Sep 2, 2023

The Dirt on Motley Crue


I have never heard any of the songs of the 1980s band Motley Crue, but I've heard their names and a lot gossip.  Did Tommy Lee post a home-made porno that showed his enormous cock?  Did he date Barbara from One Day at a Time?  Did Ozzy Osbourne bite the heads off bats?  Did Lisa Simpson play Nikki Six on a parody episode of The Simpsons?.  Were any of them gay?

Other than Google, there's one way to find out: watch the biopic The Dirt on Netflix.

Scene 1: The narrator tells us that the 1980s was the worst fucking decade in human history.  

Wait -- I loved the 80s, at least the last half.  I was a young adult,  living in West Hollywood, the heart of the gay world. Sunday brunch at the French Quarter.  Sunday afternoon beer busts at the Faultline.  Cruising at Mugi.  The Different Light Bookstore. The Greenery. 

Just indulge me.  I'll get to back to the review in a moment.

Madonna.  Prince.  Michael Jackson. Laura Branigan  Dynasty.  Moonlighting. Who's the Boss.

Lunch with Michael J. Fox.  Coffee with Richard Dreyfuss. An Oscar party with Keanu Reeves. John Amos naked at the gym. AIDS Walks.  Christopher Street West.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven!

Oh well, back to what the narrator hated about the 80s: preppies, keyboards, stupid haircuts, jazzercise, "Just say no."  Well, the Reagans were pretty vile

 "So we four misfits made the fucking decade ours by going to Whiskey A-Go-Go."  Five blocks north of my apartment in West Hollywood, but I never went because it was reputedly way homophobic.  Also it was up a very steep hill.

"And then bringing the party back to our place."  Endless male-female couples smooching.   

He introduces the misfits:

1. Tommy Lee (Colson Baker), who demonstrates how to do oral sex on a lady (yes, we see her privates).

2. The narrator, Nikki Six (Douglas Booth, top photo), who has set his arm on fire (wait -- I thought Nikki Six was a girl).  

3, In the bathroom, Vince Neil (Daniel Weber) is fucking a girl (we see her breasts)

4. Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) is sleeping. 

That's all four.  Where's Ozzy Osbourne? He must join the band later.  

Back in the main party, a woman who has been getting cunnilingis pees explosively,  Or does something else.  I don't know what comes out of lady parts, and I don't want to know.  I've seen more of them in the last five minutes than in the last 20 years, and it is not pleasant.  I'm out.

Time to resort to Google.

1. Tommy Lee has been married four times.  I recognize the names of two of his wives: Pamela Anderson and Heather Locklear.  But he was never married to  Valerie Bertinelli, Barbara on One Day at a Time.  I was thinking of Jon Bon Jovi.

2. In 1997, Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson filmed a tape of them having sex.  It's still on the internet somewhere, if you're interested.  I'm not.  There are other nude photos of Tommy available: enormous cock, full-body tattoos.

3. Ozzy Osbourne was never in Motley Crue.  He was in Black Sabbath.  In the movie, Ozzy (Tony Cavalero) gives the Crue guys some partying advice, then snorts some live ants like cocaine and drinks Nikki Six's urine.  Depending on how you drink it, that can be a homoerotic act.

Wait -- was Ozzy blond?  And did he usually dress in drag?

4. Lisa Simpson doesn't parody Nikki Six in the "Love, Springfield Style" episode of The Simpsons.  She and Nelson parody Sid Vicious and Nancy Spurgeon of the Sex Pistols

Were any of them gay:   In 2021, Tommy Lee offered Nikki Six a happy 75th birthday, and called him "my brother/other wife/ band mate/ terror twin/ and gay lover."   I imagine that he was joking.

What about homophobic:  The band has made a lot of homophobic statements over the years.  In 2012, Nikki Six told fans that "This isn't a fucking John Mayer faggot concert!"  Tommy Lee called the American Music Awards, the AMAs, the GAYmas, and then doubled down: "We all know that calling shit gay has nothing to do with actual gay people, so calm your bitch ass down."  

