Page 119 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 4                        101

             young love for sale.” In the cocktail lounges and taverns in which men of
             Embry’s vintage came out during the 1940s and 1950s, “Love for Sale” was
             a staple on every juke box. When it came to male prostitution, Davis ran
             a fierce ongoing policy of targeting male hustlers and gay johns cruising
             Santa Monica Boulevard. To Davis, the Slave Auction was commercial sex
             trafficking. What an opportunity! Davis must have fallen to his funda-
             mentalist knees. It was as if Embry had rounded up all the fag barflies and
             hustlers and johns from a dozen blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard, and
             penned them up at the Mark IV Baths for the convenience of Ed Davis
             and the LAPD.
                In addition, the straight logic of the LAPD—who half-suspected that
             leathermen were also Hell’s Angels outlaws—gave Davis reason to believe
             that the elusive S&M serial killer responsible for the “Orange County Torso
             Murders” of gay men was to be a guest at the Slave Auction party.
                My own eyewitness experience in LA at the time was that every gay man
             knew some gay man who knew the killer. (See Drummer 9, 10, 11: “The
             ‘S&M’ Murder Mystery.”)
                In her eyewitness files, Jeanne Barney quoted Los Angeles Magazine (June
             1976) which reported under the headline, “Love Ya to Pieces”:

                A string of unsolved murders was the real reason for Ed Davis’
                raid of that gay Slave Auction, according to LAPD insiders. Police
                believe a local S-M ring may be responsible for savagely dismem-
                bering at least 17 persons, some of whom haven’t been identified
                because investigators haven’t been able to find enough pieces. At the
                auction, Davis’ raiders were said to have observed spectators twist-
                ing rings affixed to the slaves’ breasts and dragging them by chains
                attached to their genitals. Police claim they were hampered from
                giving their version of the raid by gag restrictions.

                Three years after the Black Pipe H.E.L.P. raid, Embry, beating a drum
             no one marched to, tried in vain to rally the troops by invoking the Lavender
             Standard of “Stonewall” as an emblem of freedom in Drummer 3, page 43.
             The difference was that it took a Greenwich Village of authors to raise their
             neighborhood news of the Stonewall raid into legend, whereas Drummer,
             lost in the vast grid of Los Angeles had only three staff members, a cou-
             ple of freelance writers, and only Embry himself to care about reviving the
             ancient history of the Black Pipe arrests. From inside his West Hollywood
             bubble, Embry wrote: “One would think that, more than the Stonewall
             incident which happened 3,000 miles away and still spawned Christopher

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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