bj's gay porno-crazed ramblings

February 12, 2018

Destroying Angel – (Big) BILL ELD

Filed under: "vintage" porn stars — bj @ 10:27 AM

Big Bill Eld (aka Bill Young) , who you know from such Hand In Hand Films as: Adam & Yves (1974), Le Musee aka Strictly Forbidden (1974), The Destroying Angel (1976), Sex Magic (1977), and A Night at the Adonis (1978).

For Colt he did Posing Strap with Dick Trask, and Hand Spray; some others get credited to Falcon: Hand for a Star (1974), and Tradesman – but I suspect Falcon just bought them after they were produced and threw them on some videos a couple years later, or got in on the distribution end only – just a hunch. A beautifully shot scene I remember from Toby Ross’s Reflections of Youth (1974), apparently was a short called Straight A’s; I remember him in gym shorts and thought he was a gym teacher; but the link describes it more of a student taking a rest from studying. Looks like first film was from 1971, Waterbed, with Jim Cassidy and, hmmmm, Connie! Appears all his film work was done in the 1970’s, with some movies popping up in the 80’s via videotape compilations, but were actually all filmed in the 1970’s

more pics

10 Comments »

  1. I hadn’t remembered him in A Night at the Adonis, one of my favourites, which had been fun to see at the actual Adonis (I think even Eartha was still selling tickets after being in the film). So looked it up and it’s ‘on movie clip’. Do you remember which movie it was? I’d imagine it was ‘Adam and Yves’, which was his best IMO. Saw it several times when it came out at 55th St. Playhouse, because that had been such a fabulously photographed piece, and great organ music too. A few years later I saw him dance live at the Gaiety, which was at an address on B’way at the time (I think, before moving to 8th Ave.) By then, things were rougher, and there was a VV article about this. +’Posing Strap’ I have on one of the Colt Collections, that’s got some hot moments with Trask too.

    [Reply]

    bj Reply:

    good question – and I’d have to dig it out, and a VCR, and figure out how to hook up to TV – since I can not remember! I would assume another Hand in Hand film, but who knows? The GEVI site merely says: “He walks in just in time to see Bill Eld on the screen, fucking ass over a table. ” – if that description is correct, it wouldn’t be from ‘Adam and Yves’, which was a solo scene.

    [Reply]

    parisian Reply:

    Thanks. And can’t remember the other films that well, although saw Sex Magic, liked that it had Wrangler and Eld, but I think that was solo for Eld too. I saw Destroying Angel, I’m all but sure, but can’t remember it in detail. Can’t actually remember Eld doing any ass-fucking but very dimly. A few never ass-fucked in any film.

    [Reply]

    zephyr Reply:

    I think you’re right about the films being shown on screen at the Adonis, I saw this sentence in a review of the film on bijouworld: “Meanwhile, as different Hand-in-Hand films are playing on the screen…”

    https://www.bijouworld.com/Gay-Sexual-History/Whatever-happened-to-a-night-at-the-adonis-theater.html

    This would make sense, if they showed scenes from their own films they wouldn’t have to pay anyone for the rights, just credit the performers. According to gevi Bill’s scene partner in Sex Magic was Lee Foster, and Lee is also listed in the cast for Adonis so I’d say it’s likely that was one of the clips they showed.

    They also borrowed one of the few “steady-cams” that existed then to film Night At The Adonis from the director of Rocky, which was filming in NYC at the same time. I don’t know how they pulled that one off, Jack Deveau must have had some sway in the non-porn filmmaking world but they filmed Adonis in one night and returned it the next morning.

    [Reply]

    parisian Reply:

    Fantastic details, zephyr. I can be a bit slow at putting things together–as B.J. mentioning: “walks in just in time to see Bill Eld on the screen” didn’t click with that it was necessarily the Adonis Theater screen, although that’s now obvious that it would be (lots of movies have got movies or TV watched in them.) There may have been another film I saw at some other theater (the David?) with the Adam & Yves solo in it, but I’m not sure; or I may have seen the movie at another theater, and it no longer was quite as important to me.

