Page 137 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 5                        119

             Franciscans at the Powell Theater on Powell Street at the Market Street
             cable-car turnaround (Drummer 3). Thereafter the film screened for over a
             year at the San Francisco Century Theater. There was also Embry’s publi-
             cation of a Drummer “extra” book of stills from Born to Raise Hell which,
             again, fails to print masthead credits for the responsible publisher or the
             filmmakers, LeGrand and Earl; the cover of Drummer 3 leads to two pages
             of six movie stills including piss flowing from a dick into a mouth, sex
             torture in bondage, and two men raping a third with a police baton. In
             Embry’s first issue of his “Virtual Drummer,” Mach 1 (1980), pages 54-56,
             he published a photo spread titled “Born to Raise Hell Revisited.” He camped
             it up with his cartoon balloons pasted on the sex photographs from the film;
             and in his introduction, he aired his endless digs at Davis: “Born to Raise
             Hell played everywhere except Los Angeles, then finally after three years in
             release, opening and closing in Hollywood in one night, the LAPD being
             what it is.”
                Historically, the LAPD went gunning for the film because LeGrand and
             Earl went very cinema verite and dared shoot on location in bars that were
             already under heavy scrutiny from the vice squad who figured gay bars were
             inherently dens of iniquity. To use bars to shoot porn films went way beyond
             the pale of community standards for right-wing LAPD Captain Edward M.
             Davis whose hobby was raiding gay bars and gay movie theaters. Roger Earl
             told me, “We shot most of the interiors in a bar in the Valley called ‘The
             Truck Stop.’ We also shot at a bar on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles called
             ‘The Falcon’s Lair,’ but the scene in the bedroom was shot in my bedroom.”
             When I first saw that bedroom in 1989, the industrial-strength wooden
             four-poster that Roger used for his own fun and games looked as rugged and
             ready as it did in the film. Roger added, “We also used a straight dungeon
             on Cahuenga Boulevard called ‘The House of Dominance.’ The Mistresses
             who worked there were all crazy about Val.”
                As an eyewitness then, I remained an eyewitness. Eighteen years later,
             much to Drummer’s delight and DeBlase’s hunger for photos, Mark Hemry
             and I, as Palm Drive Video for hire, traveled in the summer of 1989 through
             Holland and Germany with LeGrand and Earl giving them their first “two-
             camera shoot” on the six new videos we lensed for their Marathon Films
             under the omnibus title, Bound for Europe.
                Our June-July 1989 European video shoot turned into a treasure trove of
             articles, photographs, and advertising for American Drummer faltering for
             editorial material after the September 17, 1989, earthquake that destroyed
             the Drummer office and panicked publisher DeBlase into selling Drummer
             in what would amount to a “fire sale.”

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