Page 527 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 527

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                507
             Hurles and LeBlond and Mapplethorpe and Poole each had other interests
             as did the new AIDS-era Drummer publisher, Anthony DeBlase.)
                In the 1970s, through plays such as my  Coming Attractions, and
             through actors such as my pal, the leathery S&M hunk David Baker,
             Drummer was attached to the invention of gay theater in San Francisco.
             I had met David Baker at the Folsom Prison bar during Christmas 1972,
             and I wrote the story of our erotic tumble that set my faded Levi’s on
             fire in the feature essay, “Leather Christmas,” Drummer 19 (December
             1977). Actors and performance artists were drawn to the Drummer salon
             because of our sincere and welcoming coverage of happenings and perfor-
             mances in leather bars, galleries, and staged parties, as well as Drummer’s
             eager photographic search for erotically dramatic leather models posed
             in tableaux of S&M. David Baker also acted at the 544 Natoma Gallery
             founded by Peter Hartman in 1977 at the same moment Drummer moved
             to San Francisco, and everything converged.
                Besides Andy Warhol’s Factory films and traveling musical S&M
             show, The Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966), performed live by the Velvet
             Underground, and because of Broadway successes like the rugby-mascu-
             line The Changing Room (1972) and the masculine inquiries of A Chorus
             Line, experimental plays became important to Drummer’s text and mind-
             set. (A Chorus Line opened one month before the publication of the first
             issue of Drummer on June 20, 1975.) The experimental plays were often
             naked, sexual, and violent “60s Revolution” plays (and their film ver-
             sions) that Drummer readers — having been educated in the 1940s, 1950s,
             1960s, and 1970s — attended, or learned about over brunch. They were
             familiar with the form and content, and intellectually and erotically, they
             liked what they saw on stage and they wanted it on the page. Gay Libera-
             tion of the 1970s was a pop-culture gay lib whose consciousness grew out
             of the theater of protest of the 1960s when civil rights for Blacks and for
             the anti-war and anti-government movements both expressed themselves
             first in the open air as street theater and then in actual theaters as writers
             reflected on what was going on, what was worth fighting for, and what
             was worth rebelling against in influential plays from Jean-Paul Sartre,
             Albert Camus, and Jean Genet to Kenneth Brown’s exercise in brutal
             S&M, The Brig (1963); director Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade (1966); Andy
             Warhol’s Pork (1971); and stage work by the Cockettes in San Francisco,
             and by Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York.
             Art and politics in the 1960s made sex worth something. Worthiness was
             the key word. “Male worth” was the main value behind my concept when
             I was driving Drummer.
                Art usually tidies up the ragged edges of life with Aristotelian unities
             of time, place, and action so life can be both felt and analyzed. Art is an

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
                HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK
   522   523   524   525   526   527   528   529   530   531   532