They had some serious balls to try and say that the magazine wasn't gay.
I was a ghost writer for After Dark. It was gay, very, very gay.
Back when I was in college in the mid-80s I discovered our library's run of bound early-70s After Darks in the periodical stacks. I used to park myself in a carrel and look at them when I had time to kill or was bored of studying. I wasn't out yet and they were pretty fascinating to me at the time.
I'm not gay; I'm bisexual!!!
WEHT Norma McClain Stoop?
R1 .... interesting ....why a 'ghost' writer, instead of a staff writer. Were you writing a column for one of their 'known' columnists ??
Back in that same era, there wasn't anything gayer than GQ, except for maybe Honcho. The early years of Details also seemed to be completely targeted to gays.
W and W for r3!!!!!!
Yep R5. I did. He couldn’t write for shit. He got paid the big bucks and I got peanuts. I quit after 3 years of being stupid enough to take it. Jobs were not that hard to get way back then. I should have quit after a few months. I wasn’t the only ghost there either.
It’s that way to this day with most magazines and newspaper columns. Hell, half the books published are written by ghost writers along with many plays, films and TV shows. You’d be surprised how many well known writers can’t write or once could and have become too lazy to do it.
The Memphis Public Library had a subscription, circa 1974. I read every issue. I was very young (about 17) and so naive that I couldn't believe that the references were to gay life and gay sex. I had never seen anything like it--I found it puzzling and exciting.
I wonder what gay man ordered the subscription? Dead now, surely.
The issues were kept in the art and music department, which was full of lots of classical and blues/jazz records you could check it. Of course, there were lots of books about the arts as well. It was a wonderful place.
"You’d be surprised how many well known writers can’t write or once could and have become too lazy to do it."
Name some names, honeychile!
Can't. You have to sign an agreement to basically keep your mouth shut. No one wants a nobody ghost writer when they pay for magazines, books, tickets to a show, movie, etc. So you do he work and the "Name" gets the credit and brings in the profits. It's really a thankless job. Yeah, it shows you you can write but that and $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.
R6: Early Details was pretty frattish (similar to Maxim)...it wasn't until the early 00s reboot that it turned uber-gay.
R2 Me too, only it was in the early '70s.
I wish there were an oral history of this magazine. I'm sure that many of the people involved are gone, but it would be interesting to hear from the survivors still around to tell the tale.
Get to work, R1 !!
A friend of mine's father kept a stash hidden in a bag in a box in a wall unit in the garage apartment behind their house. My friend would sometimes have garage sleepovers, and on one such occasion, I discovered and pored over Mr. S's stash.
I never told anyone what I'd found, but I did develop a special, though non-sexual, friendship with Mr. S.
Bump in the Dark
It was so gay that just touching it would give you a lisp.
In the 1970s, I read 'After Dark' each month at the Paperback Booksmith magazine stand in Kenmore Square, Boston...right down the street from graduate school at Boston University. I also read 'Playgirl' there too. But 'After Dark' was around before 'Playgirl' and always so cutting edge and behind-the-scenes show business. It was fascinating and endlessly entertaining for those of us young gays working to come out and striving to be in-the-know.
I loved Paperback Booksmith. I have fond memories of that place both in Kenmore Square and Coolidge Corner in Brookline.
I used to buy it when I was in college and can still remember the disco issue with Vicki Sue Robinson and a then incredibly hot picture of a muscle guy dancing on Fire Island. As Liz Lemon would say, "I want to go to there."
R12, Details was a very gay-ish downtown mag in the 80s that became more and more corporate. In the mid-90s, there was a campaign by the new publishers and editors to get rid of any kind of gay undertones (which few were left) and taht's when I stopped subscribing. I thought I was the only one who found the magazine getting dumber but in Susan Faludi's "Stiffed," she exposes the entire thing.
And Details has never been the same.
About 175 auctions sold of AD magazines on Ebay. Getting anywhere from a few bucks to $20. Apparently there's still an audience for the magazine. Seems there's a bunch of cheap 'lots' available too.
r22 Booksmith lives on in Coolidge Corner and they still sell some gay mags.
AFTER DARK was pre-twink. They featured so many hot, HAIRY men. Looking over the old issues today, I am continually surprised how many Broadway chorus boys had hairy chests.
R26. Good to know. I live in California now, but I grew up in Brighton.
Of course the magazine claimed not to be gay. It wasn't for openly gay people; it was for people who claimed not to be gay. At the time, that included almost all gay people. Maybe it still does.
Ebay auctions crack me up .... there's a 16 page 'magazine' from 1978 of men from Falcon Studios. $ 229.00 (well there *is* free shipping !). Who would spend that ? For pics that are probably all over the internet (or in one of the many Falcon photo books).
What the fashionable gay was wearing in 1973: Lew Magram ad in "After Dark."
Ha. A lot of future DL posters in R31 ... caftans, no earrings.
Kaftan, R32, not caftan according to the linked image. In fact, I have never seen it spelt with a 'c' before finding DL.
Weren't The Tubes featured naked in there? Anyone with a link to the pics?
R1, how did it actually work? Did the columnist give you the idea and an outline, or even attempt to write anything and you cleaned it up?
Back in the 70s I came across After Dark at a college library. Devoured every issue I could get my hands on. Also around that time Johnny Carson would be making jokes about a L.A mag called The L.A. Free Press. Found that mag at the campus library, along with very early issues of The Advocate. I remember someone posted an ad in The Free Press trying to sell a rectal thermometer once used by Elvis.
My "straight" roommates subscribed to After Dark.
They used it as j.o. material.
I subscribed once and some thief in the circ department cashed my check and I never saw an issue.
They were all druggies there.
And after they came, they ran out to go hunting or play basketball, R37.
My college library had a complete collection of AFTER DARK in the Arts section. The magazine was published by the same media company that issued DANCE magazine. (So maybe there was a two for one special.)
I remember Patrick Swayzee in underwear/swimsuit ads. I think he may have also modeled for some fashion articles in the magazine. I always thought the boys who posed in the bulge-worthy fashions were call boys.
but I don't know if that was true of Patrick.
I remember how shocked and aroused I was when I saw the issue with Harvey Evans nude on the cover, with only a sailor had covering his dick.