Halsted intro

Halsted films

Soundtrack
to A Night At Halsted's

Interview
with Fred and Joey


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1981

HALSTED & YALE- WHO'S ON TOP ?

(SCENE: A West Hollywood apartment where the notorious twosome has arrived and settled down with lots of beer and cigarettes.

SKIN: How did the two of you get together?

FRED: I met Mr. Yale one stormy evening in 1969, in front of a Hollywood leather bar. I was in my Army pants and long hair, and I walked by him, noticing him, and I thought, "Why am I going into this bar when there's this cute kid right here on the street?" So I took him home and fucked him, and we've been doin' it ever since.
JOEY: I had on tight white pants, old construction motorcycle boots—
FRED: —engineer boots—
JOEY: —engineer boots, that I had stolen out of somebody's garbage can and that were a size and a half too large, that I stuffed paper inside to make them fit. Because they looked so good. And I was too young to go into the bar—
FRED: He was the cutest blond I'd ever seen, and I decided I had to get into his pants, there was no sense in going into the bar and getting drunk—
JOEY: —and I kept hoping he would stop—because I couldn't get into the bar—
FRED: He was 19 at the time—and he looked about 12—
JOEY: I was an actor, did "Disney on Parade," the original traveling roadshow, all over the states. I played Mowgli, "The Jungle Boy," in a black wig and red diaper—
FRED: Now he wears a red wig and a black diaper.
JOEY: Don't say that! That's not true at all! Don't tell jokes unless they're gonna be true, okay?
FRED: (after a pause) Yeah.
JOEY: I had come from Indianapolis, when I was 17, with $100 in my pocket—
FRED: I was originally from Long Beach, then up and down California, then Hollywood. I'm 40.
JOEY: Just for the record, I'll be 32 this year.

SKIN: When did the two of you "come out"?

FRED: Oh, I came out in ... 1959, when I was 18—
JOEY: I came out when I was about five. I knew I was gay from the first time I can remember. I started sucking dick when I was five. But to get back to the subject, when I met Fred he had this film in his head, and it was something that was driving him, that he had to get out—the film that became "L.A. Plays Itself" —and it was very structured in his head what he was going to do. He saw gay pornography as a vehicle to set him apart and launch a career in film. He had something that he wanted to say, and that had never been done before, and knew that it could probably catapault him to fame.
FRED: It took me three years to make "L.A. Plays Itself"—shoulda been able to make that in three months—
JOEY: Our films always take longer than anybody else in the industry to produce. But when Fred first told me about this film, he told me it was a film about nature, wildlife, and bugs. He did not tell me it was a sex film, when he first approached me with the idea of being in it—
FRED: —he was so in love with me at that point I could do anything with him—
JOEY: —so he basically told me a bunch o' lies—
FRED: —there are bugs in it!
JOEY: I know, there are bugs, and it's all full of nature in the film. It's true. But then once we got involved in it, then I was faced with a tremendous indecision because at that time I was pursuing a quote legitimate act ing career, and I thought, well, gawd, if I do this, then I'm not gonna be able to do those other things that I think I wanna do! Actually, there was another ending planned for the film-
FRED: Don't tell him about that-!
JOEY: I'm gonna tell him!—Halfway through the film, I had such indecision about what I was doing that I backed out of the project. Fred had filmed all the major footage of me, and then I decided, I can't handle this because I was really young and didn't understand what I was doing. And so I didn't return his phone calls. I didn't see him, and I wouldn't finish the film the way he had originally in tended it. So it forced him to be very creative as an editor, to take the existing footage that he had and make it work. Which he obviously did very successfully.
FRED: I hated Joey.
JOEY: He was pissed.
FRED: But the ending I was forced to create was much better. I'm delighted with it. But I didn't see Joey for three years after that.
JOEY: There were times during that three-year period when I would see Fred's name in print, and I would see the film "L.A. Plays Itself" advertised in After Dark magazine, playing in New York, and I would just cringe and I'd think, Oh gawd, that's Halsted, and he's actually got this on the screen! And me! And I'm in it. And, I remember a very vivid conversation I had with a friend of mine, and he was looking at the ad, and there was a tongue licking a boot, which I knew was my tongue and my boot—
FRED: My boot.
JOEY: His boot. And my friend said to me, "Look at that tongue, have you ever seen any tongue that big?" And I said, "No, I've never seen any thing that big in my life. Isn't that just horrendous?" But then, after it opened in L.A., Fred and I still weren't talking to each other. I must have gone 20 some-odd times to see it. And I paid! At this time absolutely nothing is happening to my career, I'm working odd jobs, living with a fairly wealthy lover who occasionally screams at me to get a job. Then, I was out at a bar one night -
FRED: Larry's.
JOEY: Larry's. And Fred came in—
FRED: I had just screened the sailor sequence from "Sextool" at the Vista—
JOEY: — and I saw him from a distance, and I thought, Well, maybe now's the time to go say hello to him again—because I had really liked him an awful lot—so I walked up and I said "hello," and we went home and we fucked. And that's it. I was still living with my lover, and Fred had a lover at that time, also.
FRED: No, I didn't.
JOEY: Yes, you did. D_____ T_____ was your lover.
FRED: No, he wasn't.
JOEY: Yes, he was! He was a "studette"—a big guy that is basically passive.
FRED (explaining): Guys who look like studs, but really aren't.

