Page 276 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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258      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


               remember the good parts of those times, but if there is a Golden Age
               for this magazine, it would be the here and now, beginning with
               this issue [Drummer 83]....

            Even so, while featuring my Drummer writing and photographs as head-
            line leads in the first six pages of his first Super MR issue (2000), edited by
            Davolt, he refused to pay me cash for any Super MR reprints, offering instead
            an ongoing trade for advertising space for Palm Drive Video as he first did
            on that issue’s page 57 with a half-page ad for bodybuilder Chris Duffy star-
            ring in my feature-length video, Sunset Bull.
               It was satisfaction enough that he asked me to help him re-constitute
            what he finally admitted was, as often called by Drummer subscribers, the
            “1970s Golden Age of Drummer.” In old age, he needed me as he had needed
            me years before when his dishonesty turned off contributors and cancer kept
            him absent from Drummer. In the long struggle between the corporate pub-
            lisher and the artist writer, his republishing my work spoke volumes about
            his grudging admission and approval of our mutual history.
               However, spinning around our detente, Robert Davolt, ambitious with
            a nostalgia for a Drummer past he had never personally experienced, became
            Embry’s tool  for  falsifying  the  institutional  history  of  Drummer  which
            was wider than Embry’s ownership. As a social climber, he was seduced
            that the veteran Embry offered to take him, the new recruit, under his
            Mephistophelian wings. With the American mole Davolt spying inside
            Dutch Drummer, Embry grew bolder, sponsoring Davolt to write a bespoke
            history of Drummer tailored to the inclusions and exclusions of Embry’s
            famous little Blacklist.
               On the San Francisco leather scene in bars and at regional Mr.
            Drummer contests, the attractively blond and bearded Davolt, who loved
            to travel nationwide on Drummer dollars, was “charming” in the same way
            that Embry’s “charm” disarmed people who did not know him. The young
            Davolt, reveling in the reflected glory of Drummer, and keen on being the
            next publisher of Drummer under Bakker, but under the thumb of Embry,
            was characteristically way more “Son of Embry” than he ever was “Son of
            Drummer.”
               In many ways, Davolt’s 1990s recruitment to the scene typifies the way
            some latter-day revisionists have tried to rewind the 1970s by brainwash-
            ing the young eager to learn their elders’ history and fish stories. Accuracy
            depends on which elders and which agenda. The 1990s, in particular, was a
            freaked-out decade because the Great Dying of the 1980s raised everyone’s
            anxiety about the evaporation of gay oral and written history from the 1970s.


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