Extracts from Lost Lad
Finkle Joe’s Star Trek Orgies
‘Finkle Joe’ lived on Finkle Street in Detroit. He
was choosy. Guests had to be teenage boys - and
desirable. As featured in Lost Lad; I scraped
by on age qualification getting away with 19 – and
continued to be 19 for the next five years. Joe’s
gatherings began in late 1966 when I was 21. In
truth, if birth certificates had to be produced, very few
in Joe's house would turn out to be genuine teenage
chickens. Youth was all; mendacity the name of the
game. Thirty was dreaded - 40 viewed as a form of
Gary and I met at the first party. He was too thin,
too tall with a gangling body to pass the beauty
qualification. Notwithstanding, an invitation was
handed over in the Woodward Bar one night because, in half
light, Joe thought Gary looked like Troy Donahue.
Joe’s parties consisted of between ten to fifteen
youngsters. The action was always preceded by the
assembled guests sitting before [by the standards of the
day] a large TV screen watching Star Trek, a new
series in glorious colour. A popular theme in the
weekly audience was an animated discussion, speculating on
how well blessed was the inscrutable First Officer, Mr
Spock. I’ve always associated the opening Star
Trek theme by Alexander Courage with a prelude to sex.
During one slightly boring moment when Dr ‘Bones’
McCoy was trying to treat an injured alien (of uncertain
gender) whose body was made up of living stone ('It's
life, Jim, but not as we know it'), my wandering eyes,
together with a few other wandering eyes, came to rest
upon the striking blond newcomer called Gary. He was
definitely a candidate for the ‘first room’, the more
respectable part of the forthcoming orgy which always
started with the closing Star Trek theme. In
this dimly lit area, the guests paired off and generally
remained 'faithful' - well, for that evening at least.
In contrast the second room, pitch black, was a 'free for
all', a writhing tangle of bodies well lubricated by much
spilt semen, amid an ongoing murmuring of deep ecstatic
moans and groans.
retrospect, these horny trekkies were probably
subconsciously inspired by Star Trek’s progressive
inclusive Civil Rights agenda. Witnessing such a
multi-racial / multi-cultural crew in conservative ‘beer
and hamburger’ Detroit – that was something!
It would have given subliminal hope and encouragement to
young isolated gay men who, every day, lived in fear
concealing their sexuality.
We were confronted by a stoic First Officer who was an
alien from a planet called Vulcan. It gets worse.
The Communications Officer was a black woman.
Redneck Detroiters thought a woman’s place was in the
kitchen – and a black woman should be scrubbing the floor.
Horror of horrors, the Navigator was Russian – this, at a
time when no decent American would trust a Communist to do
anything, let alone guide them through the galaxy.
Mr Chekov sat next to a Japanese Helmsman, Lt Sulu.
These attractive guys were certainly young enough to pass
muster, to beam out of the screen and join Joe’s orgy –
assuming they were so inclined. Not one of us, in
our wildest imagination, thought for one moment that any
of that enlightened crew could possibly be queer.
Fast forward 39 years to 2005 and see a still youthful Mr
Sulu tell the world he is gay! And, happy to be gay!
Here in 2013, I’ve lost contact with all those pretty boys
who, like me, will be pushing 70. Gary was taken by
aids in 1992. In Lost Lad he is Gary
McKenzie, his real name was Gary McCormack.
If any of those one-time desirable Finkle boys are still
around, their hearts would sing on hearing Japanese
Helmsman, Lt Sulu telling us -it is alright to be
gay. Thank you, George Takei.
Speaking for all Joe’s chickens, I’m deeply grateful to
you for using your celebrity status and all your generous
efforts on behalf of the LGBT community.
Warp speed, Mr Sulu – to the future – to enlightened
Enjoy the magic of Lost Lad
Billy Fury, an icon of
popular culture for Heanor youth in 1959 was the subject
of discussion between Narvel Annable and John Holmes on
BBC Radio Derby in 1998. John surprised the author by
playing the original 1959 recording of Maybe Tomorrow at
the start of the interview. Having not heard that
particular version for some years, you can hear the
emotion in Narvel’s voice.
Click on the
following to hear that interview
The Heanor Market
Café of 1959 had two halves. To the right of the central
corridor, the snack bar, to the left a quieter dining room
for meals. Above the clatter of pots, cutlery, comings and
goings and the continuous hum of conversation, the young
diner could hear melodic strains which travelled across
the two rooms and passageway. Music came from something
very un-Heanor, something new and different, rather like
Simeon's American dream car. It was a space-aged, push
buttoned chrome and gaudily illuminated cabinet called a
'jukebox' which needed to be fed a three-penny bit for one
play, a silver sixpence for two plays, or five plays for a
silver shilling. Fascinated eyes watched a mechanical arm
lift selected popular 7" 45 rpm records and place them
precisely on an automatic deck. As the needle fell into
the lead groove, an anticipatory delicious electronic
'thud' would precede the ecstatic sounds to follow.
