Bunny Yeager Productions Vintage Rare South Florida Collectables

South Florida Rare Collectables

The items that are listed below are an extremely rare collection of South Florida memorabilia of movie films, posters, and musical performances never before seen by the general public.

My father’s collection is being sold to honor his lifelong belief that great works are meant to be shared with the public and to support the Miami Arts Foundation and to support and restore vintage art, music and films keeping the legacy that my father established long ago. This is done in his memory.

Each Item has an explanation of how it was acquired. If you have any questions please contact us by e-mail.

David Bowie and Band filmed with sound in Florida 1972.

bowie 1972

This is an 8 m.m. film role is 68- minutes in length that includes sound of David Bowie and his band that was filmed at The Hemispheres Lounge in Hallandale Florida in 1972.
The footage is not a performance but is footage of all the members of the band including Bowie who were invited to stay at the Hemispheres Hotel where the band members are shown hanging out at the pool, in the lobby and in their hotel rooms.

The story of how this footage was acquired.

David Bowie was in town performing at a concert at Pirates World in Dania Florida 1972 11 17. The performers were booked to stay at another hotel nearby, however the Hotel owner of the Hemispheres who was a friend of my fathers  ( both owned hotels) suggested he contact Bowie’s manager, and let them stay at the Hemispheres providing the band and band manager with poolside services, cocktail drinks, gourmet food and also was right on the beach, due to the publicity it would provide hoping that this would bring more attention and business to the Hotel.
The band and its manager accepted and my father contacted John and had him go over to the Hotel to capture some footage. David Bowie and the band were very accommodating and did not seem to mind the attention or the cameras.

Special features.

Mick Ronson (also known as Ziggy Stardust) explains his name and also his sexual preferences. He is also seen trying to pick up several waitresses. Mick Ronson is filmed in women’s high heeled shoes wearing a 2 -piece bathing suit with green hair purchasing a hat in the Hotels gift shop.
David Bowie is seen getting ready for dinner putting on full make-up and being escorted by an unknown African American man who was Bowie’s body guard. Bowie dines a a 2 piece women’s dress suit as Mick and the Band drink whiskey at the table where Bowie is dining, the whole time elderly Jewish patrons look completely baffled as to why these people are staying here.
On another day a woman comments on Mick Ronson’s green hair, thinking Mick is a woman because he is wearing a 2- piece bathing suit, Mick takes off his top and explains to the woman he is in fact a man not a woman and then tries to pick up a young waiter serving him a cocktail.

Bowie is filmed practicing the guitar in his hotel room, the sound was not recorded unfortunately.


Eric Clapton Practice Sessions April 12, 1974. Recorded at 461 Ocean Blvd. Golden Beach Isles.

Eric Clapton

This is an 8- track recording reel to reel recorded in slow speed of Eric Clapton performing and practicing the songs he recorded for the 461 Ocean Blvd. Album recorded in 1974.


This tape is clean and comes with the recording machine included in the picture that was the actual recorder used for these sessions. The tapes were not recorded by a sound engineer, they were recorded by Clapton himself, who used this simple set-up to practice the songs he would record. Recording this way allowed him to critic the songs and vocals he thought may have been out of his vocal range.

The story of how the tape machine and tapes were acquired.

The tape and tape machine was acquired by music producer Ron Howard who Clapton gave the tapes to as he was contemplating using Ron for producing the album.  Once the album was recorded Clapton never asked for the tapes back. Ron also tracked down the original recording machine which was a loaner from Ace Music in Miami, and offered them 1500.00 for the recorder and bought it for himself.
My father and Ron were friends and Ron was aware of my fathers collection. He wanted to trade him for a Jackie Gleason Show rehearsal which my father had acquired also which was a film taping of the television show featuring Jackie Gleason. This was an even trade and my father played this tape to me once when I was young, remembering it brought back memories.

Special Features

Eric Clapton speaks between each song explaining the key changes for his vocal range. There is also someone who comes to the door and rings the bell, Clapton answers it and tells the person he is recording but invites them in, they speak about the recording itself and Clapton says “Wait a second I have to shut this thing off”.
There is a box guitar and singing and that is all, except for a little bit of slide guitar on a blues number. Clapton is heard singing an old Earth Wind and Fire song, perhaps this is a warm up he used as it is a very high vocal range I am not sure. The quality is very clear, although it seems it is recorded at a distance away from the microphone. The listing of the songs is the order they are in posted here, they are written in handwriting on the inside of the tape boxes by Clapton himself.

1.  “I Shot the Sheriff”
2.    “Tell the Truth”
3.    “Let It Grow”
4.    “Sunshine of your Love
5.    “Get Ready”
6.    “I Can’t Hold Out”
7.    “Please Be With Me”
8.    “Cross Roads”
9.    Whiter Shade of Pale’.


Tommy Bolin jam session and last performance at the 7 Seas Lounge Miami 1976.

Tommy Bolin 7seaslounge Miami

This is very rare footage filmed with sound on an special 8 m.m. film sound camera that captures Tommy Bolin performing with the house band at the 7 Seas Lounge in Miami.
The tape is clean, lighting was superb and sound is good also. The picture was taken of Tommy that night.

Tommy was a bit intoxicated but he played very loud and really was intense.

