Page 149 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 149

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                129
             term “eyewitness Drummer participants” from the 1970s for a book he was
             pitching for his Alternate Publishing. At the height of the AIDS plague, he
             knew of my completed book Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of
             San Francisco 1970-1982. Even though Embry’s “eyewitness” book never
             happened, his instincts were correct. His Drummer “Wanted” ad paral-
             leled my own years of preservation and reconstruction of the Golden Age
             of Leather in Some Dance to Remember (written during 1970-1984) and
             Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera (written during 1979-1993).

                              THE GOLDEN AGE OF FOLSOM

                    We are looking for input into a collection of the phe-
                    nomena that was South of Market. The men, the expe-
                    riences, the fact and the fiction, the legends and the
                    graphics. Tell us your memories of those years for the
                    most important leather volume ever. To be published
                    by Alternate Publishing [John Embry], PO Box 42009.
                    San Francisco, CA 94142-2009. Artists, Photographers,
                    Writers may call (707) 869-0945 for more details.


             In his latter-day magazine Super MR 5 (2000), page 39, publisher Embry,
             at the sundown of his publishing career, finally confessed in print what
             Drummer’s army of unpaid and underpaid writers, artists, photographers,
             and staff without benefits always suspected.
                Drummer was a cash cow milked to support sibling magazines owned
             by Embry, to prop up his annual Mr. Drummer contests, and to float
             his assorted ventures in mail order and — it was alleged — personal real
                In the nearly three years that I was editor in chief, Drummer had,
             according to Embry, a press run of 42,000 copies. A million people had
             bought and read some issue of 1970s Drummer by the end of my editor-
             ship with Drummer 33, December 31, 1979.
                I did the math; I asked to be paid; I exited, mostly unpaid, to begin
             the 1980s afresh.
                If only the income from Drummer had been spent on properly paying
             the talented gayfolk who created it.

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   144   145   146   147   148   149   150   151   152   153   154