Page 169 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 169

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 6                        151

             FRITSCHER: In one word, what was it like to edit Drummer?

             STAMPS: an honor.

             Signed: Wickie Stamps, former editor of  Drummer, author and head of
             Monstre Sacré, creative coaching and consulting at

             FRITSCHER:  Thank you  for  your  consideration of  these questions. I
             appreciate all the input you have as an eyewitness on the history of the last
             days of Drummer.
             Cheers, Jack

                Fed up with all the shenanigans, Davolt revealed the tone of his asso-
             ciation with Drummer in his collection of essays in Painfully Obvious: An
             Irreverent and Unauthorized Manual for Leather/SM (2003). The unfortunate
             title reviewed itself: the book was both painful and obvious social twitter
             about teacups and leather perhaps best suited to the drag issue of Drummer
             9. The revealing quote he wrote for his book’s back cover said: Davolt “...
             has earned a paycheck [italics added] producing goods [italics added] for the
             leather community.” But what about producing art and writing? Ars gratia
             artis? Significantly, Davolt mysteriously made no mention of his connection
             with Drummer on the covers of his book, although he specifically named his
             associations with other periodicals.
                Perhaps he intuited that Drummer was played out. By the end of the
             twentieth century, we leathermen came to realize that a once-specific leather
             culture of S&M had divided into something even more specific with the
             advent of kink and fetish categories of BDSM. Perhaps he felt justified that
             as an editor with no budget he could stuff almost anything into the ninety
             pages of Drummer 210 with its dozens of pages of corporate video ads; dozens
             of pages of tired and stolen photos credited blithely as “From the Drummer
             archives”; irrelevant “twinkie porn” video reviews; and very little editorial
             material that was not a reprint dumped in as filler between ads. Once upon a
             moment, Davolt mentioned that under his aegis Drummer could not afford
             to pay good authors and photographers for their work, even as Drummer
             funded him with travel perks. His observation confirmed my experience.
             Drummer had famously never paid the talent. Yet new material from unsus-
             pecting writers and artists and photographers, ripe for ripoff, continually
             poured in through the mail slot. Back in the day, DeBlase himself had writ-
             ten a “Letter to the Editor” titled “Raw Deal for US Writers,” lamenting the
             historically poor pay for writing erotica, in Drummer 189, page 6.

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