Friday, August 7, 2009

Seeking Joe Buck Pt. 1

This post was excerpted from a larger post written for AMG Online

“Back in New York, Barry [Hoffman] had lived with the guy who did Midnight Cowboy, see? This is who the character was modeled after.” David Hurles in the Appendicks to Dian Hanson’s The Big Penis Book

A couple of months ago we came across a picture of Barry Hoffman as an old man, taken by David Hurles when Barry was about 50 years old. In it, Barry kneels on both knees, stringy blonde hair creeps down his shoulders, long grey fur covers his chest, faded tattoos adorn his leathery skin, and his face – oh, his face. Sad and stoic, the expression is one only a man who’d literally seen it all could muster.

That single photograph spoke volumes about one of gay pornography’s longest working models. Like so many of his contemporaries, Barry’s pictures were nearly all we knew of him. He was strong, masculine and just the right amount of rough. As we contemplated the life this man must have lived, we remembered a passage from the Appendicks of The Big Penis Book. In it, Hurles talks about Barry’s work for Colt Studios, his eventual work for AMG and Old Reliable, and finally (excerpted above) his serving as inspiration for Midnight Cowboy.

Having reread this passage, we became obsessed. What if we could prove some sort of link? We went online and bought the novel that would become the blue print for the iconic film of the same name. Written by James Leo Herlihy, Midnight Cowboy follows a simple-minded boy from Albuquerque, NM to New York City as he seeks one thing: human affection. In his quest for emotional fulfillment, Joe Buck, a strapping blonde veteran, encounters the very darkest corners of human sexuality.

Read the rest at

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