The story of how this footage was acquired.

It was well known that Tommy was seen hanging around the Castaways Lounge and 7 Seas Lounge for more than 2 or 3 days. He was in concert with Jeff Beck. He had jammed a couple of other times but the clubs manager at The 7 Seas Lounge asked that he not be allowed to perform with the band due to his extreme use of volume and chasing out many customers. My father hired his source of most all of his collections and had him follow Tommy Bolin around for a day. Only a few people have ever seen this footage.

Special features

Tommy is plugging in his guitar box affects and it is not working properly and he is having trouble, he kicks his boxes across the floor to get them to work and finally they do. Tommy plays a funky jam, a few blues numbers, not quite sure of any of the songs titles per-se, but he is in his own world and playing like a musical genius as I have been told. The footage is filmed from an upper level so you can see the band very well, and Tommy doesn’t stop in between songs he just keeps playing making up songs and the band tries to follow along. Finally the manager comes up towards the end, it is past the hours of closing and asks him to stop.
You can hear the applause, there is about 12 people in the audience, about 50 people left not knowing who he was or cared.


Jimi Hendrix Live Jam and Recording at The Castaways Lounge Miami 1968.


This is an actual L.P. record album in mint condition that was pressed from the original recording that was recorded on a 2- track recorder. Hendrix stopped in the famous Castaways Lounge to have a few drinks, it was down pouring rain that day and so he decided to get one of his guitars and jam with the band.

How this recording was acquired.

There were only 5 copies made of this album, as they were gifts that my father used to trade and get other recordings and filming of musicians and actors. The original recording was lost. One of those records was given to Neil Young who still has the album from what I am told. This Hendrix album was traded for a copy of a Crosby Stills, Nash and Young rehearsal session that was filmed and recorded in Miami Florida that is not for sale.

Special Features
Hendrix talks on the microphone for a while telling a dirty joke, you can hear the audience in the background which sounds like about 40 or so people. Jimi is using a guitar device he says he is trying out and tells everyone he doesn’t know what is going to happen, but this must be false, because it sounds perfectly balanced and he uses it like a pro. The band doesn’t know his songs, but he plays them anyways and some are indistinguishable. There is a song that sounds like a James Brown tune, sort of funky that the band knows, Hendrix sings the song but doesn’t know the words but it sounds pretty amazing. On the B. Side of the album, Hendrix plays a long guitar solo that includes a guitar lick from the show “I Love Lucy” and ” Leave it to Beaver”. This is a pure classic, nothing exists like it, PRICELESS!

400,000.00 !

County a Go Go Movie with Ray and Bunny Yeager filmed in 1965.

country a go go original film 35

This is extremely rare film footage of a movie that was produced by Luke Moberly. For over 45 years this film was been sought by many people who were involved with the production of this film called “Country A Go Go”. This was made at a little known film studio that was located in a small town in Florida called Davie. Luke Moberly owned the studio that included a replica of a western town, complete with a bank, saloon, blacksmith shop and barber shop. The movie Little Laura and Big John was filmed there with Linda Black.


How this film was acquired.

The studio was sold to a doctor in the early 1980′s where it had passed hands for many years. The film equipment, lights, cameras, sound props, etc. were becoming unusable collecting dust and rust and was closed off for a long period of time. In 2002 it went through some renovations and some film canisters were taken from the studio and placed in a storage facility. The storage facility monthly rental was not paid for 6 months and the contents were auctioned off in 2011. The person who bought all the items took only some furniture, lights and some interesting props. Unaware of what they had or what they even were; they posted the film canisters on craigslist. It was seen by myself looking under collectables and I bought 5 of them for 50.00. It took a year before we were able to find a place where we could watch the film with the music. This is a picture of the actual film canister and also this photograph of Bunny and Ray playing with the rock n’ roll band was in a folder that I also bought that was inside a suitcase with many other small film reels one of them clips of Karen Black from a western movie filmed there.


Johnny Depp and the Kidd’s  VHS  filmed footage with sound of Johnny Depp and the Kidd’s at The Treehouse Lounge 1982.


This is the only existing footage of Johnny Depp with the Kidds right before he left to go to Los Angeles California and begin his film acting career. This is also an original poster from that night at the Treehouse Lounge that also features artist Billy Yeager, however this footage is not included on this VHS tape.

Special Features

Some great pop sounding songs performed here, Johnny is also singing on 3 songs, there are primarily medium and close-up shots, the sound is every crisp considering this is not recorded in State of the Art recording equipment.
How this VHS Tape was acquired.
The 2 band event was being filmed by a camera crew that was hired for Billy Yeager as he had just been chosen as a finalists in the Miller High Life Rock to Riches Talent Search and Bunny Yeager wanted to videotape her nephew performing.

Billy Yeager Johnny Depp Treehouse

Yeager’s performed first and afterwards the Kidds musical performance  was filmed by the cameraman himself and was later given to Billy Yeager. The video tape was purchased from Billy Yeager in 2000.

Johnny Depp performance 65,000.00

Billy Yeager performance finalist at the Miller High Life Rock to Riches Talent Search in Ft. Lauderdale on VHS Tape.

