Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vintage Big Easy

The cover of this retro magazine lets us know the storyline right away: "Horny New Orleans band leader Steve has a big problem: how to keep his members happy!"  Featuring Steve Kaye, Steve Karo, Max Revson and Bobby Conn, it looks like these guys really know how to play their instruments, and those of their band members.  Based on the performers and some film productions crediting their names, this magazine was probably circa early-to-mid 1980s.  A blonde Steve Kaye is credited with also appearing  in 1984's Split Image and Steve Karo  in 1983's Friends are Best.  Steven Kaye also performed with sexy (and very hairy) David Dodge in a 1983 edition of Playguy
 Things can get a bit confusing sometimes because there's been more than a couple of performers who've used the name Steve Kaye, or some variant of it, over the years. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

April 1958

Just a year after Steve Reeves posed on their April cover, it was Vincent Taffaro's turn to be the Vim magazine cover man in 1958.  In addition to Vim's sexy cover photo of Vincent, today us viewers can also thank Lon of New York for getting Vince to pose in all of his natural masculine beauty.
It's widely reported that Vim was one of the classic fitness magazines not totally happy with the explosion of men's physique publications (such as the very popular Grecian Guild) where emphasis was on the beauty of the male.  Publications like Vim began expressing their concerns in editorials.  An excellent account of this was written in David K. Johnson's Physique Pioneers: The Politics of 1960s Gay Consumer Culture.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 1947: Fit and Frisky!

 The 1947 April issue of Popular Mechanics included on page 84 this advertisement (below) in the top left corner of the page, selling "Inspiring Photographs for your Training Course!!"  Such "coded" advertising was a reality of life in the 1940's when gay men had few mainstream media options to sexually identify with.  The photographer for this ad was Al Urban, who also invites readers to (printed within the ad itself), whenever in Chicago, phone Kildare 3402 for an appointment to view his work directly at his studio. 

Al was a pioneering photographer in the fields of male physique and nudes.  It's important to keep in mind that male nudes were risky  business in the 1940's and could easily land guys (posing, behind the camera, and/or viewing the images) in jail.  His first studio was in New York and it became one of the earliest and most successful producers of such photography. "Strapped" images by Mr. Urban were published in physique magazines and also sold through mail-order systems (via ads such as this one in Popular Mechanics) during the 1940's and 1950's. 

If only the real-life men interested in this guy-girdle (below) looked as sexy as the figure drawn in the ad!

Below: Examples of male nude photography (not the stuff found in the Popular Mechanics ad) by Al Urban.  Thanks to JD for sharing a part of his personal collection! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mike Braun (final)

All good things must come to an end and here at VGMH it's time to wrap up our visit enjoying Michael Braun's vintage erotica.  In the early 1980s beards were trailing off in popularity as the 'clone' look was running its course, but Michael is a perfect example of how a handsome man with facial hair can charm the pants off men in any era, no matter if it happens to be 1893, 1983, or 2013.
Thanks to VGMH follower Chris who sent in a great email about coming of age in Vancouver British Columbia during the early 1980s, and how much Michael Braun resembled his first love.  As Chris affectionately recounted, he was 19 and his boyfriend was a 32 year-old sexy French Canadian with a thick beard and head of naturally curly locks.  His patient boyfriend taught the young Chris how to "ice skate and snow ski and how to be a fantastic top."
Among the movies Mike appeared in was 1984's Screen Play.  Another film directed by Steve Scott, it starred Lee RyderBrian Palmer, Butch and Michael Braun (as Eric Ryan's love interest).  In this film, a guy accidentially wanders onto a Western-themed movie being filmed in the desert (near Palm Springs) and gets busy with the star.  The film received high marks from critics and fans alike.  It's reported that the Gay Critics Association selected Screenplay as the Best Gay Film of 1984.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mike Delivers A Special Load

It's easy to see why Michael Braun was showcased in this smut ad for 1982's Shooters.  As the ad promises (for those who drop a check in the mail for $89) you'll get "one-way action, two-way action, four-way action and more."   