    But this bears out what I picked up when I first saw “Night at the Adonis” when it opened at ‘The Male Flagship Theater of the Nation’. This is a unique work of Real Art, although it isn’t by any means my favourite porn film, and your additions only add to my early impression that it’s sort of like those Chinese ‘boxes-within-boxes’, although I think it’s highly unlikely the filmmakers were consciously doing all aspects of this. It was, therefore, 1) A piece of legitimate theater, with the Adonis being the ‘Broadway house’, even though the ‘play’ was a film. Anywhere else it doesn’t have quite that effect that was so giddy that I recall I found one of the seats in the balcony (which hadn’t collapsed until maybe 6 years later) and jerked off in it, which may be what he was doing in that seat in the film or he may have been sucking someone–I never saw it again, but probably did see it a few times as well during that first run, or wouldn’t have decided to come back and do that. 2) The film is itself diagetic material of the theater, and then 3) The showing of another Hand in Hand film onscreen in that very physical theater is diagetic within the film-object. That theater was a constant presence in my life in the late 70s and 80s too, although it went way down from when it was still clean and you could fuck on the floor behind the ‘bar’ that had drinks in the film.

    So, it can’t really be shown again with all its dimensions since the Adonis was razed by late 2000 at least (probably earlier), and the ‘new Adonis’ at 45th got filthy in no time in the early 90s. All sorts of things made this kind of ‘audience play’ possible.

    I published a small art-book in 2005 which has 4 chapters, and the 3rd is a series of reviews which are more like essays. ‘A Night at the Adonis’ is the only one of 14 I wrote essays about, mostly about the things I mentioned above (that I knew of at the time), but also the sexy use of ‘Moonlight Serenade’, which seemed to match Wrangler so well, given his background we found out about a few years later in his book. In a way, it seems to me the most perfect of all porn films, because of the way these elements fell into place so serendipitously. The steady-cam and shooting the whole film in one night is part of that, of course–fascinating. The only other porn film as film that I’d put on that kind of level is that impossible-to-find “Homologues ou le Soif du Male” from about the same period and a rare French import–smoother technically than any of the American ones, beautiful French and Italian men, mournful background music–very otherworldly and with an incredible fuck scene with the main character and a mustachioed Italian he’d picked up at a pinball machine–guy really knew how to get fucked in that dispassionate way. I know only one person who saw it in Paris at the time, and have never heard of it since, although there’s a page on GEVI. “Adam and Yves” was definitely good, though, the best of Peter de Rome’s films IMO.

    parisian Reply:

    “‘A Night at the Adonis’ is the only one of 14 I wrote essays about” should be:

    ‘A Night at the Adonis’ is the only porn film among 14 films I wrote essays about. It was just one of those things that ‘couldn’t happen but did’.

    Comment by parisian — February 13, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

  2. Coming back out to the top line comment area since I don’t see a way I can reply to your reply to my reply, parisian — here I thought I was the one who left the longest comments around here, but you clearly know your stuff in regards to this movie! I love reading longer comments when someone takes the time to put them up, I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea though, especially nowadays that so many people’s attention span is for shit, haha. I remember a few experiences in porno theatres from back in the day, never went to one in NYC but I do remember a night I went to a strip show there at one place, this would have been late 80s so I don’t recall the name of it, or anyone who was there (but the main star’s dick was gigantic, I was surprised he could get it up even 2/3 or so like he did). There was a whole underground scene that went along with the theatres, the cruising and familiarity with the other patrons was always part of it from what I saw so I can only imagine that sort of connection from the days before. I went to the Bijou in Chicago a couple of times when it existed, that was an experience…, and a few XXX theatres in other US cities as well.

