Le Reve

Brad Elterman's Photos of Famous Teen Heartthrobs from the 1970s

A lot of hot guys have posed in the LA photographer's living room over the years.

by Brad Elterman
Jan 6 2015, 5:00am

Brad Elterman's Le Reve is a column that follows the Los Angeles photographer and legend on his continuing adventures. An early photographer of American punk rock, Brad captured many of the greatest musicians of the 70s and 80s at the height of their beauty and talent. Brad has been living the dream for decades, and he has the face of someone who was smiled a lot over the years. He still takes photographs every day and stocks the swimming pool at his Bel Air home, Villa Le Reve, with beautiful women, artists, fashionistas, and cultural luminaries. In this second installment of Le Reve, Brad looks back on some of the hot guys who have posed in his living room, and shares new photos of San Diego skater and model Justin Gossman.

Matt Dillon, 1980. All photos by Brad Elterman

When I was a teenage photographer back in the 70s, I paid my bills by taking photos of pinup boy teen stars. Officially, I was a rock 'n' roll photographer, but I needed cash! I had a classic Mercedes that required servicing regularly, and my lifestyle was rather opulent, so I ended up taking photos for teen magazines all over the world. Let's see—there was Super Teen, Teen Beat in the USA, Bravo and Popcorn magazines in Germany, Oh Boy in the UK, Pop Foto in Holland, and Rock Show in Japan. These magazines could not get enough of my photos of David and Shaun Cassidy, the Bay City Rollers, the Osmonds, Peter Barton, and of course my pal Leif Garrett. Leif took me all over the world with him. Every time he would take his shirt off, there would be another magazine cover. One day in 1980 a teenage Matt Dillon came over to my house and posed around my living room as I snapped away. There was no catered lunch, pushy publicist, stylist, or even hair or makeup. Just me with Matt.

Leif Garrett and Brad Elterman in Tokyo, 1979

Leif and Brad in Malibu, 1976

As the years went on, all of that stuff sort of evaporated for me. The kids grew up and most of those magazines folded years ago. Frankly, I was bored of it.

Justin Gossman, 2014

Recently, my rep and pal Richie asked me to take photos of a skateboarder from San Diego named Justin Gossman who had just signed with Next Models. Justin had hardly ever had a snapshot taken of himself, but I could see that he had a coolness and self-confidence about himself that would shine in the photographs. I saw a bit of Johnny Thunders meets Mick Jagger in Justin. The kid was brilliant, and I got him to pose all over Villa Le Reve, fertilize the garden, run the vacuum cleaner, take his shirt off, and swing from the rafters.

Justin Gossman, 2014

David Cassidy, 1976

David Cassidy, 1978

Justin Gossman, 2014

Leif in My Living Room, 1980

Justin Gossman, 2014

Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols), 1978

Justin Gossman, 2014

Leif Garrett, 1984

Justin Gossman, 2014

Peter Barton, 1980

Justin Gossman, 2014

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Go see Brad's exhibition The Runaways in New York this Friday night at Damon Dash's Poppington Gallery, 60 Orchard Street. The show will be on view through January 19, 2015.