Page 216 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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196                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            views, Popular Witchcraft (1972); Sam Steward’s When in Rome Do (1971);
            Townsend’s The Leatherman’s Handbook (1972); and Anne Rice, who in
            those years was sitting in the Castro writing Interview with the Vampire
            (1976) while I was sitting in the Castro writing Popular Witchcraft (1972).]
               Larry was a fellow working-journalist in the midst of an extraordi-
            nary tribe of leatherfolk featuring a convergence of hands-on and heads-
            up “mediums” through whom leather homomasculinity articulated its
            modern self — to the continuing scorn, prejudice, and hatred from brain-
            washed homosexuals self-hating their own masculinity. That said, the
            seeming spontaneous outbreaks of gay culture in the 1960s were of major
            significance to academic models within the newly founded American
            Popular Culture Association where, generally, feminism is accepted and
            masculinism rejected.

            Twenty-first-century leathermen might start highlighting their ancestral
            roots here. For instance, contemporary with Larry’s research, under-
            ground filmmaker Kenneth Anger had been opening up cinema with his
            Cocteau-rooted leather classic, Scorpio Rising (1964) and its sequel Lucifer
            Rising, the print of which disappeared in the 1970s and, while reported to
            have been kept by Bobby Beausoleil of the Manson Family, was actually
            hidden for a time at the Berkeley home of Drummer author Sam Steward
            (friend of Gertrude and Alice), who wrote 1960s leather novels and stories
            under the pseudonym “Phil Andros.” (Steward swore to me he had the
            film print at one time. Beausoleil, who remains in prison, denies ever
            taking Lucifer Rising.)
               Auteur William Carney’s daring 1968 epistolary novel,  The Real
            Thing, brought the leather novel into serious hard cover and out of the
            leathery sweatshops of Evergreen Press to which Larry had sold Run, Little
            Leather Boy, and to which I would not sell for $100 my 1968 Chicago and
            Inferno leather novel, I Am Curious (Leather) aka Leather Blues.
                In the nonverbal context of the Emergent Leather times, Chuck
            Arnett was painting Rorschach inkblot images of leathermen on the Las-
            caux walls of the Tool Box in San Francisco as Dom/Etienne had painted
            leather murals on the wall of the Gold Coast leather bar. In Chicago,
            Chuck Renslow, entrepreneur of the Gold Coast, had since the early 1950s
            run the manly and leathery Kris Photo Studio which featured seductively
            ominous photographs of muscular Polish-Catholic working-men culled
            from the streets and the Triumph gym Renslow managed. In this way,
            Renslow’s ACLU-defended photography conditioned emerging gay men

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