Page 286 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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268      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

               Of special interest at Palm Drive Video are the following body-
               building features: Bodybuilder Hunks which includes rare footage
               of the first “Gay Games” Physique Contest and a very young Frank
               Vickers before he ever dropped his trunks for Colt Studios [or for
               Robert Mapplethorpe]. In Buckskin Musclemen, your jaw will drop
               when you recognize this former triple crown winner, Chuck Sipes
               (Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. Universe).... Fritscher’s Palm
               Drive Video approaches what amounts to public voyeurism with
               such a casual hand that it comes off as cinema verite, document-
               ing the spontaneous everyday thrills and knowing exactly where
               to look.

               In Inches, February 1991, Rowberry wrote his own eyewitness insider’s
            review of Some Dance to Remember because he figured that the Leather Man
            magazine portrayed in that memoir-novel was Drummer. “Rest assured,”
            Rowberry wrote in his positive review, “Some Dance to Remember is about
            real people....” What he meant generally was that he thought I had created
            more than one fictitious character out of the Drummer Salon. What he
            meant specifically was that he thought my character Solly Blue was based
            on David Hurles, his new best friend, who was supplying him hundreds of
            Old Reliable photographs to quick-fill his empty pages.
               Overall, Rowberry found Some Dance normalizing and therefore famil-
            iar in the way University of California professor David Van Leer, who might
            have been describing my mission in Drummer itself, wrote in “Beyond the
            Margins,” The New Republic, October 12, 1992:

               Classic gay novels like Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, Baldwin’s
               Giovanni’s Room, and more recently Andrew Holleran’s  Dancer
               from the Dance, Larry Duplechan’s Blackbird, and Jack Fritscher’s
               Some Dance to Remember all introduce readers to settings and psy-
               chologies that had not previously been depicted in literature. In so
               doing, they enlighten straight readers, but they also have a more
               particular mission for gay readers, which is to reassure them. They
               tell people who might otherwise have thought themselves abnormal
               that many share their sexual interests.

               Van Leer, the author of The Queening of America: Gay Culture in Straight
            Society, limned a good observation that defined how both Drummer and
            Some Dance to Remember introduced stories and psychologies that helped
            expand the consciousness of gay liberation.

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