Page 220 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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202      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            Recorded in late 1976, it was the perfect score for the three dramatic years,
            1977-1979, when I was anchored into that leather-self-invention decade as
            editor-in-chief of Drummer. I could not resist honoring the Eagles’ insight
            into the way we were. It was historically essential to quote the lyrics of “Hotel
            California” for the title of Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San
            Francisco 1970-1982.
               Drummer 30 was my last official issue, although I also edited Drummer
            31, 32, and 33 from which my byline and some of my work were removed.
               Drummer 32 was Al Shapiro’s last official issue.
               In Drummer 33, Al Shapiro’s name had also been replaced on the mast-
            head, although, for historical accuracy, both his work and mine, as noted,
            ended inside Drummer 33.
               A. Jay, who had been art director for Queen’s Quarterly in the 1960s,
            immediately went on to his next successful career as art director for the
            famous “Dirty Frenchman” at Le Salon bookstore on Polk Street.
               Real-estate entrepreneur Embry wasted no time launching a grudge
            against A. Jay who continued to draw his cartoon characters for Le Salon
            marketing brochures. Ever jealous, Embry immediately claimed ownership
            to the copyright of Harry Chess. A light laughter drifted like fog across the
               In Drummer 34, the second issue after A. Jay’s exit, Embry tried to make
            Al disappear the way he had subtracted Jeanne Barney and me after our exits
            in Drummer 11 and Drummer 30 respectively. With no shame, Embry, the
            claim jumper, deleted A. Jay’s name from his own bylined cartoon strip
            when Embry dared publish four pages of Al’s signature brainchild, Harry
            Chess. He trumpeted that he had cut a deal with Queen’s Quarterly who, as
            Al explained in a threatened lawsuit against Embry, had no ownership over
            his cartoon strip which he had created, not as a paid worker, but as a free-
            lance contributor, even while he was the QQ art director. At the moment of
            publishing this theft of intellectual property, Embry was liar-liar, pants on
            fire. Selling his ill-gotten gains to subscribers, he wrote the following big,
            fat, dialogue balloon, vengefully making no mention of the famous A. Jay,
            hoping the corporate bravado of his Alternate Publishing could steal away
            Al’s rights so Embry could not only print the cartoon strip in Drummer but
            also exploit Harry Chess in its own special book.

               HARRY CHESS.  Drummer  has made arrangements with  QQ
               magazine for their complete collection of everybody’s ideal
               American Boy, Harry Chess! It seems like a good idea to begin at
               the beginning of Harry’s exciting history, and so we shall. These

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