Page 257 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 257

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 9                        239

                At the very moment Embry was planning the June 1975 LA debut of
             Drummer, his nemesis, San Francisco investment banker David Goodstein,
             rode into Los Angeles and bought the LA Advocate: The Newsletter of Personal
             Rights in Defense and Education (P.R.I.D.E.) from founders, Dick Michaels
             and Bill Rand. Goodstein was no friend of leather or masculine gays even
             though he briefly moved The Advocate to the San Francisco industrial sub-
             urb of San Mateo before he ferried the LA publication back to LA where its
             uptight politically-correct Southern California editorial policies belonged.
                During his San Mateo experiment, Goodstein hired writer John Preston
             and columnist Pat Califia who instantly became persons of interest to Embry
             eager as ever to poach any talent he could from The Advocate. It took four years
             for Embry to reel Preston in by promising to serialize his raw manuscript Mr.
             Benson in Drummer. Califia, under timing and terms only he knows—dur-
             ing the lesbian sex wars around his own book Sapphistry (1979)—eventually
             became a 1980s contributor to, and associate editor of, Drummer.
                When the LAPD busted the Drummer Slave Auction in 1976, Embry,
             imitating Goodstein, moved his Alternate Publishing, Inc. north to San
             Francisco, and, when Goodstein quickly returned his headquarters to
             LA, Embry was left standing stupid in the geographical snipe hunt that
             Goodstein’s own business plan had unwittingly sucked him into. Goodstein
             was, for Embry, the gold standard of what Embry wanted to be. In November
             1977, he even named his Drummer spinoff magazine The Alternate to crib
             frisson off The Advocate. By accident, Drummer found its true home in San
             Francisco. Without the unique geography, men, and erotic spirit of San
             Francisco, LA Drummer would have died long before its rebirth in issue
             nineteen, December 1977.

                In the mid-1970s, when Embry and Goodstein moved their corpo-
                rate businesses and their LA attitude north to the more artisanal
                San Francisco, they were the cold foreshadow of the gentrifying
                “Dot-com millionaires” that the 95-year-old eyewitness Lawrence
                Ferlinghetti said, “moved into San Francisco with bags full of cash
                and no manners.” —Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Interview by Jeffrey
                Brown, PBS, March 24, 2015

                In the bars and bistros of 1970s San Francisco, The Advocate was little
             more than an LA rag widely scorned as “fish wrap” whose existence was jus-
             tified only by its “Pink Section” with its sex classifieds that rivaled capitalist
             Embry’s “Leather Fraternity” personals. In Drummer 1, pages 6-8, Embry

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