For the teenager in the next room munching through his
beans on toast (or whatever) - this was the birth of real
music. The charts of 1959 and 1960 were the very epicentre
of his musical experience. Simeon Hogg would spend the
rest of his life worshipping at that shrine of talented
excellence. He will, forever more, listen with nostalgic
reverence to the lush orchestrations and sexy boyish
voices which sang out through that small window of
creativity. Marty Wilde, Bobby Vee and Adam Faith
crystallised and defined his fresh green hopes, inspired
his dreams and fuelled his fantasies.
One day he
was entranced by what seemed like a sweet sounding choir
of angels ascending and descending the scale, complemented
by a resonant twangy bass guitar. Into this euphonious mix
came, exactly at the right time, a deep masculine voice
with just a hint of the sexy adolescent croak so typical
of this new young genre. He could easily have been
mistaken for Elvis, but, these dulcet tones were a touch
lighter and, for Simeon's taste, with great respect to The
King - better. This sensuous singer had composed both the
music and lyrics for this beautiful work which lasted
barely more than a precious two minutes. After such an
orgasmic audible experience, in complete contrast to the
hateful pious dirges of just a stone's throw away at the
bleak Dickensian Mundy Street Boys School, this new music
now became an important part of his life at William Howitt
Secondary Modern School – a culture of kindness.
During the following weeks, the same record was played
every day. Simeon struggled to hang on to those illusive,
hypnotic notes, above the ambient din of the busy Market
Cafe. A few occasional words were discerned -
and in the evening, by the moonlight ... "
knew not the name of the singer or the song title to be
able to ask for it in a record shop. A pointless exercise
not possessing a record player, let alone the expensive
seven shillings needed to purchase. Eventually the time
came when, nervously, this scruffy youth entered a shop
and held the precious vinyl disc with its grooved integral
encoded magical music, bearing the legend - Maybe Tomorrow.
Later, in that same store, examining the sleeve of a
prized long playing record; he stood very still and looked
… and looked. He peered long and hard into the stunningly
handsome features of his teenage idol - Billy Fury: an
image of Heanor popular culture in 1959.
Here is an extract
from Chapter 8 - Water-cum-Jolly Dale
Scott looked for a footpath to the
riverside, which, in spite of its apparent invisibility,
he knew had to pass between the mill and a very steep,
densely wooded hill to the north. Success! A narrow
passage took them, as it seemed, into another world. Like
entering the 'secret garden', they had been transported
into a beautiful secluded deep valley, shut in by rocks
and woods, the first of a chain of lovely limestone
Suddenly, here in Water-cum-Jolly Dale,
it was cooler, more tranquil with a totally different
atmosphere - save for a rush of water to their left which
required investigation. Smooth, clear, polished water,
slow at first, and then bending, dipping, just before
getting cloudy and agitated as it tumbled over a rocky
fall. For a few moments they were entertained by the
occasional leaf which would accelerate and get pulverised
in the turmoil below.
The waterfall formed a
constriction which created a small lake bounded by
overhanging, sheer limestone faces: faces which amplified
and echoed the evocative euphony of various water birds
calling and crying. Nobody spoke, but everybody knew that
this was a place to savour, a place to walk rather than
cycle. There was a shared feeling of safety in the
comfortable seclusion of this 'Shangri-La'. In this deep
ravine, a serene, silent world of enchantment, steep rocks
painted with lichen and moss gave a protective shield
against modern noise.
Rocks and trees everywhere.
They looked upwards following interesting craggy forms
which became ruined castles - crooked medieval castles.
But, unexpectedly, above the natural finials, arose out of
the high foliage - an unmistakable man-made gothic
structure, fashioned after the style of a fairy tale
castle. This fantastic riot of sharp pitched roofs, steep
gables, ornate tall chimneys and stone mullioned windows -
broke the silence. They had discovered the home of
Dracula! As if to confirm the fact, a solitary hawk was
hovering high in the distant blue.
progressed, the lake became a river and the valley
narrowed to become a gorge. The warmth of the afternoon
reacted with the cold of rocks, water and shade to create
sudden gusts which stirred up willows. Zephyrs flashed the
underside silver of leaves making a stark, bright effect,
which travelled along the riverside, waving in waves and
swathes, rippling, swaying, bowing and beckoning - before
subsiding and returning the foliage back to green.
Ubiquitous ferns with their distinctive smell covered
the banks, sometimes marestails pushed out of the mud and
sometimes a delightful patch of forget-me-nots turned the
The water had mood changes. When
it was slow it showed shimmering reflections of ash and
sycamore. When it was deep they saw long, gently waving
green weeds stretched out in the direction of the flow.
