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BARtab » Leather-kink

50 years in 50 weeks: 1985, Lovin' la leather, Bare Chests galore

by Jim Provenzano

Beefcake in Mr. Marcus' column
Beefcake in Mr. Marcus' column  

If you think we're focusing on Mr. Marcus' May 23 1985 Leather column just to show off a photo of handsome Bare Chest Calendar contestant Paul John Gillespie, you're right. But there's a bit of historic irony to also observe.

Hey, it's an historic Robert Pruzan photo, as are many others by Rink in a photo feature decrying the 'loss' of Ringold Alley as a leather cruise spot. If anyone in the mid-1980s could get a peek at how the once-cruisy South of Market district has changed, they'd split their chaps.

But back to Marcus' 'B.A.R. Bazaar' column, which recounts the numerous Memorial Day Weekend events on the agenda for those into the bar scene. As for the Bare Chest Calendar night, Mr. June was one of seven contestants at the SF Eagle.

"Each personality was introduced with much camp and dish," Marcus noted before veering into crime journalism, about "incidents of a violent nature taking place in the Folsom area... as the straight influx of yuppies is being less than gracious after its recent invasion of the leather zone."

2021 to 1985: "Hold my beer."

Read Marcus' column and more vintage B.A.R.s at

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