Thursday, June 30, 2022

Meme Spirited


File under "Laugh to Keep From Crying." 


Getting ripped, hung and masc is where it's at. One more success story BELOW.

Thursday Ad Watch


Jockey rarely disappoints

Song of the Day: 'Heartbreaker' by Jenny Darren

Although Pat Benatar and her guitar-playing hubby wrote a few great songs, the songstress also had a good ear for material that she could improve upon. Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" comes to mind -- poor Kate must cringe when she hears how it should be sung -- and now a reader pointed me to the original version of perhaps Pat's finest single. 

Jenny Darren's "Heartbreaker" was released in 1978 on the album "Queen of Fools," which came out the year before the "In the Heat of the Night" Benatar debut. 

Fans may recall that "I Need a Lover" was a John Cougar cover; "You Better Run" (off Pat's second album) was a Young Rascals remake; and "Shadows of the Night" (off her fourth) was a reworking of a song first recorded by Helen Schneider (and later, much better, by Rachel Sweet).

Have a listen and then cleanse your ears with Pat's version after! 

Page 1 Roundup (06/30)


Boy Culture: Hot twink alert!

Hot Cat of the Day: Today’s adventures in napping

Morning Wood


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dear John Post

Last week an old friend of mine from when I lived in West Hollywood randomly popped into my head. (For now I'll just call him John.) We weren't terribly close, but we spent a lot of time together, usually at our second home, the bar Rage on Santa Monica Boulevard. On any given night you would find us there, John with a Sauza margarita and me -- making $23,000 a year -- with whatever was cheapest that night. Although he was only a few years older than me, in your early 20s those years seem like a lot more. 

We also carpooled together because both of us worked 50 miles south behind the Orange Curtain -- John at his family's insurance business in Tustin and me at the O.C. Register in nearby Santa Ana. I'll never forget being on the 101 coming home from work one afternoon whizzing through downtown L.A. when the news came on the radio that Robert Reed's autopsy showed he'd died from complications of bowel cancer and that HIV was a contributing factor -- and how John and I turned to each other and squealed in delight at finding out that Mr. Brady was family, and a bottom to boot! (In those dark days we took whatever gay representation we could get.)

John's day job was in the insurance industry, but he freelanced on the side as a photographer -- pre-digital when you had to have real motivation and real connections -- usually as an excuse for getting close to hunky up-and-coming actors. He was especially giddy when he got to spend the day with an Italian stallion from a "Married ... With Children" spinoff on the fledgling Fox network called "Top of the Heap" (later known as "Vinnie & Bobby"), a guy named Matt LeBlanc. (He may have also done interviews with his subjects, but my memory is a little fuzzy.) 

He also knew some casting agents, and claimed to have given one he was friendly with my (newspaper!) headshot for the role of Matt Fielding on "Melrose Place” when his pal said he didn’t like anyone he’d seen so far. I was duly flattered -- this was definitely not something I ever asked him to do given that I had zero acting abilities or ambitions -- even if I was fairly confident it was one of his awkward attempts to impress me … like Hollywood would ever cast a gay man to play a gay man, anyway!

John didn't talk about it often, but he came from a fabulously wealthy family in Laguna Beach. As such, he had a new sports car and two-bedroom condo in a fancy building on North Doheny Drive, on the WeHo-Beverly Hills border. When my roommate James and I decided not to renew our lease on South Bundy Drive, John suggested I move into his spare room, an offer I declined because I knew it would not be a good idea. (Unbeknownst to me, I instead ended up living with porn star Mike Henson and his boyfriend, whom I connected with via a roommate service on La Brea.) Though we were bar friends and carpool buddies, I never really thought I knew John very well. As friendly as he could be, he was also guarded and odd. We didn't have language for it at the time, but looking back I think he was what we might call today on the spectrum -- his ability to read social clues and his reactions to things never quite right. Still, when gay guys tried to jump on the #MeToo bandwagon I rolled my eyes and later had to laugh that it took me two years into the movement to remember that John -- in whom I had never expressed the slightest sexual interest -- pulled his penis out and started stroking it while I was using the phone in his condo one afternoon calling a roommate ad in Frontiers. (Ohmygod, I was a victim, too!) Call me old-fashioned, but I was neither permanently scarred nor in need of financial restitution for his clumsy attempt at some action, which I completely ignored. (Leave #MeToo to the ladies, guys, who face serious bodily harm in ways that men never could understand.) 

After I moved to the East Coast, I returned to Los Angeles in 1994 on a vacation with my new boyfriend. I immediately took Rafael to all my old haunts and, sure enough, there was John where I'd left him standing at the bar at Rage, nursing a Sauza margarita and taking in the sights. Although his view of the world was frequently off, he hit the nail on the head when he took one look at my man and whispered in my ear: "Way to go landing that Latin lover!" 

Jump to 2022. For the past three decades, I haven't thought about John often -- until last Friday. Maybe it was the impending Pride weekend -- he and I attended a few in Los Angeles, including the year Fake Darrin came out and was grand marshal with Elizabeth Montgomery -- or maybe it was just my ever-nostalgic brain doing what it does at 3 in the morning in lieu of sleeping. So I did what people in the 21st century are want to do -- I googled his name and was immediately alarmed by what I found: a perfunctory obituary on Ancient Faces, a website where people can share memories of the dead. Despite what I saw, it looked autogenerated -- there were no photos and hardly any of the fields were filled out except the eerily likely years 1963-2005 -- so I convinced myself he wasn't necessarily gone, bolstered by seeing other things online that still listed him as the owner of the condo on Doheny and had updated his age to 59. 