This is a rare performance of Billy Yeager’s second concert for the K-102 contest.

homegrownd_1         116_4284

All of Yeagers songs that were submitted to the contest were chosen as finalist songs. Yeager performed very sparsely in South Florida as most of his time was spent writing and recording.

Special features

Yeager plays a 14- minute guitar solo and lights the guitar on fire and smashes the stage and speakers covered in blood.

Billy Yeager k-102 performance 20,000.00

Jimmy’s Story Part 2. “The American Dream” 2001.

jimmy story part 2

You will notice that the cover on the box features Maria Coppola, and is the only cover of all the versions that does. This version also states that it is rated uhh ( a joke by Yeager for the offensive language) and also notice that the side cover of the cassette is actually handmade and cut with scissors. Yeager only made a few of these copies and has stated himself that he owns only one original copy.
The only other person who owns a copy of this film is Dan Myrick, ( Blair With Project ) whom Yeager sent the film to on VHS, after he completed the editing in 2001.
Yeager was told the film was too long and no one would be interested in watching the movie, so from that moment he decided to stop editing, and gave away his only other 3 copies, and continued filming more years of his life for the next 2 years which contains rare interviews and segments of his father Ray in the 2001 version.

How this film was acquired.

This version was acquired from the estate of Gerry Georgettis ( Billy’s Manager) who was the only other person who had an original copy.

Special Features

This version is  valuable because it actually contains extended versions and footage of the segments of the Jimi Hendrix hoax that were lost; where Yeager passes himself off as the illegitimate son of Jimi Hendrix. Rare also because it contains full length footage of Ray Yeager’s interview in its entirety before he passed away. Billy Yeager is also seen in rare form performing at obscure venues playing guitar solos, and performing original compositions.

Jimmy’s Story 2001.  25,000.00

“Shack Daddy” the movie featuring Bettie Page 16 m.m. transferred to 8 m.m. stock/ movie film with sound 96 minutes long.


This is original film stock footage from a movie that Bettie made that has never been screened. Bettie plays the role of Colette. The movie is about a farmer girl named Colette from Indiana who goes to the big city to work in a bar and ends up working in snuff films. This was one of the films that was seized by the FBI but they were not able to find it.

The producers credit in the film is marked out in ink on the original film, we do not know exactly who produced the film. There is some music scored for the movie, and the acting is not very professional. There are some bondage scenes and also extreme violence.

1,000,000.00 SOLD!

Florida Highwaymen Paintings ( Collection of 35)  and 2 of Purvis Young’s Folk Art Paintings from the Estate of Floridian filmmaker Doris Wishman.


Iconic filmmaker Doris Wishman was a big Florida Highwaymen fan and had been collecting the artists paintings since 1960. These were from her personal collection and were purchased from the Highwaymen themselves  throughout the 1960′s and 1970′s and none of the paintings listed here are from an art gallery or purchased on-line.

The 2 Purvis Young paintings were purchased also by Doris herself and are a few of some of the earliest paintings of Purvis Young

How this collection was acquired.

The Doris Wishman estate was auctioned and a portion of her collections were given to the Arts Foundation that my father was a member of, soon after he purchased this personally for his own collection.

The list of Livingston Roberts paintings are on canvas are extremely rare, also Curtis Arnett, and Willie Daniels are difficult to find. Number # 13 ( listed # 1. from top left to right) is an Alfred Hair, it is painted on upson board. The collection comes with authentic photographs of Doris Wishman and Al Black who drove through Miami Beach on the early 1960′s selling the art from the back of his trunk.
Artists include, Livingston Roberts, Lemuel Newton, Harold Newton, Sam Newton,  Isaac Knight , Alfred Hair, Johnny Daniel’s, Hezekiah Baker and Curtis Arnett.

This is a collection and will not be sold separately. 162, 000.00

( 8000.00 each of Livingston Roberts Canvas) Please inquire about photographs.

Wayne Cochran Recorded Live at the Newport Lounge


Very rare recording of Wayne in his prime. This record was one of the 1000 that was pressed in Miami. There are very few left.

2000.00 SOLD!

Miami Sound Machine wedding gig captured on Super VHS


This original footage was captured of the band at a wedding gig in Coral Gables. Gloria and Emilio Estefan perform, the sound is not very good and distorted the tape is 60 minutes long.
Includes original music as well as covers.

5500.00 SOLD

Jaco Pastorius and Billy Yeager recorded live on 2 track tape and Super VHS at the Tipperary Pub in Deerfield Beach. ( 92 minutes )

Jaco 3

Billy Yeager met Jaco in 1983 and Jaco asked him to “hang out with him” for the evening which turned into an all night recording session. Yeager and Jaco recorded over 90 minutes of music on a Teac 8 Track reel to reel recorder. Later in the evening they went to a small pub in Deerfield Beach called the Tipperary Pub ( Jaco lived a few blocks away). It was Jaco’s idea to ask the owner if they could jam for “drinks”. Both Jaco and Yeager went to get their guitars and were performing with 2 small amplifiers. The performance was captured at 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning although unusual the bar was open all hours of the day.

Special Features

There are 9 people in the bar drinking while they perform captured on tape, most knew Jaco from previous occasions.
They are definite songs, chorus’s bridges, like a John McLaughin type of music, but very melodic and some very pretty songs on there. ( Lots of laughing and talking).

