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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Tige McMasters

Lost Boys: 
Vintage Images of Tige McMasters

So, this is a Lost Boys segment that almost wasn't. 

A month ago, I attempted to suss out information on gay porn icon, Tige McMasters doing my usual Google searches. It didn't look promising; very few photos and zero info about who he was or what had become of him. Compounding that problem?  How brief his career in gay porn was (essentially three NOVA loops, later included in 'full-length' features and a magazine). So, I threw in the towel and went on to another subject.

However, last week, while researching NOVA superstar Brian Hawks, I happened on a site where McMasters posted a comment regarding the making of one of his films. Something about it struck me as refreshingly sincere and suddenly I knew I had to make today's post happen. 

It took only a bit of additional effort and some detective work in the form of adding two plus two. It all eventually led to a goldmine of information in the form of a couple of boxes of archived material,  all personal in nature, that McMasters donated to ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles.

Using the short bio provided by the archive's website and the plethora of photographs from McMasters first marriage, I was able to piece together a rather striking portrait of a young man who caused quite a sensation in the world of gay porn... before choosing to walk away from it all just as quickly as he'd arrived. 

Tige McMasters
AKA: Eric Scott Myrick, Tige Masters, Eric Scott Evans

Eyes: Blue/Green
Hair: Blond 

Years Active: 1982-1983
3 Shorts, 3 Films
Studios: NOVA 

Eric Scott Myrick was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1962. He grew up as part of a blended family with an older half-brother named Mark. He demonstrated an early love for fishing; an activity he would pursue throughout his life. While few details are available regarding his childhood, we do know that, as a teen, Myrick was sent away to military school in Lebanon, TN.  

Myrick (on phone), with half-brother Mark

Castleheights was founded in 1902. Initially coeducational, it became a military preparatory school for boys in 1918 as a result of World War I. By the time Myrick attended, the school had reverted back to a coeducational environment. Students were required to eat salads every day, not to use condiments or pillows, to participate in sports, and to drink so much milk that the school actually owned and operated its own dairy. Students' height and weight appeared on their monthly report cards. Myrick played linebacker on the school's football team.

Myrick, Linebacker, 
Castleheights Military School, 1976-77

After high school, Myrick made his way to San Francisco, where he met actor Johnnie Johnston. Johnston was a former nightclub singer and leading man in a number of Hollywood musicals of the 1940's. 

Johnny Johnston

He was also one of the four original artists signed to Capitol Records, where he enjoyed three Top Ten hits and one Top 20. He was married to Kathryn Grayson for a time, and would marry four more times, fathering five children in the process. Surprisingly, Johnston appeared in the 1974 gay porn film Anything Goes, in the non-sexual role of 'Dr. Wellman'. (I tracked down the film and watched a bit... I am fairly certain it's him.)

According to Myrick, the two became lovers and it was through Johnston's contacts in the industry and at his urging that the 19 year-old became involved with Scott Masters' (pseudonym Robert Walters) NOVA Studios in Los Angeles. 

Myrick, who wanted to be known as simply 'Tiger', was dubbed Tige McMasters by director Bill Sheffler. He appeared in three NOVA loops (short films): Buff It Up with Pat Fulton, Jock Itch Pt. 1 with Mitch Taylor, and  Jock Itch Pt. 2 featuring Giorgio Canali and Mitch Taylor. Photographic stills from the short films were adapted into magazine form and titled Jock Itch. This was a practice pioneered by NOVA Studios. It not only generated additional income for the studio, but helped establish their brand and that of their actors. 

Here are descriptions from NOVA Films catalog listings for the three shorts:

Buff It Up
When a gentleman is in need of a thorough cleaning, it only takes a quick call to Tige and Pat at Buff It Up. These two industrious young hunks not only do a complete job on the house, they find time to do an in-depth job on each other. Both Tige and Pat have all the equipment to do a big job! And then some!! Tight butts and wet throats take every hard, thick, insistent inch those hot studs can produce! After a double-double burst of lava-hot cum, the guys are off leaving their client not only a sparkling clean house but, in a surprise ending, fond memories of both of them.

Jock Itch Pt. 1 
Tige McMasters has Jock Itch... in the best way possible! It can only be cured ty the sight, smell and taste of the coach's well-used jockstrap! Except... the coach, Mitch Taylor, catches the turned-on kid going at that jock hot and heavy! After a well-deserved spanking, the coach replaces the jockstrap in Tige's mouth with the hard cock the jock has been holding! He turns Tige every way but loose, shoving his big hard rammer in that hungry mouth and yielding ass until both guys spurt out hot loads!

