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New Editorial Policy: A Magazine Reflecting You, the Reader...

A Masculine Declaration of Independence
by Jack Fritscher


One of Drummer’s most intense and complete issues

Drummer cover photograph designed, cast, and shot by Jack Fritscher and David Sparrow, lovers/domestic partners/business partners from July 4, 1969-March 17, 1979. Details in Checkmate #33, November 2000, as well as fictitiously in the novel, Some Dance to Remember.

Written December 23, 1977 and published in Drummer 21, March 1978, this op-ed call to arms was a masculine declaration of independence. In this very “San Francisco” issue, I made a point that the 70’s were marching to a close and the 80’s would soon begin. I thought that masculine gay men should prepare for the evolving wave of Gay Lib that was only nine years old. After Anita Bryant in Florida and the Briggs Initiative in California, the future seemed a dangerous mystery. Plans needed to be made. I have a theory that most decades don’t reveal themselves until after 24-36 months. As the Titanic 70’s cruised to a full-speed collision with the 80’s, who knew Ronald Reagan would soon begin his eight anti-gay years, or that within 36 months, the headlines would scream “Gay Cancer.

            The strength of this particular issue remains amazing in philosophy and in talent. This op-ed was a clarion call that Drummer’s new intent was to reflect the actual readers. Inside the issue, some incredible writers and photographers answered my “call to a theme” to dramatize cops and cons and prisons, as well as male superstars such as Wakefield Poole’s Roger perfectly parodied as “one of us” which he was. Probably the most important debut in this issue was that of the shocking photographer and recording artist, Old Reliable, David Hurles, one of the true geniuses who touched Drummer and its readers. Also, when this issue was on the stands, Robert Mapplethorpe, picked it up and headed, with it and his portfolio in his hand, to the Drummer office.

            Once upon a time, we were all friends together.

            I could have been very declarative and simply gathered these historical magazine pieces together, but I’m too enthusiastic to be that cynical, and Mark Hemry, who was present then, is as both editor and publisher profoundly dedicated to the Rashomon of fact and memory.

©2002, 2003 Jack Fritscher

The editorial was written in December, 1977,
and published in Drummer 21, March 1978

New Editorial Policy: A Magazine Reflecting You, the Reader...

A Masculine Declaration of Independence
by Jack Fritscher

Drummer IS MACHO ENTERTAINMENT. Drummer caters to your attitude from hiking boots and cords through sports to traditional western-leather lifestyles. Drummer entertains men who happen to be gay, men who don’t pussy-foot around their definite taste and passion. Drummer is an issue-by-issue celebration of man-to-man contact.


            Our center feature is a day-in-the-life-of WAKEFIELD POOLE’S incredible Bodystar ROGER. Inside are more pictures well worth the 1000 or so words devoted to an erotic profile of this year’s most magnificent man. Our fiction continues with DEREK’s extraordinary “Soldier” and G.B. MlSA’s immensely popular “S&M Gym.” Of special interest is the prolific SAM STEWARD aka PHIL ANDROS, author of more than 100 novels, and intimate friend of The Famous: Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Thornton Wilder, James Purdy, Kenneth Anger. Phil’s police story highlights Drummer’s prison theme: jail tours, cons, and how gay men of authentic macho interest deal with certain harsh realities. OLD RELIABLE’s “Heavy Rap with An Ex-Con” is an interview-monologue so absolutely real that some talented actor could adapt it into a one-man show


            Drummer, now San Francisco based, is your magazine. Drummer has a new editorial philosophy: Drummer is about you, the reader. We recruit your input ideas, non-fiction articles, fantasy fiction, heavy poetry, glossy black-and-white photos (single pix and multiples for photo spreads), and erotic art in any medium. (Just in case: include return self-addressed, stamped envelope.)

            Drummer has a new Attitude keeping the best of the specialties we’ve always featured while widening our interests to head cocksure toward the 1980’s lifestyle already becoming visible in the streets.


            In answer to any man who has trouble finding Drummer monthly and who needs his Drummer fix, we offer the Final Solution:

There was a young man (quite a plumber)

Who found news stands truly a bummer.

The issues he sought had already been bought

So he sent in a subscription to Drummer.

If you want it, here it is. Come and get it.

©1978, 2003 Jack Fritscher

Blue Bar
Copyright Jack Fritscher, Ph.D. & Mark Hemry - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED