Page 253 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 9                        235

             and the ultimate leather biker William Smith in C C and Company (1970).
             This was raw material ready to be served up in a new kind of magazine
             in which the new ways of being a masculine gay man would destroy the
             straight stereotype that gay men are sissies. Embry hadn’t thought his con-
             cept through personally or philosophically, but he knew the marketability
             of the newly emerging gay masculinity, even as he nervously tried to inject
             it with 1950s Old School camp humor that did not sit well with 1970s New
             School Drummer subscribers.
                He insinuated himself into Townsend’s affairs at the H.E.L.P./Newsletter,
             which Townsend edited, when he returned to LA from an advertising ven-
             ture in Hawaii and volunteered to upgrade the mailer for H.E.L.P., begin-
             ning with the first issue of the prototype folio zine Drummer in 1971, four
             years before the landmark founding of glossy Drummer in 1975.
                Embry’s pulp-paper Drummer of 1971 was a queeny LA bar rag very like
             West Hollywood and very unlike its 1975 evolution into a leather magazine
             for men. Needing a mailing list, he waltzed into H.E.L.P. to get his paws on
             its member lists so he could jumpstart himself as a mail-order guru writing,
             publishing, and distributing his own work. Writing as “Robert Payne,” Embry
             proved himself a busy leather “author,” often retyping straight fiction he pla-
             giarized from men’s adventure magazines, such as Saga and Argosy, turning
             the text “gay” as he typed. He sold his magazine-sized “books” along with
             leathersex toys including “aroma” popper variations on the drug amyl nitrite.

                                      Trial Balloons

                              Small Folio Chapbook and Tabloid
                                  titled H.E.L.P./Drummer
                                     (4.25x5.5 & 8x11)
                                        Sets Stage
                                for Glossy Full-Size Drummer
                                        June 1975

                                          * * * *

                    H.E.L.P./Drummer, Volume 1 #1: November 19, 1971
                    H.E.L.P./Drummer, Volume 1 #2: December 10, 1971

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