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296                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            where porn-refugee Embry, driven out of town by the LAPD, set up his
            home and a temporary Drummer office at 311 California Street. Traveling
            between two cities, while trying to escape one and set up business in the
            other, Embry produced his “first hybrid LA-San Francisco issue” with
            Drummer 12 (February 1977). When I met him in March he had com-
            pletely deleted Drummer’s founding Los Angeles editor in chief Jeanne
            Barney who had exited after editing Drummer 11. (Barney and I were
            the only two people who were titled editor in chief of Drummer; all the
            others were listed as associate editors, managing editors, and, sometimes,
            simply as editor.)
               In that March 1977, Embry hired me immediately to help him anchor
            the refugee Drummer in San Francisco. Before my name appeared as edi-
            tor in chief on the masthead of Drummer 19, I was a kind of ghost-writer,
            kind of a ghost-editor, kind of a script-doctor trying to fix the magazine
            (issues 14-18) broken by the April 1976 raid by the LAPD acting like the
            Keystone Cops.
               At that time, I had a proper job, a real writing career as full-time
            manager of a writing staff of ten people at Kaiser Engineers (one of whom,
            John Trojanski, I recruited to freelance in Drummer with articles and
            photography). I had no intention of quitting a great job in the straight
            world to take on a fun job in the gay world. In fact, the whole time I was
            editor in chief of Drummer from March 1977 to December 31, 1979, I
            also kept my career at Kaiser Engineers, which, luckily, assigned me as the
            managing writer on a task force at the San Francisco Municipal Railway
            (MUNI). Our startup of the light-rail-vehicle (LRV) program, the new
            Muni subway and surface system, was run out of the main Muni office
            only seven minutes from the Drummer office.
               In short, not depending on Drummer for income, I was free to experi-
            ment and to grow Drummer. That made me bolder than Embry who
            needed Drummer to pay his bills and buy his cheese. I never expected
            to live off my writing because I noticed a trend that most writers and
            photographers and artists who try to earn their living off their art very
            often compromise the honesty of that art in order to please a patron, or an
            editor, or the public. The only intimate friends I’ve known who became
            rich because of their talent were David Hurles aka Old Reliable, and my
            bicoastal lover Robert Mapplethorpe who never compromised his vision
            even while he waltzed pertinent patrons around the floor.
               With a real job, I could afford to envision the risk of making Drum-
            mer be avant garde and dangerous and fun; Embry saw Drummer as a
            business, and as a glorified mail-order catalog selling cock rings and amyl
            nitrite. Like a salesman pitching with jokes, he preferred camp humor
            about leather. Much like Jeanne Barney considering Drummer a kind

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