Page 526 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 526

506                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            with the inevitable pun, “Dirty Poole.” Twenty-three years later, Alyson
            Publications printed Wakefield Poole’s memoir with the same title: Dirty
            Poole: Autobiography of a Gay Porn Pioneer (2001).
               With the Manhattan luster of Wakefield Poole and Robert Map-
            plethorpe shining in the pages of Drummer, I cultivated the “decadent”
            international S&M-leather esthetic of the Berlin photographer and film
            director, Gerhard Pohl, who was so sensational in his evocative Weimar
            ways that Christopher Isherwood might have blushed long before Pohl’s
            retrospective at the Schwules Museum. (Pohl is not Poole.) When Pohl
            spied the huge stack of journal pages I was editing into Some Dance to
            Remember, he said, “Alfred Doblin, Alexanderplatz?” That was at least a
            year before Americans had heard of Fassbinder’s film, Alexanderplatz.
            So I asked my German immigrant friend, Hank Diethelm, about what
            was then simply the novel, Alexanderplatz. Diethelm at age fourteen had
            been conscripted into the Nazi Youth, escaped the Russian front in 1945,
            starred in my underground film Castration (Super-8, 1972), helped me
            remodel my Victorian in 1975, and became the founding owner of the
            legendary Folsom Street bar, the Brig, from where his murderer took him
            home. (Hank Diethelm: March 18, 1928 - April 10, 1983.) Diethelm
            explained Pohl’s allusion joking that Doblin’s Berlin was like Joyce’s Dub-
            lin in Ulysses. Both wrote novels of a specific group of people in a specific
            time in a specific city that itself became a “character” which was my
            goal in my memoir-novel. In his stunning spins through San Francisco,
            Gerhard Pohl was a popular house guest who was dedicated to “‘feeding’
            the downtrodden.” He contributed much “off-the-page” frisson to the mise
            en scene in our Drummer salon where, in our homes of an evening, he
            frequently unspooled his exotic and daring and very beautiful under-
            ground Euro-leather films of totemic dominance and taboo submission
            that expanded our San Francisco consciousness and encouraged us locals
            to make Drummer even more global in appeal. The secret of success in
            Drummer was that the editor had to be a top because the readers were
            ninety-nine percent bottoms seeking someone who would top them on
            page, stage, screen, and real life.
               (My collaborative relationship with Old Reliable David Hurles, my
            personal relationship with Richard LeBlond, and my intimate relation-
            ship with Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as my professional relationship
            with Wakefield Poole were all four between me and each one of them,
            and none was ever between them and Drummer and its publisher, John
            Embry. When I exited the daily drama around Drummer on December
            31, 1979, their relationships to Drummer evaporated. It was their choice;
            no gauntlet was thrown down. By 1986 when I returned to Drummer,



          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
               HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK
   521   522   523   524   525   526   527   528   529   530   531