Page 490 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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470                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               The Mineshaft was instantly the hottest spot in New York during the
            Titanic 70s even after Studio 54 debuted five months later on April 26,
            1977. Everyone who was anyone traveled from wherever they were in the
            world, from over the rainbow, from Max’s Kansas City and the Saint and
            CBGB to the north end of the West Village, twelve to fourteen blocks
            away from Christopher Street, to try to be admitted into the after-hours
            Mineshaft.
               “It is an odd thing,” quipped Oscar Wilde, “but everyone who disap-
            pears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and
            possess all the attractions of the next world.”
               Substitute the word Mineshaft for San Francisco to understand the
            Bali Hai call of the Mineshaft and the litany of the rich and famous,
            talented and beautiful and legendary who were, so urban legend gossiped,
            seen down on their knees at the Mineshaft — from Nureyev and Minnelli
            to Fassbinder and Foucault. Mick Jagger was turned away for showing
            up with a couple of women, who, like business suits and Lacoste shirts,
            were not on the list. Once in awhile, some women disguised as men did
            make it into the Mineshaft. As with the Woodstock wannabes (“I was
            at Woodstock!) and the Stonewall revisionists (“I was at Stonewall!”),
            Wally Wallace assured me, lots of people — men as well as women — who
            bragged they made it into the Mineshaft were lying.
               During my 1990 interview, Wally Wallace — who was the founding
            (and only) manager of the Mineshaft, as well as its total creative force and
            code enforcer — offered me more than one hundred photographs shot
            inside the Mineshaft for inclusion in the video documentary as well as for
            historical publication in Eyewitness Drummer. Wally Wallace had a couple
            of original Mapplethorpe prints tossed unprotected into his suitcase with
            all the other photographs, his underwear, and socks. I lifted the Map-
            plethorpe photos up with two fingers by the corner, as if they were sacred
            objects, and told Wally what iconic images they were and how much they
            were worth.
               He shrugged.
               He was totally unassuming, but he was also in interview so very
            monumentally disgusted with gay culture at large that he damned the
            whole of it. What happened next at Drummer didn’t sweeten his tongue.
            Wally Wallace knew I intended to excerpt his interview in Drummer.
               I wrote a letter to him dated April 10, 1990:


               Wally Wallace
               183 Christopher Street 2  Floor
                                   nd
               New York NY 10014


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