Page 421 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 421

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                401
             Embry fled LA and Drummer lost what LA talent base it had left. To
             build a San Francisco salon around Drummer I hit the “re-set button”
             and changed Drummer from an LA bar rag into a San Francisco magazine
             with international appeal.
                I regretted that LA personality Fred Halsted, whose best friend in
             life was Jeanne Barney, had stopped contributing his columns and photo-
             graphs to Drummer and had begun his rival magazine, Package.
                Unlike Halsted, LA writer-photographer Robert Opel — famous for
             streaking the 1974 Academy Awards — followed Drummer to San Fran-
             cisco where he was murdered.
                Details of this wonderful “Titanic 70s” Bloomsbury salon of writers,
             artists, and photographers who gathered around my Drummer can be
             found throughout this series: Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer.
             During the first post-Stonewall decade which let all kinds of sexual-
             ity — including masculine-identified homosexuality — out of the closet,
             I was fortunate to be in the right place with the right friends at the right
                During that wild golden age of gay liberation, my  “Astrologic”
             column honored the style that Aristide had invented: tongue-in-cheek
             humor satirizing leather foibles.
                Before my editorship, and during and after me, codependents Embry
             and Rowberry stopped at nothing. The monkey business they had done
             in LA, they repeated in San Francisco. They created that Blacklist of
             contributors “who had done them wrong.” Through sins of commission
             and omission, they became scofflaws of copyright, and their unlicensed
             reprinting of intellectual property disrespected individual authors, artists,
             and photographers.
                For instance, after he fired Aristide, Rowberry and Embry pirated
             my “Astrologic” column from Drummer 21 (March 1978), page 30 and
             reprinted it in Drummer 41 (December 1980), page 63.
                Trying to cover up the loss of Aristide, Rowberry and Embry col-
             luded in this direct violation of my copyright for which I was neither
             contacted for permission nor paid. They also falsely assigned my byline to
             “Aristide” and, most deceitfully to consumers, set out to dupe the Drum-
             mer readership by rearranging the line items within my “Astrologic” for
             my original “Aries 1978” so that they could recycle and resell what would
             appear as if written for “Sagittarius 1980.”
                Playing with language in “Astrologic” (Drummer 19), I introduced
             one of the several words I had coined around Drummer. It was perversatile.
             In the decade after Stonewall, to write about newly uncloseted sex for the
             first time in the 1970s required a new vocabulary, including the word for
             masculine-identified homosexuality: homomasculinity.

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