Page 195 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 195

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 7                        177

                as you interpreted the Mineshaft poster [which he had drawn
                for the coming year, 1978, and I had reviewed in Drummer 19
                (December 1977), pages 82-83: “The essence of the Mineshaft is
                found in page after page of Rex’s drawings in his limited-edition
                portfolios  Icons  and  Mannespielen.”]. You’ll be more objective
                about the work and I would definitely want some critical points
                mentioned.... I’ve a great many critics.... A paragraph exploring
                my [New York] detractors would prove most interesting.... Many
                thanks for your help, Rex

                Continuing in  Drummer  23 (July 1978), I repeatedly published my
             full-page invitation to writers everywhere to “Submit to  Drummer, The
             American Review of Gay Popular Culture.” With everyone in the wild 1970s
             preoccupied with sex, Drummer needed fresh, stylish, intelligent, mascu-
             line-identified erotica that would gladly have embraced the traditional and
             avant-garde voices of any of the mid-1970s New York gay literati from Larry
             Kramer, Felice Picano, Edmund White, and all the serious boys including
             comic Harvey Fierstein getting his “man” on in the fashion of the leather
             satires: “Gay Deteriorata” (Drummer 21, March 1978), “Castro Street Blues”
             (Drummer 24, September 1978), and “Noodles Romanov and the Golden
             Gloves” (Drummer 29, May 1979).
                My grass-roots full-page outreach invitation to writers and artists
             expressed my goal of directing Drummer into the New Journalism so pop-
             ular in the 1960s and 1970s. I wanted to create a masculine gay maga-
             zine reflecting the male gender reality of the 1970s, the first decade of gay
             liberation testing the New Reality, the New Normal, after Stonewall. In
             other magazines such as Esquire and Rolling Stone, Drummer subscribers
             were reading New Journalists like Tom Wolfe, George Plimpton, and even
             Norman Mailer, who chased experience and exposure so as to include the
             reality of themselves in very credible, eyewitness, first-person narratives,
             such as Hunter Thompson’s book, which would have been very suitable
             for Drummer, Hells Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw
             Motorcycle Gangs (1966). In a pop-culture way, I was also invoking the les-
             son of the surprise hit, the 1971 PBS series, An American Family: The Loud
             Family, which was the first TV reality show. I wanted our loud leather fam-
             ily to reveal its emerging post-Stonewall identity in writing, photography,
             and art. I wanted to make Drummer the autobiographical journal of all of
             us. Besides, most magazine erotica is just naturally more powerful written
             in the first person voice of the New Journalism.

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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