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Thursday, February 04, 2021

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Kip Noll

Lost Boys: 
Vintage Images of Kip Noll

I decided that if I was going to continue writing about vintage blonde twinks, then I should make sure to write about the one who set the stage... Kip Noll. 

Noll slipped into the world of gay porn almost unnoticed and instantly became a sensation - one of the first true gay porn superstars. He was "a lean-muscled, shaggy-haired, free-spirited surfer type, who achieved iconic status in the newly liberated gay culture of the late 1970s and early 1980s." 
His dirty-blonde, rough trade looks and body would have fans clamoring for more. From 1979-1981, he truly dominated the industry, pushing out film after film. His image graced the covers of mens magazines and he was the first gay porn star to have his own solo magazine.

Then, just as quickly as it came, Noll walked away from it all. What became of him? Well,  that depends on who you ask. The facts are there, but hotly contested. However, those facts do line up like stars in a constellation, so the best supported story is the one I am going to share. 

Kip Noll

AKA: Thomas Earl Hagen, Kip Knoll
Birthdate: August 7, 1957
Death: May 21, 2001 
Birthplace: Greenwich, CT, USA

Hair: Brown/Blond
Height: 5' 9"

Years Active: 1975-1986
Films: 16
Compilations: 10

Thomas Earl Hagen was born on August, 7, 1957 in Greenwich, CT. His parents were 36 year-old George Carl Hagen, and Hazel Lavinia LaPolice, who was 29. The Hagen family would eventually grow to include three girls and seven boys. 

This information can be corroborated in a Stallion magazine interview (June, 1982) given by Noll.  

When he was a teen, Hagen began spending time in New York City, where he would work as a hustler and a dancer/stripper at various gay clubs.

In 1975, he caught the eye of a talent scout from Trademark Studios. Hagen was then flown to San Diego to meet Trademark Studio director, Mark Reynolds. When he first met the young man, Reynolds didn't think much of him. It has been said that, "the actor barely registered. (He) had unkempt hair and a mustache. He was so nondescript, the director almost missed him in the crowd." Reynolds almost told him to go home, however, once Hagen shaved his mustache and got a haircut, Reynolds realized Hagen had "something ineffable about him that was startlingly attractive" - and thus, Kip Noll was born.

Note: Director William Higgins is typically given credit for giving the world Kip Noll, but based on the actor's filmography, that simply can't be true. 

The two did not work together until 1979's The Boys of Venice, and while that film did make superstars of both director and actor alike, Mark Reynolds actually deserves the credit for introducing Kip Noll to the world.

Reynolds shot a short loop of Noll masturbating while "wearing a yellow silk high school athletic jacket trimmed in blue. The words 'Waipahu High' appeared on the chest. The jacket (would) become one of the most famous pieces of clothing ever to appear in adult film." That fame came about because Trademark issued a small magazine, titled The Kip Noll Story. It sold like a hotcakes. 

A second loop, Double Your Pleasure, was also shot. In this one Noll would have sex on film for the first time - with two other actors. 
It should be noted that in his first four short loops (which would later  be incorporated into feature-length releases) Noll is missing one of his front teeth. But by the time he filmed, 1977's I'll Do It If You Will for Falcon Studios, the tooth had been replaced.

Kip filmed his sixth film, I'll Do It If You Will, on a farm during the 4th of July weekend. It has been reported that this film is something of a rarity. "For reasons not explained, Falcon pulled the loop from its library in 1980. It is now a collector's item."

By 1979, Kip Noll was an established player and a hot one, thanks to the continued success of Trademark's little magazine and his well-received film performances. 

It's at this stage in the game that William Higgins enters the picture. He would direct Noll in the groundbreaking The Boys of Venice, bringing both the actor and director additional acclaim.

1979 also found Noll filming Mark Aaron's Grease Monkeys as part of a threesome on Pismo Beach. Kip later said "it was the most difficult shoot of his life, because the water was freezing cold and a huge crowd of onlookers kept cheering them on from the cliffs overhead." 

To promote the film, Noll began appearing in a live stage show at the Eros Theatre in New York City. Along with his two co-stars, he did a number of dance routines each night. It has been reported that one of the numbers involved Noll "coming down into the audience and straddling the armrest of each patron's chair, rubbing his balls and asshole against the armrest." The live shows proved very popular, adding a new facet to Noll's career while setting up future opportunities.

In 1980, Noll would continue to break new ground. Not only did Kip Noll and Westside Boys mark the first time his name would appear in the title of a film, but he also appeared in the first hot tub scene ever in a gay porn film. However, the year was not without its problems. 

Noll was involved in a motorcycle accident and, given the injuries he sustained, was unable to appear in Catalina films' Rear Deliveries. Fortunately, he did recover in time to meet his obligation to appear in Roommates for Trademark Studio, the same studio that had discovered him.

This led to a chance for Noll to reunite with director Mark Reynolds for the incest-themed Cumming of Age. The film featured Steve York, an actor Noll had previously worked with while introducing the world to an actor dubbed 'Scott Noll', to play his brother. 

