Page 28 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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10       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            husband Mark Hemry and I, following the advice of the American Popular
            Culture Association, have collected and curated since the early 1960s.
               My labor of love is not the last word on Drummer because Drummer is
            as mysterious a creation as the “Mona Lisa” whose creator and smile are as
            enigmatic as Drummer’s own creators and mystique. Each artwork has pen-
            etrated cultural consciousness. So many mysteries remain inside Drummer’s
            acculturations of journalism, fiction, poetry, stage plays, film scripts, art,
            and photography, that even I who have read every page, can only begin
            to introduce the Drummer Origin Story of who created what with whom,
            where, when, how, and, maybe, why.
               Riffing on closeted poet T. S. Eliot’s existential gay man, “J. Alfred
            Prufrock” who dares question everything, I penned these analogous lines to
            explain my concerns and motivations for the Sisyphean challenge of writing
            this book.

                           Sometimes iconoclasm is a good thing.
                             Sometimes a memoir is a portrait
                                  in a fun house mirror.
                              Sometimes it pays to investigate
                                     where truth lies.
                                Sometimes it’s wise to dare
                                to wear one’s trousers rolled,
                                    and to eat a peach,
                                because in the empty rooms
                                the queerfolk come and go
                              speaking of Michael and Angelo.

               Against all odds, Drummer survived twenty-four years of stress not only
            from mismanagement, but also from censorship, plague, and politics that, in
            one early plot twist of bad luck becoming good luck, got the Drummer staff
            and forty subscribers arrested by the LAPD in 1976, causing the ten-month-
            old infant Drummer to move from disaster in Los Angeles to destiny in San
            Francisco. Gay Pioneers is a living history of leatherfolk written in human
            blood tattooed on tribal skin.


            Drummer is the Rosetta Stone of leather heritage.
               “Who’d a thunk it?” Vanilla author Andrew Halloran snapped in
            Christopher Street, Issue 231, November 1995. “Who’d a thunk that one

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—post: 03-14-17
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