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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 511
                I speak from experience as a filmmaker once limited by technology
             and budget to shooting on Super-8 while lusting for video. (Pioneer Andy
             Warhol had a video camera as early as 1966.)
                In the 1960s, San Francisco actor Paul Gerrior was the first Colt
             Studio icon: on silent film and in print. In my eyewitness observation,
             Colt Studio gained its first reputation from presenting the universally
             handsome Paul Gerrior as “Ledermeister.” If Gerrior had been separated
             at birth, his twin would have been the actor Clint Walker, the muscular,
             noble, and hairy-chested star of the TV show Cheyenne. (I printed a shirt-
             less waist-to-face torso photo of Clint Walker on the last page of Drummer
             27 as precise nostalgia because so many Drummer readers had come out as
             teenagers ogling Walker who performed his signature scenes — stripped
             to the waist — week after week.) Colt founder Jim French featured Ger-
             rior in many homomasculine erotic films, including  The Meterman,
             which was appropriate because Paul Gerrior worked as a lineman for a
             utility company in San Francisco.
                 Paul Gerrior was also the legendary model in the slick-paper Catalog
             for Leather ‘n’ Things, which was the leather clothing store at 4079 18
                                                                    th
             Street, on the south side of 18  east of the Hibernia Bank on the corner of
                                    th
             18  and Castro. In the early 1970s, every man in the City, and every tour-
               th
             ist, picked up multiple copies of the handsomely produced catalog which
             was first published in 1969 and was kept in print until around 1974. That
             Leather ‘n’ Things Catalog was like a pre-Drummer mockup of Drummer
             and should be included in every really complete collection of Drummer.
             There are twenty-seven iconic photographs of the hairy and muscular
             Paul Gerrior stripped to the waist in leather, in sheepskin, with gun in
             holster, with cigarette, and ultimately sized up with a cloth tape measure
             in two photos in which his awesome body, wearing briefs, is divided into a
             grid to guide mail-order customers how to measure themselves. (Measur-
             ing oneself in the 1970s was the original gay Olympic event.)
                In the zero degrees of separation, Paul Gerrior was the 1960s traveling
             companion of my longtime friend Al Shapiro, the artist A. Jay, who was
             the art director of Drummer when I was editor in chief. (I have inherited
             Al Shapiro’s vacation snapshots and Polaroids which often feature the pri-
             vate Gerrior.) In the 1960s, Al Shapiro and Colt founder Jim French lived
             in the same apartment building in Brooklyn Heights off Joralemon Street
             in a building so gay it was called “KY Flats.” When French decided to
             shoot an on-location brochure to advertise his precisely registered “COL-
             TOURS” to the Carribean, Al Shapiro designed French’s shoot of model
             Paul Gerrior. Even though we had friends in common, Paul Gerrior was
             too beautiful for anything but my worship from afar.



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