Page 287 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       269

                At one brief moment in time, I had edited half of all the Drummer mag-
             azines in existence. So I took the beating heart of that magazine and trans-
             planted it into the body of my book to give readers a privileged peek into how
             Drummer helped create the very leather culture it reported on. With Embry
             still helming Drummer, I dramatized its reality as a comic parody in the
             memoir-novel’s three fictional leather magazines titled Maneuvers, Leather
             Man and A Different Drum. Some Dance to Remember was written between
             1972-1983, completed in 1984, shopped to publishers through 1988, and
             published in 1990 through the auspices of Drummer editor Tim Barrus at
             Knights Press.
                Queer historians might do well to convene a workshop at some GLBT
             convention and gather papers for an anthology, or pitch gay television pro-
             ducers, such as Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, or Randy Barbato and
             Fenton Bailey, to make a documentary about this “magazine DNA” inside
             gay popular culture in the first decade of gay liberation after Stonewall,
             which was fictively dramatized in Some Dance to Remember:

                    Ryan liked wising off in print. He liked the largeness, the exag-
                geration, the metaphor that is the essence of all writing.
                    His  Maneuvers  [magazine] remained erotic entertainment.
                Each cover promised: “What you’re looking for is looking for you.”
                [This was also the tag line of my 1980s zine, Man2Man] The maga-
                zine gave good head. Solid smut. Sleazy pix. All nasty leather S&M.
                A new network of personal ads written by readers and answered
                by phone or mail. Circulation grew. Maneuver’s only competition
                broke into a sweat.
                    The rival mag, Leather Man [Drummer], ran middle-of-the-
                road S&M stories, not-too-dirty photos, and campy copy. Silly car-
                toon balloons of queenly dialog deflated Leather Man’s hardly hot
                pix of clonish young gay boys wearing leather chaps and chrome
                armbands available through the mag’s 800-number shop. Slender
                pages of fiction and drawings were a fat-cat publisher’s thin come-
                on to get readers to subscribe to a monthly magazine that was a
                glorified mail-order catalog to sell leather toys and poppers and his
                lover’s latest disco records. In the first rise of gay magazines, it was
                fast-buck publishing. For guys not knowing the difference, Leather
                Man passed as the real thing.
                    “Lips that touch Naugahyde,” Ryan said, shaking his head at
                his competition’s latest issue, “shall never touch mine.”
                    The [Masculinist]  Manifesto  made masculinism a theory.

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