Tuesday, October 14, 2008

After Dark

Gregory Harrison (March 1981) and former basketball player Larry Wilson (November 1979)

While I may have been a tad precocious as a child when it came to films and television (how many 2-year-olds do you know who went to see Woody Allen's "Take the Money and Run" at the drive-in, or first-graders who counted "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Bob Newhart" as must-see television?). But when it came to periodicals, apparently I was too busy hanging out in my age group reading Highlights and Dynamite when I clearly should have been subscribing to After Dark, which was around from 1968 till the early '80s. Although it's described as "a magazine covering all aspects of the theater (cinema, stage plays, ballet, performance art, etc.)," clearly it was a gay boy's dream come true, with endless pages of dreamy actors and athletes in various states of undress, plus all the latest on the divas of the day. (The kind of mag where ads for "AutoAmerican" and "Koo Koo" ran!) Thanks to my online pal Mark Allen, I will now likely spend the next 10 years of my life further fixed to my computer going through these four truly spectacular Flickr galleries he stumbled upon -- lovingly maintained by a guy who calls himself Hilly Blue: After Dark before 1973 (942 photos), After Dark 1974-76 (916 photos), After Dark 1977-79 (1,180 photos) and After Dark after 1980 (732 photos).

For you enjoyment, I've taken the liberty of pulling out some of my favorites. But as Mark says, you might just wanna "bookmark it all for some snowy night in front of the fire."

Richard Gere (September 1978)
Bikini bottom fashion spread (June 1980) and Time Running Out (September 1982)
Model Michael Josey (November 1981)
David-James Carroll (starred in the play "Deathtrap" (August 1979) and the late Brad Davis
(May 1978)
Perry King (January 1977)
Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) (January 1981)and Mark Harmon (January 1981)
Treat Williams (October 1981)
Lorenzo Lamas (May 1979)

Maxwell Caulfield (September 1982)


Matthew said...

I have so many of these same issues. I bought stacks when I hit NYC in the early '90s from those street vendors in the WVill. I tore them up, saving the best parts: Maxwell Caulfield, Patrick Swayze, Lorenzo Lamas, etc. Oh, and Madonna's pretty.

Mike said...

Sadly, David-James (aka David) Carroll is also "late". He collapsed while recording the cast album of "Grand Hotel", his final Broadway show, and died at the recording studio. He was suffering from AIDS, and died of a pulmonary embolism in the studio's bathroom. Brent Barrett replaced him on the album (and in the show), although one recording of David's (the song "Love Can't Happen", recorded at a cabaret show he did) was included as a bonus track.

David was a wonderful actor with a gorgeous voice, and is missed terribly.

Unknown said...

I picked up about a dozen issues of After Dark from a garage sale at my neighbor's place two months ago - it's a very cool look into the gay past!

Neal said...

What a great mag this must have been- gorgeous hairy men abound! I also had to laugh when I spotted the bottle of Halston Z-14 in the pic next to the guy in the bikini. What a throwback!

Anonymous said...

I totally remember AfterDark, I was 17 years old and going to the M&M and Chester in Atlantic City...which at that time had 13 gay bars on one street, appropriately named NEW YORK AVENUE...they even had a Club Baths...which I was the towel boy for...1975...I couldn't wait to acquire the monthy issue of AD...what a pity it folded..

Jerry said...

B O I N G !!!!!!

James said...

Talk about bringing back memories! I used to see After Dark in the newsstand at 57th and 7th as I waited for the M10 bus to go uptown to school, and many was the time that I just had to buy it because of the guy on the cover. I then had to make sure to keep it hidden in my book bag all day, in case one of my classmates would wonder why I was reading it. You have even put up some of the ones I remember well!

Anonymous said...

This was before the age of every actor/model doing STEROIDS or shaving their hair.

Those guys were hot and manly.

I love muscle (natural) ... not Muscle Marys (steroid queens).


Timmy said...

OMG! I never knew about this magazine. Thanx for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I noticed a huge increase of visits to my flickr "After Dark" sets, and it is because of you and Mark Allen. I hope everyone enjoys them. I think it is important to remember not only the time period, but some of the people who were featured in these photos who didn't make the mainstream entertainment magazines. I'm glad there are others who can appreciate these archives.

Unknown said...

i loved collecting AFTER DARK, often new off the stands. i now am only 15 issues short of owning them all. Hopefully i'll find the few i need. Thanks for publishing your thoughts on this little known magazine. i'm having to introduce folks to it all the time. They all love them when they see them.

Daryl-Atlanta said...

I knew Michael Josey since the mid-1970's and his early days in Atlanta. He would visit NYC with several friends from time-to-time and that's when he was first seen/discovered by photographer Herb Ritts. In no time, Michael was photographed by Ritts and after seeing the proofs from the shoot, we all knew that Michael was a natural with the camera. A good and decent, down to earth guy who had innate masculinity and charisma, who like so many others...left us way to early.