Jock Itch Pt. 2
Later that night, Tige drops by the coach's house for a surprise visit. It becomes a real surprise when the still hot-to-trot kid comes on to Mitch's roommate, another teacher, Georgio Canali. It is soon wall-to-wall sex from the living room to the bedroom with every ass and mouth taking those enormous cocks until all three studs are completely drained... well, almost!

Buff It Up w/ Pat Fulton
The short: Jock Itch Pt. 1 w/ Mitch Taylor
The short: Jock Itch Pt. 2 w/ Giorgio Canali and Mitch Taylor

Four In Hand
Lockerroom Fever
Summer Fantasy (also known as Jocks Pac 23)

On September 26, 2009, Myrick wrote about his experiences while making films for NOVA. His first-person account helps lend insight into the working conditions the actors had to deal with and exactly how these films were made. Keep in mind, the filming of pornography was still considered illegal at the time. Here, in his own words (edited for spelling, punctuation, clarification), is what Myrick shared on SmutJunkies, a directory of gay porn films and stars:

Re: Buff It Up
Eric Myrick AKA Tige McMasters
September 26, 2009


Just wanting to let you (know, to) whom it may concern:

That I am, or was, the young man in the movie Four In Hand  - (the) opening scene Buff It Up. God, I really disliked the fact that Mr. Bill Scheffler went against my wishes of using just 'Tiger'. Oh well, I was only 19 (at the time), as the movie was actually shot before my 20th birthday in 1982. And if memory serves me, it was shot at Mr. Scheffler's house. I don’t remember the address, but I do remember the shoot itself - like it was yesterday. Not bad considering it was more like 27 years ago!

P.S. Does anybody know the whereabouts of Johnny Johnston? He and I were lovers back then and he got me my start (in the business). Kinda. LOL!

Thanks, Eric


Re: Jock Itch Pt. 2
Eric Myrick aka Tige McMasters
September 26, 2009

Hello once again:

Well, this was my last film and the absolute worst experience I think any one person could have. It was not the fault of a person, just the things that occurred to me was like an omen. To keep this short I will not go into too much detail. But to start off I had moved to San Francisco at this time and got a call from Bill (Scheffler, from NOVA Films) about doing the movie, but it was going to be during the Easter holiday.

The first day of shooting went fine. It was... shot in a warehouse/workshop where props were made. Well, much later in the night, when I had gone to sleep on the couch of one of the production crew, I awoke with my eyes burning and swollen shut. The guy was very understanding as I was screaming and freaking out. He flushed my eyes out and it was much better. I had gotten sawdust in my eyes during the shoot but didn’t realize it!

The next days shoot went down hill real fast (pun intended) as we were shooting at a house on Laurel or Topanga Canyon Road. Anyway, the road narrows real fast into a bottleneck and as Giorgio (Canali), Mitch (Taylor) and I were in the middle of doing our suck and fuck in the living room, we heard a horrible screeching and (the) crashing of cars - literally right out front of the house! A local cable company van didn’t see a car on its right side and the car went slamming into the cars of several production crew (members, which were) parked in front! To make matters worse the car involved was a young lady with her baby! So here we are, with roaring hard-ons, trying to find our clothes. And the crew are concerned about their cars and Bill wanted them to get all the film equipment put up before the cops arrived. It was a wreak. LOL!

But, after all the excitement was over? We finished what we started!

Later, after I had returned to San Francisco, I received a call from Bill - actually asking me if I would come back down to L.A. and shoot one more scene. Plus... he said he would make me the star! That is the scene at the beginning with Brian Hawkes and David Ashfield (billed as Billy Joe Evans). I said 'no'. I had a new lover then (Jerome Strum), who put his foot down and made me choose between him or a porn career. Well I think I made the right choice since my partner (and I) were together for 16 years,  until his passing in 1998.

So, there you go a little tale of a short lived porn career! I did go on to do some magazines like Drummer on the prodding of my friend, Chris Burns and Honcho on the request of my then boss and friend, Lou Maletta - when I worked for the Gay Cable Network in the mid 80's.

I do miss some of the friends I made back then like Johnny Hardon, Al Parker, and others.

Well thanks for letting me reminisce a bit!!

Yours with PRIDE, Eric
--- ---

It was clearly Scott Master's (NOVA Films) intention to turn Tige McMasters into a gay porn phenom, as he went on to do with Brian Hawks. In fact, as stated above, an offer was on the table for Myrick to return to L.A. and become a star, but... something got in the way. Let's just call it a crazy little thing called love.

By this time, Jerome Maxwell Strum, Jr. had entered Myrick's life. Born on December 28, 1957, in Chateauroux, France, Strum graduated from John Jay High School in San Antonio, TX. By 1983, the couple was living together in San Francisco. When the offer for Myrick to star in his own full-length feature came in, Strum put his foot down - no more porn. 

