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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 491
                   Captions: Eyewitness documentation of the existence of graphics providing
                   internal evidence supporting Jack Fritscher’s text are located in the Jack Fritscher
                   and Mark Hemry GLBT History collection. Out of respect for issues of copy-
                   right, model releases, permissions, and privacy, some graphics are not available
                   for publication at this time, but can be shown by appointment.

                        Photograph. “Wally Wallace and Rex,” standing at the bar in the Mine-
              Eyewitness  shaft, New Year’s Eve 1982, exhibit the cover of the 1983 Mineshaft cal-
             Illustration endar drawn by Rex. In the way that Rex was the official artist of the
                        Mineshaft, “Bob” Mapplethorpe, as Wally Wallace called him, was a
             favorite photographer who once set up his camera in the Mineshaft itself to shoot on loca-
             tion the winner of the Mr. Mineshaft contest. (Although Mapplethorpe gave Fritscher a
             copy of that photograph, no Mapplethorpe photographs are included in this book.) In
             1981, after Rex’s San Francisco home and studio and drawings were destroyed during the
             July 10, 1981, Barracks fire on Folsom Street, Wally Wallace hosted a “Casino Night” on
             October 20, 1981, to help Rex, who was not personally injured, get back on his feet. This
             gesture was typical of the kind of fund-raiser and community charities the Mineshaft
             community supported.
                        Four photographs. Clockwise beginning at top right: In the style of Stu-
              Eyewitness  dio 54 uptown, a “Caped Customer” poses downtown on the stairway
             Illustration leading from the Meatpacking District street to the Mineshaft entrance
                        on the second floor. “Disco Ball Bondage” against the rough wooden
             frames purpose-built into the Mineshaft interior. Two contestants strut on the bar for one
             of the many Mr. Mineshaft contests. In the anti-war climate of the 1970s, many gay bars
             displayed the American flag.
                        Three photographs. Top: This group photograph is a peephole into the
              Eyewitness  “look” and diversity of men in the homomasculine culture of the Mine-
             Illustration shaft. Bottom left: Fritscher pal “Lyle Heeter” whom Mapplethorpe shot
                        for the famous salon portrait “Lyle Heeter and Brian Ridley.” Bottom
             right: The reel-to-reel music tapes played at the Mineshaft were created by Jerry Rice and
             Michael Fesco and Ashland and Wally Wallace, and were absolute key in a perfect mix of
             classical themes, jazz, energetic beat, and S&M themed lyrics, with a special fisting favor-
             ite, Tim Buckley’s “Sweet Surrender.” The Mineshaft dress code inspired Jacques Morali’s
             creation of the four archetypes of the Village People.
                        Photograph. “Leather Rick [left] with the Skulls of Akron” who were the
              Eyewitness  only group allowed to shoot sex videos inside the Mineshaft. Farther out
             Illustration than Cirque du Soleil, the Skulls shot aerial trapeze videos like Fisting
                        Ballet and extravaganzas which remain video verite documentaries of a lost
             civilization. In the 1980s, the Skulls of Akron videos went beyond censorship when the
             master tapes were confiscated by government authorities.
                        Photograph, “Candle Fire.” Nightly at the Mineshaft, men played eroti-
              Eyewitness  cally with elements of “earth” sex, “water” sports,  “fire” edge play, and
             Illustration the “air” exchange of breath control, pot, poppers, and ether.  When
                        Hollywood  director  William  Friedkin, mimicking  Mineshaft  culture,
             was filming Cruising with Al Pacino in 1979, he cast his “atmosphere” extras from Mine-
             shaft regulars whose faces appear like ghosts if one freeze-frames the film.

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