Page 205 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 7                        187


             author, which she was not, despite any mythic revisionism of the unstop-
             pable feminist fantasy that she was.
                Arrangements for the first excerpts from her previously written work
             were seemingly made with her publishers by Drummer contributor, John
             Preston, who was her Manhattan acolyte. The publicity stunt of her insert
             into Drummer was a corporate publisher’s marketing attempt to introduce
             her Roquelaure/Rampling books to leatherfolk.
                One might as well name Thoreau as a Drummer author because he was
             quoted each issue on the masthead.
                One  might  as  well  also  name  Maya  Angelou  as  a  Drummer  author
             because her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” was published across two
             pages of the ill-fated Drummer 161. That issue, truth be told, was plagued
             with plagiarism and copyright problems so serious that most copies were
             shredded and never distributed. Nowhere did that Drummer issue note per-
             mission to reprint Angelou any more than did Embry when he failed to get
             permission to reprint a section from Peter Shaffer’s Equus (1973) for my
             horse-fetish issue of Drummer 25 (December 1978). Shaffer was not amused.
                Beware the mythomania around Drummer.
                For politically correct reasons of “gender” as well as “commerce,” the
             two excerpts by Rice/Roquelaure happened to be published incidentally in
             Drummer. Unless someone unearths documents or testimony to the con-
             trary, it seems:
                1. Anne Rice was never personally or professionally associated with
             Drummer.
                2. Anne Rice never wrote for Drummer.
                3. Anne Rice’s connection to Drummer was vicarious through her col-
             league, John Preston, who specialized in collecting individual authors into
             anthologies which he packaged for publishers.
                On October 17, 2006, John Embry told me on the phone:

                    Anne Rice? I never had any truck with Anne Rice. I was so
                disappointed when I finally got one of her books to read. It was
                Beauty’s Punishment and it was kind of interesting, but then she did
                the thing they made the movie of—not Vampire. I never did like
                Interview with the Vampire. The one on the island: Exit to Eden.

                The closed and cultish Preston was cooking Rice for Drummer’s hungry
             pages. In the 1980s plague years as faithful contributors died, Embry sought
             even quicker free ways to fill those pages, and he hardly cared or noticed
             what that filler was. In fact, Embry, the convenient amnesiac who “had no


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