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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                573

                                 Dune Body

                 Written Thanksgiving 1977 and published in Drummer
                 20, January 1978.
                 I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction
                    written July 25, 1998
                 II.  The poem as published in Drummer 20, January

             I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction written
                July 25, 1998

             Gay magazine writing was the GLBT reality show of the 1970s. In 1974,
             I wrote a magazine book analyzing TV titled Television Today. The twin
             media of magazines and small screen intermeshed. Television was finding
             its true signature and fundamental style in the immediacy of “reality TV”
             which began with the Loud Family in the hit series An American Family
             on PBS in 1973. In 1975, gay magazine writing in Drummer had to invent
             its “reality vision and voice” on the spot, ad-libbing reflexively, to keep up
             with the speeding styles of emerging gay life spontaneously combusting in
             the bars, baths, and on the street: Castro Street, Polk Street, Christopher
             Street, and Santa Monica Boulevard.
                A magazine is a hungry beast that must be fed every thirty days, and
             it’s a finicky eater.
                As editor in chief, sometimes I had a full page of rambunctious jour-
             nalism in Drummer that needed to have three empty “column inches”
             filled, and I needed something tasty: a photo, a drawing, a joke.
                Sometimes a photographer from Nowhere, Indiana, or Hubbub,
             Texas, would send in a snapshot that worked as an image, but needed
             suggestive caption words to point up its grass-roots verite, or to pump up
             its literal look into erotic fantasy.
                Other times, byzantine business conducted in trade under the table,
             and pillow talk shared in a tiny room at the tubs, shaped the pages and
             sometimes the covers of Drummer. In summer 1977, LA photographer
             Joe Tiffenbach sent us some photographs that publisher John Embry said
             he had commissioned in West Hollywood in 1976 before Embry was
             “ridden out of town on a rail” — which is the way most gays leave their
           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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