So then I found phone numbers for people who appeared to be his parents and decided to call. Much to my surprise, a woman immediately answered. Although she didn't sound young, she definitely didn't sound anything like she was in her late 80s, as John's mom would be.

I explained why I was calling, letting her know in advance that I apologize for the randomness of my call but was curious about an old friend of mine to whom she appeared to be related.

At first I thought I'd gotten a bad number -- she didn't confirm or deny that she knew of a John who used to live on Doheny, before sort of muttering, "No ..." And then suddenly blurting out: "You're going to have a hard time finding him because he's not on this planet anymore."

Stunned -- and realizing that I must be speaking with his mother, a mother who had lost her first-born child way too soon -- I expressed my condolences and said, "What happened?"

"He died!" she flippantly replied. Before I could say anything else, she added: "That's the past. We don't talk about what's in the past." 

As I tried to process what I had just been told while also trying to understand why she might be acting so belligerently -- I couldn't help but think of my late friend Larry and my brother Bill and felt certain that Larry’s mom and my mom would be thrilled if an old friend contacted either of them out of the blue -- she immediately followed her quip by saying: "It's time for dinner now -- I have to go."

Puzzled I just said the first thing I could think of, which felt like a bit of an overstatement even as it was coming out of my mouth: “OK, then. I just wondered what happened to him because he was special to me," to which she coldly replied: "Goodbye."

Still reeling from the interaction -- had I done something wrong by calling? -- I suddenly received a message on Facebook from another person I'd reached out to who was listed on as a "possible associate" of John's. Turns out the guy was a former roommate and, unlike Mom, was more than willing to chat, eventually disclosing that John had been a little "off" with him, too. He hadn't seen him since their brief time as roomies (1998-99) but said that he had heard that John died in 2005 although he knew no details. After a little back and forth, I told him I wondered if John's death might have been especially traumatic, and perhaps this is the way his mother copes with the whole thing. The former roommate said he had been thinking the same thing -- and proceeded to tell me how he'd only found out John had died because both of their names were still on the lease and at some point John had stopped paying rent and the landlord had come after him. (John's rich parents left the kid holding bag.)

I couldn't sleep very well the next few nights, as the roommate and I sent messages back and forth trying to solve the mystery of our friend's death. We speculated about a lot of stuff -- had John taken his own life? was he living with HIV but never told me? might the mom have mistakenly thought I was the ex-roommate she and her husband had screwed even though I identified myself as an old friend? was she estranged from John when he died? -- and I was left wondering why hearing about the death of someone I had briefly known three decades ago had upset me so deeply. 

Ultimately, I decided it was because John had always struck me as a kind but lost soul -- and I guess deep down I hoped he would find his way somehow. Hearing that he died nearly 20 years ago -- living like he had when I knew him -- meant that could never be.

And because I still want to know what happened to him, who for a brief time was special to me, in his most peculiar way.

A rep at Ancient Faces kindly dug up two of John's yearbook photos for me. RIP.

UPDATE: I was able to learn his cause of death. Read HERE.

Wrestle Wednesday


Wholesome home team. See the slutty away team BELOW.

Song of the Day: 'A Most Peculiar Man' by Simon and Garfunkel


This one's for you, JOHN. xo

Page 1 Roundup (06/29)


Hot Cat of the Day: There should be a summer camp for adults where you just go and sleep for 3 weeks.

Morning Wood

More to love BELOW.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tennis Tuesday


Suffice to say that Discovery Plus got its money's worth when it hired Matteo Berrettini to sit in a pair of shorts looking at a tablet for 30 seconds. More BELOW

Song of the Day: 'Baby, Now That I Found You' by the Foundations

As much as I adore "Build Me Up Buttercup" -- sung by Colin Young -- I'd have to argue that the Foundations' best single is today's SOTD, which is performed by the band's original lead vocalist, Clem Curtis.

Did you know …
Part of the song was written in the same bar of a Soho tavern where Karl Marx is supposed to have written Das Kapital. The lyrics are a plea that an unnamed subject not break up with the singer.
"Baby, Now That I Found You" peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.

Page 1 Roundup (06/28)


Hot Cat of the Day: Kitty playing in the basement crawl space? Not me. Why do you ask?

Morning Wood


Follow the hunky flight attendant HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Nice grass-court wins for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Taylor Fritz, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Garcia on the eve of Wimbledon. Plus a whole lot more BELOW.

Earlier I was in shock that the censors hadn't gone after ESPN for broadcasting James Duckworth's ass in mandatory-white shorts! 

Manspread Monday

And he knows how to read. See BELOW.

Song of the Day: 'Taste U' by Mike Maimone

Fresh off performing on the main stage at Nashville Pride, read how this nerdy gay jock-turned-musician found a home in our rainbow-colored big tent HERE.

Follow him on Instagram HERE.

Page 1 Roundup (06/27)

The Gay Curmudgeon: Supreme death court

Hot Cat of the Day: 'Cats are not affectionate."

P.S. Suffering from post-Pride depression? 

Buy a ticket for “Eat Drink Laugh,” a new stand-up comedy show hosted by The Gay Curmudgeon himself! All tickets $10. Buy HERE.

Morning Wood

Cheers! See him in his swim trunks BELOW.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday Comics


"But I just didn't like Hillary."

Speedo Sunday

I love a guy who brings a change of Speedo. See two more BELOW.