    Back to A Night At The Adonis, I’ve been fascinated by the use of music in some of the films from the 70s and 80s, back before filmmakers would have had to contact some mega-corporation to ask to use popular music (which no doubt would have been denied if they knew a porn film wanted to use it, especially a gay one) and instead they just added the music they wanted to use for the scenes. I’m trying to remember Adonis and where in the film Moonlight Serenade plays, do you know if it was a particular scene? I have a copy of it saved and will have to go back and watch it, to see if I can place that one. I can tell you that in the copy I have, the following songs I was able to pick out — artist / song title / start and end time in what I have:

    Sylvester / Down, Down, Down / 7:26 – 8:16
    THP Orchestra / Two Hot For Love / 40:40 – 56:00
    Benny Goodman / Sing, Sing, Sing / 73:40 – 79:00

    I have a few other vintage/classic porn films and at least some of the songs used in them saved in a document, I’ve published a few details here and there online but never all in one place. BJ has a detailed list of the music from A Night At Halsted’s on this site somewhere, that kind of thing just really interests me. Like the song that plays when Al Parker and the other guy go through the car wash in his van in One In A Billion is the song from the link below. Your French film sounds interesting, hope it can be found someday! Cheers parisian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B2sD2qciMo

    [Reply]

    parisian Reply:

    Hahahahaha, zephyr! Indulgence is what it’s all about, eh? Gives me less guilt about writing just a bit more after my lengthy post, to clarify and answer what I can.

    The Adonis itself was once a legit theater given to Fanny Brice by her 2nd husband showman Billy Rose. I used to read ‘Cinema Treasures’ about old and new theaters, but I don’t think it gave (or the writers also just didn’t know) the full early history. But that was why it was so fabulously spacious with the 2 floors, and at least in the mid-late 70s, really clean bathrooms on every floor where some of the best sex went on–including one in the basement.

    Other minutiae from the Adonis Theater itself: For a few years after ‘A Night at the Adonis’ played there, there were old-style stills from the movie in little frames up front as you entered just before the ticket booth.

    One thing not quite clear in my description of balcony seat I jerked off in while someone else was doing it in that same seat onscreen–that was Jack Wrangler, whom I was very into at that time; I think I timed it so I’d come at the same time too (if I’m wrong about that, I am ashamed–but the scene was hot when it played the Adonis.) I saw him as the star of that film, he was always such a cute, campy actor in addition to his other charms. We all saw lots of him, at one point about 1977 he seemed to be on every gay mag cover, and B.J. has covered him extensively and well here.

    The other things I can’t be sure of because, as I mentioned, I am pretty sure I went several times in the original run (already near the end of its ‘Golden Age’), but have never seen it again. I think ‘Moonlight Serenade’ is background with Big Band/Glenn Miller sound, but sung–I remember some female singer on the word ‘Glamour’, and I think the guys are on that second floor at the ‘bar’ I mentioned I used to do a lot of fucking on the carpet behind; but they really had glamorized it for this as they sashayed in with lots of drinks there–brought it to cool-hot life. The other songs you remember from the film I don’t anymore, just has been too long.

    Liked very much your mention of the subculture with ‘familiarity of the patrons’–I didn’t go so much to the strip shows, but I did go to the Adonis at least once a week for about 10 years, and the best of all was to do fucking and sucking someone at the theater, then meet and get to know at your place or his…and then see each other again at the theater and start the sex again as if you were still anonymous. There was hardly anything hotter than this, and I did it with at least 3, and these 3 that I remember were the best to assfuck I ever had–one hot big Puerto Rican with a water-chestnut asshole I sucked and fucked and cum-drank. And behind that same ‘bar’, a beautiful French boy fucked the hell out of me. Once I spent Xmas Day there (1978, I think), and sucked off a hung black man right out in the open area of the balcony toilets–and several more that same day. The balcony area had inside it a big space with these wonderful white wicker chairs, and we all behaved as lewdly as possible sitting or standing there.

    It was like living in a dream, there was so much incredible pleasure.

