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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Jerry Suter

Lost Boys: Vintage Images of Jerry Suter

Blonde and blue-eyed Jerry Suter seemed to epitomize the image of California's golden surfer boy - an innocent and carefree archetype celebrated during the golden age of gay porn. 

However, in Suter's case, something much darker lay beneath the surface... something Bob Mizer, founder of and chief photographer for the Athletic Model Guild (AMG) and Old Reliables' David Hurles would get to experience firsthand.

Suter's story? There's not a lot to tell, because facts are few. But it is rather brow-raising, which is why I've decided to share it with you, today.

Jerry Suter
AKA: Jerry Sutter
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160"

Years Active: 1980 - 1987
Films: 4
Studios: AMG, Old Reliable

As gay porn stars go, Jerry Suter is little more than a footnote. His photographic and cinematic history doesn't amount to all that much. That said... he certainly did make an impact and has a fanbase to this day. He's also one of those people who are as infamous as they are famous.

In 1981, Suter became a model for Bob Mizer's Athletic Model Guild. As part of Mizer's stable of models, he went on to pose for other photographers, including Old Reliable's David Hurles

Mizer (pictured left) is an interesting and influential figure in the history of gay porn. Way back in 1942, he began his photographer career as an apprentice for silent film star Frederic Kovert, who owned and operated a 'physique' studio in Hollywood called Kovert of Hollywood.

Kovert (pictured right), a rather interesting bit of Hollywood lore, is famous for appearing in drag in a number of early silent film comedies as well as appearing in and designing the costumes for the 1925 version of The Wizard Of Oz.

In December of 1945, Mizer founded the Athletic Model Guild, or, as it is more commonly referred to, AMG. From 1951 to 1990, he published the photos he would take of his models in his own magazine, Physique Pictorial - which has been described as "a quarterly publication (which) exemplified the use of bodybuilding culture and classical art figure posing, as a cover for homoerotic male images, (in order) to evade charges of obscenity" - out of a studio near downtown Los Angeles. The studio was housed "in his large family home, a compound with multiple buildings and courtyards that eventually included sets used to depict diverse locales and allowed for both still and moving pictures to be shot." 

Almost immediately, Mizer became a target for law enforcement. In 1945, the Post Master General raided his place of residence. Although 'dirty' pictures were discovered, Mizer was not charged with a crime. He was less fortunate the next time the law came to visit. In 1947, Mizer was arrested after a man reported that he'd purchased nude photographs from him - not for the selling of the photos - but because one of the models, James Maynor, was only seventeen at the time Mizer photographed him. This time, Mizer was sentenced to nine months, serving only six, at a prison farm in Saugus, CA. But the harassment didn't end there...

Due to Mizer's habit of keeping meticulous records regarding the physical attributes and demeanor of his models - information that he would then share with other photographers when loaning out one of his models - he was arrested and charged with running a prostitution ring. Oddly enough, he was found guilty and was incarcerated for a period of time in 1968.

Still, that did not deter Mizer. He continued to publish until 1990. He passed away on May 19, 1992, at the age of 70.   

The influence of Mizer's photography, which resulted in "a collection that includes nearly two million different images and thousands of films and videotapes" cannot be underestimated. He photographed over ten thousand men, including the first photos of actors Tab Hunter, Ed Fury, Glenn Corbett, and Joe Dallesandro. Both David Hockney and Robert Mapplethorpe cited his work as a source of inspiration. A number of books have been published featuring his photos, one of which inspired the 1999 docudrama, Beefcake.

By 1986, Suter had become a popular cover boy. He was featured on the cover of In Touch magazine's October, 1986 Halloween issue with an accompanying photo spread.

He would also appear on the cover of one of Physique Pictorial's issues (Physique Pictorial vol. 40, June 1987.) 

Suter was also at home in front of a motion picture camera. He did at least four 'wrestling' films for AMG, one featuring Scott Ruffi, one with Bill Smith, one with David Televito one with Bill Murphy. All of these short films are now available for home viewing on the various volumes of AMG's DVD collection.

