Blue Views--remember to click photos to enlarge them...in some cases, it is well worth it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

After Dark November 1978

Well After Dark graced the cover of their November 1978 issue with one of the hottest young talents around back then. When I say hottest, I mean hottest. If you missed my Monday's Man post featuring Joseph Bottoms, take a look and you'll see what I mean. Kenn Duncan photographed this cover photo and the the other shots from this issue that I used in that Monday's Man post. I'm still trying to decide if I like Joseph with his hair slicked back or feathered. Either way, he couldn't go wrong.

In William Como's editorial, he mentions his recent trip to Palma with publisher Jean Gordon. While they were there, they ran into one of their contributing writers/editors Robert Pavlik and photographer Jack Mitchell. Well, Jack is not one to miss a photo opportunity and took a picture of Bill, Jean and Bob.

Mr. Como also found a new style of music called athletic rock. Mrozinski had a recent concert at the Hurrah rock club and performed his own material. In Bill's words, "...he sweats a lot."

The International Ballet of Caracas was about to lose their principal dancer. Dale Talley was being considered for the lead in the Berlin Opera Ballet's The Idiot. I wouldn't consider him for The Idiot, I would, however, consider him for something else.

A letter writer suggested featuring John Corvello, so After Dark obliged, but also stated that their January 1979 issue would have a feature on physical fitness. I'll have to go back and look at that issue to see if John is there. Of course, you know I'll post that one soon.

Another writer mentioned a new show called Sam and it's hunky star. It was a cop and dog partner series. Who was the hunky star? Mark Harmon!

The After Dark People section featured some new faces to look for. The first was San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Dennis Marshall.

Brian Nichols was featured in King of Hearts, a musical that was based on the film. The show opened on October 22.

In Praise of Older Women featured a young actor by the name of Tom Berenger. The issue misspelled his name as Beringer.

Death on the Nile had recently premiered a month or so before this issue hit the stands. One of its stars to be featured in the People section was Lois Chiles.

Anais Nin, the writer of the erotic Delta of Venus had a pen pal and friend from 1948 until her death in 1977. It was none other than James Leo Herlihy, author of Midnight Cowboy. In the photo of James is the portrait of Nin by Michel Seren.

"A Legendary Greek Plays a Greek Legend" was the name of the article by Patrick Pacheco featuring Melina Mercouri. The Topkapi actress was starring in A Dream of Passion that also starred Ellen Burstyn.

Sometime in the future, Louis Miele would take over as Editor-in-Chief from William Como. I know there are a couple of other people somewhere in there, but I'll have to work out the timeline another day. Back to the point...Louis Miele was Director of Advertising and Marketing at the time of this issue and he coordinated the following shot to promote boots. One woman with five guys in jock socks and boots. I don't know about you, but I think the models were getting a little too close together (especially the two guys on the right click on photos to see them larger). It's reasons like this photo, that I love After Dark!

Where was I? Oh yeah, we had Joseph Bottoms, a couple of dancers, Tom Berenger and now it's time for Ice Cream...I mean Ice Skating. John Curry won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and the 1976 World Championship. Now John was going to make his American debut with his Theatre on Ice.

The photos of Frances Farmer that were included with the article on the tragic actress showed me exactly why Jessica Lange would eventually be chosen to play Farmer. The resemblance is uncanny.

Paradise Alley was a new film from Sylvester Stallone and one of the new breed of brooding tough guy actors to emerge was Kevin Conway. He was being compared to James Cagney. Well, I guess, but whatever, okay. Why does someone always have to be the new someone else? Must there always be a comparison?

Speaking of Stallone-- an unnamed model in the Highlights section was sporting a fur from Brothers II in New York City. Who could it be?

There were a couple of other ads for men's furs throughout the issue. Which attracted my attention the most? The man in the business suit and fur for Brothers II?

The two guys in the ad for George Zessi where one of them is straining the crotch of his jeans?

Or the one for Robert Sidney Furs, Inc. with a naked guy in a fur with a bottle of wine and two glasses?