    [Reply]

    zephyr Reply:

    So as to your original question, way, way up the page now … Bill Eld and when he appears in Night At The Adonis. I watched the copy I have most readily available to me, it’s not quite halfway through the film around 35 minutes in, and Roger has just showed up at the theatre. But all he has is a 50, so Big Bertha or whatever her name is has to call up, and the guy brings down the change. That’s the plot point in the film. Anyway as he’s walking up to the ticket counter, the preview clip for a Hand In hand film starts playing on the screen, and shots of it are interspersed with the lobby action for the next few minutes, before Jack and the other guy go to the downstairs bathroom. I hope this make sense? Anyway the film preview that plays is Good Hot Stuff, a Hand In Hand compilation of some of their studio’s earlier scenes or loops. The gevi page:

    http://gayeroticvideoindex.com/V/0/9830.html

    for Good Hot Stuff says that the scene with Bill is indeed from the Narcissus scene of Adam & Yves, so you were right in your initial guess. It was just via a second film. And as for the music, I’ve only been able to identify the ones I listed above, a number of them are unknown to me and just have notes describing them. Just thought I’d mention that.

    It sounds like you had some very intense experiences at the theatre itself, so I can see why it would stand out for you, and what that time would have been like. Agreed about Jack Wrangler, his biggest fame was before my time but he was definitely an icon, and to jack off in the exact seat he was sitting in would be a sort of brush with fame, in a way. He had a very lowkey persona and character he played, witty dialogue and just enough swagger that it made him seem very alluring. The documentary about Jack called Anatomy Of An Icon is well worth watching, if you’ve not seen it.

    That kind of camaraderie that used to exist in gay spaces, including the ones where guys hooked up for sex when it all still HAD to be underground, that seems to be going away for the most part. It’s not the same when someone is only an image on a screen, or when gay people have assimilated enough that it’s not as necessary to have the hideaways like it used to be. In a gay male only space you learn that things like a guy’s hand brushing against your butt could be an attempt at initiating something, and certainly not an agressive act, or if somebody makes a funny sound that means to stop what you were doing and pretend to be watching the movie, but you’re also watching the action in all the other rows at the same time. I experienced that somewhat in the 80s and 90s when I came out but it was obvious it had changed by that time, the basic concept still existed but it was more dangerous and looked down upon, as opposed to being an integral part of the lives of most gay men like I believe it had just before, in the era you describe. Thanks for the vivid description of your conquests too, I enjoyed that!

    [Reply]

    parisian Reply:

    I had name-dropped enough in a few posts here in the past, and was trying to resist…although I probably haven’t been as regular here as you, despite following B.J. since 2002 at times. He’s a trouper, no question.

    When I wrote before, I think I was more detailed, but you may not have read that, so I’ll just quickly (truly this time–we’ve already got a dissertation including other related posts by B.J.) mention that about 10-11 years later, I did meet Jack twice, at a wedding party at a restaurant, then 2 days later at the wedding where Margaret was singing and I played some Debussy on the piano; and wedding reception on Sutton Place where we continued to tease. He was his usual cruisy boyish self. He was very funny in a cab telling me about ‘some drug people use for sex’, and he had to know it was hilarious to say that to me sitting between me and Margaret. I wouldn’t say anything, because Margaret obviously couldn’t!

    By then, I was not quite the fan I had been (and he’d long left the business, of course, too), but he was totally fun to play with (clothed), and I made sure never to tell him about my earlier ‘brush with fame’!

    Zephyr, you write very elegantly, it’s been a pleasure to converse with you. Thanks for all the additional information today, and thanks, B.J., for your largesse, and also for that pic of Bill, which I’d never seen; I think it’s perhaps the most beautiful I’ve seen of him.

    À tout à l’heure…I did live in Paris for a year, there was a theater at Place Blanche that was literally Babylonian Hanging Gardens of beautiful French boys, that was a few years before the Adonis even opened. Definitely true about the 70s being the only truly Pure Male Homosexual Period. I was very fortunate.

    Comment by zephyr — February 17, 2018 @ 7:33 PM

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