Page 395 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                375
             Thomas of Colt Studio and Target Studio in New York. Within this
             Eyewitness Drummer project, confer Lou Thomas’ September 20, 1968,
             letter to me in my thumbnail introduction to I Am Curious (Leather) in
             Son of Drummer. I chose that Curious title as homage to the first truly
             ground-breaking and hugely popular commercial porno film I Am Curi-
             ous (Yellow) shot in Sweden in 1967.
                With the fading of the ubiquitous catch phrase “I Am Curious (fill in
             the blank),” I re-titled my leather identity novel into the list of Allen Gins-
             berg “blues” journalism I was creating for Drummer, and its title became
             Leather Blues to fit with my articles, “Prison Blues,” “Rodeo Blues,”
             “Jockstrap Blues,” “Castro Street Blues,” and on into fiction like “Wild
             Blue Yonder” which was published in several magazines and anthologies,
             including The Burning Pen: Sex Writers on Sex Writing (2001), a collective
             autobiography of authors compiled by M. Christian. The Burning Pen is
             as important to erotic literature as Mark Thompson’s Leatherfolk (1991)
             is to leather culture.
                In March 1977, when publisher Embry arrived at my San Francisco
             home on 25  Street home to interview me for the editor-in-chief job, I
                      th
             showed him, and Al Shapiro who was with him, the list of stories and
             articles I had already written which could be adapted to Drummer. (At the
             time we met, I was already deeply embedded in writing with a publish-
             ing career begun twenty years earlier as a magazine editor with several
             published books.) Embry’s eyes lit up at my stack of stories and photo-
             graphs — as well as my personal “sex” Rolodex of writers, artists, and
             photographers.
                Always starving for material to fill a hungry monthly magazine,
             Embry saw me as a way to fill pages. Even so, I must clarify, he hired me
             as editor in chief only. My $200 per month was pay to edit the magazine;
             after a year or so, he promised me $400 per month for editing.
                That’s why I never gave up my day job while editing Drummer.
                My writing for Drummer was totally independent of my editing and
             was sold freelance with one-time publication rights to Embry’s Alternate
             Publishing. Embry propped up the lack of cash salary by promising that,
             as part of my hire, I Am Curious (Leather) would be serialized in Drum-
             mer, and then I Am Curious (Leather) would be published as one of the
             first of a new line of Drummer novels. From that, he said, I could earn
             royalties. This plan is mentioned at the end of the first serialized section
             of I Am Curious (Leather) in Son of Drummer (September 1978), page 47,
             where the excerpt — soon after renamed Leather Blues — was published
             with the original 1968 title, plus a subtitle for the opening chapter: “I Am
             Curious (Leather): The Adventures of Denny Sargent.”



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