Myrick chose love over fame and just like that... poof! Tige McMasters was was history.

Strum and Myrick married in March of 1984, in a Holy Union ceremony performed by the Reverend James Sandmire at the Golden Gate Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco. 

Strum and Myrick, Holy Union
Golden Gate Metropolitan Community Church, 
San Francisco, 1984

Next, a move to New York City was prompted when Strum, a cosmetologist, received an offer to become a regional cosmetologist for Christian Dior. Myrick eventually would find work at the Gay Cable Network (GCN), where he began as a production assistant, but quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a photographer and assistant to the producer. During this time, he also worked as a gemologist designing and creating jewelry. 

Portrait labeled: "NYC Lou Maletta of GCN (Gay Cable Network)" 
from a series of Myrick in a wrestling singlet. Circa 1986-1987.

The two loved to travel, touring both the states and Europe during their time together. In 1990, they relocated to Indianapolis, ID. This move was, again, prompted due to career aspirations. Both had been offered jobs at Gay Cable Network's Indianapolis office. By this point, Myrick had adopted the professional name Eric Scott Evans. It is under that name that he began to come more involved in the gay rights movement. 

Gary Keen's Indiana History Blog, in a post outlining the gay community's efforts to end Indianapolis' gender-discriminatory bar I.D. checks and policies, quotes Eric Evans, who was covering a December, 1989 meeting as part of his work for GNC:

"Discrimination is usually the result of ignorance.” He (Evans) suggested ongoing education for “both the gay and straight communities.” This, he said, could be accomplished through television programming and by forming a Gay Community Center. 

And Evans was not all talk and no walk... in fact, he marched! Evans and Strum were active members serving on the Pride Events Committee of Celebration on the Circle. They were also part of a delegation from Indianapolis who attended the March On Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, on April 25, 1993.

Eric Scott Evans and Jerome Maxwell Strum 
(top and bottom, second from right) 
and Lou Maletta (Gay Cable Network) at 
March on Washington with other journalists.

In 1993, the pair relocated to Pipe Creek, TX, taking up residence in the hill country, northwest of San Antonio. There, five years later, Strum died in their family home on October 11, 1998. He was 40 years old.

Evans went on to marry Keith Earl in 2008, and as of 2014, they were living in Shreveport, LA.  

As part of his continuing interest in activism, Evans went on to become the vice-chair of the Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network and the Advocacy Coordinator at the Philadelphia Center in Shreveport, LA.

In addition, The Central Indiana Community Foundation administers an Eric Scott Evans/Jerome Maxwell Strum, Jr., Memorial Fund.

--- ---

This was an interesting one. I almost felt like a real journalist, verifying what I could and piecing this together. 

His is also a very unique story. I think it's very cool that he owns and embraces his past.

I must say... Tige McMasters in Jock Itch - the magazine, was probably my flashpoint of just barely beginning to accept my little old gay self. When I found the magazine in 1984, I assumed it was much older than 1982. There was something super sexy about the aesthetics. And Tige? Well, looks-wise, he's not exactly your typical porn star. He reminded me of a lot of people I grew up with; like someone I might have gone to school with or worked with. The fact that he was so relatable was certainly part of his appeal. 

And then there's the whole implied plot of Jock Itch - the magazine (I have never seen the movie), with Tige sniffing his coach's jock strap, getting caught and then having to 'accept' his 'punishment'. I just adore those images and wish I could find them. I also wish I still had that magazine - though I suspect a number of the pages would have been stuck together. And those that weren't? Well, they all probably appeared to have 'something' spilled on them.

He goes down as one of my all-time favorite gay porn stars. 

I hope he's living well and happy and enjoying the stars at night.

Special thanks go to the following folks, for their contributions to this post:

Gary Keen's Indiana History Blog


ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007
Phone: (213) 821-2771

Eric Myrick aka Tige McMasters

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen

Myrick as a cadet - Castleheights Military School, 1976

Myrick with his dog, Girly

Strum and Myrick - San Francisco, 1983

Myrick and Strum - The Alamo, 1995

What You Won't Do For Love - Bobby Caldwell


Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I'm fascinated.
This was quite the story! He does have that guy-next-door appeal. The story about the car crashing literally while they were filming? Crazy! I always wonder about porn stars and their lives. Especially the porn stars from the golden age of gay porn. There are so few who survived!
I love the love stories here. He looks happy in that last pic. Good for him!


whkattk said...

Somewhere, somehow, I obtained a copy of Jock Itch the mag. I remember how in awe I was of this guy. But, I'm very happy that he didn't end up another HIV/AIDS victim like so many of his contemporaries. BTW - were you able to connect with him personally via email?

SickoRicko said...

Thank you for all your research and the way you do these kinds of posts.

Xersex said...

sure! such posta re like time machines!