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Old Reliable Fund Launched for Gay Erotic Pioneer

Friends, fans raising money to assist David Hurles' stroke recovery.
Old Reliable Fund Launched for Gay Erotic Pioneer
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Apr 17, 2009 6:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
OAKLAND, Calif. — Friends and fans of pioneering gay adult photographer and director David Hurles have launched an online fundraising campaign to raise money to cover medical bills and other expenses for the artist and filmmaker.

An Old Reliable blog and newly launched online store have been designed and will be operated for free by volunteers, with all funds raised going to Hurles.

Both sites are named for the filmmaker's famed Old Reliable Tape and Picture Company.

Christopher Trout is the promotions director for Athletic Model Guild, whose late founder Bob Mizer was a friend and mentor of Hurles in the early days of the adult entertainment industry.

"Since he put down his camera nearly 10 years ago, David Hurles has lived largely outside the public eye," Trout said. "We've launched the Old Reliable Fund to bring his iconic photographs of California street trade into the digital age."

Hurles, 64, suffered a massive stroke in October 2008 and has since recuperated in a nursing home in Orange County, Calif. Arrangements to move him to a new facility in Hollywood were recently made by Taschen Publishing editor Dian Hanson, who worked with Hurles during the production of last year's "The Big Penis Book."

"When I started collecting photos for ‘The Big Penis Book’ I knew I had to have Old Reliable in there," Hanson said. "It wasn't easy to get a contact for David and 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."

Hanson notes the stroke left Hurles with his "wit, intelligence and memory intact. His body is not so lucky."

"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," Trout said. "The story is one repeated exhaustingly in the annals of porn history. From Russ Meyer to Al Goldstein, the porn market has often proven unforgiving towards its forefathers."

Hanson, Trout and several others are currently managing the Old Reliable Fund. "We hope to bring more of David's friends on board as time passes," Trout told XBIZ. "This project was born out of necessity. In order for us to keep David's collection in storage and get him the additional care he needs, like physical therapy, we have to find a way to make him money."

Direct donations can be made via PayPal at the new site. "It's our belief that David's work is still relevant today, if not more so, and we think that it deserves to be seen," he said.

Apart from a selection of his photos in Taschen's "The Big Penis Book," Trout said Green Candy Press plans to reissue the 2005 photobook "Speeding: The Old Reliable Photos of David Hurles" later this year.

Video rights to some of his work are currently held by director Joe Gage, whose label D/G Mutual Media recently released the compilation "The Best of Old Reliable, Vol. One."

The online store currently offers a selection of "authentic, vintage, fiber prints of favorite Old Reliable models, including Tico Patterson, Powerful Pierre, Little Phil and Big Mike Adams," Trout said. "All of them are complete with a studio stamp. The store will likely expand in the future to include his famous video and audio recordings."

As for the blog, various friends and admirers will be called upon to contribute entries. "We're going to focus on his progress, his work and his influence," Trout said.

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