Page 368 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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348                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               In 1971, David Hurles was the first gay photographer to live South of
            Market; he managed a workingmen’s set of flats on 10  Street at Mission
            Street across from the Doggie Diner. In May 1976, Jim Stewart introduced
            me to David Hurles aka Old Reliable Studio who was casting his photo-
            graphs from the straight and bi-sexual hustlers working Polk Street and
            the Tenderloin from hangouts like the Zee Hotel at 141 Eddy — which
            was the hustler hotel of the Tenderloin — and from the Old Crow bar on
            Market Street, thirty feet from South of Market.
               As editor in chief of Drummer, I had the opportunity to be the first to
            publish Hurles’ photographs (Drummer 20, January 1978, pages 70-71).
            In early 1976, Jim Stewart moved South of Market and opened his homo-
            masculine Keyhole Studio. In the fraternity of our intimacy, I produced
            his photographs for Drummer 14 (April 1977) and Drummer 16 (June
            1977) because publisher Embry had already hired me in March 1977 as
            editor in chief of Drummer in charge of recruiting new talent. In that same
            Drummer 14, page 65, was a half-page display ad for Stewart’s Keyhole
               Jim Stewart was a fixture of our Drummer salon in March 1978
            when  Drummer  writer and photographer Robert Opel, having moved
            north from LA, helped establish the South of Market identity of art and
            eros. Jim Stewart, who was also a carpenter, helped Robert Opel remodel
            a storefront at 1287 Howard Street into the first gay art gallery South
            of Market, Fey-Way. At the March 1978 opening, the underground of
            leather met the underground of art. Our Drummer salon came out in
            full force. It was like “old-home week” for all us friends. The baths and
            the bars had been the first gay art galleries, and suddenly we had, at
            this emerging stage of gay liberation, our own unqualified gay art gallery
            dedicated to leather, S&M, and transcendence.
               A mega-hit from the moment Opel opened it, Fey-Way Gallery show-
            cased Jim Stewart, Robert Mapplethorpe, Rex, the Hun, A. Jay, Lionel
            Biron, Lou Rudolph, Larry Hunt, Tom Hinde, Robert Opel, and Chuck
            Arnett, the first and founding artist of Folsom Street.
               March 3, 1979, was the first and last anniversary of Fey-Way because
            Robert Opel was murdered in his gallery on July 8, 1979. To spare repeti-
            tion of this eyewitness history of Opel, see Mapplethorpe: Assault with a
            Deadly Camera and Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San
            Francisco 1970-1982, Reel 3, Scene 1 and Scene 9. For details on Chuck
            Arnett, see my essay “Chuck Arnett” in Drummer 134 (October 1989) or
            in the anthology Leatherfolk, edited by Mark Thompson. For informa-
            tion on David Hurles, see Man2Man Quarterly #8 and any issue of the
            California Action Guide as well as the fictitious character, the video-porn
            mogul Solly Blue, in Some Dance to Remember.

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