In Memoriam: Gay Director John Summers
Of all the people I’ve met working on this Chuck Holmes documentary, director John Summers was one of my favorites. He died yesterday morning in his North Hollywood home from an apparent heart attack.
Summers was one of the people most responsible for the Falcon look — he brought a style and class to post-Aspen movies that really set the studio apart. He claimed that one of my favorite of Summer’s movies, Style (1981) was the first porn where the boys were shaved. He also had Bruce Weber’s assistant Kyle Martin style the movie — clothes were brought in from Wilkes Bashford, hair was done, the feet were bleached and the 80s were ON.
Summers had come to San Francisco in the late 60s and ran a series of boy brothels with John Travis. Later, he, Travis, Matt Sterling and Chuck Holmes would become the founders of the industry as we know it. It was illegal, it was dangerous and to hear Summers tell it, it was a lot of fun. He was always behind the scenes (he never liked to be photographed) and always cooking up trouble (Vanity Fair once referred to only as the mysterious Black Buddha of Porn), but in my experience, always a pleasure to deal with. We shot an interview with him in March, and he’d call every couple of weeks to talk about bad Hollywood movies, money-making schemes, and the importance of high-quality mixed nuts. He loved art and orchids and preppies with big, big dicks. I’ll miss him a lot.