Page 419 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                399
                It burned him. In 1982, in the crowded lobby of the Castro The-
             ater at the premiere screening of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Querelle,
             Mark Hemry and I nodded hello to John Rowberry who fizzled like he
             might explode. He spit out: “You like Fassbinder?” I said, “Ich mag ihn
             auf Deutsche — aber er ist sehr ausgezeichnet auf Englisch — okay? — mit
             Brad Davis und Franco Nero. Hahaha.” It was enough high-school cunti-
             nental German to end that conversation!
                [I said, “Actually, I prefer Fassbinder in German, but he’s brilliant
             in English — okay? — with Brad Davis and Franco Nero. Hahaha.” See a
             similar theater scene in Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San
             Francisco 1970-1982, Reel 6, Scene 3.]
                During 1980-1984, Rowberry and Embry drove Drummer  into a
             tailspin — by dumping talent such as Aristide and others — that caused
             Embry to sell the magazine to Chicagoan Anthony DeBlase who, during
             very early negotiations in the viral-death summer of 1985 made certain
             that Rowberry was “gone” from Drummer as a condition of the oncoming
             sale in 1986. By autumn 1985, Embry had eased Rowberry out the door.
                Earlier, in 1973, two years before Jeanne Barney started up LA Drum-
             mer, she had worked with Aristide at the original The Advocate founded
             and owned by publishers Dick Michaels and Bill Rand who sold owner-
             ship of their LA Advocate: The Newsletter of Personal Rights in Defense and
             Education (P.R.I.D.E.) to New York investment banker David Goodstein.
                At The Advocate, Aristide, as mentioned, had begun writing his
             “Astrologic” column. When Goodstein fired most of The Advocate staff,
             Jeanne Barney invited Aristide and his “Astrologic” to Drummer. In 2007,
             I queried Jeanne Barney about her eyewitness of that early history of
             Drummer in Los Angeles in 1975-1976. In the zero degrees of separation,
             she contacted Aristide for his eyewitness. On February 4, 2007, Aristide

                 . . . . First off let’s get this completely clear: John Rowberry did
                NOT like me [Aristide] and I did not like John Rowberry. Row-
                berry had a fleeting mini-affair with a good friend of mine at
                ABC-TV, Bob McWilliams. Bob was as much “in love” with
                Rowberry as Bob was capable of caring about anyone other
                than Bob. Bob had a Nazi fetish (Nazi flags in his bedroom;
                photos of Adolf, etc.) and would only fellate uncircumcised
                penises . . . . Since Rowberry was see-through white and uncut
                [he had a translucent Aryan foreskin] . . . not to mention “easy”
                (OK — so that was strictly opinion), Bob thought he had died
                and gone to München.

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