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310                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               As much as I liked my friend A. Jay’s drawing on the cover of Drum-
            mer 15, I thought in 1977 that if Lou Thomas had not shot the covers
            of the two immediately preceding issues that his photograph of “Durk
            Parker” would have been chosen for issue 15 instead of simply as the cen-
            terfold. (Cover and centerfold traditionally are from the same shoot.) If
            that perfect trifecta of photographer, model, and magazine had happened,
            Drummer would have had an instantly iconic cover.
               Never was it easy for a photographer or artist to get an image on the
            cover of Drummer. In the way I divided Lou Thomas’ work, I also divided
            Robert Mapplethorpe’s.
               Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.
               Near the beginning of expanding his career the young Mapplethorpe,
            age 31, was an American unknown, nationally, outside certain Manhat-
            tan galleries, European salons, and leather venues. On October 16, 1977,
            he flew TWA to California from JFK to my desk at Drummer where he
            hoped to get an “inside photo spread.” When, instead, I said, “Wow!,” I
            gave him the coveted front cover that officially introduced him to leath-
            erfolk when I assigned him to shoot my pal Elliot Siegal for Drummer 24
            (September 1978).
               As editor in chief, I moved what would have been Mapplethorpe’s
            photo centerfold to anchor Son of Drummer (September 1978), and within
            Drummer 24, I promoted the photography of David Hurles’ Old Reliable
            Studio (“In Hot Blood: We Abuse Fags”) and of my longtime domestic-
            and-photo partner David Sparrow and myself (“Castro Street Blues”).
               I gave the centerfold spread to Jocks Studio because it featured one of
            the hottest men on Castro, the blond model known as “Holst” who was
            part of our salon who ate breakfast everyday at the Norse Cove on Castro
            Street where he incarnated the image of the Marlboro Man over coffee
            and cigarettes. Holst was a pal whom I photographed a year later in Reno
            at the Gay Rodeo that Randy Shilts and I covered for the Associated Press
            and the San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 1979. One of my Reno shots
            of Holst, produced by Mark Hemry, appeared on the front cover of my
            book of mostly Drummer fiction, Rainbow County and Other Stories.
               This is how I parsed and sorted images at Drummer to keep a morph-
            ing flow page to page to accommodate the diversity of readers’ tastes.
               Looking back as a keeper of the Drummer institutional memory, am
            I the only person to note that Tom of Finland was never on the Drum-
            mer  cover? The reason — which I have detected from archived docu-
            ments — appears in volume four of this series: The Drummer Salon.
               In disclosure of the zero degrees of our salon which preceded Drum-
            mer, Lou Thomas and I had been involved sexually and in publishing

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