Page 136 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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118      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            against his groin. The sides of the round drum are pasted up with a series
            of three Drummer front covers: Drummer 2, Drummer 5, and Drummer 9.
            By the date of the latest cover, the photo was likely shot in 1976. It is good
            commercial art meme because the use of the literal drum idealizes the brand
            name. The photo prefigures the first Mr. Drummer Contest by three years.


            16. INTER-RACIAL SEX ADS

            Classified ads promoting inter-racial sex with Blacks as tops and whites as
            bottoms eroticised the urban legend behind straight white fears about the
            alleged omni-sexuality of predatory Black men who rape both women and
            men—which in the never-politically-correct Drummer is considered “din-
            ner and dancing.” (Drummer 1, and “Leather Fraternity” personals)
               Swabbing the DNA of popular culture, I figured serial author Embry
            in his youth wanted to be Kyle Onstott, the author of the Falconhurst tril-
            ogy of novels which included Mandingo (1957), Drum (1962), and Master
            of Falconhurst (1964). In Drummer 2, Embry proclaimed in the “Coming
            Up” column on the contents page, “Falconhurst: The ‘Mandingo’ Series of
            American Slavery.” In “Revisiting Falconhurst” in Drummer 6, across pages
            10 and 11, he reviewed and showcased his alter-ego with nine photos from
            the movie, Mandingo, plus eleven photos of Onstott’s book covers. Mandingo
            sold ten million copies even before adaptation into a 1961 Broadway play and
            a 1975 Hollywood movie. The influence of Drum on the name Drummer
            is obvious. Onstott was the master of best-selling campy potboilers of race,
            sex, and violence. And, well, the entire text of Drummer was always sex, race,
            gender, and consensual action some misdefined as violence.
               Onstott, with Lance Horner, also authored the story of Elagabalus, a
            young gay Roman who would become emperor. The novel, Child of the Sun,
            appeared in 1972 with advertising cashing in on the new fad of gay libera-
            tion. Directly influenced by Onstott, Steven Saylor, a 1980s fiction editor
            at Drummer, became a prolific best-selling historical novelist in his series of
            sexy detective novels set in ancient Rome.

            17. FORBIDDEN FILMS IN LA: BAD BUSINESS—HOW GAY
            MOVIES AND VIDEO SHAPED DRUMMER

            Reviews, covers, and pictorials razzing the LAPD about Born to Raise Hell
            while tub-thumping that S&M film so specifically forbidden in LA that
            producer, Terry LeGrand, and director, Roger Earl, had to premiere it one
            morning in Summer 1974 for a specially invited leather audience of us San


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