Page 596 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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576                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            I Am Curious (Leather), which I subtitled in Son of Drummer as “The
            Adventures of Denny Sargent” — “by Jack Fritscher.” The first line of the
            novel and the excerpt included the name of my protagonist in ALL CAPS:
            “DENNY SARGENT, eighteen, kicked his sheets to the floor.”
               I always thought Embry seemed rather curiously vague about the
            actual contents of Drummer. Did he ever really read it? Did he ever jerk off
            to it? Was he like a movie-studio mogul who never watches his pictures,
            and only discusses box-office tallies?
               Embry, always keen on mail-order sales, wanted to reprint I Am Curi-
            ous (Leather) because gay book stores had yet to be invented, and closeted
            gays in Speed Trap, Florida, needed mail-order goods. If they were going
            to order Drummer poppers, they might as well order Drummer books.
            Embry announced on page 47 that “I Am Curious (Leather) is to be a
            forthcoming Drummer novel.” Earlier, the 1969 novel had been published
            in a limited private edition by Lou Thomas at Target Studio (1972), and
            after Son of Drummer, after Embry defaulted, it was serialized in Man-
            2Man Quarterly 1980-1982, excerpted in several magazines, and then sold
            10,000 copies for Winston Leyland’s Gay Sunshine Press under the title
            Leather Blues (1984).
               In “Dune Body,” the line “Oasis of erect palms” is the first intimation
            of my “Palm Drive Video” play on words. “Palm Drive” is not the name
            of a street. “Palm Drive” is what a man does with his hand while reading
            or watching porno.
               From the day I first edited Drummer, and as a former university
            professor teaching cinema, I calculated that the magazine could grow its
            brand name into a very successful Super-8 film business. In the 1970s we
            all knew about the coming joys of video, but the corporate wars between
            the Beta and VHS systems kept consumer cameras and VCRs out of
            our driving palms until 1981 when it was too late to tape the sights and
            sounds of the Titanic 1970s which history would regard quite differently
            had video offered up eyewitness documentation of the way we were before
            VHS and HIV. At a Boston book reading in the 1990s, I was asked by a
            young woman working on a college paper if she could see the videotape I
            shot of the Stonewall Rebellion!
               In “Dune Body,” echoing Allen Ginsberg chanting, I intoned my DJ
            mix of mythology, Joycean portmanteau words, erotic parallax metaphor,
            and world-weary sexiness.  I wrote a free-association rap-and-slam poem
            to amuse Drummer readers who, in that literate day and age before the
            Great Dumbing of America, could rather “dig” this kind of beatnik stuff.
               Marching to something different in Drummer, Thoreau might have
            smiled at the beatnik bongo drums punctuating the rhythm of the lines.

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