New Book Focuses On Fire Island’s Golden Days

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With summer upon us and many of the New York region's gays heading to Fire Island for some sun and fun, photographer Tom Bianchi's preparing to publish a collection of vintage polaroids in his new tome, Fire Island: The Book, within which you may to see some pretty famous faces who at that point were well in the closet.

"At the time, people were very shy and not out, so pictures could be very damaging," Bianchi told David Toussaint at Guy Spy. "By doing it as Polaroids, I could go to a party and people would see what I was doing, and it was clear that I was shooting atmosphere, not identity. Calvin Klein was out there, David Geffen. You could go through just about every creative field. Perry Ellis, Peter Allen, Jerry Herman; he wrote Hello, Dolly! on his house on the beach."

While many of the pictures feature well-chiseled men cavorting on the beach, Bianchi insists the book is more about celebrating a by-gone era than just the hot bodies.

"The book is a nostalgic remembrance of what was lost," the 66-year old photographer said. "When AIDS hit, the Pines was dead center, ground zero. It would happen within the space of a summer. If there was a house that had six friends, come spring you would discover that everyone in the house had died."

Check out some not work friendly images of Bianchi's book over at Guy Spy (again, work unfriendly).

Comments

  1. Butch says

    Yummy guy in the pic! I really miss the days before guys started slaving everything. I dated a guy who always had leg/chest hair stubble from shaving – such a turn off!!!

  2. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    I AM A FAN OF Tom Bianchi. I OWN HIS, “Pool,” DVD AND HIS, “Out in the Studio,” PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK. I WILL PROBABLY PURCHASE THIS NEW BOOK.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HOTON

  3. Blake says

    There’s no need to yell, Christopher Allen Hoton. No one doubts the validity of your statement.

    (wink)

  4. says

    I was there – in the Pines, briefly in summer of 1972, all summer long in a house share in 1973, stone’s throw from the beach and in front of the house where the last segment of “Boys in the Sand” was filmed in 1972. When we met the owner of the house, he told us how he was invited to come see a movie in the Village – and “don’t bring your wife.” When he asked his lawyer if he should sue, the lawyer said, “Why? You’ll never any trouble leasing the house in the summer, so why complain.” What a magical summer that was. I published a short story in Queen’s Quarterly called “Whipporwills” commemorating it.