Inches above, cute little black balls of fluff were going
'tweet tweet' and 'squeak squeak' racing along to keep up
Just occasionally, the sun struck
through this gorge of contrasts and shadow to glisten,
sparkle and twinkle off the river surface - a surface
often broken by the quick leap of a fish catching a
The valley seemed to get even deeper
like a journey to the centre of the earth. The limestone
had a multitude of tints from a flash of white to grey and
occasional black. Above and beyond, right at the top,
smooth, bright, green fields closely cropped by grazing
sheep, were occasionally scarred by eruptions of ancient
weather worn rocks.
Down below the boys were
entering Miller's Dale and being entertained by sinister
grotesque shapes of long dead trees, still majestic in
death as in life: living ivy feeding on the rotting wood.
Here they scared each other with ugly goblins, old hags
and monsters. Dense foliage formed mysterious tunnels and
caves, darkened and obliterated with cascading ivy, lots
of ivy, harbouring more unknown horrors.
the teasing ceased when they saw an odd looking boy
illuminated by a shaft of sunlight.
From Chapter 10
Danny switched off the light. A distant
hooting owl attracted no comment: all the teasing had gone
out of Brian. He was tired, very tired. They were all very
tired and, in the luxury of good firm beds and clean white
sheets, they quickly descended into a deep sleep - the
sleep of the gods.
Sometime later, much later,
Simeon was awakened by bladder pressure. All the tea and
milky coffee had finally taken its toll and called to the
young man from that distant, cosy, mysterious other world
of deep slumber. Unwillingly, slowly, he came to
consciousness. He disentangled himself from the
comfortable arms of Morpheus and in pitch darkness,
fumbled and staggered out in search of the bathroom.
Desperately trying to be as silent as that dark night, he
navigated along an alarmingly creaky complication of steps
up, steps down and acute confusing angles before, very
gratefully, reaching his destination. Simeon stood before
the bowl and breathed a long, deep sigh of blessed
easement. He had never read a word of Shakespeare but at
that moment could easily have quoted Francisco the Elsinor
soldier - "For this relief, much thanks."
house was still warm from the heat of the day. Unlike
Francisco, Simeon, clad only in underpants was not cold.
As he turned to retrace his steps - sudden alarm! His exit
was blocked by a dark form who had stealthily crept out of
the deeper shadows. Any fear which had initially gripped
the startled lad was short lived, when, faint starlight
silhouetted the familiar profile of a friend. In the few
moments of tense silence which followed, eager eyes and
mouth-watering lust scanned down an adolescent trunk to
take in the exciting view of an urgent and demanding
manhood. Hardened by desire, the unsmiling, unfriendly
face gave an unspoken command - "Deal with it."
did not know or appreciate it at that time, but Simeon
would eventually look back over the years and view those
early, delicious and relatively innocent teenage moments
as - 'the Real Thing'. The Real Thing was true ecstasy in
stark contrast to the more contrived and planned
experiences of adulthood. Natural rough lads, rough hewn
from a coal mining community were totally masculine,
totally one hundred per cent butch - butch as the hard
bricks which built Heanor. So very different to the many
anonymous touches which would follow in later years.
Touches becoming repellent when later identified as
ministrations from the old, the soft, the slimy, the
artificial, the affected, the effeminate, the
sophisticated and the piss elegant.
earthy, less inhibited, would be an improvement and, at
its most abandoned, would eventually take Simeon to the
heights of excitement with organised marathon maulings in
public view but, even this, could not, would not, did not
compete with those secret snatched moments of early teens
and those forbidden fondles born of a playful grope. Quick
opportunities of a stealthy touch arose out of a chance
meeting of two boys in the changing room, the toilet or
any quiet secluded corner of the school. Any shame was
eclipsed by the physical excitement of hot blood and
desperate need to reach a climax at the hand of another.
Any concern was eclipsed by the unspoken assurance that
any such illegal and immoral incident would never be
mentioned or even whispered again.
Such moments of
pure ecstasy would, like this precious incident, begin and
end in silence. In silence the two boys returned to their
beds never to speak of it again, and, once more, to sleep.
Some hours later it was a noise, a soft noise out
of the silence of the night and very close. Simeon saw two
eyes staring at him: eyes deep set into dark fur. To gauge
the distance, a small head moved sideways before an
athletic, liquid body, leaped from the half-open window
onto the bed, skilfully and silently landing with no more
impact than a gentle kiss. This was not the return of
Diddle Do, this was Phoebe who had come to visit her
friend. The drowsy welcome lasted for just a few strokes
and a few contented purrs before both cat and boy were