Page 418 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 418

398                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            lance writer and fulltime queen John Rowberry who finally erupted in a
            character-revealing jealous rage because one of his lovers had a fling with
               That firing by Rowberry was typical of the spite and revenge inside
            the Drummer office where in the 1980s Rowberry and Embry created
            their Blacklist. The petulant Rowberry had “control issues” against every-
            one in the Drummer salon and the Drummer office who in the 1970s had
            dissed and dismissed him. For thirty-one months as editor in chief (1977-
            12/31/79), I had to hold Rowberry in check as he oiled his way across the
            floor. It was like pinning a snake with a forked stick. He had arrived on
            the door step of San Francisco Drummer, hat in hand, looking for work.
            He had quit, or been fired, from his oleaginous career as the night porter
            at the tacky Ramada Inn on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
               Considering the famous 1974 cult film The Night Porter (starring
            Dirk Bogarde trampling Charlotte Rampling), I think life was imitating
            art insofar as night-porter Rowberry’s lover — who hit the sheets with
            Aristide — had a Nazi fetish.
               Rowberry, who had Embry’s ear, had written a couple of non-erotic
            murder-obsessed pieces for Drummer that had been heavily retooled by
            editor in chief Jeanne Barney. (I knew that Rowberry never really under-
            stood that Drummer was a sex magazine for one-handed reading; he always
            wanted it to be something more like The Advocate.) That gave Rowberry
            “motive” to hate Barney the way that Rowberry’s puppet master Embry
            impugned Barney in Drummer 30, page 38, for knowing the secrets of
            Embry aka “Robert Payne.” Allegedly because of Embry’s problematical
            mail-order practices, Barney reported that the artist Sean dubbed Embry
            and his alias “Robert Payne” as “Robert Rip-off.” See Drummer 1 (June
            1975) for the “Robert Payne Leather Emporium.”
               The staff at San Francisco Drummer giggled and dismissed “High-
            way Rowberry” as the “office boy.” We ignored him because in the 1970s
            tops rarely spoke to bottoms even out of scene. He was also one of that
            caste of men who likes young men of legal age who can pass for fourteen.
            When he took up critiquing videos for Studflix magazine, I told him if
            sperm could act, he’d give it a good review. For the thirteen months after I
            exited Drummer on December 31, 1979, Rowberry acted as “assignments
            editor.” It was only with Drummer 40 (January 1981) that “assignments
            editor” Rowberry metastasized into “editor.”
               (Please re-set all the leather timelines regarding Drummer including
            the “DeBlase Timeline” of record at the Leather Archives and Museum.)
               John Rowberry was never “editor in chief” of Drummer.
               That was his leather “glass ceiling.”

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   413   414   415   416   417   418   419   420   421   422   423