), a stage actor, and a male stripper.
 

Keith Anthoni


Steve Scott worked in the publicity department at Universal Studios.

Kip Noll (below) was very blue-collar; he was a machinist, an auto mechanic, and a carpenter.
 

Kip Noll


Roy Garrett (below) was employed as a supervisor in a New Jersey cosmetics factory, as well as doing the bartender/male stripper thing.
 

Roy Garrett


Jamie Wingo (below) worked in marketing for a gay advertising agency and also, guess what, stripped.
 

Jamie Wingo


Jack Wrangler (below) was a child television star with his own NBC series, Faith of Our Children. He also did bit parts on the Mod Squad and Medical Center. If my mother only knew …
 

Jack Wrangler


Scorpio (below) was a male stripper in straight bars. He tried to get into modeling but found out from an agency that his job as a stripper killed his chances.
 

Scorpio


Richard Locke (below) worked very diverse jobs. He was a tank commander in the army, a gas station attendant, an insurance claims adjuster, and a baths attendant.
 

Richard Locke


Jayson MacBride (below) danced and sang as a chorus boy. He later enjoyed a successful career in corporate market research.
 

Jayson MacBride


Mike Davis (below) was a set designer.
 

Mike Davis


Christopher Rage worked as a talent manger for cabaret acts, as a male escort, and then joined an ad agency promoting X-rated films.

I just can't get the picture out of my mind of Al Parker as a butler wearing some tight-fitting livery! One can only dream …

 

Hope you enjoy this very photogenic blog!

 


Ra

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