Page 429 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 429

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                409
                Unfortunately, 1980s video moved 1970s film away from art and into
             business. Instead of gay movies with forward momentum of plot, eros,
             and character, the video “grind formula” devolved to eight guys in four
             scenes with eight cumshots in eighty minutes. Gay video of the 1980s and
             1990s (with no art roots) was a travesty of the gay art-and-eros films of the
             1970s with their pedigree in the wonderful world of 1960s experimental
             and underground cinema in which Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, the
             Kuchar Brothers, and Jack Smith created the gay film esthetic.
                In a direct line of homomasculine descent, film DNA shaped Drum-
             mer. In the Swinging 60s, American culture had been swept up into the
             “experimental cinema” of underground films, and many foreign films,
             and some Hollywood movies which, in fact, created a ready-made audi-
             ence for experimental Drummer.
                Drummer shaped gay culture.
                For thirty years, among the millions of leatherfolk, there was hardly
             a person alive who had not heard of or had not read Drummer. With its
             1970s press run of 42,000 copies per issue, more people have read one
             issue of Drummer than have read any one book by any deeply established
             GLBT author on the top hundred list of literary best-sellers in the so-
             called “gay canon.” That’s why I added the line to the masthead of my
             Drummer 23 (July 1978): “The American Review of Gay Popular Cul-
             ture.” This makes Drummer worth study and research in GLBT culture.
                The Gage Brothers’ DNA comes from this lineage: Kenneth Anger’s
             leathery Scorpio Rising (1963) and butch-fetish Kustom Kar Kommandos
             (1965);  Andy  Warhol’s  long-take  Blowjob  (1963),  My  Hustler  (1965),
             and chatty Lonesome Cowboys (1969) which was connected through Joe
             Dallesandro to the 8mm films of Bob Mizer at Athletic Model Guild;
             Wakefield Poole’s actioner Boys in the Sand (1971) and muscular Bijou
             (1972); Fred Halsted’s MOMA features L. A. Plays Itself (1972) and Sex-
             tool (1975); Roger Earl and Terry LeGrand’s leather-cherry popper Born
             to Raise Hell (1972); Peter Berlin’s auto-portrait Nights in Black Leather
             (1973); the uncredited fisting classic Erotic Hands (c. 1975); and Michael
             Zen’s leather-occult  Falconhead  (1976) usually double-billed with C.
             Michael McCullough’s gorgeously sleazy, smokey, and primitivist Tattoo
             (1975).
                Beginning with the first issue, Drummer was always illustrated with
             movie stills: Sextool photos appeared inside Drummer 1 (June 1975), and
             on the front and back covers of Drummer 2 (October 1975); Born to Raise
             Hell on the front cover of Drummer 3 (October 1975); and full-page ads
             for Falconhead inside the front cover of Drummer 7 (June 1976), and for
             Kansas City Trucking Co. inside the front cover of Drummer 11 (Decem-
             ber 1976). Publicity stills from mainstream features such as Mandingo,

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
                HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK
   424   425   426   427   428   429   430   431   432   433   434