Page 492 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 492

472                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               When the October 17, 1989, earthquake destroyed the Drummer
            office, the magazine never recovered despite the efforts of editor Joseph
            Bean and the publisher Anthony DeBlase who felt compelled to sell
            Drummer to the Dutch businessman Martijn Bakker in September 1992.
               In the turmoil, my interview with Wally Wallace lay in turnaround,
            unpublished.
               Seeing the handwriting on the wall, and feeling abandoned and
            ignored, Wally Wallace knew he was being double-fucked. It hurt my
            feelings that Drummer hurt him. I thoroughly liked him. He was not even
            a year older than I, but he had a hundred years of wear and tear from his
            long nights at the Mineshaft. He was always a difficult personality, but
            he was no curmudgeon. And his heart condition was worsening. He knew
            the primacy of Drummer in leather history, and he felt his legacy slipping
            away through DeBlase’s negligence.
               Wally Wallace sent me a copy of a bitter letter he sent to Anthony
            DeBlase because, failing a response from DeBlase, he wanted me publish
            the letter; it was postmarked April 7, 1992. Two years had passed since
            I had given Wally’s photographs to Drummer, and still DeBlase refused
            to cooperate with Wally Wallace with whom he had once been so close,
            famously even hosting S&M workshops at the Mineshaft. The irony was
            that it was DeBlase who roped both Wally Wallace and me into doing the
            interview in the first place.
               Of course, there was a back story.
               Because I was involved with former Chicagoan DeBlase in the
            startup and the writing of the Drummer feature on leather history titled
            “Rear-View Mirror,” I was aware as early as 1988 that DeBlase’s interest
            and loyalty was shifting from repairing Drummer in San Francisco to
            inventing the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago in partnership
            with Chuck Renslow. DeBlase was founding director and president of the
            LA&M board of directors. I know, from my eyewitness participation, that
            he asked me — and others — to write about leather history and to inter-
            view personalities such as Wally Wallace so that, as Drummer publisher,
            he could funnel our raw data and essays into the new Leather Archives and
            Museum which was a brainchild born out of a partnership with Chuck
            Renslow who was casting about for a place to archive the artwork of his
            terminally ill partner Dom Orejudos aka Etienne. The Leather Archives
            and Museum was incorporated in August 1991 and Etienne died on Sep-
            tember 24, 1991.
               Even so, DeBlase, dejected over Drummer, was no longer motivated
            to publish the Wally Wallace interview in Drummer. Even before the 1989
            earthquake, DeBlase devalued Drummer because on his watch plague and
            politics had turned the former erotic giant into a self-help and gender-

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