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70                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            died of AIDS in 1989, at age 42. Noting the brilliance of Mapplethorpe’s
            photography, Drummer editor in chief Fritscher hired him to do a cover
            which was Mapplethorpe’s first magazine cover assignment (Drummer
            24, September 1978). They became lovers and Fritscher went on write the
            biography, Mapplethorpe: Assault With A Deadly Camera, A Pop Culture
            Memoir, An Outlaw Reminiscence..
               Fritscher’s book was the first biography of the controversial artist
            and photographer ever published, beating out Patricia Morrisroe’s “hor-
            rified straight-woman” Mapplethorpe biography. In the typical fever of
            a Gemini, Fritscher wrote the final-final version of his erotic memoir
            of his ex-lover and confidante in only ninety days, because he included
            writing he had done about Mapplethorpe over the years. Adding other
            voices to make a chorus beyond his own voice keening, Fritscher included
            his interviews of other Mapplethorpe friends and heavy-weights such as
            Robert Opel, Camille O’Grady, George Dureau, Holly Solomon, Edward
            Lucie-Smith, and Joel-Peter Witkin. (Fritscher has taken gorgeous photos
            of Robert Opel’s muse, the singer and poet, Camille O’Grady.)
               His  Mapplethorpe book went on to become a critically acclaimed
            piece of gay American history while Morrisroe’s sophomoric, middle-
            American-esque attempt bombed. Morrisroe had interviewed Fritscher
            for five hours (recorded on the phone) and sent a note praising his infor-
            mation. When she found out years later that Fritscher was writing another
            kind of Mapplethorpe book that looked to her like insider competition,
            she denounced Fritscher as “The King of Sleaze” because he had then
            recently written a gay-culture historical piece in Drummer titled “Remem-
            brance of Sleaze Past” to nail down historically what sex had actually been
            like before fluid exchange became problematical. Morrisroe so misread
            the “reverse code” of gay language she did not realize that “sleaze” is a
            sexual compliment.
               A read of Morrisroe’s prudish biography makes it painfully obvious
            that she does not understand — and actually seems to loathe — the gay
            subculture which she claims shocked her beyond comprehension while
            researching Mapplethorpe’s life. I guess no one ever told Patty Morrisroe
            that the Number One Rule For Writers is only write what you know, babe.
            The poor bitch didn’t understand that in the inversion of the gay world,
            sleaze is considered a good thing. She is the perfect example of what Frit-
            scher means about the corporate “repackaging of the gay community.”
            The corporate Random House published Morrisroe’s book which was
            reviewed by the corporate Vanity Fair which is not surprising because the
            head of Random House at that time was married to the head of Vanity
            Fair. Where Morrisroe freaked over Mapplethorpe’s Satanism, exorcist
            Fritscher, author of Popular Witchcraft and friend of Anton LaVey, truly

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