Cumming of Age marked the beginning of a unique marketing strategy to capitalize on Kip Noll's brand recognition. Taking a page out of Noll's real life story, four actors would adopt the last name of Noll - Bob, Scott, Jeff and Mark and be marketed in film and magazines as Noll's 'brothers'. This would lead to 1980's For You: Solo Signature Series 6 - in which all five 'brothers' (along with Steve York and one other actor) would appear in solo masturbation scenes. However, as successful as the idea was, only Scott Noll would actual go on to make additional films. Bob, Jeff, and Mark? All one-film ponies, although Mark would quickly morph into Marc (played by a different actor) and that actor would do a couple of films under the Noll banner. 

Also, it should be noted that Bob Noll had, in fact, appeared in a number of short loops for William Higgins before Noll came on the scene, but got pushed out of the limelight when Noll's popularity soared. 

Noll later told people that during the filming of Cumming of Age, Scott Noll was completely over the moon for Steve York, and York, who was struggling with his homosexuality, proved difficult to work with. Noll felt pushed aside, but, be that as it may, the film remains director Reynold's all-time favorite.

During this time period, as popular as Noll was in the theatre, he was even more popular in print. He appeared on the cover of In Touch magazine twice, and on the cover of Stallion once. Also, in addition to the very popular The Kip Noll Story, a second magazine, devoted solely to him was issued, Kip Noll Cocky


Kip Noll (Trademark) (included in Roommates)
Double Your Pleasure (Maverick) (included in Call Boy)

Fuck Truck (Nova, originally part of the Hot Rods series) (included in High Riders)
Try to Take It (Falcon) (Falcon VideoPac #51)
Getting It Off Together (Maverick)


I'll Do It If You Will (Falcon, 1977)

Surf And Turf

Boys of Venice
Kip Noll And The Westside Boys
Grease Monkeys

Cuming Of Age
For You Solo Signature Series 6

Al Parker's Flashback
Brothers Should Do It
Class Of '84 2: The Adventure Continues
Kip Noll Superstar
Pacific Coast Highway

Kip Noll's Casting Couch
Super Studs

Shooting Stars: Drive it Deeper

1981 would mark Noll's most prolific year in gay porn, appearing in five films. 

Al Parker's Flashback contains two scenes with superstar Al Parker. The film is notable because it originally contained a third scene (We Tarzans, You Boy, Oh, Boy!) featuring Noll and Parker having sex on a hammock. Cut from the final film, it was briefly sold as a stand-alone loop by Mustang Studios prior to that studio's purchase by Falcon. However, during the buyout, the loop went missing and has never been seen since. 

The Noll 'brothers' had caused quite a sensation, so it's not surprising that William Higgin's wanted to build on that buzz with his own spin on incest called, Brothers Should Do It. In it, Noll was paired with veteran actor, Derrick Stanton. The film also featured a scene with J.W. King and, making his film debut, Jon King. Higgins had the golden touch: the film turned out to be a runaway success at the box office and made a star of Jon King.

Wanting to cash in on Noll's name brand again, Higgins put together Kip Noll Superstar Part I. Using footage from his films as segues, Higgins had porn actor Jon King interview Noll. At the end of the film, the two smoke a joint and then have sex. The film had the desired affect, creating a near gay-mania surrounding Noll. It was like he was the Shaun Cassidy or Leif Garrett of gay porn. A part two was planned, but never materialized. 

At one point in Kip Noll Superstar Part I, Jon King asks Noll why he got into gay porn. His answer? "The sex...the enjoyment of it." 

However, by the end of 1981? Apparently Noll wasn't having as much fun as he used to. He took an entire year off from film, reappearing in 1983, to make one last film: Kip Noll's Casting Couch. Produced, financed and directed by Noll himself, the film was shot entirely on video, which was not technically advanced enough at the time, resulting in a low-quality looking film. The film is chiefly notable due to an auto-fellatio segment starring straight porn star Ron Jeremy. Noll, himself, appears in every scene. He even introduces the world to a new 'Chris Noll.' 

After that? He would make a brief appearance in 1986's Shooting Stars: Drive It Deeper. And then... radio silence.

Perhaps a reason for Noll's sudden lack of interest in film...? 

The Follies Theatre opened in New York City in 1981, which also happened to be Noll's busiest film year. He was tapped to  appear there throughout September, due to the popularity of his shows at the Eros Theatre back in 1979.

Every single night was sold out. The reaction? Unlike anything ever seen before; people stood in the aisles, the back the of theater and the lobby just to be a part of it. Some even bought tickets for seats on the stage. Each night Noll appeared, lines for the show went around the block.

As part of his act, Noll would frequently engage in sexual activity with members of the audience. He'd stick his dick in their mouths and ram it down their throat for a few moments and/or drag someone up on stage and suck their dick for a bit. One night, he ended up performing a live 69 sex show with a member of the audience for the crowd. 