However, Ozzy and his wife Sharon have attended LGBT benefits. Recently Sharon came out as bisexual.  

Since Tony Cavalero was involved, I put a version with nude photos on my Righteous Gemstones blog.  Here's the link:

The Dirt on Motley Crue (with Cocks but No Lady Parts)

Sep 1, 2023

Once Upon a Mattress

December 12, 1972.  I'm in seventh grade at Washington Junior High.  After our usual Tuesday night dinner of tuna casserole, we gather in the living room and light up the Christmas tree-- we just set it up last night -- to watch tv.  But Maude and Hawaii Five-O are pre-empted by a musical called Once Upon a Mattress.  

A musical!  Gross!  "Can I be excused?" I ask.

"Don't be antisocial!" my father exclaims.  "Whatever you got to do, you can do it in here with the family."

I'm used to playing, reading, and doing homework in front of the tv  -- when I try to spend some time alone in my room, my father always yells at me to "Don't be antisocial!" and "Get out here with the family!"

What do they think I'm doing down there, anyway?

 But I have to get out of this stupid musical somehow!

"Um...I have to practice my violin."  I just joined the orchestra.

"Hey, if Boomer doesn't have to watch this junk, then I don't either!" my brother Ken complains.

So we get permission to hide in our  basement room.  But eventually I have to go to the bathroom, which means passing right in front of the tv set where that...ugh!...musical is playing.  I brace myself to rush through quickly, but I can't help glancing at the tv set.

It's Ken Berry from The Carol Burnett Show, who has nice muscles and a rackish smile.  He's singing "I'm in love with a girl named Fred."

Wait -- Fred is a boy's name.  Could he love with a boy?

No, "Fred" is played by Carol Burnett.  But Ken goes on to explain why he loves her:

She is very strong.
She can fight.
She can wrestle.

These are the reasons that boys like boys!

I sit down to watch the last half.  It's a version of the "Princess and the Pea" fairy tale, about Queen Agrivain, who doesn't want her sissy son, Prince Dauntless, to get married, so she forces every potential bride to take impossible tests.

 But Winnifred, nicknamed Fred, is so tough and strong that she passes every test, so the wedding can take place.

(In 2005, Carol Burnett returned to the production as Queen Agrivain, with gay actor Denis O'Hare, below with his husband Hugo Redwood.)

I don't realize that,  when the original musical appeared in 1959, "clinging mothers" were assumed the cause of gay identity, so Prince Dauntless would be assumed gay.   I don't catch the sexual symbolism of the mute King who suddenly finds his voice.  And of course I have no idea  that director Ron Field is gay in real life.

But I know all about liking people who are tough and strong,  liking biceps and pecs instead of the soft curves that boys are supposed to long for.

And I know all about doing things on mattresses.

See also: Looking for Muscles on The Carol Burnett Show

Don Ho and Gay Hawaii

In 1966, teens were listening to the new age of rock: "California Dreamin'", "Paperback Rider," "The Last Train to Clarksville."  The adults were listening to "Tiny Bubbles," a slow, lethargic audience participation song seemingly designed for cocktail lounges at 3:00 am, when the singer is drunk and the audience too tired to care:

Tiny the wine....make me happy....make me feel fine.

Wait -- I don't drink, but I've seen wine, and it's not carbonated.

The singer was a 36-year old Hawaiian named Don Ho (no relation to the Vietnamese singer),  who in fact wasn't drunk, but had been performing at his mother's night club, Honey's, since 1959.  "Tiny Bubbles" stayed on the charts for 17 weeks, and propelled him into stardom.

Between 1966 and 1971, Don Ho released six albums of slow-moving easy-listening, "nice" songs as an antidote to the hippies' acid rock: "What a Wonderful World," "The Lights of Home," "She's Gone Again"  Often interspersing English slang with Hawaiian pidgin: "Tu Tu Kane," "Mahi Pune."

