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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 189





                 Leather Dolce Vita, Pop Culture,

              & the Prime of Mr. Larry Townsend


                 Written by Jack Fritscher during October 1996 and
                 published as the “Introduction” to The Leatherman’s
                 Handbook Silver Anniversary Edition written by Larry
                 Townsend, 1997; first edition of The Leatherman’s Hand-
                 book, 1972.
                 I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction
                    written December 12, 1999
                 II.  The introductory essay as published in Larry
                                                         th
                    Townsend, The Leatherman’s Handbook 25
                    Anniversary Edition, Los Angeles: LT Publications,
                    1997
                 III. Eyewitness Illustrations


             I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction written
                December 12, 1999

             If Drummer had not been dysfunctional all during 1997 and 1998 as it
             fell to its collapse this year with its last issue in April 1999, this historical
             essay about Larry Townsend, which was offered to the editors, might have
             been printed in Drummer in whole or in part.
                Larry Townsend deserved this kind of full attention from Drummer.
             In 1972-1975, he had been a part of the group founding the LA newsletter,
             H.E.L.P./Drummer, which evolved into Drummer itself. (H.E.L.P. is the
             acronym for “Homophile Effort for Legal Protection.”)
                Author Townsend and publisher Embry, however, had certain dis-
             agreements, and Townsend kept his work out of Drummer for the first
             five years because, Townsend told me, he knew he’d “never be paid.”
             There was little love lost between Townsend and Embry. They were both
             the same LA vintage; and they were both autocrat tycoons of mail order.
             Because they had similar post office-box addresses, Townsend told me
             that some customers thought they were the same mail-order company,
             and he grew tired of explaining to some of the disgruntled that they
             should complain to Embry because their business was with Embry.
                And there was an eat-shit-and-die in LA moment.

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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