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mike Gets 'Dangerous'

Michael Braun with Jim Rodgers in Dangerous

Michael Braun's resume in porn may not be as lengthy as some other classic smut stars, but his sex appeal has been proven to stand the tests of time, and many consider his best work to have been in 1983's Dangerous.  Mike's performance Dangerous was released the same year as Gold Rush Boys and gave him the distinction of starring in two major gay films in 1983.  VGMH's Male Sex Icon award winner Al Parker (the film was by Parker's Surge Studio) and director Steve Scott collaborated to create what has become a classic gay movie with Dangerous, and not exclusively because of the sex scenes.  This is a movie that reflects the era it was created within.

The storyline for Dangerous involves something that many gay men have experienced in real life: being attracted to anonymous sex in public bathrooms with strangers.  This is very risky behavior in any decade, but in this pre-condom world of 1983, the biggest concern of the star seems to be with the possibily of getting arrested and explaining why (again) he was out looking for dick instead of being satisfied with the nice one on his boyfriend at home, who bailed him out of jail (again).
Amazingly, all of this activity happens at the very beginning of the movie and the rest of the film is about the boyfriend's personal journey into the gritty world of glory holes in order to try and find out what the thrill is about.  Tip: Try to play 'name that dick' and guess which cameo cock in the movie belonged to none other than Al Parker.

1970's gay porn used the glory hole theme often.  Still relatively fresh off of the go-go 1970's, the behavior of sucking a stranger's cock through a hole in the men's room stall wall was very common in major cities and places with military bases.   Simply put, it was supply (cocks on horny men looking to cum) and demand (mouths on horny men looking to suck) coming together in an efficient way that demanded anonymity with both speed and convenience.
Glory holes offered  closeted and straight married men a quick sexual release without having any social contact whatsoever.  While they had been around for decades (police reports and news about them being a social nuisance date back to the early 1900's), glory holes really came into their own during the late 1960's-early 1980's.   As one 1977 expose noted of businessmen in Chicago's financial district on Friday nights, the guys looking for sex were all ages: "[They've got]... enough time after leaving work and before the train home to slip into a bookstore and get sucked off.  It's free and fast."  For other men, it was the thrill of possibly being caught in the sex act that made it exciting. And yet other guys just liked sucking cock-any cock.
While many men simply had a good time, there were some obvious deterrents. Perhaps not surprising, glory holes offered a physical barrier that some men (in denial about their sexuality) often found appealing, which included homophobes who hated themselves and gay men in general.  Locations around military bases were sometimes fraught dangers, as young guys with issues would perform the act and then beat up the guy on the other side of the stall, in order  to distance themselves from what just had happened between them.   Glory holes were also easy places for police to make many arrests of "deviants" in a short period of time.  STD's (for both the blower and the blowee) were also common.  And of course, in just a few years the threat of AIDS would become a factor in reducing their popularity.

Dangerous was made when Boners were real and not created by taking a pill.  And some porn movies provided story lines and not just grunts and one-liners.    In this story, Rogers and Braun (boyfriends) have a serious discussion about what creates the desire for seeking out anonymous sex in public bathrooms. Rogers is afraid that his man goes looking for dick because he's not happy with him.  Braun assures him that it's not Rogers.
Rogers decides to try anonymous sex for himself to discover why his lover likes it so much.  He gives it a real good try,as a  matter of fact, and winds up sucking four cocks, watches a man suck himself off, and gets a blowjob!  His carnal desires are evident as he gulps and explores each cock through the hole.  The film ends with Braun and Rogers both kneeling at a glory hole together, sharing a cock between themselves and kissing. A happy ending!

