Page 281 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 281

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       263

                Davolt was also confused as to how many people had in fact been “edi-
             tor-in-chief.” There were only two editors-in-chief. After Jeanne Barney was
             the “founding Los Angeles editor-in-chief” and I was the “founding San
             Francisco editor-in-chief,” Embry never gave the freedom of that high a
             title to any editor ever again. In Barney and me, Embry hired functional
             professionals who often resisted, and then led him, while we both insisted
             that the contributors be paid for writing, artwork, and photography. After
             us, he took a cue from his own sadomasochistic publication and sought out
             subservient staff and editors such as Rowberry.
                As David Sparrow, and visitors to our home including Robert Opel,
             Robert Mapplethorpe, Al Shapiro, Thom Gunn, and even John Embry
             on truth serum could attest, Drummer in the 1970s was mostly written
             and edited on my kitchen table at my 25  Street Victorian, because, try-
             ing to avoid all the office politics and infighting, and keen to keep my
             own leather voice separate from Embry’s camp leather voice, I never kept a
             formal editorial desk at the Drummer Divisadero office. Instead, each day I
             carried in all my “home work” which included my own original writing for
             Drummer as well as manuscripts and photo sets I edited on my kitchen table
             for other contributors who sat in my kitchen at that very table, including
             Robert Mapplethorpe, Oscar Streaker Robert Opel, Advocate editor Mark
             Thompson, and writers John Preston, John Trojanski, Bob Zygarlicki, and
             Jim Stewart who lived with David Sparrow and me. Each day, I assigned the
             next phase of production on the manuscripts and art work to various staff
             including Al Shapiro. Not wanting to lord it over anyone from a tyrannical
             editor’s desk, I spent my in-office time sitting as equally as possible with staff
             at each of their work stations.


             Always I headed back to my safe white-oak kitchen table, which I am using
             at the moment. It belongs in the Leather Archives & Museum because it
             became famous for the elbows that leaned on it over the years. That table
             is itself a minor character in Some Dance to Remember. It was at that table
             that my bicoastal lover Robert Mapplethorpe, who often stayed with me, ate
             breakfast and talked on the telephone to Patti Smith. It was at that table that
             Mapplethorpe watched Robert Opel jerk off while I read, at Opel’s request,
             a story he had asked me to write for his new magazine, Cocksucker. When
             Opel shot his load as I finished the reading, Mapplethorpe, watching Opel
             write me a check of $125, said: “I thought I was the master-hustler of the

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
   276   277   278   279   280   281   282   283   284   285   286