How this footage was acquired.

“Big Ron” was the Pubs owner, although most people at the pub didn’t have a clue who Jaco was, Ron did know made sure to capture this on VHS  himself on his Super VHS Camera.

jaco check 1984

( This check was given to the Tipperary Pub in 1984 by Jaco. After a long night of drinking Jaco had no cash, he gave Ron this check that “bounced”. It was included and given as a gift from Ron when we purchased the tape.)

Jaco Pastorius and Billy Yeager performance 130,000.00

Leonard Cohen on vintage 8 m.m. film 1974.


Filmed in 8 m.m. with sound performing a very rare private invitation only concert at the Miami Beach Auditorium ( Fillmore) for 300 guests for Mayor Jack Orr in 1974 that was a benefit concert to raise money for inoperable cancer raising the necessary funds for treatment right before he passed away.


Songs Performed ( 45 minutes in length)

Special features.

Leonard Cohen plays with a small ensemble of drums, bass, guitars piano and cello.

How this footage was obtained.

My father was a good friend of Jack Orr and supported his campaigns and causes. The concert was filmed and recorded by Jay Fairman who was responsible for the sound production on the Jackie Gleason Show who was hired by Roslyn Cooper ( Jacks 5th wife) and past girlfriend of Leonard Cohen. It was Roslyn that helped create the event and my father received the tapes for donating 25,000.00 personally to Jacks treatment.

“Field Commander Cohen”
“Is this what you wanted”
“Lover Lover Lover”
“Why don;t you try”
“There is a war”
“I tried to leave you”
” Take this longing”

Lenoard Cohen Performance 200,000.00

 Bunny Yeager

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When Bunny Yeager hopped in front of the camera decades ago, she became the very definition of a blond bombshell and one of the most-sought-after models in Miami. Later, she moved behind the lens to become one of the most popular photographers of her time.

Born in Wikinsberg Pennsylvania US Yeager became one of the most photographed models in Miami. After retiring from modeling, she began her career behind the camera.

Bunny Yeager is shunning the cameras, for the moment at least. Strange, since only last week she professed in an interview: “I like to pose. I like to be in front of anybody’s camera.”

Stranger still, since Ms. Yeager has built a robust career on a streak of exhibitionism, first as a model in the 1950s and ’60s, then as a photographer, whose images of young women in various states of naughty dishabille are among the most iconic of the American midcentury, influencing photography and fashion to this day.

Ms. Yeager, 81, may be best remembered for her lens-fogging photos of Bettie Page, the era’s most popular pinup. Her shot of Ms. Page decorating a Christmas tree, nude save for a Santa cap, was the first of many she would sell to Playboy magazine, then in its infancy.

She captured a similarly playful eroticism in a series of little-known self-portraits. On view this month at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami, they showcase Ms. Yeager at the height of her fame, in the sorts of coy poses she imaged would captivate a fan base of hard-breathing males. In those portraits she is seated, calendar-girl style, on a faux bearskin; perched on the rim of a tub, covered in nothing but suds; or posed against a walnut panel, shrugging her way out of a flimsy blue nightie.

Bunny Yeager, Shy Beyond the Lens


See more of Ms. Yeager’s self-portraits that will be featured at at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami later this month.

Not what you would call uptight, exactly, not even those images in which she vamps, rather regally, rehearsing for the modeling she would eventually do for Saks Fifth Avenue or Lillie Rubin, then the jewels of Lincoln Road. So it comes as a bit of a shock to learn that Ms. Yeager considers herself cripplingly shy.

“It’s still very painful to me to get up and speak in front of people,” she said by phone the other day from Miami Shores, where she maintains an office and a vast photo archive. “I have to really think about what I’m going to say.” This from the author of some 30 books about her craft, who counts Hugh Hefner as a friend, and who could be seen in the mid-’60s chattering away on the Johnny Carson show.

A childhood move to Miami from her hometown of Braddock, Pa, just outside Pittsburgh, was liberating, she recalled. Reasoning that no one had a clue to her shrinking-violet past, she remembered deciding, “I can be phony. I can just act like the person I want to be.”

Born Linnea Eleanor Yeager, she rechristened herself Bunny after a film character played by Lana Turner. Her refashioned identity fit her like latex. And like many of her heat-seeking contemporaries, she took to modeling, her objectives somewhat shopworn and admittedly vague. “I wanted to be famous,’’ she said simply. “I wanted to be somebody.” Her methods, on the other hand, were strikingly original. Ms. Yeager learned to model by turning the camera on herself. “If you don’t study yourself,” she said, “you’re not getting a true idea of how you look.”

To learn to view herself objectively, she created something of an avatar, a celluloid second self minted purely for public consumption. Skillfully lighted and expertly composed, the lissome creature in her lens resembled many of the subjects she would later photograph, the comely young would-be models she tracked down at bus stops, in shops and on the beach.

Her subjects felt safe with her, she said, relying on her to help them look their wholesome best — even when trussed up in bondage gear.

“Bunny has that good understanding of how to photograph the female body,” said Mr. Golen, whose gallery will exhibit the portraits through June 4. “At the same time, she knew how to captivate men’s sexual fantasies.”

