Page 264 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 264

246      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

                   Dropping Names: The Delicious Memoirs of Daniel Curzon
                                      “John Embry”
                                     by Daniel Curzon

               “Angry, bitter, and dangerous, with chips on both shoulders, Daniel
               Curzon is also ferociously honest and very funny. Dropping Names
               is the most enjoyable, gossipy memoir since Gavin Dillard’s In the
               Flesh. As Curzon says, ‘It’s gossip when you’re alive; it’s literary his-
               tory when you’re dead.’” —Ian Young, Torso Magazine

               Daniel Curzon, the author of Dropping Names (2005) is the author
               of “the first gay protest novel,” Something You Do in the Dark, and of
               the “comedie grotesque novel,” Saving ‘Wacko’ Jane Austen, as well
               as of the non-fiction The Joy of Atheism. Before John Embry done
               him wrong, Curzon’s roman a clef, Among the Carnivores, received
               a rave review in the Drummer sibling magazine, The Alternate, issue
               9, 1979. Curzon is a gay flaneur whose impassioned eyewitness
               testimony about his professional experiences with John Embry quite
               accurately expresses in detail the publisher’s high-handed villainy
               and attitude. From my own experience, I have no reason to doubt
               anything Curzon states about Embry, and his Blacklist.

                                     Dropping Names
                                      “John Embry”

               Daniel Curzon: I was introduced to [John Embry] the publisher of the
               Drummer magazine publishing empire by John Rowberry, his long-
               suffering editor.
                   From the beginning I was wary of the man because nobody, but
               nobody had a good word to say about him (Unflattering memoirs
               are still coming out!) Embry had somehow managed to capitalize on
               the S&M scene with coarse fantasies and liberal doses of tit-rings
               and big cocks and become rich. There was something sinister about
               this big hulking middle-aged man that made me not want to get to
               know him better. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid him. Even a bout of
               cancer couldn’t make most people shed a tear for this caricature of
               the ruthless entrepreneur.
                   Even when Embry’s empire was centered in L.A. I had bad expe-
               riences with him. Jeanne Barney, a straight woman, was the editor
               of Drummer at that time, and since we were sort of friends I sent her
               a short play, which she intended to use until Embry read it and said
               his readers would find it too hard to understand.
                   When Alternate Publishing (the empire) moved to San Francisco,

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