Page 272 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 272

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

               John Embry always sucked. He once made an accounting error
               against himself and sent me several checks for the same article.
               Then he saw his error and screamed bloody murder he wanted that
               money back....He owed me so much I cashed every check. Fuck

               Buying Drummer?
               I never bought Drummer because it never had a real-world business
            plan for itself. It never fit the business plan for my life. That’s why while
            editing, writing, and photographing for Drummer, I never quit my day job
            which, after my tenured career teaching journalism, literature, and film at
            university, was as a corporate marketing professional managing a staff of
            twenty writers while working at Kaiser Engineers thirty minutes away from
            the Drummer office. Instead of buying Drummer, even after David Sparrow
            and I divorced, Mark Hemry and I created an alternative to Drummer in
               With our reader-interactive Man2Man Quarterly, we made the point
            that even intense underground erotic magazines can succeed with a low-
            budget business plan that does not include the publisher’s hand in the till.
            When  Man2Man  ceased publication in 1982 because desktop publish-
            ing did not yet exist to speed our hands-on labor, we moved forward with
            new media, evolving from page to screen by starting up our Palm Drive
            Video company featuring Drummer-like models and BDSM themes I had
            introduced to Drummer such as cigars, fetish play, and homomasculinity.
            However, unlike the mail-order bandit Embry who never refunded anyone
            anything, publisher Mark Hemry calculated how much of a subscription
            rebate was owed to our thousand Man2Man subscribers, and he sent each
            one a small check. Several men sent thank-you notes saying they had never
            heard of any gay publisher doing such a thing.
               I saw what happened to people who bought Drummer. They seemed
            cursed with debt, dishonesty, disease, and death. Drummer itself did not
            curse them. Drummer was merely the medium through which their personal
            dysfunction and bad business behavior was amplified the way a friend of
            mine, who helped proofread this manuscript, won eight million dollars in
            the California lottery and each one of his addiction problems multiplied
            eight million times. Like Hollywood itself, Drummer was a golden oppor-
            tunity for creative people, and a tempting trap for business people exploiting
            its resources for money, power, and sex.
               Ten years after Embry sold Drummer to Anthony DeBlase, and a year
            after  Drummer  itself ceased publication, Embry continued to stew that

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