One of my favorite FH themes to work on is Blast From The Past. One of my goals with the site was always to spotlight not just 'the man of the moment', we all know these come and go, sometimes at lightening speed. There are so many talented and beautiful men who deserve another 15 minutes, not to mention the many men I've only discovered since starting the site.
Since starting the theme, I've tried not to repeat the actors and models that I've covered, yet I continue to get sent and find new images, and better versions of images that I've used. I've decided to start a new section, 'Another Blast' to highlight the past pieces, and to add new images that I've found. I'm starting today with former Chippendale model and actor Greg Bradford. I first featured Greg back in 2015, featuring some of his modeling shots, and a few nude clips from his brief time in feature films. Since posting that piece, I was sent on new images from a fan, and found some larger versions of his photo shoot from Chippendales. Check out Greg's original Blast from the Past HERE:
Everything in live has a time and place, including attraction. It's been fascinating working on FH to see how my tastes have changed over time. It's also been interesting to see how my feelings about specific actors has also changed depending on time and place. I think my feelings about Jason Bateman are a great illustration.
It's Your Move (1984)
I think my first memory of Bateman on television was his short-lived eighties sit-com It's Your Move. This was quickly followed by a longer stint on Valerie, aka Valerie's Family, aka The Hogan Family. I remember liking Bateman, and appreciating his talent, but not really feeling any attraction.
Maybe it in part it was because he was older than me, and he reminded me a bit of my older brother, who I wasn't really a fan of a the time, If there was any actor on Valerie that I crushed on, it was probably Jeremy Licht who a couple of years younger. Bateman undoubtedly had the talent, the charisma and presence, but after The Hogan Family went off the air, I don't remember being really drawn to many of his projects.
Over the last decade or so, I've seen Bateman forged out a pretty decent career both on television and in film. Not as easy as it may seem for a child star who hit it big in the eighties. Bateman's worked with the best in the business, and has seemed to seamless spread his focus evenly between acting and directing roles.
Couples Retreat (2009)
I keep wanting to give one of Bateman's new roles some serious attention, but have not been able to bring myself to invest in Arrested Development. There's something about the show I think I'd like, and also something repels me at the same time. I'm not repelled by Ozark, and it's award show wins, and my love for Laura Linney has it on my list to check out... one of these days.
I didn't need any motivation however to check out the new HBO series The Outsider. Maybe it's that I didn't really know much about it, and sort of stumbled upon it. I've been looking for something to watch on Sunday nights since Watchmen ended, and the shows connection to Stephen King made it worth checking out. King is my favorite author, but the television adaptations of his work are hit and miss. Castle Rock for example had a really interesting season 1, but season 2, after a really strong start, morphed into a supernatural mess.
The Outsider (2020)
The Outsider also had a really strong start, and I quickly devoured and enjoyed the first two episodes. It's rare I actually sit and watch a TV show, usually I'm multi-tasking, working, working out, reading or working on the site. The Outsider had me stopping, sitting, watching and enjoying. The show begins with the rape and murder of an eight year old boy and although disturbing, the show doesn't dwell on the horrid details, but quickly dives into the twists and turns of who done it and how it happened.
For the first time, I found myself drawn to Bateman in way I'd never been before. We're both older than when we were first introduced, but there was something about his look, maybe the longer hair, or facial hair, was incredibly attractive.
There was a brief nude scene in episode one, (below) nothing was really shown and it wasn't remotely erotic given the context, Bateman's character Terry Maitland was just arrested for the crime. But it did surprise me as Bateman's always seemed... reluctant to show much skin. A wise move perhaps, but a noticeable one. In the eighties, you could usually count on most young actors for a shirtless pin-up in Tiger Beat, but Bateman kept his t-shirt on, and with just a few exceptions, has basically kept it that way.
I don't think it's really a spoiler to say that one of the main mystery's in The Outsider is whether Terry was actually the killer at all. Although all the clues point to him, it is Stephen King, so nothing's for sure. I just hope the series doesn't move too far from it's solid beginnings as season two of Castle Rock did. I'm three episodes in and hooked, and although I can see where things are headed, I hope it's done smartly.
Most of take the ability to enjoy images of the male form for granted. The Internet has made it especially quick and easy to enjoy visuals of the male nude with just a few clicks. Some of the images we see were taken by professional photographers and artists, others from amateur photographers, or selfies from the models themselves. It wasn't always that way.
Even when I was growing up in the eighties and nineties, my ability to see images of nude men was dependant on the degree of courage I was feeling on a particular day. My ritual was to walk, bike then eventually drive to a corner store with a magazine rack. I tried to find one I didn't frequent often, and one not too close to my home. I'd wait outside until the coast was clear, then slowly enter in.
I tried to wait until the store was empty, then head to the magazine rack and grab three magazines. Tthe magazine I wanted, along with a Time or Newsweek, and just to make things interesting, a Playboy or Penthouse. The Time or Newsweek was always on top when I went to the counter, the Playboy in the middle and the Playgirl, the magazine I came for... on the bottom.
When the person behind the counter was ringing in my order, I always felt they sort of knew the score, especially after seeing the magazine on the bottom. Usually they said nothing, but one time, I was asked about my selection. I had my answer already planned and ready. I quickly replied that they were joke gifts for a birthday party. I then grabbed my brown bag, and walked out quickly. If anyone had 'seen' me, the only real consequence would have been embarrassment. Not that many decades ago, the consequences were far more severe.
