Page 222 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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204      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            Stein said of William Saroyan, “He cannot stand the weight of being great.”
            With his Blacklist, Embry became the greatest censor of Drummer.


            CALLING THE NEXT EYEWITNESSES TO THE STAND:
            ROBERT DAVOLT, STEVEN SAYLOR, RICK LEATHERS


            In a 2000 interview at leatherweb.com, Robert Davolt testified to a truism
            that began with Embry’s ownership of Drummer:


                   Many people in town were pissed off at Drummer for various
               reasons (some of them pretty good reasons)....Drummer was ‘both
               revered and reviled....I...was dealing with some past baggage, some
               hostility, some criticism, and some doubts.

               Steven Saylor (Aaron Travis), who after my exit worked as a fiction
            department editor for Embry under Rowberry, seemed to understand com-
            pletely the madness Al Shapiro and I had endured. Saylor, regarding his own
            “take” on Embry’s next act at 15 Harriet Street Drummer, wrote in Scott
            O’Hara’s magazine, Steam:

                   Working at  Alternate  [Publishing  aka  Drummer] was alter-
               nately [sic] mind-boggling and mind-numbing—we were under-
               paid, disrespected and overstimulated on a daily basis—and John
               [Rowberry, Fritscher’s successor] was the eye of the hurricane.
               Mediating between publisher John Embry and everyone else required
               extraordinary  finesse,  coupled  with  a  will  of  iron.  [Italics  added]
               (Steam, Volume 2 #1, Spring 1994, page 101)

               Prolific journalist Rick Leathers (aka Mike Leathers aka Dane Leathers)
            began working at the Drummer office for Embry in 1980, and continued
            off and on for nineteen years in Embry’s employ at Alternate Publishing as
            Embry’s assistant and as one of the main contributors to Embry’s various
            magazines with essays such as his homomasculine series, “Leather in the 90s.”
               Writing January 1, 2006, in his email essay about Drummer titled “That
            Was the Mag That Was,” Rick Leathers included history and allegations
            which were his own that:

               While in a porn store in Little Rock in 1979, I’d picked up an odd
               mag called Drummer that tickled my frenzy. So I packed up and
               headed for California where the damn thing had been published.


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