Page 249 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 249

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 9                        231


                “What do you want done with the ‘Leather Lifestyles’ theme you
                announced for Drummer 132?” I asked my boss, Drummer pub-
                lisher Tony DeBlase. “Go all the way with it,” he answered, appar-
                ently leaving me unsure of what he meant. “You know,” he added,
                “do a Fritscher!” Yes, I knew.... Subject after subject thereafter, the
                concept kept being “do a Fritscher” on it. Brown leather (Drummer
                134) fell far short of that goal; leathersex and spirituality (Drummer
                136) almost made it; bears (Drummer 140) got pretty close; span-
                dex (Drummer 141) felt like a success. We really “did a Fritscher”
                on that “kinky softwear” as we called the form-accentuating gar-
                ments. Edge play (Drummer 148) felt even more fully Fritscher-ed...
                The now infamous “Remembrance of Sleaze Past” issue (Drummer
                139) has to be the best of that lot and, if I remember correctly that
                idea either came from Fritscher or DeBlase in conversation with
                Fritscher [who wrote the feature].

                My original-recipe Drummer was, by internal example in each issue
             (19-30), an open invitation to all contributors in that first decade of gay pub-
             lishing to stand and deliver in terms of evolving leather esthetics, emerging
             identity concepts, and erotic themes, including:
                1) “Gonzo New Journalism” emphasizing true experiences of participa-
             tory sex written in a first-person voice: “Leather Christmas” (Drummer 19,
             December 1977); “Prison Blues” (Drummer 21, March 1978); “Bondage”
             (Drummer  24, September 1978) which was my personal interview with
             world-famous New York bondage top, Gary Bratman, eventual mentor to
             Richard Hunter, the owner of “Mister S Leather Company,” San Francisco;
             and, later, my piece de resistance of gonzo journalism reporting real BDSM
             with real cops, “The Academy” (Drummer 145, December 1990).
                2) “Homomasculinity” as theme, lifestyle, gender identity, and ancient
             urge resurrected in a New Age of masculine-identified gay males fetishiz-
             ing male secondary sex characteristics of leathermen, daddies, and bears
             through erotic identifiers such as facial and body hair, muscles, baldness,
             bulk, and deepening voice.
                3) “Theme issues” assertively outing closeted fetish materials for the
             first time into gay publishing: cigars (Drummer 22, May 1978); redneck
             blue-collar men and white trash ex-cons (Drummer 23, July 1978); tit play
             (Drummer 30, June 1979); gay sports (Drummer 20, January 1978, years
             before “gay sports” rose up with the first Gay Olympics aka the “Gay Games
             1982,” whose physique contest Mark Hemry and I videotaped on the stage
             of the Castro Theater); the first men in kilts photographs (Drummer 25,


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