Page 159 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 6                        141


             Shapiro). Was it a ringer of gay culture’s feminist bias that the reprinted fic-
             tion included several pages by Anne Rice who never wrote for Drummer?
             The rest of the writing was banal bits of “filler.” Where one page would
             have been too much, there were five pages of cliched photographs of two
             porn stars, Rick Bolton, and the atypical Drummer model, the boy-chick
             Scott O’Hara who once was favored by Embry on page and screen but was
             so unpopular he was lucky he could suck himself off.
                The charge “filler” applied also to the wobbly two pages of the “Drum
             Media” feature, reviewing books and videos, written by the amateurish
             “Dyrk” who reviewed himself having his own problems with “new media”
             when he might better have written a conceptual column of the rich history
             within Drummer of reviewing the arts, including the New York Arts special
             issue Son of Drummer featuring Rex and Mapplethorpe, or even the publish-
             ing of early performable BDSM leather plays such as George Birimisa’s Pogey
             Bait (Drummer 12 and 13), David Hurles’ Scott Smith: Heavy Rap with a
             Solitary Ex-Con (Drummer 21), and my Corporal in Charge of Taking Care
             of Captain O’Malley (Drummer 22 and 23). Was it feminist privilege that
             injected that interesting, but gratuitous, excerpt from Anne Rice’s Beauty’s
             Punishment into a leathermen’s erotic magazine? Why was the polished Rice
             served up with a sticky non-erotic drawing that, taking up two-thirds of
             page 36, was repeated exactly full page on page 39? The three unexceptional
             and limp “Sex Art 4” photos, having no connection to Drummer history on
             pages 40 and 41, show how Bakker’s budget squandered the space in this
             anniversary issue. Where was a collage of the reader-reflective selfie photos
             that, since 1978, actual Drummer readers sent in as “Tough Customers” to
             inject into the magazine its grass-roots identity, its street cred, and its face?
             Jeanne Barney, wrote in “The First Anniversary Issue,” Drummer 7 (June
             1976), that “...an Anniversary Issue [should] be initiative,” which means that
             the issue should look to the future as well as to the past. But that mix was
             off balance in Drummer 188 which failed to respond to its rich history of
             187 previous issues.
                Further editorial space was nibbled up by the scattershot design whose
             specifications wasted many column inches and pages. In addition, the
             Drummer “Style Guide” must have gone missing because the proofreader did
             not bother to italicize the word Drummer or other titles in most instances.
             The failure of form and content in this anniversary issue, which is typical of
             most all the other issues of the 1990s, proved that editing Drummer required
             as much respect, expertise, and professionalism as any straight magazine.
                Stamps had the distinction of being the fin de siecle managing editor.
             Driving that rising millennial perspective, she might have looked into the


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