Page 489 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                469
             1970s, 1980s, and 1990s: in problems Drummer had with Puritan printers
             and fundamentalist distributors, with customs agents seizing Drummer
             between the US and Canada, as well as the specific video censorship
             of Drummer publisher Anthony DeBlase’s and Zeus Studio’s Drummer
             S&M series, USSM  — which I’ve always thought was the most brilliant
             title ever for a video series.
                Nevertheless, “Drummer served, and still serves,” wrote PlanetSoma.
             com, “as the guidebook to the national leather/SM community.” So I was
             happy when PlanetOut.com wrote that “Fritscher was the groundbreak-
             ing editor of Drummer magazine.”
                I was equally happy when an anti-Semite website listing the takeover
             of “Jews in Homosexual Vocations in America” named me specifically
             in terms of Drummer: “Fritscher became editor in chief of gay Drummer
             magazine in 1977.” Others listed were: Tony Kushner, Larry Kramer,
             Leslie Feinberg, Dan Savage, Sarah Schulman, Martin Duberman, Rex
             Wockner, Gayle Rubin, and even black-leather’s nemesis, Richard Gold-
             stein, himself. Even though I am an Irish-Austrian American Catholic, I
             realize that fag and Jew are one and the same epithet to bigots, and in that
             I relish solidarity.
                Always in the eye of a Category 5 storm, Drummer was the leather
             magazine of record which dared proclaim masculine-identified homo-
             sexuality as alternative to the queenstream. Such issues of sexual iden-
             tity interested Friedkin. Had he submitted his screenplay for Cruising to
             Drummer I would have gladly serialized it — Vito Russo not withstand-
             ing, because Friedkin’s depiction of leathermen holds up as a psychologi-
             cal inquiry, as well as a film-noir murder mystery in which the “virilization
             issues” of male sexual identity are the main theme.
                Also, for leathermen of a certain age, it is nostalgic fun to freeze-
             frame Cruising to see a veritable gallery of otherwise lost-to-history famil-
             iar faces — including the 1960s Latin porn star, Fernando — “acting” all
             around the sexy and brooding star Al Pacino who could have been that
             year’s Mr. Drummer. I wrote in Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Cam-
             era, pages 189-190:


                    Between 1979 and 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe was the
                “official” Mineshaft photographer. Wally Wallace asked Robert
                to shoot a party at the club. . . .In October, 1979, he shot David
                O’Brien, that year’s “Mr. Mineshaft,” at the bootblack’s stand. . . .

                As Bogart said in Casablanca (1942): “Sooner or later, everyone comes
             to Rick’s.”



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