Page 157 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 6                        139

             men’s leather scene.” Nevertheless, this outside consultant was Bakker’s
             choice to pull the final version of each issue together. “Sam had to get almost
             all of the photo shoots for free from porn companies,” Stamps said. He “...
             did an amazing job getting what he could for free as well as doing a great
             deal of writing as well as design work. For herself, Stamps underscored, “I
             had a great deal of responsibility but virtually no influence.”
                With Stamps backed into a corner, queer historians may note that in
             Drummer  188 (September 1995), she penned a minimalist, and, there-
             fore, revisionist, introduction to “The  Drummer  Twentieth Anniversary
             Issue.” Her editorial set out to track the changing marketing “tag lines”
             on Drummer mastheads, such as “The Mag for Macho Males” and “The
             American Review of Gay Popular Culture.” However, as she told me, she did
             not have time to dig through all the jumbled in-house archives or the 187
             existing issues. Nevertheless, someone on staff might well have taken a quick
             peek at the nineteen previous Drummer anniversary issues to assess what was
             standard “anniversary” content. Or what was quirky. For instance, in “The
             Fifth Anniversary Issue,” Drummer 38 (June 1980), ventriloquist Embry
             conducted a coy conversation with himself, using bodybuilder Greg Strom
             as his “interviewer,” so he could pen his own personal “parthenogenesis”
             origin story of Drummer, its pre-history, and, to Stamps’ point, its tag lines.
             She, however, counted down the timeline of her tag lines from Drummer
             187 to Drummer 63, bypassing all the original tag lines in issues 1 to 62.This
             decision made all that earlier marketing work by all the Drummer forebears
             invisible, even as she and her staff soldiered on in an office surrounded by
             rifled file drawers spilling over with the institutional history of Drummer.
             Robert Davolt explained the irony of this office turmoil when he wrote in
             notes he gave to me that Drummer had “The greatest photo and art collec-
             tion in SM/leather history (or at least everything that had survived 25 years
             of looting by former employees) was sitting in boxes—unsorted, unusable
             and decaying rapidly.”
                Stamps, never fully titled as “editor,” approached a leather-history sig-
             nature moment for Drummer and for herself that evaporated when she pro-
             duced “The Twentieth Anniversary Issue” which should have been published
             on time three months earlier in June. The tardiness was not hers. During the
             nearly three years I was editor-in-chief, I had no control over how Embry
             managed almost monthly to fail to find funds to pay the printer so that my
             issues could maintain their schedule. Knowing some of the ancestral history
             of Drummer, Stamps, who was always of good will, was percipient in invit-
             ing survivors such as Joseph Bean, John Embry, and me to write our own
             eyewitness histories of Drummer for her anniversary issue.

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