Page 211 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 191
                (Historically, with the rise of video, both mail-order moguls,
             Townsend and Embry, were busy selling the hundred  Drummer-style
             video features I directed and filmed for my own company, Palm Drive
             Video, which was showcased on Drummer covers and in centerfolds and
             monthly advertising. In a scalene triangle, we three seemed inextricably
             bound together by the gay mail order central to keeping Drummer alive.)
                All generations of Drummer were valid. All issues of Drummer were
             valid. All the talent writing and creating Drummer was valid. That doesn’t
             mean they were all equal as art, literature, erotica, and entertainment.
                As much as the early avant-garde Drummer shaped the golden-age
             times of leatherfolk; the HIV-VCR times shaped retro-garde Drummer.
                Riding  these  vicissitudes  like  the  leatherman  he  is,  my  longtime
             friend, Larry Townsend, has done the most amazing act of gay survival:
             in a GLBT publishing culture famous for its flakiness, thievery, and out-
             right human cruelty, he has remained functional, and his more than fifty
             productive years of non-stop writing are testament to his dedication to
             leather homosexuality and its popular vernacular literature.
                Is there an award for that?
                I’ll create one here and now.
                If anyone should be an “Honorary Mr. Drummer,” it’s “the Larry”;
             it’s “the Townsend.”
                After Embry sold Drummer in 1986, author Townsend and publisher
             Embry parted ways.
                Townsend’s column continued on in Drummer under AIDS-era pub-
             lisher Tony DeBlase until 1992 when Townsend switched his monthly
             column to Embry’s longtime bete noire, Honcho magazine.

                On March 4, 2006, the legendary Larry Townsend gave me permis-
             sion to be the first journalist to print the following personal biographi-
             cal information including the year of his birth: 1930. Of Swiss-German
             extraction, he served in the U. S. Air Force (1950-1954) as Staff Sergeant
             in charge of NCOIC Operations of Air Intelligence Squadrons in Ger-
             many. In 1957, he graduated UCLA with a B. A. in psychology, and has a
             PhD thesis pending at California State University, Los Angeles. He began
             his pioneering work in the politics of gay liberation in the early 1960s.

             II.  The “Introduction” essay written by Jack Fritscher as published
                in Larry Townsend, The Leatherman’s Handbook 25  Anniver-
                sary Edition, Los Angeles: LT Publications, 1997

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