One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1

By Will Seagers

 

Will playing the organ

Me playing my sister's wedding

 

Besides the love of men and their physical attributes, I have also loved another organ... the Theater Organ! It is also quite a coincidence that both loves started around the same time... at age 13.

Naturally, right as I started my teens my hormones were in overdrive. I remember having a hard-on for most of the day... starting with the "Morning Wood!" Most of the time in school I walked through the hallways with my books in front of me to hide the raging truth! Lol. So, I guess this was a good thing for later on in life as that became an asset!

Meanwhile, at age 13, I awoke one Sunday morning to the sight of a large truck parked in front of our house in West Deal, N.J. On the sides of it was proudly painted "Hammond Organ of Asbury Park." At this age I would have been taking piano lessons on and off for the past six years. Immediately, something told me that my mother and father had purchased an organ. My father was prone to impulse buys... but, this took it to a whole other level!

So, after the rap on the front door I let in the two delivery gentlemen who started to prepare their route through the front and into the living room. In one corner of the living room already sat a beautiful Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand that my father and I both played. Directly across from it in the other corner was to sit a beautiful Hammond A-102... the French Provincial self-contained version of the famous Hammond B-3! (The cabinet choice gave evidence that my mother was involved in the selection. Everything in the house was French Provincial. Hey, it was the 60s!)

As the deliverymen were finishing up, my parents arrived on the scene to find me picking away at both keyboards (manuals) and the pedalboard! I took to it like a duck to water. I never looked back at the piano seriously again. My parents seemed pleased at my "adjustment!"

The 60s and 70s were strong decades for the home organ industry. By the 80s it was a thing of the past and so were many of the manufacturers. I remained determined and connected to the instrument. Unfortunately, my family did not enjoy the prosperity that they had in the early 60s and the organ was sold. :( !

Fast forward to the late 70s and my move to San Francisco. Although my first partner and I lived in a very modest one-bedroom apartment in the South of Market neighborhood, I managed to shoehorn a sizable Conn 651 3 manual theater model into the tiny living room right across from my DJ mixing console that I built and shoehorned into that same living room. (I rehearsed all of this by living in a small apartment in The Village in NYC!) The abovementioned Conn organ had always been on my wish list. I purchased it with some "Pin Money" from a porn movie that I had made.

 

Friends in San Francisco apartment with organ The My Conn 651 “shoehorned” into our 10th St. Apt. in SOMA

 

Conn 651 in apartment

The Conn 651 in my first solo apt. in the Castro (1990)

 

So, I kept that organ until I left S.F. in 1991. I sold it back to the priest from whom I bought it originally! I was sad to see it go. It was really the first of my dreams to come true. I moved to the East Coast from S.F. and a smaller version of that Conn was to follow shortly... a Conn Theaterette.

Most astonishingly and unexpectedly, I got a job in a music store selling pianos and organs shortly after I arrived on the East Coast. Knowing the basic elements of music allowed me to teach beginners on these keyboard products. I stayed with the company for four years until I got the itch to live in South Beach, Florida! The Theaterette was sold to a dear friend that still has it!

Customer Bill with his organ One of the organs I sold and its proud owner! Bill and I became long time friends.
 
Will playing Bill's organ

Here I am at Bill's organ giving an after dinner concert!

 

Fast forward again. This time it is 2000. After meeting my current Husband in NYC and living together in his apartment until 1999, I bought a Lowrey Spinet for our first house in Santa Fe. A second (but 3 manual) Conn Theaterette became available and I scooped it up! The two sat side by side in a larger living room. It wasn't too long after that I found another full-sized console Conn 651 - this time with a Leslie speaker!

 

Two organs

Two Conn Theater organs, one in the living room and “mini me” in the den!

To be continued...


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
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

 

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The Ecstasy and the Agony

By Will Seagers

 

The decision to leave San Francisco and return home to the East Coast in September of 1991 came from great fear and sadness. My "City by the Bay" had been home to me since 1976. But, life was closing in on me and I needed to reinvent myself (i.e save my life!).

In September of 1989, my partner Tom passed from complications of AIDS. We had been together for almost all of my time in SF. I watched the grim reaper take Tom from me over a torturous five year period. During this time, I coached myself on how I was going to make it through this and make a new life for myself after he passed. Although I remained strong for him and by his side, I crumbled like a sandcastle hit by a wave the day he passed.

To put it mildly, escapism took over. I used almost everything I could to stay high and away from reality. "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" isn't just a saying - it became a lifestyle! I couldn't come home to the little apartment that we had for thirteen years anymore. It haunted me... too many memories.

 

Will Seagers in San Francisco

 

I went through several apartment changes in SF... none of which worked. I needed to be by myself... to collect myself.

The last place I stayed was a room rental. The house owner was a casual friend and a coke dealer. Although he was very kind and understood my dilemma, I wound up pushing his product towards the end. That's when I knew I had to leave.

I contacted my Aunt in New Jersey... a person who had always been an anchor in my life. I asked if I could stay with her 'til I got on my feet. I could sense an anxiety on her part. But, she relented and I drove cross country. I left on Labor Day weekend. I'll never forget my drive down Market St. as I silently said my goodbyes to the city that I had loved so dearly. So, onto the freeway entrance and onto my four day cross country excursion.

I remained in NJ for three years, where I entered the musical instrument business and sold and taught organ and piano. I have always loved music. And, when times were good, I always had a theater organ in my home.

 

Will Seagers in New Jersey

During the piano and organ phase

 

Bored to death in NJ, I sold most of my belongings and started a new adventure in South Beach, Florida. It was quintessentially even more of a gay Mecca than SF. (The year was 1995.) Things have changed substantially. I had more sex than ever... even episodes right on the beach! Yes! Stuff like that really happened. But, that too became hollow and unreal after a while.

 

Will Seagers in the '90s

Being 45 is not so tough in South Beach

 

NYC beckoned. Along with it came some serendipity. I returned on the first weekend of April. I stayed with my brother in Brooklyn while apartment hunting. The serendipitous part - I met my current spouse Alan the very first weekend I went to Manhattan on the dancefloor of the "Roxie" dance club. It was April 4th, 1995. That was the day that the Agony turned back to Ecstasy!

 

Painting

 

Thank you to Will Seagers for use of the photos.


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
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy

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