Page 283 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       265


             hustler-writer John Preston whom Rowberry saw as competition for his
             office job. He needn’t have feared because Preston had been fired as the edi-
             tor of The Advocate after only ten months in 1975, and his editing reputation
             was in tatters. In addition, Preston was a writer who himself, according to
             his friend, the author Lars Eighner, always needed heavy editing which I
             had to do, in fact, to produce the final copy of his draft manuscript of Mr.
             Benson for serial publication in Drummer.
                On October 31, 1985, I wrote Rowberry a letter congratulating him
             on his being hired to edit Inches magazine for which I had already written
             steadily for five years with its founding editor Bob Johnson. For all our atti-
             tudinal differences, we never quarreled. I did not rub it in that I had given
             him a good recommendation at Modernismo Publications which published
             Inches and other vanilla magazines. I also thanked him for his generous help
             in suggesting his friend, the agent, Bill Whitehead, who might represent the
             manuscript of my novel Some Dance to Remember that I had completed in
             1984.
                Before Rowberry matured and escaped  Drummer, he was always
             Embry’s minion. It was something like hero worship. Both were very strange
             men. Jeanne Barney told me she remembered Rowberry taking Embry’s
             part when Embry trashed her “mercilessly and libelously” in LA after she
             left Drummer.
                Rowberry fled Drummer before DeBlase bought it from Embry, because
             DeBlase loathed the trouble-making Rowberry, the co-dependent of Embry,
             and refused to buy Drummer unless Rowberry was fired. Eyewitness DeBlase
             railed in Drummer that Rowberry some years before had accepted three of
             DeBlase’s S&M stories; but when DeBlase wrote to Rowberry asking to be
             paid for the first story, Rowberry turned petulant, refused payment, and
             rejected the remaining two stories which DeBlase published months later in
             Modernismo’s Honcho, the specific rival of Drummer.
                It is a suitable storyline for a television sit-com that one of the prime
             problems in running a gay S&M magazine was dealing with the psychology
             of employees who were sexual slaves. Seeking abuse, these slave-boy hires
             were all too eager to work for pennies for a cruel master. Seeking identity,
             they got hard bragging they worked for an S&M business by day and played
             S&M games by night. In the unbridled 1970s, I thought Embry abused
             this dynamic to get cheap obedient labor the way the priest, Jim Kane, used
             it to rent his Pearl Street apartments to obedient bottoms like my gal-pal,
             Cynthia Slater, who in the Drummer Salon nearly became my sister-in-law
             while she was dating my straight and hot military-career brother just before
             she took a fistful of dollars to marry the gay Australian immigrant, Frank


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