SKIN: Did you coin the word "twinkie" to describe Joey?

JOEY: Yes, we did.
FRED: I did.
JOEY: We did.
FRED: I did!
JOEY: He always wants to take all the credit! Anyway, then he courted me, many afternoon lunches, wanting to get me to be in "Sextool." And his whole logic behind it was that we had been in "L.A. Plays Itself" together, and he'd never fucked with anybody else—onscreen—up to that point, and he said, "Why should we destroy the mystique? Let's just carry that on and create something with it." And I like melodrama, and that appealed to me. So I finally said, "Okay." Now, it sounds like I had to be talked into all this, but in truth I was very willing in both instances, but I enjoyed the whole act of Fred coming to me and persuading me and using his whole technique of getting me turned on. I enjoyed that quite a bit.
FRED: Well—I'm finding out a lot in this interview. He's never talked about this before!

SKIN: How did you decide what kind of a scene to do for the two of you in "Sextool"?

FRED: I was so nervous when we did it that I dropped two tabs of acid—
JOEY: And I dropped two tabs of acid! Because we knew that people would expect us to top what we did in "L.A. Plays Itself" —the first time a fist fucking had ever been filmed— and shown.
FRED: On the day of the shoot, I didn't know what I was gonna do!
JOEY: There was no script for our scene. Up to five minutes before we shot the thing, we had no idea what we were gonna do! Neither one of us. And that's the honest truth! We were as nervous as hell. We made it up as we were doing it—it was spontaneous—
FRED: It took us five or six hours to shoot. That beautiful shot with me breaking the mirror with Joey's face in it—that was Joey's idea. The pissing was my idea, and putting it in slow motion was the photographer's idea.
JOEY: But after it was over, each of us decided we wanted to get together on a permanent basis, and basically live our lives together, combining everything. And then we started living together, and the seeds of our business started. Because Fred had been ripped off by—
FRED (warning): Joey—!!
JOEY: Shut up! One of the reasons was this distributor—
FRED: Joey!
JOEY: I slapped Fred once . . . One of the reasons Cosco got started was because this man was distributing Fred's films and I asked Fred, "How much has this man been paying you?" And Fred says, "Oh, every couple of months he gives me about a hundred dollars or so," and I said, "WHAT?—I think we can do better than that. Why don't we do this to gether and form a partnership?
FRED: Yeah, it was Joey's idea.
JOEY: And I said, "You go and get those negatives back from that man —and we'll place our own ads and see what we can do."
FRED: I finally got 'em back, but it took a whole battle—but it was the start of Cosco.
JOEY: "Cosco" is a word that was just made up, by me. Doesn't mean anything—
FRED: The "C.O.S." was originally for "Contemporary Office Supplies."
JOEY: No, it was not—the word was made up! It never meant anything.
FRED: So we've been in business since spring of 1975, I think it was.
JOEY: Just this year we opened up our printing company, "Cosco Printing." We have four presses, one that we can do four-color work on.
FRED: And personally we're in a real romantic stage. I'm more in love with him now than I ever have been. We're closer and deeper with each other than we ever have been. So our sex life has changed and evolved and the S&M between the two of us is pretty much gone. Well—not completely—
JOEY: Not completely!
FRED: Joey's now the aggressor, and I'm more of a passive, laid-back bozo.
JOEY: I'd compare it to any long term relationship, in terms of sex. It evolves and changes and it may change again. It feels terrific right now. But it's definitely not what it was in '74-'75.
FRED: Well, the role reversal thing hasn't happened sexually, but it has happened in terms of business. He runs the offices, and I run the house.
JOEY: When I come home from the office, Fred's at the door, and he's in his chaps and leather jacket, and his hat and dark glasses, and he hands me a beer, and you know
FRED: wants to get serviced
JOEY: wants to get serviced. And I think it's wonderful!
FRED: But in terms of 9 to 5, Joey's definitely on top. He runs the business. I'm just the delivery man, the warehouse man, the shipper. And I love it!

(1981)