“Her women are real,” he went on. “None of them are spray-tanned. Their breasts aren’t ballooned. They have curves and a bit of cellulite.”

Indeed some bear a more than passing relationship to high-glam bombshells celebrated by Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and others on the runways and in recent advertising campaigns. In her self-portraits, Ms. Yeager is often encased in a two-piece suit of her own design, which she whipped up at home on her sewing machine. (Not surprisingly, given fashion’s continuing romance with midcentury Americana, Ms. Yeager, who has been credited with introducing the style to America, was recently approached to create a swimwear line under her name. Details of the deal have yet to be disclosed.)

Whether showing off her suits at the beach or in friend’s powder room, “she looked very sexual, but never nasty,” Mr. Golen said. Ms. Yeager herself insisted, “I didn’t do pinups, like Bettie Page did. At least I didn’t think of them as pinups. To me that was cheapening.

“I was a high-fashion model. In my mind, I was modeling my own designs.”

Mid-sentence, she caught herself, exhaled audibly and confided without a hint of regret, “I was kind of deceiving myself, I guess.”



Bettie Page

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bettie Page
Bettie Page.jpg
Playboy centerfold appearance
January 1955
Preceded by Terry Ryan
Succeeded by Jayne Mansfield
Personal details
Born Betty Mae Page
April 22, 1923
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Died December 11, 2008 (aged 85)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Measurements Bust: 36″
Waist: 23″
Hips: 36½”
Height 5 ft 5½ in (1.66 m)[1]
Weight 128 lb (58 kg; 9 st 2 lb)

Bettie Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008)[2][3] was an American model who became famous in the 1950s for her fetish modeling and pin-up photos. She has often been called the “Queen of Pinups”.[4] Her look, including her jet black hair, blue eyes and trademark bangs, has influenced many artists.

She was “Miss January 1955″, one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine. “I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society,”[5] Playboy founder Hugh Hefner told the Associated Press.

In 1959, she converted to born-again Christianity, and later worked for Billy Graham.[6] Her later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state psychiatric hospital.[7][8] After years of obscurity, she experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s.



[edit] Early life

Page was born Betty Mae Page[9] in Nashville, Tennessee, the second of six children[10] born to Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle.[11] At a young age, Page had to face the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old. (In the 1930 Census, a few weeks before Bettie’s 7th birthday, her mother Edna Pirtle Page was already listed as being divorced.) After her father, whom Page would accuse of molesting her starting at age 13, was imprisoned,[12] Page and her two sisters lived in an orphanage for a year.[citation needed] During this time, Page’s mother worked two jobs, one as a hairdresser during the day and washing laundry at night.[citation needed]

As a teenager, Page and her sisters tried different makeup styles and hairdos imitating their favorite movie stars. She also learned to sew. These skills proved useful years later for her pin-up photography when Page did her own makeup and hair and made her own bikinis and costumes. During her early years, the Page family traveled around the country in search of economic stability.[11]

A good student and debate team member at Hume-Fogg High School, she was voted “Most Likely to Succeed”.[11] On June 6, 1940, Page graduated as the salutatorian of her high school class[11] with a scholarship. She enrolled at George Peabody College, with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, the next fall she began studying acting, hoping to become a movie star. At the same time, she got her first job, typing for author Alfred Leland Crabb. Page graduated from Peabody with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944.

In 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal in a simple courthouse ceremony shortly before he was drafted into the Navy for World War II.[13] For the next few years, she moved from San Francisco to Nashville to Miami and to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she felt a special affinity with the country and its culture.[11] In November 1947, back in the United States, she filed for divorce.[citation needed]

[edit] Modeling career

Bettie Page is tied and spanked in an image from Bizarre

Following her divorce, Page worked briefly in San Francisco, and in Haiti. In 1949,[14] she moved to New York City, where she hoped to find work as an actress. In the meantime, she supported herself by working as a secretary. In 1950, while walking along the Coney Island shore, she met Jerry Tibbs, a police officer with an interest in photography. She was a willing model, and Tibbs took pictures of her and put together her first pinup portfolio.[11]

In late-1940s America, “camera clubs” were formed to circumvent laws restricting the production of nude photos. These clubs existed, ostensibly, to promote artistic photography; but in reality, many were merely fronts for the making of pornography. Page entered the field of “glamour photography” as a popular camera club model, working initially with photographer Cass Carr.[11] Her lack of inhibition in posing made her a hit. Her name and image became quickly known in the erotic photography industry; in 1951, her image appeared in men’s magazines such as Wink, Titter, Eyefull and Beauty Parade.[11]

From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with pin-up, bondage or sadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model. Klaw also used Page in dozens of short, black-and-white 8mm and 16mm “specialty” films, which catered to specific requests from his clientele. These silent featurettes showed women clad in lingerie and high heels, acting out fetishistic scenarios of abduction, domination, and slave-training; bondage, spanking, and elaborate leather costumes and restraints were included periodically. Page alternated between playing a stern dominatrix, and a helpless victim bound hand and foot. Klaw also produced a line of still photos taken during these sessions. Some have become iconic images, such as his highest-selling photo of Page—shown gagged and bound in a web of ropes, from the film Leopard Bikini Bound. Although these “underground” features had the same crude style and clandestine distribution as the pornographic “stag” films of the time, Klaw’s all-female films (and still photos) never featured any nudity or explicit sexual content.