He performed on The Joey Bishop Show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Hollywood Palace, and Laugh-In.  He had his own daytime tv series.

He appeared as himself on The Brady Bunch, Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, almost every tv series with an episode set in Hawaii (long after his heyday, he was still appearing as "himself" in Hawaiian-themed tv episodes, from Charlie's Angels to Life Goes On).

The adults loved him.  His fans included Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr., and Judy Garland.  Teens didn't know what to think.  Was he an asexual Asian Uncle Tom, or the first Asian sex symbol?  Was he perpetuating trite stereotypes (hula dancers wearing leis in tiki bars), or was he celebrating his Hawaiian heritage?

Gay teens were especially perplexed; here was a man surrounded by ladies, but with decidedly gay-coded mannerisms. Who sang "Lovely Hula Hands" but employed hunky male back-up singers.  Was he a Hawaiian Liberace in pink sunglasses, hiding same-sex desire behind a glittery facade?

Probably not. He was married for 40 years, and had 10 children.  But he did share the stage with Judy Garland.

Aug 29, 2023

Duke Van Patten's Beefcake and Romance Photos

Duke Van Patten (the one on the left) was recommended to me as a Facebook friend because we have one "mutual friend," Christopher Atkins.

Could he be related to the famous Van Patten brood of 1970s hunks?

Maybe, but before I click on "Yes! Add me!" I always check to see if the prospect is gay.

I've never met a guy named Duke, but that's probably not his fault.

He's an actor living in New York.  Otherwise his "likes" are empty: no music, no tv shows, no sports, friends other than Christopher invisible.

Not much to go on.

A lot of photos of Duke with guys.  This one may be joke.  He comments "I love snapchat captions."

But not this one under the Christmas tree.

Or this one.  They're engaging in the macho sport of fishing, but look -- seven guys, no girls.  My kind of vacation!

There are about a thousand pictures posted of Duke in a boy-boy pair.  Or in this case, a trio.

But what am I to make of this meme? Granted, there's a nice chest and biceps, and the girl is far in the background, but she's still a girl.

Ok, time to check Duke's other social media.

Instagram: 2 pictures of Duke in a group that includes girls, and 85,000 of Duke with guys, including this take on the "On top of the world!" scene from Titanic.  Comment; "10% of our brains?  I think we use only 10% of our hearts."

Twitter: He watches a lot of movies, he saw Angels in America in London, his dream dinner guest is Aslan, and he states "I'm glad I'm not a 12-year old girl anymore."

One more place to check.  If he's an actor, maybe he's on IMDB.

Hey, he's the son of Vince Van Patten, the 1970s movie hunk and tennis player, part of a whole show biz dynasty.

Five on-screen credits: two walk-ons, The Adventures of Velvet Prozac (sounds campy), The Guest House (about a guy with a gay stalker), and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (playing himself)

I'm convinced.  Sign me up.  I don't have any friends left in New York -- maybe he'll invite me for a visit. 

I could tell him my Vince Van Patten hookup story.

See also: The Van Patten Brothers.

Cameron Mathison: Gay Content and Abs

Have you ever heard of Cameron Mathison?

Me, neither.

When I saw this black-and-white photo of the muscleman with an old-fashioned swimsuit and hairstyle, I figured he must be a 1950s beefcake star, like Troy Donahue or Rock Hudson, maybe one of Henry Willson's stable of gay and gay-friendly actors hired for their physique rather than for their background in The Taming of the Shrew.

But I thought I had covered almost all of them, even the most obscure.

Turns out this guy was born in 1969: this is a faux-retro photo from the 1990s.

He grew up in Canada, and graduate from McGill University with a degree in engineering.  After appearing in a few movies, he landed a plum role as con man Ryan Lavery on the soap All My Children.  He appeared from 1998 to 2011, with a year off.

At the same time he was a correspondent for Good Morning, America, working on the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and other events, and interviewing celebrities from Mario Lopez to Wolfgang Puck.