You advertising people out there need to answer the question for me. I am leaning toward the naked guy, but is that the marketing ploy they were going for? If I was a business man, would I have gone for the other one? I like the guy in the jeans, but it looks like he already has someone. So the single naked guy with an extra glass for me, is the one I choose, because I'm a lush and a slut? Hmmmm....

Speaking of slut, there was a new brief underwear hitting the market called the Botek Skant. It was a lightweight two-way, sheer-stretch fabric of nylon and Lycra spandex. What does that really have to do with being a slut? Well, when I first read it, I saw the word "skank". It seemed to just stick in my head.

Are you ready for a disco in your own home? Charles Burke, a noted interior designer and architectural consultant can make your dream come true. He designed one of the world's most sophisticated private discotheques for the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hans Smith in Beverly Hills. I wonder if they still live in that house? Does it now have a treadmill and exercise bike in it? When they got ready to sell it, did it stay as a feature of the house? Listing: SPAC 5BR, 3 1/2BA, DSCO...

Speaking of discos...Did you, or anyone you know, go to Michael Fesco's Flamingo?

Here is the write up on it and I am intrigued to know more:
Michael Fesco's Flamingo, the ultimate underground private club, through whose doors pass some of New York's finest bodies and hardcore discoers, recently blasted off for another season. Flamingo has maintained a special sensual chemistry that makes its membership one of the most sought-after cards to own. To join this inner sanctuary whose special parties are legendary, and Saturday night inferno gatherings the place to be--you must be recommended by a member and then hope you receive an application. Flamingo, located in SoHo, has a yearly membership fee of $75, and it's worth every cent for those who dig "getting down and doing it" to the hottest and latest disco music in town. Flamingo's address and phone number is a well-kept secret, so find a friend to lead you down to Flamingo's road.


  1. I believe it was in a bio on Halston that I read some years ago, that there was much writing on The Flamingo. My understanding was that it was 'the' place in the mid-seventies, but when Studio 54 opened it kinda got eclipsed. Maybe that's why this story appeared; an attempt to re-whet the whistle, so to speak.

    I was a 19 year old gayling when this issue came out and one of my burning desires at the time was to own a fur coat. I'm slightly embarrassed to report that, despite loving animals and living in sunny LA, it kinda still is!

    I love that you are giving us these mags, Hilly.

  2. I wish I had not tossed my AFTER DARKs in 1981. I had a complete set & a complete set of Christopher Street.
    I was always a bit frieghtened & a bit excited when I went to my newstand for the new AFTER DARK. "I only look at it for the articles".

  3. Flamingo was at the corner of Houston St. and Broadway. There was a bank on the ground floor. You had to take an elevator up. It was not eclipsed by Studio 54; it was strong as ever until The Saint opened up in 1981. That did it, and it was forced to close shortly thereafter, because attendance had dwindled to practically nothing, so overwhelming was The Saint's allure.

    In addition to a recommendation by a member, it was necessary to apply in person for membership. They were very exclusive, and minority members were few and far between. Flamingo was viscerally connected to Fire Island Pines, so much so that it closed during the summer, because so many of its members were at The Pines. The so-called gay A-list went to both, and during the summer you would see many of the same people you saw at Flamingo during the winter.

    All of that said, it was a fabulous and wonderful place, IMHO the second best gay disco after The Saint.

  4. P.S. The greatest DJ's at Flamingo were Richie Rivera, Roy Thode, and Howard Merritt.

    A little-known bit of gay history: One year (I forget which), on opening night of the new fall season, Flamingo was raided by the fire department and police, presumably because of fire-department violations. Most of us refused to leave and sat down on the dance floor, chanting and banging on the floor. However, the music did not come back on, and we eventually left. Flamingo reopened the following week; many of us believed that Michael Fesco had simply refused to continue paying protection bribes to the homophobic authorities.

  5. WOW! Thanks for all of this info. A couple of other people have emailed me with some more information, so I'll probably do a follow-up post on the Flamingo. Thanks again for the comments!



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