1980

Anal Erotic 1

1987 
Old Reliable 60: Pretty Guys!

2008
AMG Wrestling Live Vol. 23
AMG Wrestling Live Vol. 25

Roughhousing leading to spanking was something frequently featured in Mizer's films, and in all four of Suter's short films, he ended up being the one on the receiving end. 

It was during one of these sessions that Suter's temper was caught on camera, in full display. As one viewer recalls: "I remember seeing this video years ago, and Jerry going ballistic when a few drops of Bill (Smith's) jizz landed on him while they were fapping off. I think that Jerry actually was pretty insecure about his feelings, and tried to compensate by being arrogant and obnoxious."

Another remembers: "An angry-looking Jerry Suter feel(ing) the firm hand of Bill Smith in... their spanking/wrestling match at AMG, circa 1986. I would have loved to be on set to see this one live. Arrogant punk Jerry was not a happy camper getting whipped and slapped by Mr. Bill. At the end of the match both guys rubbed one out on the mats. Bill reached climax first and a few drops of his man cream landed on Jerry's leg. Jerry went ballistic! It was an early sign that this guy could go from cool and calm to outrage maniac in an instant."

Suter's surly personality would catch the attention of photographer David Hurles, who would hire Suter for a photoshoot at his apartment. 

Dealing with actors/models with rough edges was nothing new for Hurles or Mizer. In Mizer's case, according to the Mizer Foundation website: "Some of those stars were 'trade'. Some were AWOL. Some were petty criminals. Occasionally, in return for his generosity, Bob was robbed or assaulted and his property damaged. Bob listed those offenses and many others in Physique Pictorial. Even the subjective character symbols next to certain models’ photos included 'physically dangerous', 'petty thief' and 'criminally inclined."

However, Hurles got more than he bargained for with Suter. In 1988, "He and another criminal robbed the proprietor of Old Reliable (Hurles) at gunpoint, tied him up, abused him and carried off his equipment."

Suter would then go on a crime spree in Nevada, which included the kidnapping an elderly couple whom he tortured "nearly to death because he believed that were hiding a huge sum of cash in their house." Suter was quickly apprehended. 

He ended up serving 25 years of a 27 year sentence in a prison in Nevada.  

Whatever happened to Suter after that? No one seems to know.

Still, his images, and now his films, live on. 

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I knew nothing of Suter. I kept seeing his photos associated with AMG and something about the pics for his In Touch spread intrigued me. Most likely due to the fact that he seems of a different era, more early 1981 than 1986 in that red net shirt. 

I must say, those photos never hinted at the evil lying within. From outward appearances, he seemed to embody the image of a California golden boy. 

Well, as longtime readers of these Lost Boys posts know all too well... looks can be deceiving.

--- ---

That's all for now. Until next time...

Thanks for reading.

Devil In Me -  Purple Disco Machine 
feat. Joe Killington & Duane Harden










































Devil Inside - INXS

6 comments:

whkattk said...

He certainly did have that CA surfer look. But sometimes those who lash out as he did have a very sad, sad past. We'll hope that he's living a decent life now.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Ok, so I love INXS. Oh, David!
And this is a fantastic story. One never knows, right? I had a friend who LOVED rough trade. I was constantly in fear he'd get literally killed but he kept picking up those guys with 'rough edges'. Just like this one.
And I can see the allure (especially with that dick) but really...

XOXO

SickoRicko said...

Very interesting post. I can't say I knew this guy, but he certainly had that California look that was so popular.

Deliciousdeity said...

Grass skirts make the man! Bob M was a handsome fellow when he was young!

FelchingPisser said...

He's a new one to me...but an interesting story.

Loved the Bob M pics!

Hound of Hecate said...

Fascinating story. Didn't Mizer photograph someone else who went on to commit a murder afterwards?