In 2015 he began starring in a series of movies based on the Murder, She Baked novels, as Mike Kingston, boyfriend of the small-town baker turned sleuth.

Any gay content?  Oh, I don't know.  Look at those abs.

How have I not heard of this guy before?

Ok, ok, he plays a gay character in 54 (1998), with Ryan Philippe (with a gay kiss edited out), and Getty Images has some pictures of him at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in L.A. in 2011.

That's enough gay content for me.

By the way, he has a brother, Scott.  I want to know more about him, too.

Aug 28, 2023

Krazy Kat: The First Gay Comic Character

From 1913 to 1944, newspaper readers could read a sparely drawn comic strip, an anomaly in the era of lush art deco masterpieces like Little Nemo, in which a small, squiggly cat named Krazy professes undying romantic love for the mouse Ignatz, who responds by lobbing a brick at Krazy's head.  But the cat is not dissuaded, accepting even violence as a signifier of desire. And, in fact, Ignatz often gives in and grudgingly accepts Krazy's affection.

 Meanwhile Officer Pup hangs around to throw Ignatz in jail or pontificate on the evil of brick-throwing.

The general public wasn't impressed, but the elites loved it, exuding comparisons to Charlie Chaplin and German expressionism. Gilbert Seldes’ The Seven Lively Arts (1924) devoted a chapter to the strip, and today most histories of the comic strip include warmly appreciative paragraphs.  Literary figures as diverse as Jack Kerouac and Umberto Eco have praised it.  It has influenced every comic strip from Peanuts to Pearls Before Swine. 

But heterosexuals try desperately to avoid admitting that Krazy Kat is gay.

The evidence is incontrovertible.  Cartoonist George Herriman always refers to Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse with the pronouns "he," "him," and "his," not to mention "Mr. Kat" and "Mr. Mouse."  I haven't read all 1500 strips, but I've read several hundred, and never once is Krazy Kat referred to with any feminine pronouns.  Krazy Kat is most definitely a male, experiencing same-sex desire.  He's gay.

Yet Gilbert Selden ("The Seven Lively Arts") and Robert Harvey ("The Art of the Comic Book") insist that Krazy's gender is indeterminate or ambiguous.

Gene Deitch ("The Comics Journal") calls Krazy a "he/she."

Martin Burgess ("The Comics Journal") says that Krazy is "always changing genders."

Miles Orville suggests that there is some ambiguity, but adds “for the sake of consistency, I am going to refer to Krazy as ‘she.’”

Poet E.E. Cummings, cartoonist Bill Watterson, and encyclopedist Ron Goulart have no qualms it: Krazy is a girl. Period.

A classic example of refusing to recognize same-sex desire even when it is hitting you in the head like a well-thrown brick.

When cornered, even cartoonist George Herriman backed off.  He was questioned about Krazy's gender, but not with homophobic disgust -- with honest confusion, in those days before the general public knew that gay people existed.  Wow could a male possibly desire another male?  It made no sense.

He responded that "The Kat can't be a he or a she.  The Kat's a spirit -- a pixie -- free to butt into anything.  Don't you think so?"


No evidence that Herriman was gay, but he was hiding, of mixed race in the all-white world of newspaper cartooning.  He explained his dusky looks by claiming to be half Greek, and always wore a hat to hide his kinky hair.  He knew all about masks.

See also: Pogo, the Gay Possum of Okefenokee Swamp

Aug 27, 2023

Michael Cade

Do you know this man?  You should.

Saved by the Bell (1988-93) was a mega-hit, especially among teenagers, so of course it spawned countless imitations (even a cartoon series, Tiny Toon Adventures).  Suddenly Friday night and Saturday morning was crowded with buffed twentysomethings attending affluent high schools that required their students to be semi-nude most of the time.

In addition to the usual problems with parents, teachers, dating, homework, and sports competitions, California Dreams (1992-97) put the high schoolers in a band.  The members kept changing, but they included Brent Gore, William James Jones, Jay Anthony Franke, and Aaron Jackson.

