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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                647





                            Night Flight 1977


                 Written January 6, 1978, this feature essay was published
                 in Drummer 20, January 1978.
                 I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction
                    written April 17, 2002
                 II.  The feature essay as published in Drummer 20,
                    January 1978
                 III. Eyewitness Illustrations


             I.  Author’s Eyewitness Historical-Context Introduction written
                April 17, 2002
                 How the Happening Movement Became the Circuit Party


             Before there was the White Party and the Black Party and the gay circuit
             parties, there was Night Flight. Into my feature essay in Drummer 20, I
             slipped the subliminal of the bittersweet sense of both carpe diem and sic
             transit gloria mundi that permeated life in the Titanic 70s when every-
             thing was so good we knew it couldn’t last.
                Drummer was always late going to press, and was always behind in
             the number of issues. Drummer was the monthly magazine that was never
             monthly. When Drummer died after twenty-four years, there should have
             been around 300 issues and there were barely 200 issues. Basically, one-
             third of Drummer’s monthly “energy and schedule” was eaten by the very
             grinding up of the talent and money and production that is part of the
             creative process. If only we all could have worked harder, faster, with
             adequate budgets and salaries paid on time by cheapskate Drummer pub-
             lishers, and with less censorship from right-wing printers, and with no gay
             politics!
                I tried to make each monthly issue of Drummer respond to gay pop
             culture as topically as a weekly newspaper.
                I loved the pop-culture mixed-media concept of Night Flight. I saw it
             as part of what in the 1950s Claes Oldenburg, Jack Kerouac, and longtime
             lovers John Cage and Merce Cunningham named the “Happening Move-
             ment” wherein anti-narrative theatrics and nonconformist performances
             were staged in unexpected locations and required audience participation.
             In terms of my editing and writing the contents of Drummer, I saw the

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