Page 269 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 269

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       251

                                    CHAPTER 10

                               THE DRUMMER CURSE:
                         WHY I NEVER BOUGHT DRUMMER

                •  The Drummer Curse of Debt, Disease, and Death:
                    What Happened to People Who Owned Drummer
                •  Leather Heritage: Blacklist Lies Revise Drummer History
                •  3 Roberts: Mapplethorpe, Opel, and Davolt
                •  John W. Rowberry: Son of Embry, Bane of Barney
                •  Franken-Drummer: Embry Tries to Reanimate the Past in
                    His New Monster of a Magazine: Super MR
                •  Drummer Purpose: Normalizing the Leather Fringe of
                    Gay Culture
                •  Cash and Copyright: Brush Creek Media and Bear
                •  Cynthia Slater and Frank Sammut: The Catacombs

             In 1978, the ninth of our ten years as lovers, David Sparrow loved me enough
             to give me this advice about Drummer: “Why buy what you already ‘own’?”
             As the domestic spouse I had married, with leather priest Jim Kane officiat-
             ing, on the rooftop of 2 Charlton Street in New York, he knew intimately
             my experiences as editor-in-chief. When I hired him as the freelance and
             official house-photographer for Drummer, he became his own eyewitness
             inside Drummer.
                Considering my fifty-year career in gay writing, people have asked
             me a hundred times why I never bought Drummer. What was there to
             buy? Its one-word name was all Drummer had to sell. That, and an insa-
             tiable deadline that had to be fed every thirty days or the magazine would
             starve and die. Everything else existed upstairs over a vacant lot. Despite
             Embry’s dodgy masthead claims, I reckoned there were no legally regis-
             tered trademarks for sale, no filing cabinets spilling over with a backlog
             of good stories and photos and drawings panting to be published, no legal
             paperwork identifying what publishing rights, and republishing rights, had
             been bought from contributors who were mostly pseudonymous and lost

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