Page 262 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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244      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            comments, sent me his final revision of the insightful and tender manuscript
            of the Introduction he had written for the Janssen book, Bob Mizer, Athletic
            Model Guild : American Photography of the Male Nude 1940-1970.
               Hurles made a point in the draft of that Introduction to credit Mizer for
            directly aiding the careers of a dozen famous gay artists and photographers
            including Tom of Finland, Harry Bush, Etienne, and Larry Townsend who
            were all frequent contributors to the sustainment of Drummer. He could
            have added Robert Mapplethorpe, the art student at Pratt, who began his
            career making collages of Mizer’s photographs in Physique Pictorial which
                                                         nd
            he bought as a teenager in the dirty bookstores on 42  Street.
               In Washington, DC, Hurles had created a sensation when, during a
            1968-1969 obscenity trial involving Guild Press, he testified twice: once
            as a Guild Press model, and once again as a Guild Press photographer, to
            demonstrate that posing erotically for a camera did not destroy the sanity
            or the humanity of the person being photographed. The judge compli-
            mented Hurles on the cogency of his testimony as well as for his ability
            to simultaneously photograph and fellate himself in a series of best-selling
            pictures.
               Embry’s personal enmities were destructive to Drummer considering
            how much  avant-garde edge David Hurles mainlined into middle-brow
            Drummer with his low-class models. Readers loved Old Reliable who gave
            them dangerous hustlers they would never dare invite into their lovely
            homes. Small wonder that when I walked out, David, with whom I had
            bought a house on May 25, 1978, exited with me. We maintained as stead-
            fast friends because we were never lovers. In 1984, when John Rowberry
            could take no more abuse at Drummer and extricated himself for a year from
            Embry, Rowberry was hired by George Mavety’s Modernismo Publications
            to work on the magazines that Bob Johnson, with my stories and features
            in all his first issues, had begun publishing in 1979: Inches, Just Men, Skin,
            and Uncut. The always conflicted Rowberry set up himself up in a South
            of Market office not far from the Drummer office. To his chagrin, he knew
            what Hurles and I had done to boost Drummer. He enlisted us to help
            him keep his new job. In the world’s weirdest three-way ever, we Drummer
            refugees—writer, photographer, and editor—were perhaps ill-suited to each
            other, but functional.
               Years later, David Hurles gave me a hundred of his letters from jailbirds
            and clients including Rowberry’s 1984 letter to him which was Rowberry’s
            overture to begin his repetitive publishing of Hurles’ Old Reliable photos.
            Rowberry solo, after years of riding Siamese tandem with Embry, revealed
            something of his own disproportionate judgment. While Embry abhorred


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