20-year old Michael Cade played Sly Winkle (yes, that was his name), the fast-talking, scheming manager of the band. Oddly, Sly was not the least concerned with heterosexual hookups.  He liked modeling, wrestling, surfing -- anything that required his shirt to be off -- but he only dated girls in two or three episodes, and they were all designed to give him a comeuppance rather than demonstrate girl-craziness.

All of the male cast members were attractive enough to become the first crush of gay boys everywhere, but Michael Cade was stunning, a worthy successor to Mark-Paul Goesselar or even such 1980s hunks as Alan Kayser and Robby Benson.  He also had a winning smile, and enough charisma to shine in even the most pedestrian plotlines.

After California Dreams, Michael continued to work in television and movies, mostly independents with limited release, such as Along the Way (2007), and shorts like The Trip (2007) and Customer Service (2009).

They may be difficult to find, but they're worth seeking out.  Even without the shirtless shots.

Michael is a gifted performer, and his characters are usually immersed in groups of male friends, with no hint of a quest for heterosexual romance.

See also: Weird Science.

The Clones of "Saved by the Bell"

During the 1990s, as advertisers were squabbling over the affluent teen market and cable stations were struggling to fill slots, Saved by the Bell-like teencoms appeared regularly: Welcome Freshmen (1991-92),  California Dreams (1992-97), Running the Halls (1993), Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993-2000), Hang Time (1995-2000), Breaker High (1997-98), USA High (1997-99), City Guys (1997-2001).

The formula was easy: take six to eight beautiful people, three or four boys (schemer, hunk, nerd, and ethnic minority), three or four girls (cheerleader, feminist, princess, and ethnic minority).  Give all of the boys some tongue-lagging, eye-exploding girl-craziness, and all of the girls an obsession over boys.  Give them three sets: high school hallway, locker room, and teen hangout.  Add a clueless principal and an occasional parent, and voila!  The scripts write themselves (or actually, they can be recycled from  40-year old episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis).

In spite of the dull repetitiveness of the plots, gay teens might find them worth a look.

1. The shirtless, swimsuit, and speedo shots were constant, and the muscles often spectacular.  Even those teens who weren't man-mountains got their turn in the wrestling singlet.

Or found some other reason to take off their clothes.

2. Many of the high school hunks came in pairs, polarized into white/nonwhite or nerd/jock.  Breaker High was notable for having two homoromantic pairs: the nerd  Sean (Ryan Gosling) was paired with the schemer Jimmy (Tyler Labine); and the jock Max (Scott Vicaryous) was paired with the ethnic minority Alex (Kyle Alisharam).

These pairs often enjoyed emotional bonds much more intense than those of their knee-jerk heterosexual romances.  Plots often involved threats to their relationships.  For instance, on Breaker High, Alex and Max break up, and Jimmy jumps at the chance to befriend the hot jock.  But then he realizes where his true affections lie and returns to Sean.

But at the same time, they constantly patroled the boundaries of their relationship, evoking and rejecting the possibility of homoromance in joke after joke, episode after episode.  The studio audience usually responded with hysterical laughter: they knew exactly what was not being mentioned.

Beefcake, buddy-bonding, and borderline homophobia.  What else could a gay teen want from a Saturday morning teencom?

I Saw John Amos Naked


In Righteous Gemstones Episode 2.9, the Lissons show their true colors by being shockingly abusive to Lyle's aging Dad, Roddy Lisson, played by the legendary John Amos.

Amos was everywhere on television in the 1970s and 1980s: the adult Kunta Kinte in Roots (1977), Gordy the Weatherman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77), longsuffering dad James Evans on Good Times (1974-79), sword-and-sorcery fighter Seth in Beastmaster (1982), plus guest shots on Sanford and Son, Maude, Police Story, Love Boat, The name it, he was in it.

The full article, with a nude photo which may or may not be of John Amos, is on my Righteous Gemstones blog

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