As someone who was there, recalls: "Another time, two lovers who had come to the show night after night had a small argument in the theater. Apparently, one man had always sat on the aisle, getting Kip's prick in his mouth. 'Look, tonight I'm going to sit on the aisle seat!' the other lover loudly said. Kip overhead. When he came to their seat, he stepped into the row, allowing both lovers to slurp on his prick at the same time."

Every night, Noll would stay after, to talk to fans, shake hands, chat and sign autographs by the hundreds. 

Noll returned for a special New Year's Eve show, billed as a Roman orgy. The audience was told to get naked and sit in their seats with a towel on their laps. Noll is said to have "danced all night."

Perhaps Noll had finally learned about the value of his brand? Maybe the money for live shows was a lot better than what film offered? Or maybe he just liked live performances better, reminding him of his teen years as a dancer and stripper? Or could it be... the love of a good woman? 

A woman named Jill Lacey Spears?

When performing at The Follies Theatre in 1981, Noll always wore a button with a woman's picture on it, telling those who asked that it was his fiancée. But most thought nothing of it, as Noll was often seen in the company of a number of different women who were his friends. 

Whatever the reason, Noll would turn his back on the industry that created him. 

In 1984, he reemerged for a one-off special appearance at The Follies Theatre.  The club had been forced to close its doors after losing its license. However, strings were pulled and the theatre was having a grand re-opening. Noll was to headline with blonde twink, Lance (of Leo and Lance fame) and leather hunk, Daniel Holt.

It would be his last public appearance.

What happened after that? Well, let's just say there are a number of conflicting stories. 

In 1985, a rumor that he had died of AIDS ran rampant. However, Manshots magazine put an end to it when they reported that "a friend, having an 'in' at one film house, telephoned and asked if the rumors were true. The answer was, "Just a moment, I'll ask him."

William Higgins is on record as saying, "the man millions once fantasized about as Kip Noll is now married (to a woman), living quietly somewhere in the Rockies, working as an auto mechanic, and the father of several children." 

Remember Jill Lacey Spears?

Fact is, by 1986, Kip Noll had moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, taken back his birth name, Thomas Earl Hagen, settled down with Jill Lacey Spears and created a family, featuring three daughters. 
He died there on May 21, 2001, at the age of 43. At the time of his death, he was being treated for substance abuse (cocaine) at The Salt Lake City Mission. 

Old habits die hard and cocaine is very hard on the heart. The average age of cocaine users who have heart attacks? 44 years-old.

Hagen's obituary was published in the Salt Lake Tribune on May 24, 2001. It listed nine siblings by name; three sisters and six brothers - two of whom had preceded him in death. It also stated that he had three daughters by a previous marriage.

Jill Lacey Spears would die in 2010.

His family was contacted by someone trying to substantiate that the Thomas Earl Hagen that had died in Salt Lake City was the same man as Kip Noll, but the family refused to talk about it. Shortly after, Thomas Earl Hagen's obituary disappeared from the internet.

Another person did a social security search and found:

Name: Thomas E. Hagen
SSN: 043-60-1550
Born: 7 Aug 1957
Died: 21 May 2001
State (Year) SSN issued: Connecticut (1973-1977)

Yes... the stars, they all line up, just like a constellation. 

And the brightest of those stars? 

Well, that, of course, would be Kip Noll. 

--- ---

Kip Noll always struck me as rough trade. He looked like the kind of kid who ate his own boogers when he was younger. He looked like the kind of kid who would invite you over to his house and ask you to bring all your Hot Wheels so he could steal them. He looked like the kind of kid whose mother always had a can of beer in her hand, curlers in her hair, and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of her mouth.

Yeah. Funny thing is... I own two of his movies. Roommates is one of my favorites. It jerks and jumps  like a silent film from the 1920's, which is part of its charm. The other charm is Kip Noll. He looks dirty. Like that older brother of yours you hate because he's also kind of weirdly sexy, in a stinky ass way. 

It's his hair. His sneer. That dirty satin jacket. His raggy-ass cut-offs. 

I had fun researching this one. But it was a lot of work.

Mysteries like this? Well, they should be solved. By someone. 

Not me. 

But someone.

Thanks for reading.

The Stars (Are Out Tonight) - David Bowie

So you Are A Star - Hudson Brothers


Xersex said...

what a precious vintage guy!!!

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Ohhhh this read as a sexy mystery!
He does give that rough trade vibe. I can totally see him causing a stir. The late seventies/early eighties seem to have produced incredible gay porn stars, no?
It did not surprise me that he would have gone to Utah to have a family. And that the family would be mum on the fact that he had a gay porn past. Duh. Utah.
Now, him in that yellow jacket...


whkattk said...

I remember him. But from film or magazine, I can't remember. I just remember I thought he was hot. That blonde hair, those eyes...that cock...those balls... He had the whole package.

whkattk said...

P.S. He managed to let people know: Bi's do exist. LOL! Kisses!!

Jimmy said...

He looked better with age. I've never seen any of his work.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever done the Lance story?

SickoRicko said...

Yet another pretty surfer-type meets a tragic end. So sad.

a{GAY}tekeeper{iam} said...

Lovely photos