The Stereo Maven of Castro Street

By Will Seagers

 

It is sort of funny... but porn got me into Eber Electronics of San Francisco, a long time legendary store for audio and video in the Castro area of SF. I started going there with the little windfalls of cash that I would make from each movie or mag to buy another piece of gear that would make up my home DJ system. So, in a way, my films propelled me into other professions - sales and DJing!

During my many visits to the store I started to notice the differences in the sales techniques in the sales staff. Some were very kind when it was only information that I needed. Others more or less gave me "the broom" when there was no sale in sight. My go-to guy became Harold. Although he was very knowledgeable, it was his wit and humor that really separated him from the rest of the pack. Originally from Brooklyn, I sensed that he was a reincarnated vaudeville comedian! His use of Yiddish to describe certain things and stereo parts would literally have me in stitches! To put it mildly, he had quite a "Shtick!" When my film career started to grow and I was routinely spending more and more with him at the store, the others who had "broomed" me were now lamenting their shortsightedness!

During one visit with Harold, I told him I was interested in working there. Well, it wasn't more than a day or two before Jim, the store manager called me in for an interview... that I aced! I had the privilege to be under Harold's wing for a brief period of time before Harold matriculated into the position of sales rep with one of our vendors at the store. Harold was a real performer. He was infamous for his Saturday afternoons at the store to start live comedy at any given opportunity.

The most infamous of these times that I could remember was when Robin Williams, who lived in the neighborhood at the time, sauntered in through the front door. Little did I know that Harold and Robin knew each other and would burst out into some pretty insane improvs. It was only seconds before Robin and Harold were hurling comic insults across the (packed) main floor. The entire store was roaring! I had to pinch myself... I thought I was at some off Broadway performance or the like. Those were the golden years of San Francisco when you never knew when all hell was going to break loose!

NOW, as to my part: I started there in 1984, right about at the peak of my screen and mag career. People would come in. I would greet them. And to see people's faces, the double takes... I wish I had them on film. Here we were one block away from the Gay crossroads of the world, Castro and 18th Streets. And there was nothing conventional about any of the businesses in this neighborhood. There were several other gay salesmen there... one who remains my friend to this day... Jim. Together, while being friendly and knowledgeable, we artfully dodged (and sometimes we didn't) gropings, exposures and always the stare-downs. We kept our cools and had a blast! Also, it was not uncommon to have a leather couple enter the store... one on a leash and the other with a riding crop!

 

Will Seagers at Eber Electronics, SF

Will Seagers at Eber Electronics, SF

 

I have always loved electronics and have had a penchant for learning technologies, nomenclatures and the like. So, to a lot of the gay community, I became a go-to person for putting together a stereo, home theater or video cameras. I love when my friends on social media still thank me for helping them! I never made a big deal out of it... it was just natural.

Speaking of what came natural... Well, I did a lot of "home installations," too. And you can read all you want into that... it was all true! Lots of mischief ensued. I knew it didn't take rocket science for a client to do a basic TV set-up themselves! Lol. Let's just call this another perk. BTW, that didn't last too long. The owner caught wind of it and brought a halt to all home visits! (Boo!)

I remained on staff until 1990. For the restless type that I was in business, I would call that a long haul! I had a great time... met lots of wonderful people... and repeated the process later in 2000 in Santa Fe, N.M. at another legendary and well known Audio-Video mecca. Things always seem to happen to me in twos! And to think that this was coexisting with DJing and porn!


 

Thank you to Will Seagers for use of his photo.

 


Bio of Will Seagers:

Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted career and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model and film performer. 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

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