Page 151 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 5                        133


             In case the LAPD missed a word, Embry, the “Prince of Reprints,” blew
             hard and reprinted his most offending articles almost immediately in The
             Best and the Worst of Drummer. In that issue, he also outed readers’ com-
             plaints when he wrote, page 64: “We were even accused by a couple of
             readers of repeating ourselves, when the first chapter of Epilogue [a “mem-
             oir” by Robert Payne aka Embry] was published in our Book Section.”
             (Page 64)
                In Drummer 100, page 4, new publisher DeBlase vowed not to rerun
             contents the way Embry famously recycled writing and graphics. “A common
             complaint about Drummer in recent years,” DeBlase wrote, “from myself
             as well as from others, was about the frequent reuse of material.” Unlike
             Embry’s passive-aggressive style, DeBlase was not dismissive of readers. He
             was pro-actively solicitous of feedback from Drummer fans. He actually read
             the “Letters to the Editor” and frequently sought comments in person. In
             an act of smart marketing seeking to avoid blowback, he published a mail-
             in form,“The Drummer Questionnaire: Twenty Questions for Readers,” in
             Drummer 125, pages 97-98.
                Through sins of commission and omission against Drummer contribu-
             tors, Embry was a scofflaw regarding reprints that disrespected the rights
             and intellectual property of individual authors, artists, and photographers.
             He also misled the readers. For instance, in Drummer 41 (December 1980),
             page 63, Embry and Rowberry pirated my “Astrologic” column from
             Drummer 21 (March 1978), page 30. Not only did the two of them collude
             in this direct violation of my copyright for which I was not paid, they falsely
             assigned my byline to “Aristide,” and, most deceitfully, set out to cheat the
             Drummer readership by rearranging the line items within my “Astrologic”
             original 1978 “Aries” so that they could recycle and resell what would appear
             as if written for 1980 “Sagittarius.” In that same Drummer 41, pages 43 and
             44, they also reprinted without permission two photographs shot by David
             Sparrow and me doing business together as “David Sparrow.”
                In Drummer 117 (June 1988), page 55, DeBlase wrote a notice alleging
             that Embry in his Manifest Reader was re-doing material formerly published
             exclusively in Drummer.
                This marked a new overt battle in the corporate civil war between
             Embry’s Alternate Publishing, Inc., and DeBlase’s Desmodus, Inc.
                DeBlase thought Embry emotionally unable to let go of Drummer. I
             remember that in Drummer’s first few months, Embry exposed his sep-
             aration issues over his lover who had dumped him in 1975 at the high

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