Page 381 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 361
             issue was read by 60,000 to 80,000 gay men monthly multiplied by nearly
             twelve issues a year to an estimated one million readers then multiplied
             times twenty-four years. No gay book has ever enjoyed such statistics.
                While I thank Robert Nashak for his assessment, because he is ana-
             lyzing “Sadomasochistic Literature” as a genre, he might have deepened
             the information in his short sentences by mentioning that Tim Barrus
             was one of Drummer’s best editors in the 1980s during the time he wrote
             Mineshaft.  Tim  Barrus,  always  my  friend,  became  my  champion  and
             hero, because after creating the “LeatherLit Writers Series” in San Fran-
             cisco venues like A Different Light bookstore, when he left Drummer to
             work with LeatherLit publisher Elizabeth Gershman at Knights Press, he
             handed her my manuscript of Some Dance to Remember. Elizabeth Gersh-
             man wrote me an acceptance letter that said, “I’d fucking kill to publish
             your novel.”
                In the way that Matthew Parfitt in his essay “War Literature” omits
             all my erotic war stories including the very important Vietnam storyline
             of Some Dance to Remember, so Robert Nashak skips over the surface
             of sadomasochistic literature of “The Gay Renaissance of the 1970s” by
             misplacing the debut of another Drummer author, Phil Andros, with Dif-
             ferent Strokes in 1986 (30 years late). By clock and calendar, my longtime
             friend Phil Andros aka Sam Steward, the grandfather of gay erotica, had
             famously been published internationally since the 1930s, and was revived
             in Drummer in 1975 and Man2Man Quarterly #2 (December 1980).
                Robert Nashak also takes a wrong-genre belly flop when he lists my
             novel Leather Blues as a short story collection — which it is not. His nod to
             Larry Townsend is well taken except for Nashak’s confusion: he writes, as
             previously noted, that “Larry Townsend’s landmark book is The Leather-
             man’s Handbook II (1989)” when actually Larry Townsend’s landmark
             book was The Leatherman’s Handbook published seventeen years before
             in 1972.
                Timelines and facts are difficult when analysts skim the surface, but
             accuracy must be the job and goal of the historian and critic. That is
             why this omnium-gatherum book, Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drum-
             mer, exists with the original articles, boldly dated, with introductions that
             clarify the context and verify the back story of people, places, and events
             that surround these historical Drummer documents as a time-capsule eye
             into the history of our gay art and popular culture.
                To some nasal-drip scholars, much of this magazine writing might
             be dismissed as light-weight because it was created as entertainment
             for a mass audience in gay popular culture. That purpose, design, and
               vernacular doesn’t make it any less serious or any less literature. It makes
             it more interesting because it is reflexive of the audience.

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