Page 107 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 107

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 87
                Just so. Some of my work is also archived at the Kinsey Institute
             where my photography is in the permanent collection. My annotated
             bibliography collecting my writing and photography spread throughout
             Drummer may serve others building a complete bibliography of everyone’s
             work in Drummer. Its intimate recall may be of help in a general timeline
             of gay history and leather culture. My leather heritage work aims to sup-
             port my premise that gays are a developing nation: a fourth-world culture
             of eros whose history, intellect, and roots will not be denied.
                Various other scholars and historians have told and retold various sto-
             ries of leather history in San Francisco. Some of the stories are true. Some
             are lies. Some are errors. Some are cautionary fables. Some are incorrectly
             sanctified by repetition. No offense is meant, but who of those people
             was ever inside the eyewitness loop of leather anchored in the 1970s salon
             centered around Drummer where it was “zero degrees of separation”? Who
             of them was an eyewitness listed as “Contributor” over a span of nearly
             twenty-five years?
                Nevertheless, the history of leather should be open to all analysts the
             way the pages of 1970s Drummer were open to all. In fact, “the Drummer
             Salon,” as Sam Steward dubbed my magazine crowd, was inclusive unlike,
             for instance, the exclusive Violet Quill book club in Manhattan in the
                Drummer with all its hundreds of voices (writers, and readers writing
             personals) and eyes (cameras and graphic artists) was an inclusive, but
             transient, culture eagerly inviting everyone into the open tent.
                That’s what made Drummer culture unique.
                It took a village to fill an issue.
                It took the village people to act it out.

                Drummer was a center of a whole cultural phenomenon . . . . and
                its editor Jack Fritscher is a prolific writer who since the late six-
                ties has helped document the gay world and the changes it has
                undergone . . . .  if queer people do not preserve our own history,
                most of it will simply disappear.
                     — Willie  Walker, founder, GLBT Historical Society (1985);
                Board of Directors, San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project
                (1982); quote from “Periodically Obscene,” October 2002

                The legacy of Drummer has many sides and to ignore one or the
                other because it is untidy is to subtract from the total.
                     — Robert Davolt, the last editor of Drummer, interviewed by
                Joe Gallagher at

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   102   103   104   105   106   107   108   109   110   111   112