Page 282 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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262                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            and his lover, the former pro-football player Ike Barnes, and my traveling
            companion Gene Weber.
               Having traveled on a Harley-Davidson road trip from Denver to Taos
            in June 1969 with Jim Kane, I traveled with Gene Weber to both Japan
            in 1975 and the Caribbean in 1976. I published Weber’s underwater pho-
            tographs of our scuba group fisting deep in the waters of the Cayman
            Islands in my “Gay Jock Sports” feature in Drummer 20 (January 1978).
               In addition to my general editorial and re-write work on Drummer 18
            which included my byline on “The Leatherneck Bar,” these seven photo-
            and-art pieces in four issues are eyewitness of my first efforts to turn
            Drummer from a troubled Los Angeles magazine into a responsive San
            Francisco magazine featuring the esthetic voice and erotic eye of Folsom
            Street. To do so, I created for Drummer a San Francisco stable of talent
            from my circle of friends whose participation gave confidence to other
            talent still hiding in the closet. This was what publisher John Embry
            indicated he wanted me to do when he hired me in March 1977 to become
            editor in chief, a title that appeared first attached to my signed name on
            the masthead of Drummer 19 (December 1977).

               There were only two people named editor in chief of  Drummer:
            founding Los Angeles editor in chief Jeanne Barney (21 months: 4/1975-
            12/31/1976), and founding San Francisco editor in chief Jack Fritscher (3
            years/34 months: 3/1977-12/31/79).

               Harold Cox, publisher of Checkmate Incorporating DungeonMaster,
            wrote that “The tentative Los Angeles Drummer, reporting news about
            the uptight 1975-1976 LA leather scene, did not become an integrated
            de facto ‘sex magazine’ until Fritscher in San Francisco refashioned the
            Drummer writing, drawings, and photographs into frank erotica the read-
            ers could jerk off to.”
               What  I did  to virilize  Drummer  was  add realism to  the magical
            thinking of Drummer readers who wanted a magazine that made newly
            liberated sex seem possible and accessible. What they wanted they saw in
            the media image of themselves come alive in my verite pages reflecting
            what they really did at night. Sex sells. Drummer went from regional LA
            camp and drag (Drummer 9) to the international emerging soul of leather.
            It went from a two-handed magazine to a one-handed journal of erotic
            documentary of the way we leathermen were.
               In the zero degrees of separation, director Gene Weber and I fre-
            quently worked together on his film projects, and I sometimes acted for

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