In 1953, Page took acting classes at the Herbert Berghof Studio, which led to several roles on stage and television. She appeared on The United States Steel Hour and The Jackie Gleason Show.[11] Her Off-Broadway productions included Time is a Thief and Sunday Costs Five Pesos. Page acted and danced in the feature-length burlesque revue film Striporama by Jerald Intrator. She was given a brief speaking role, the only time her voice has been captured on film. She then appeared in two more burlesque films by Irving Klaw (Teaserama and Varietease). These featured exotic dance routines and vignettes by Page and well-known striptease artists Lili St. Cyr and Tempest Storm. All three films were mildly risque, but none showed any nudity or overtly sexual content.

In 1954, during one of her annual vacations to Miami, Florida, Page met photographers Jan Caldwell, H. W. Hannau and Bunny Yeager.[11] At that time, Page was the top pin-up model in New York. Yeager, a former model and aspiring photographer, signed Page for a photo session at the now-closed wildlife park Africa USA in Boca Raton, Florida. The Jungle Bettie photographs from this shoot are among her most celebrated. They include nude shots with a pair of cheetahs named Mojah and Mbili. The leopard skin patterned Jungle Girl outfit she wore was made, along with much of her lingerie, by Page herself. A large collection of the Yeager photos, and Klaw’s, were published in the book Bettie Page Confidential (St. Martin’s Press, 1994).

After Yeager sent shots of Page to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, he selected one to use as the Playmate of the Month centerfold in the January 1955 issue of the two-year-old magazine. The famous photo shows Page, wearing only a Santa hat, kneeling before a Christmas tree holding an ornament and playfully winking at the camera.

In 1955, Page won the title “Miss Pinup Girl of the World”.[11] She also became known as “The Queen of Curves” and “The Dark Angel”. While pin-up and glamour models frequently have careers measured in months, Page was in demand for several years, continuing to model until 1957.[4] Although she frequently posed nude, she never appeared in scenes with explicit sexual content.

In 1957, Page gave “expert guidance” to the FBI regarding the production of “flagellation and bondage pictures” in Harlem.[15]

The reasons reported for her departure from modeling vary. Some reports mention the Kefauver Hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency (after a young man apparently died during a session of bondage which was rumored to be inspired by bondage images featuring Page). In fact, the Senate committee called her to testify to explain the photos in which she appeared, but then excused her from testifying; however, the print negatives of many of her photos were subsequently destroyed by court order, which ended Klaw’s bondage and S&M mail-order photography business.[citation needed] For many years after, the negatives that survived were illegal to print.[citation needed] However, the most obvious reason for ending her modeling career and severing all contact with her prior life was her conversion to born-again Christianity while living in Key West, Florida in 1959[16] in combination with the 1957 trials.

[edit] Years out of the spotlight

Photographer Sam Menning was the last person to photograph a pin-up of Page before her retirement.[17]

On New Year’s Eve 1958, during one of her regular visits to Key West, Florida Page attended a service at what is now the Key West Temple Baptist Church. She found herself drawn to the multiracial environment and started to attend on a regular basis. She would in time attend three bible colleges, including the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon and, briefly, a Christian retreat known as “Bibletown”, part of the Boca Raton Community Church, Boca Raton, Florida.

She dated industrial designer Richard Arbib in the 1950s.[citation needed] She then married Armond Walterson in 1958;[citation needed] they divorced in 1963.[citation needed]

During the 1960s, she attempted to become a Christian missionary in Africa, but was rejected for having had a divorce. Over the next few years she worked for various Christian organizations before settling in Nashville in 1963. She worked full time for Rev. Billy Graham.[4][6]

She briefly remarried Billy Neal, her first husband, who helped her to gain entrance into missionary work; however, the two divorced again shortly thereafter.[citation needed] She returned to Florida in 1967, and married again, to Harry Lear, but this marriage also ended in divorce in 1972.[citation needed]

She moved to Southern California in 1979.[6] There she had a nervous breakdown and had an altercation with her landlady. The doctors that examined her diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia, and she spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years.[6] She was released in 1992[8] from Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County.

A cult following was built around her during the 1980s, of which she was unaware. This renewed attention was focused on her pinup and lingerie modeling rather than those depicting paraphilias, and she gained a certain public redemption and popular status as an icon of erotica from a bygone era. This attention also raised the question among her new fans of what happened to her after the 1950s. The 1990s edition of the popular Book of Lists[18] included Page in a list of once-famous celebrities who had seemingly vanished from the public eye.

[edit] Revival

In 1976, Eros Publishing Co. published A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page, a mixture of photos from the 1950s. Between 1978 and 1980, Belier Press published four volumes of Betty Page: Private Peeks, reprinting pictures from the private camera club sessions, which reintroduced Page to a new but small cult following.[19] In 1983, London Enterprises released In Praise of Bettie Page — A Nostalgic Collector’s Item, reprinting camera club photos and an old cat fight photo shoot.

