Butch-rugged handsome and nerve-rattling raunchy, foul-mouthed fuck machine Jon Vincent was the Barbra Streisand of queer porn: Always the center, larger than life and fueled by a self-loving vulgarity that made his performances Legend. Like Streisand, Vincent never allowed himself to just "play a role," he was too intent on topping -- and stopping -- the show.
His mix of gay for pay ingredients was crazy-making and classic: "Straight," married and a father -- Vincent was a professional baseball player turned competitive bodybuilder who decided to hustle and make porn as something fun to do on the side -- and to support his nascent drug habit. His on-set verbal pyrotechnics, merciless ass-poundings and danger-level testosterone made him neon and golden within the grindingly boring world of faked butchness queer porn. It didn't hurt that he developed a reputation for off camera aggressiveness too, striking terror into mild-mannered co-stars and easy-going directors. Vincent was an unruly handful -- and we loved him for it.
Critic Gary Giddins wrote: "Vulgarity has its place, but only when animated by emotional generosity." Vincent was no emotional cheapskate. He pumped heartfelt excitement and buckets of sweat into even the most dullard couplings. And god help the actors he actually clicked with -- couches were destroyed, buttholes decimated, all for the sake of his art. To date, a small collection of his fierce topping scenes are still discussed with minute, breathy veneration on queer message boards and forums all across the net. Everyone seems to have his favorite Jon Vincent "moment."
By the time of Vincent's death, in May of 2000, a distinct fissure appeared within the gay adult video world -- factions were clearly defined, markets clearly divided. In the new century hardcore was either Above or Underground. The former offered manicured, managed, nearly arid safe-sex porn productions, the later everything Dionysian and dangerous: A cottage industry of hand held-cameras, "real" man-man sex within the wet-hot, back room world of barebacking, cum-eating and fisting -- with everything from fists to bald heads and traffic cones.
Like Hades, Vincent could have easily traversed both of these worlds. His hyper-masculinity was intrinsic and theatric. The very best sort of combo. Vincent was dangerous wearing a condom -- before barebacking was even a post-AIDS concept. He brought the unfettered, risk-taking spirit of underground porn to the late 80s and mid-90s masses. Today, no amount of leathering or tattooing or piercing or stud-bluffing can mimic what Vincent offered in the simple act of being naked and nasty and fucking someone's ass until he saw Jesus. For that reason he represents the very last moment within queer porn when a seemingly straight guy could venture before the cameras and really make us believe in the power of domination or joy of submission. Where others fake it, Jon Vincent made it, was it, owned it, rode it and worked it.
You know it, bitch!
The rest is sad and all about The Wane. Placed within the context of dead porn stars, his history in gay and bi-sex videos reads like just another stumbling, charisma-draining happening -- not the wild thrusts and banging crescendos of Jon Vincent Superstar grabbing a young Faunlet by the haunches and taking him (and us) higher -- NOW! Of that he gave us nearly 10 years worth of thrills. I suppose it's not right to grumble.
He was born Jeffrey James Vickers in New Orleans on December 17, 1962. At twenty he was signed to play baseball with the Kansas City Royals, but a coke-related bust, a year later, had him fired, in shock and psychologically wounded. He told a reporter that his debacle had broken his father's heart. From there it was on to competitive bodybuilding and queer porn. Drugs came calling -- and then rehab -- and then more drugs -- and then, on May 3, 2000, after successfully auditioning for the part of an ex-con in the New York production of Ten Naked Men, Vincent was found dead on his kitchen floor. The coroner ruled his death a suicide because gobs of undigested Valium were discovered in his stomach. Long-time friends claim it was just John celebrating too hard. An accidental heroin overload.
His director and friend Dino Colbert told Adult Video News shortly after his death:
"I was truly one of the few [directors who] could handle his short attention span and temper. He didn't hesitate to put his fist through a wall or terrorize a director or two. And his scene partners had to be forewarned that he might grab their hair and pound them against a headboard or a wall...He was the most intense model I've ever worked with."
And the most intense star we ever imagined playing with.
Jon Vincent proved that nasty, aggressive sex is both a profoundly exciting pornographic spectacle and a metaphoric representation of transformation and self-discovery. Watching Vincent bellow, growl and fuck was like taking a private, self-administered lie detector test. One had to ask: "Am I having that much fun? And if not, why?" For his nearly cartoonish masculine fervor, feral dirty-talk, and making us secretly wonder -- while stroking our meat -- we'll be eternally grateful.
A Thousand and One Night Stands: The Life of Jon Vincent by H. A. Carson.
Several years ago there was mention of a documentary in the making, titled The Jon Vincent Story, but we haven't heard much more about it since.