Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old Reliable (Adult Content!)

Discovered this morning a post on MOC blog about the erotic photographs of the company known as Old Reliable. I was introduced to the photos years ago by one of my first boyfriends and been an admirer ever since. I have always appreciated art and photographs that focus on unique and diverse forms of masculinity and sexuality (especially those that dance at the margins of mainstream sexuality) and the photographs of Old Reliable are a sexy, and erotic study of masculinity through the eye of the photographer David Hurles. While it is nice to learn that his work is receiving attention including a recent book and soon a blog and web store it is sad that David's health has been comprimised by a stroke and that he has been forced to depend on the vagracies of the American health care system. It is sad that artists of the calibre of David Hurles and Harry Bush remain unappreciated (except by a select few) during their active lives. Christopher Trout wrote the following PR piece about David Hurles...

Since he put down his camera nearly ten years ago, David Hurles has lived largely outside the public eye. Until today, so has his work. Early this morning, a group of David’s friends and fans launched the Old Reliable Fund to bring his iconic photographs of California street trade into the digital age. The Fund, which will operate a blog and a web store under the Old Reliable name, was established after David, 64, was hospitalized in Hollywood, CA, last fall. In the early hours of October 6, David suffered a massive stroke and was rushed to a nearby hospital. He remained in intensive care for five weeks before the hospital, essentially, discarded him for having no medical insurance, banishing him to a nursing home in Orange County. With the help of his friend Dian Hanson (Taschen Publishing’s Sexy Book Editor), he eventually moved to another nursing home, this time in Hollywood. “David today is fully conscious, his wit, intelligence and memory intact. His body is not so lucky,” Hanson said. “He has use of his left arm and left leg, and feeling and movement, but no strength or coordination, on his right side. He can’t stand or walk. He can talk, but softly, and tires quickly. He has no phone or other means of communication with the outside world. He finds it too hard to read, and hates television, so he spends his days sleeping and thinking, with occasional trips by wheelchair to the activities room for word games (he is the champ) and embarrassments like wheelchair hokey pokey. If he could get physical therapy he could regain much more use of his arms and legs, but MediCal (welfare) will not pay for therapy, preferring to keep people for years in nursing homes.” David’s poverty only compounds his medical troubles.Like so many porn pioneers, David enjoyed massive success in the heyday of the 1970s, only to wind up destitute as rapid commercialization took its toll on the adult market. The story is one repeated exhaustingly in the annals of porn history. From Russ Meyer to Al Goldstein (founder of Screw magazine), the porn market has often proved unforgiving toward its forefather’s. However, as Dian is quick to point out, that doesn’t make the photographs, or their creators, any less interesting. “When I started collecting photos for my Big Penis Book I knew I had to have Old Reliable in there, had to see more of his photos and learn –MORE– about the man behind the lens,” Hanson said. “It wasn’t easy to get a contact for David and when I finally did get his number he didn’t much want to talk to me, but when we finally met I was shocked to find this intelligent, funny, mild mannered guy who studied his models the way I’d studied my readers all the years I worked making men’s magazines. David is a true intellectual, a psychological hobbyist, and even more interesting as a person than he is as a photographer. He says we’re “simpatico”, and that seems the best description for the way we clicked immediately, sharing a taste in men and in exploring the intricacies of human psychology and sexual attraction.” David’s photographs capture a unique period in the American sex trade, before the advent of the Internet, which has taken hustlers off the streets and on to social networking sites. He also documented his subjects throughout one of the worst human tragedies of our age, watching as his models, friends, and contemporaries fell prey to the AIDS epidemic. He worked with legendary photographers like Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild, and Lynn Womack of the Grecian Guild, and over the past 40 years his work has captured the attention of high-profile personalities including Paul Reubens, Gore Vidal, and John Waters. “It’s really important that we get his work back out there,” Christopher Trout, a friend of David’s and a partner in the Old Reliable Fund, said. “Not only is it some of the sexiest, most confrontational work I’ve ever seen, but it also carries some significant historical weight. You combine that with the fact that this sort of raw, sexual expression is finally reaching its apex in the public consciousness, and I think you have a perfect climate for David’s work.” The Old Reliable store, which can be found at, will feature authentic, vintage fiber prints of favorite Old Reliable models, including Tico Patterson, Powerful Pierre, Little Speedi Phil and big Mike Adams, all complete with studio stamp. It will likely expand to offer his famous video and audio recordings in the near future. The blog (, which will be manned by a collection of David’s friends, will focus on his progress, his work, and his influence. Fans can also make donations on the blog via Paypal. All proceeds go to assisting David in his recovery and protecting the Old Reliable archives. You can find examples of David’s photographs in last summers’ The Big Penis Book (Taschen Publishing), and in Speeding: The Old Reliable Photos of David Hurles (Green Candy Press). He has a new edition from Green Candy Press due out this summer.


  1. I always enjoy the men of Old Reliable:

    1. Yes I have lot of audios his photos and tapes. The orginal vhs tapes. Box full photos of all orginal photos. The only models of photos ill keep is tex and mad max. But ill give you all photos of rest models. I have all of champ. None touch. And all of best modelors. Some vhs tapes DAVE GAVE ME WERE NOT IN GOOD SHAPE. I WILL GIVE ONE TWO NOT CHARGEN YOU. WRITE TO ME

  2. I used to buy davids work. It was the only way i fantisized,.of maken out. Though there were little to rough for me. I bought mostly every model he had. Audios, still have draw full..i bought from Dave to 1998 to 2006 . He used to write to me, on orders.and was sorry my mom past away. Dave was going threw hard time then. Being robbed, the internett slowed his bsiness down. I remember he waited to long to put check threw and it bounce, i made that up for him. I believe the struggle brought on stroke. I allso very naive that fact the hustlers did not take care of them selves. Died early, i was buyen champ, famous model of old reliable,.loved his whitty. Audios,.i started buyen champ in 1998 . Must had all his pics. I did not know at time that Chamo died five years early. It was looken at model been dead for years,. Only twenty four years old..the problem with this lifestyle, you have to take care of yourself.cause no one will.. they live for today, cause they feel theres no tomorrow. Is why poor Dave is in such mess. My freind if knew you were going threw bad time,i would warned you..its really sad were he is now.

  3. Titan:

    I would be interested in purchasing some of your collection, especially the audio items. Go to my blog and leave a comment or send me e-mail.

  4. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Where can I buy more of his work