In the early 1980s, comic book artist Dave Stevens based the female love interest of his hero Cliff Secord (alias “The Rocketeer“) on Page.[20] In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages[19] and recounted tales of her life, particularly the camera club days. For the next seven years, the magazine sparked a worldwide interest in Page. Women dyed their hair and cut it into bangs in an attempt to emulate the “Dark Angel”.[citation needed] The media caught wind of the phenomenon and wrote numerous articles about her, more often than not with Theakston’s help. Since almost all of her photos were in the public domain, opportunists launched related products and cashed in on the burgeoning craze.

In a 1993 telephone interview with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Page told host Robin Leach that she had been unaware of the resurgence of her popularity, stating that she was “penniless and infamous”. Entertainment Tonight produced a segment on her. Page, who was living in a group home in Los Angeles, was astounded when she saw the E.T. piece, having had no idea that she had suddenly become famous again. Greg Theakston contacted her and extensively interviewed her for The Betty Page Annuals V.2.

Shortly after, Page signed with Chicago-based agent James Swanson. Three years later, nearly penniless and failing to receive any royalties, Page fired Swanson and signed with Curtis Management Group, a company which also represented the James Dean and Marilyn Monroe estates. She then began collecting payments which ensured her financial security.

After Jim Silke made a large format comic featuring her likeness, Dark Horse Comics published a comic based on her fictional adventures in the 1990s. Eros Comics published several Bettie Page titles, the most popular being the tongue-in-cheek Tor Love Bettie which suggested a romance between Page and wrestler-turned-Ed Wood film actor, Tor Johnson.

The question of what Page did in the obscure years after modeling was answered in part with the publication of an official biography in 1996, Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-up Legend.[21] That year, Bettie Page granted an exclusive one-on-one TV interview to entertainment reporter Tim Estiloz for a short-lived NBC morning magazine program Real Life to help publicize the book. The interview featured her reminiscing about her career and relating anecdotes about her personal life, as well as photos from her personal collection. At Page’s request, her face was not shown. The interview was broadcast only once.

Another biography, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth about the Queen of Pinups[22] written by Richard Foster and published in 1997, told a less happy tale. Foster’s book immediately provoked attacks from her fans, including Hefner and Harlan Ellison, as well as a statement from Page that it was “full of lies,” because they were not pleased that the book revealed a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s police report that stated that she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and, at age 56, had stabbed her elderly landlords on the afternoon of April 19, 1979 in an unprovoked attack during a fit of insanity.[23] However, Steve Brewster, founder of The Bettie Scouts of America fan club, has stated that it is not as unsympathetic as the book’s reputation makes it to be. Brewster adds that he also read the chapter about her business dealings with Swanson, and stated that Page was pleased with that part of her story.

In 1997, E! True Hollywood Story aired a feature on Page entitled, Bettie Page: From Pinup to Sex Queen.[24]

In a late-1990s interview, Page stated she would not allow any current pictures of her to be shown because of concerns about her weight. However, in 1997, Page changed her mind and agreed to a rare television interview for the aforementioned E! True Hollywood Story/Page special on the condition that the location of the interview and her face not be revealed (she was shown with her face and dress electronically blacked out). In 2003, Page allowed a publicity picture to be taken of her for the August 2003 edition of Playboy. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times ran an article headlined A Golden Age for a Pinup, covering an autographing session at her current publicity company, CMG Worldwide. Once again, she declined to be photographed, saying that she would rather be remembered as she was.

In a 1998 interview with Playboy, she commented on her career:

I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It’s just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous.

Within the last few years, she had hired a law firm to help her recoup some of the profits being made with her likeness.

According to MTV: “Katy Perry‘s rocker bangs and throwback skimpy jumpers. Madonna’s Sex book and fascination with bondage gear. Rihanna‘s obsession with all things leather, lace and second-skin binding. Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. The SuicideGirls Web site. The Pussycat Dolls. The entire career of Marilyn Manson’s ex-wife Dita Von Teese” would not have been possible without Page.[25]

[edit] Death

According to long-time friend and business agent Mark Roesler, on December 6, 2008, Bettie Page was hospitalized in critical condition.[6] Roesler was quoted by the Associated Press as saying Page had suffered a heart attack[6] and by Los Angeles television station KNBC as claiming Page was suffering from pneumonia.[26] A family friend said Page was in a coma, a claim not denied by Roesler.[6] Her family eventually agreed to discontinue life support, and she died at 18:41 PST on December 11, 2008.[4][7]

She is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.[27]

[edit] Films


Billy Yeager plays all instruments and has written and composed over 1100 musical compositions. He has played in funk, rock, and jazz, bands including guitarist for The Inner Circle Reggae Band from 1985 to 1987 and has also played with world re-known bassist Jaco Pastorius.

In 1992 Yeager was discovered by Grammy Award Winner Bruce Horsby and signed to a development deal with Capitol Records. His musical style is extremely diverse ranging from “Surf Jazz” to Gypsy Spanish Flamenco Trance music, and also many symphonic arrangements for his film soundtracks.

