Page 239 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 239

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 9                        221

                When a certain “Informant,” supposedly from inside Columbia Pictures,
             alleged his own eyewitness memory of what he says Caudillo was like as an
             office manager at the Hollywood studio, he seemed to reveal specifically
             almost exactly what we witnessed generically at Drummer where the staff
             never knew what was going on with Embry’s latest schemes and his shell
             games around money, travel, and real estate. As reported in the May 10,
             1978, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Bill Dakota, editor of the Hollywood
             Star tabloid, recorded a telephone conversation with an Informant claiming
             to be an inside eyewitness to Caudillo’s alleged financial behavior which—
             were it to be what happened at Drummer—could explain why, with the
             diversion of professionally laundered cash, Drummer never had the money
             to pay staff or contributors.
                Bill Dakota’s Informant alleged:

                ... Further when the Begelman expose started, there were two gen-
                tlemen working, at that time, in the accounting
                Lou Phillips, who is assistant underneath Johnson, that’s the head
                of accounting, and a worker out in the office, I guess controller of
                the office, Dick Caudillo. I don’t know how to spell his name. Dick
                was apparently the bookkeeper keeping track of all these things and
                hiding them along with the fact that he was hiding Lou Phillips’
                house payments in excess of $640, I’m told, a month and his own
                house payments that ran close to $600, plus Diner[’s] Club cards
                for both men...airline fare. Dick did quite a lot of flying at that
                time and apparently charged the airline tickets also to the company.
                Subsequently, when the Begelman thing broke loose, they just qui-
                etly asked Dick Caudillo to resign and he went elsewhere for employ-
                ment [to Drummer] and no one has seen him since...Lou Phillips is
                still there. —
                [Posted October 30, 2009]

                In Dakota’s Informant’s testimony lies a joke-y insult that Caudillo
             resigned and went someplace “elsewhere” to work, and was seen by “no
             one” in LA since his resignation. What a sensational Hollywood punch line
             to that joke: Caudillo disappearing at a gay porn rag in San Francisco!
                Two days after the burglary at  Drummer, our typesetting machine
             miraculously reappeared in the office. Was it that Caudillo and Embry had
             quarreled, and that Caudillo had demanded, like the rest of us, to be paid his
             salary? Had he called Embry’s bluff and held the typesetting machine hos-
             tage? The caustic office gossip was about honor among thieves. Whatever

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