Page 468 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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448                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            ager, Wally Wallace, March 28, 1990, recorded at 206 Texas Street,
            San  Francisco. A copyrighted excerpt of this article and interview was
            published with permission of the author in Leather Times 1 (2007), the
              newsletter of the Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, published by
            Chuck Renslow and produced by Rick Storer.)
               Fourteen years earlier, that second week in October 1976 was a busy
            one in Manhattan: the S&M Eulenspiegel Society was incorporated
            on October 14, 1976, six days after the Mineshaft opened. Drummer,
            founded June 1975, was sixteen months old and on sale at gay New York
            shops.
               In leather-heritage synchronicity, Wally Wallace and I knew each
            other for twenty-three years. Few in the salon around the Mineshaft knew
            his name was “James Wallace” who to intimates was known as “Jim,” or
            that he had transferred his theatrical experience — mid-1960s through
            early 1970s — as actor and stage manager with La Mama to the theatrical
            set and dress-code costumes at the Mineshaft.
               In the zero degrees of separation, it was at La Mama that Wally Wal-
            lace first met Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith; and it was at the
            Mineshaft in 1976 that Jacques Morali saw Wally Wallace’s blue-collar
            dress-code archetypes that became the pop stereotypes of his disco group,
            the Village People. Glenn Hughes, the original leather biker in the Village
            People, was a frequent sex-player at the Mineshaft as well as part of the
            S&M leather salon around Drummer in San Francisco.
               My “Mineshaft” Drummer article, delivered up in the limited format
            of our monthly “Men’s Bar Scene” column, is brief because the Mineshaft
            had been open only seven months when I wrote about it in June 1977,
            and the legend of the Mineshaft sex circus was just beginning to launch.
            Mythologizing the Mineshaft was not my point because I was writing
            frank PR to promote the Mineshaft — as Wally Wallace acknowledged
            in 1978 — with readers who lived outside Manhattan.
               Perhaps someday I will write a lengthy, humorous, and scandalous
            article for Vanity Fair, or, better, a screenplay that will reveal the players,
            the mystery, the comedy, and the sexuality of the legendary Mineshaft.
            Chaucer would love such a framing of the newer, sexier, raunchier Canter-
            bury Tales. Host Wally Wallace fills in as the Harry Bailey of leather and
            the Mineshaft is Bailey’s Tabard Inn where the pilgrims as sex-tourists
            meet up. The Wife of Bath becomes the Husband in the Bathtub; and the
            ass-kissing and red-hot poker up-the-bum in “The Miller’s Tale” recreates
            itself nightly.
               Attending the opening night of the Mineshaft, I recalled Kenneth
            Anger’s film title The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954). As a jour-
            nalist and a sex commuter to New York, I was staying with my longtime

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