Page 399 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                379
             Back).” By the time Kenneth Anger released Scorpio Rising (1963), I was
             so overheated I nearly fainted when in 1966, with a crowd from the Gold
             Coast bar, I saw his film mixing Jesus and leathersex!
                My teen-poetry may be raw, overwrought, and embarrassing, but it is
             real. The writing and psychology show how my peer-group leather pioneer
             personalities — John Embry, Larry Townsend, and Fred Halsted, and all
             the rest: Terry LeGrand, Roger Earl, and others — came from adolescence
             in the repressed 1950s to working on Drummer in the 1970s.
                The poem, “Cry! The Young Hunters,” is reprinted below, after this
             “Leather Christmas” feature, as a peephole into us “leather boy” teenagers
             who grew up to invent Drummer and to read Drummer after spending
             our boyhoods anticipating the precise world of leather that would emerge
             from our psyches in Drummer.
                Drummer was not created from nothing. Drummer was created from
             individual personalities who spoke for themselves and mirrored the times.
             We Drummer creators, born in the Art Deco 1930s, were children during
             World War II, teenagers during the repressed 1950s, and college age dur-
             ing the Swinging 60s when JFK’s assassination changed everything and
             all we head-feeding hippies dropped acid with Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey,
             Allen Ginsberg, and Thom Gunn at the “Human Be-In” in Golden Gate
             Park, January 14, 1967, the winter before the Summer of Love.
                Before I actually came out with another person, I had come out
             solo-handed with several 1950s magazines including my favorite, Tomor-
             row’s Man; in the 1960s, I was seduced by Rawhide Male, and the one
             that eventually influenced me in Drummer the most, Leather! That was
             a small-format ’zine featuring a short text with photographs compiled
             under the direction of Avery Willard, Guild Press LTD, Washington,
             DC, 1965, 72 pages. Leather! was an archetypal collection of photographs
             from the 1950s and 1960s from six studios: Chuck Renslow’s Kris Studio
             of Chicago, Avery Willard of New York, Bob Anthony of New York, Scott
             of London, David of Cleveland, and R. A. Enterprises.
                Another studio that in the 1960s formed my taste — that led to me
             homomasculinizing Drummer into being about male identity as much as
             leather — was the inimitable Royale Photography, 110 Denbeigh Street,
             Victoria, London, England, with glorious photographs of muscular young
             military men disciplining one another in a fetish display of military kit
             with no frontal nudity.
                The Guild Press’  Leather! photographs featured leather, whips,
             chains, rope, and motorcycles, again, with no frontal nudity — yet how
             they steamed in 1965! The Willard model, Gary Adams, featured on four
             pages, including the first photograph, I was certain then and now, was

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