It's obvious that both Parker and Scott wanted to produce a quality product. Mr. Parker's amazing life has been featured here at VGMH before and will receive an encore this spring for those that may have missed it. It's reported that Steve Scott began by working in the publicity department at Universal Studios in the late 1960's.   He began in straight porn via a friend who was a distributor, before trying his hand in the gay film genre (The Young Intruder). Besides quality, Scott's movies are known for minimal music during sex scenes, an expectation that his models perform hard, and Scott's use of various body types and ages.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bordello Studs of the Gold Rush (part two)

Director Steve Scott really knew how to make movies, and his productions were both distinctive and of very high quality.  Handsome Mike Braun was perfectly cast for Steve's movie Gold Rush Boys.  His immaculately trimmed and combed beard and moustache are accurate to the era that the movie represents, even if the storyline is far-fetched..  Wearing a lush red velvet smoking robe, Mike exudes self confidence at being master of his house, as he lets Kurt Williams enjoy tasting his salty dick and licking his balls.  Williams was one hot property at the time (probably why he received top billing), so it's forgivable that instead of sporting an equally fashionable moustache that would have been true to the period depicted in the movie, he looks like he may have just arrived after catching some waves off of Malibu or something.  Mr. Williams developed a big fan base thanks to movies like Heavy Equipment, Kansas City Trucking Company, Twelve at Noon, and Wintertime.  There's chemistry going on between these two in Gold Rush Boys---especially on their faces as Bruan mounts the tight ass of Kurt and rides him expertly like a jockey, with equal amounts of tender love and domination.

Thanks to the movie we have this wonderful magazine.  Bearded Michael Braun, the handsome and very hairy blonde gent wearing the crimson robe in Bordello Studs also appeared in Advocate Men (October 1987), Honcho (November 1983), and other magazines of the era.   Michael worked for Falcon Studios in Gold Rush Boys, Hot Numbers 2, Dangerous (probably his most famous work), and Screen Play.
Please Stay Tuned For More on Magnificent Mike!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

1984 Visits 1849 Fantasy: Bordello Studs

Kurt Williams with hairy Michael Braun
This all-color magazine featured gents who performed in the 1984 film Gold Rush Boys.  The movie remains distinctive for several reasons, not the least of which were the lush ornate Victorian era sets used, framed within a vintage gingerbread-style mansion.  The production crew even used period costumes for the performers.  These images, of a thickly-bearded blonde man being serviced by another gent in a fancy Victorian parlour room, remain popular on the Internet today, even among fans who were not yet born when the movie and magazine originally came out.  This Steve Scott film stands the test of time, as does its stars.
This movie was distributed back in 1984, a time when actual 'film makers' were still creating a lot of erotic smut in the business, bringing creative story lines and scripts to their craft.  While the fantasy plot may be typical smut in both nature and delivery, Gold Rush Boys is a reminder of how high production values used to be.  Men like Steve Scott were true cinematographers who strived to deliver a quality product.

Casting reflects another notable feature that is oftentimes all-too missing today, as the film uses men who are not all youthful gym twinks.  These masculine (and naturally hairy) guys offer a visual treat.  The sex action is all pre-condom and shot with some wonderful camerawork.  And there are nine full sex scenes filled with lots of action.  Directed by Steve Scott, it starred Kurt Williams, Mike Braun, Ben Barker, Nick Jarrett, Joe Reeves, Rick Faulkner, Lee Adams, Jay Cole, Brian Nichols, Paul Monroe,  and Jim King. 

As the film notes: "In 1849 San Francisco all that glitters isn't gold, but what a rush! In the good old days when California's gold miners had pouches heavy with nuggets and bulges that were even heavier still, Kincaid's was the most popular place to a world without women and filled with sex-starved men. Here, '49ers could get anything they wanted in a house of boys who aimed to please, and did just that. When innocent Kurt Williams shows up looking for work and passes Kincaid's (Braun's) test, he's hired on the spot and joins the house's stable of fresh eager to please boys-for-hire."

Stay Tuned For Part Two!

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Beauty: Burl Chester

Aside from the very sexy centerfold Burl Chester, this issue sounds pretty darn bossy instead of fun to read! Instructional articles to improve our lives included:





Luckily, they offered photos of beautiful Burl in his unshaven glory, in addition to a photo spread celebrating "In praise of older men" and a story about 3-way sex.  Considering the price of the magazine was $1.95 back then, it looks like it came out to almost $1 per inch of Burl...or a nickel per wrinkle...with his booty thrown in for free..anyway you look at it, a great bargain!