For lovers of the male form, and especially the artists who create it, the risks use to be far greater. Collectors, but especially those early photographers of the nude male physique like Don Whitman, risked their jobs, their family, their freedom and in some cases, even their lives. So much of the early male photography was grounded in the classical world, with models utilizing Roman and Greek poses. This was in part done for art, but also for safety. Censorship laws and postal authorities tended to be more lenient of photography with 'artistic merits'. Although what exactly constituted artistic, was, and still is, often in question.
Although I was aware of some of the history, it wasn't until photographer Devin Baker (Baker & Adams) got in touch with me last year, that I fully realized not only the risks, but the sacrifices so many artists took in order for us to live in far more uncensored world today. Yes, there are frustrations over what can or cannot be posted on social media, but that pales in comparison to the challenges so many artists used to face.
'Many of the early photographers, such as Lon and Douglass of Detroit, were arrested and had their work confiscated. To me, that speaks volumes to the dedication and perhaps unintentional activism of these early artists. As we move further away from these stories. I fear younger photographers and models may not realize the risks and sacrifices made in the name of gay art.'
I have long enjoyed the work of Baker & Adams, and have been fortunate to have featured several of their shoots previously on FH. (HERE) Last year, Devin got in touch about an interview. When he shared why he was asking, I was thrilled to take part. In addition to his work behind the camera, Devin is helping Andy Dimler, the nephew of Western Photography Guild photographer Don Whitman, with the Western Photography Guild website. The site features Don's story and legacy of pioneering male photography. In addition, the site is spotlights other artists as well sites that focus on the male form. Devin was curious about my experience working on FH. You can check out that interview HERE:
In addition to being Whitman’s nephew, Andy is also the primary driver behind the site and promotion of The Western Photography Guild's history and vast catalog of work. Don Whitman originally established the WPG in the late 40’s after returning home from war. When Don passed away in the last 90’s, Andy and various family members inherited the estate. Andy now works to promote Don’s art and legacy and is himself a photographer, his focus being the female form. Andy also knows his way around a darkroom and occasionally prints from his uncles original negatives. Like his uncle, Andy also enjoys exploring, and shooting, in the majestic Colorado Rockies.
Doran Propp and Frank Zuech
Don and his nephew were so close that at one point, Don proposed that Andy take over WPG and continue shooting once he was gone. In a way, with the new site, that has sort of happened. Andy has great insight in both Don's work, and what his experiences shooting in the Guild's early days. There is a great interview on the WPG with Andy which I encourage you all to check out. (HERE:)
When Devin and I began communicating about an interview, I was surprised by some of the Guild's history, and the many challenges Don, and other photographers from the time, faced. Not only was difficult to find models and safely shoot, it was also incredibly risky to promote, share and distribute the work. When Devin initially sent on images, there was just one full nude. When I asked Devin about including one or two more, I ended up down a rabbit hole of research about why so many models initially wore posing straps, and why and when that began to change.
Initially, I thought of the posing strap was used as a privacy pouch, something used to help encourage more timid models to pose. Although I'm sure that played a role for some models, the pouch was actually used as a way to stay out of jail. Most of the models posed without it, but when it came to selling, or distributing the images, the posing strap was used to limit legal exposure....
It wasn't until the late 1960's and early 1970's that changes were made in the obscenity laws that reduced the legal risks of distributing and mailing images of the nude male form. These laws were incredibly limiting to artists and producers who depended on the mail as the main way to promote, sell and distribute their work. At the time, the utilizing the postal service was the only way to make money and to promote work beyond an artist's own home community.
The standard for what is considered obscene material was set down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. California on June 21, 1973. Marvin Miller, the owner of a California business that sold adult books and films had mailed out advertising materials which contained sexual images from the book and films he was promoting. When the owner of a restaurant in Newport Beach, California, and his mother opened the envelope containing five of the brochures, they decided to contact to the police.
Miller was subsequently arrested, charged, and convicted under a California law that banned the selling, possessing, publishing and distributing materials considered obscene. In Miller v. California , for the first time, the court created a three part test for evaluating whether a photo is obscene and could be legislated to be illegal, or whether it is protected free speech under the First Amendment:
1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary “community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
2. Whether the work depicts or describes, in an offensive way, sexual conduct as specifically defined by applicable state law and
3. Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.\
Larry Scott & Carter Lovisone
For Don Whitman, and so many other photographers shooting at the time, selling and mailing their work, number 3 (Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value) dramatically changed the images they could now send through the mail. Although the risks remained, this change in law eventually led to the end of the posing strap and the beginning of promoting and distributing work more transparently and directly to eagerly awaiting audiences.
FH readers know that actor Derek Theler has always been one of my favorite subjects to uncover. Derek often plays the clean cut, not always so brilliant young jock, but not so in his role on the new Paramount series 68 Whisky. Even with the Grizzly Adam look, Derek's appeal remains visible.
Although Derek's never been shy about shirtless scenes, thus far, as far as anything below the belt, he's only opened the door a crack.... (HERE:) For 68 Whisky, he unearths a glorious full moon.