Page 477 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 457
             the Magical, Mystical Mapplethorpe Tour.” Rex moved South of Market
             and opened up a gallery called “Rexwerk” in his home on Hallam Mews,
             fifty feet across the lane from the Barracks baths on Folsom. Rex who has
             rarely had good luck had some very bad luck. An arsonist set the Barracks
             on fire during the night of July 10, 1981. Rex, along with more than a hun-
             dred others, including Drummer photographer, Mark I. Chester, escaped
             with their lives; everything they owned, all their artwork, was lost in the
             disaster. (For a fictive “documentary” description of what may have hap-
             pened in Mark I. Chester’s studio and Rex’s studio as the fire raged, see
             Some Dance to Remember, Reel 4, Scene 3.)
                In the Mineshaft Newsletter, Wally Wallace wrote:
                     A “CASINO NIGHT TO HELP A BUDDY OUT”
                          (Rex Benefit) TUES. OCT 20 [1981] 9-12

                    In July the largest fire since its Earthquake swept the Folsom
                Street area in San Francisco leaving 120 totally homeless. One of
                the victims was Rex, the artist of the Mineshaft logo, who lost all
                his earthly belongings in one night. The MINESHAFT gave a
                benefit for him in San Francisco and now we are having one in
                New York from 9 until Midnight on Tuesday October 20 . It’s
                a Casino Night with lots of prizes for the winners. . .with some
                recent Rex work on display. . . . Please note that another Casino
                Night will be held in early November for the Gay Men’s Chorus
                and their Bux for Tux Fund.

                May I, as an eyewitness participant, alert latter-day researchers,
             historians, and cynics: anything and everything anyone has ever said or
             written about the hedonistic Mineshaft is true, including George C. Scott
             shouting in the 1978 musical camp film, Movie Movie: “More sequins!
             More sequins in the ‘Mineshaft’ number!” See my review of Movie Movie
             in Drummer 27 (February 1979). That kind of camp was not welcome in
             the sex rooms around the Mineshaft bar. Wally Wallace sent out a flyer
             that said:

                    Keep Your Damn Mouth Shut When Playing in the Play-
                    The MINESHAFT playrooms are for one purpose and it
                surely is not the place to gossip, discuss your European trip, or
                how well Joan Sutherland sang “Carmen” at the Met. This you
                do in the Main Bar which is a social area. Please remember this
                simple rule when visiting the Shaft.

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