Yeager plays by ear, and arranges and composes all his music himself retuning instruments and inventing chords on the guitar not commonly used. He does not listen to guitar music however because of his reproach against guitarist.
Films Jimmy’s Story

Yeager recorded his whole life with 4 video cameras beginning in 1968 with 8 m.m. film cameras, 1970′s VHS, 1980′S HI-8 and Beta, and 1990′s digital. In 1997 Yeager finished his film documentary called ‘Jimmy’s Story” which was originally a  3 part series 6 hours long edited down to 2 hours. There was over 600 hours of footage and it took over 6 years to complete the first version.  30 years ahead of his time, Yeager knew his life was a movie when he left home at 13 years of age.

The film documents Yeager’s entire life, cameras were placed in his automobile, apartment, he even made a 50 foot homemade aerial crane so he could film himself from 50 feet in the air.

In 1995 Yeager sent the raw footage to Kevin Smith who suggested Yeager get in touch with John Pierson who featured Yeager’s story about the making of the film on his show Split Screen. Rick McKay was given a copy of Jimmy’s Story at The Palm Beach Film Festival. Unbeknownst to Yeager, Rick gave the copy to Dean Treadway the programm director at the DIFF Film Festival who immediately wanted the film, Treadway; Out of the 700 films submitted Jimmy’s Story is the one that moved me most to tears of joy and frustration”.

Heralded as a major achievement “Jimmy’s Story” won an unprecedented 4 awards at the Dahlonega International Film Festival in 2001 for Best first film, Best director, Best documentary and Best folk film. Yeager chose not to enter the film into other festivals however because of his reproach against film festivals.

Yeager’s life and film gained national attention when he fooled the press in the US and Internationally when he dyed his skin black and promoted himself as Jimmy Story, the long lost son of Jimi Hendrix. For 2 years Yeager planned a convoluted hoax on the media to prove a point that his talent had not been recognized.

Yeager promoted himself as his own manager and even had himself registered as a “certified graphologist” certifying all of his documents for the press. The rise to fame as Hendrix’s illegitament son was overnight and Yeager was featured on television and new shows, appearing in psychedelic garb, mumbling as if on drugs, and filming the whole facade for his film Jimmy’s Story.

Afterwards Yeager was approached by C.A.A and I.C.M. who both wanted to do a Hollywood version of Yeager’s life for a feature film. Yeager turned down the offers, because his reproach against Hollywood, stating that his life was already a film, the story and film has become a “cult film” gaining exposure from youtube, “the Jimi Hendrix Hoax”.
Films “A perfect Song

Yeager wrote, produced, directed, acted, and composed all the music for A Perfect Song, this was his first dramatic feature film and was made with no money. Yeager reinvented himself again, shaving his head, and gaining 30 pounds for the role of Lloyd. A Perfect Song won him a Best Actor category at The Delray Beach Film Festival and also became a cult film. Yeager made the film for “no money” as he was living out of his car as he was filming the movie for over 6 months. He was then asked to become a regular guest speaker at Film Festival’s about his no budget approach to filmmaking.

He has done only a few, and discontinued them for his reproach against filmmakers.

Yeager’s  self taught schooling and film directing education
Yeager discovered and trained his own actors from a method he later developed as specialized “on camera film acting”.  With a business card and a dilapidated abandoned trailer in an RV park he started his own film acting school that gained national attention and actors from as far as New York and L.A. came to learn his methods.

This is also how Yeager decided he would train himself to become a director of films, always teaching himself, just as he had taught himself to play every instrument. He discontinued the course for his reproach against actors.

Yeager was seen throughout South Florida and performed in Jamaica with Inner Circle from 1985- to 1987, however he was never given a single credit for recording on the albums of Inner Circle. He also recorded for Pearl Marley, Rita Marley  and was used extensively by many well known Reggae Bands as a studio musician who were part of the “Inner Circle team” yet not once was given credits.

In an interview given by Yeager in a publication called Stage and Screen, he stated that he was never told the guitar tracks would be used for pressings and would sometimes record for many Reggae artists recording over 14- hours a day as many different artist would come through the sessions throughout the day, never being introduced to any of them, Yeager instead would be instructed to simply play on another track.

Ironically he stated he was also only paid 75.00 for performing in concerts from 1985-1987 to over 50,000 people at Reggae festivals.

Billy Yeager plays every instrument on the album “Be My Valentine”, whereby on the “What’s It Gonna Take” album, Yeager enlisted an impressive crew of musicians about 22 of them, including well known trumpeter….and Dennis Noday, Al Shikaly, Brett Murphey, Jay Drake drummer.

How many musicians can say a 20 time Grammy Award Winner such as Pat Metheny would stop in to hear their original music?

The documentary called “The Film that Changed the World” is sure to receive major attention especially when you consider the times we live in, and due to this and many of Yeager’s other films such as “A Perfect Song” written, produced, directed and acted by Yeager, and the documentary of the famous “Florida Highwaymen” all of these Yeager has kept out of the market place for his own personal reasons, but this will make all of his works even more valuable.

Consider that the “Be My Valentine” album was only pressed on 2000 copies.

And also if you have a “signed by Yeager” record album that is even more valuable because if you watch the interviews by Yeager, there is no way on earth that anyone could get an autograph today from someone who is not interested in being rich or famous.

My prices are influenced much as the stock market is, it is priced on speculation, as to what your record is worth, only you now that.
This is the site I recommend that has all of Yeager’s prior work, including art, music and films.


One response

  1. Anonymous

    November 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm

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