Page 207 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 207

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 7                        189

                              SUMMARY OF THE URBAN LEGEND:
                            ANNE RICE AND THE DRUMMER SALON

                    In the twentieth anniversary issue of  Drummer  188, editor
                Wickie Stamps created a brouhaha among the surviving diversity of
                Drummer authors, heirs, and Salonistas who were actually associ-
                ated for twenty years with the magazine. Wickie Stamps committed
                the editorial faux pas of re-reprinting seven columns, approximately
                two  Drummer  pages, from  Beauty’s Punishment  as if Anne Rice
                were representative of Drummer.
                    As much as I respect both Stamps and Rice, one must note that
                Anne Rice’s byline as “Anne Rice” never appeared in Drummer. Her
                excerpts were bylined at a distance as “A. N. Roquelaure.”
                    It was only in the “Editor’s Note” on page 38 of Drummer 188,
                that Stamps pulled back the curtain and attributed the excerpt to
                “Ann [sic] Rice.” Misspelled. Properly disclosing some alleged com-
                mercial deal with Rice’s publisher, Plume, Stamps also included a
                display ad “in trade” for Beauty’s Punishment, page 12.
                    The bottom line of my search of the internal evidence inside
                Drummer  pages is that, historically, Anne Rice never wrote for
                Drummer, but  was excerpted  twice, with one  of those  excerpted
                selections repeated.
                    According to lore, when Anne Rice was born into an Irish-
                Catholic family, her bohemian mother named her Howard Allen
                O’Brien. She chose to be called  Anne  before she married Stan
                Rice. In 1985, was she conjuring on the name of the stylish actress
                Charlotte Rampling, star of the iconic S&M film The Night Porter
                (1974), when she chose to write the adult fiction of Exit to Eden as
                “Anne Rampling”?
                    In Drummer, again, she never appeared under her brand name,
                “Anne Rice,” but only under her S&M pseudonym from which she
                seemed to  keep a  certain polite  distance. Did  she  rather  much
                divorce “A. N. Roquelaure” before renouncing vampires themselves
                upon her return to the Catholic Church in 1998? As a requivering
                Catholic myself, I can understand Rice’s hedging her bets at a cer-
                tain age. Her book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (2005), is told from
                the viewpoint of the resurrected Jesus, who has trumped Rice’s vam-
                pires as the True Immortal. Perhaps conflating phony Christianists
                with legitimate Christianity, in 2009 she apparently returned from
                Catholicism to the gay fold escorted by her son, author Christopher

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