Page 271 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 271

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       253

             Flynt’s for Hustler, or Andy Warhol’s for Interview. Warhol had founded
             Interview in 1969, but the magazine did not turn its first profit until 1979,
             unlike Drummer which, although few believed it possible, never turned a
             1979 profit. Or so Embry swore when our pay was not forthcoming.
                Among all the parties in our Drummer Salon, there were two significant
             dinner parties that, like all things Drummer, turned inevitably to discus-
             sions about Drummer money, and talent not being paid. The first was the
             February 9, 1978, supper for nine men that Al Shapiro and I hosted at
             Jim Kane and Ike Barnes’ 11 Pink Alley firetrap so that some of my star
             Drummer contributors, Tom of Finland and his lover Veli, and my lover
             Robert Mapplethorpe, and Sam Steward, and Robert Opel could all meet
             each other for the first time. These men were all gents and artists and had
             many pleasant interests in common including being in various degrees of
             stress about not being paid properly by Embry who was twice as slippery
             to the Europeans contributing from afar, with no redress but to beg the
             editor-in-chief to shake the publisher for payment. As editor, I apologized for
             Embry whom they knew I could not change. Around our pleasant table, the
             badinage of the hot-blooded artists, all at their peak, revealed that they all
             were pleased that Al and I had decided not to invite the cold-blooded Embry.
                The second essential Drummer Salon dinner party was the September
             28, 1986, supper for seven guests whom the significant San Francisco art
             dealers Trent Dunphy and Bob Mainardi invited to their Victorian home to
             welcome new Drummer owners DeBlase and Charles to their table around
             which sat we survivors of Embry’s Drummer. In attendance were the three
             hosts Dunphy and Mainardi and Drummer artist Rex, guests of honor Tony
             DeBlase and Andy Charles, Al Shapiro and his partner Dick Kriegmont,
             photographer Mark I. Chester, and my spouse Mark Hemry and I.
                Between courses at that 1986 power pow-wow, DeBlase unrolled an
             emotional monolog. Only a couple months into owning Drummer, Tony
             said that he and Andy thought they had purchased Drummer free of any
             encumbrances, until they were immediately besieged by creditors and ven-
             dors hoping the new owners would pay them what Embry’s Drummer still
             owed them. A bit touchy, DeBlase cracked a nervous joke hoping that none
             of us would ask him to pay what Embry owed us. They rather appreci-
             ated the good humor when I mentioned how one of the last of Embry’s
             editors, Tim Barrus, took his revenge for not being paid properly. Barrus,
             who—with Joseph Bean—was one of my two favorite Drummer editors, had
             written to me about the chaos in the office that had caused him to quit as
             Embry’s editor and move to Key West a short time before DeBlase rescued
             Drummer. Barrus recalled:

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