Page 300 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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282      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            of Taking Care of Captain O’Malley, serialized in two issues, Drummer 22
            (May 1979) and Drummer 23 (June 1979). The valiant Saylor, working hard
            as a literary gladiator years before computer searches existed, did what heavy
            lifting he could to create the very bibliography Drummer needed and its
            contributors deserved. A complete bibliography for the nearly 25,000 pages
            of Drummer has yet to be written.
               Saylor once published his own recall about the grief he got working
            inside Drummer. Was the employee even aware of the employer’s stealthy
            Blacklist agenda? Was his “Index” expurgated by Embry’s late-night deleting
            of his “enemies”? Ever eager to reprint material so he could sell everything
            even more than twice, Embry tidily illustrated Saylor’s Drummer 85 “Index”
            with the very picture from Drummer 44 that had introduced “‘Blue Light,’
            A Short Story by Aaron Travis,” Saylor’s pseudonym.
               With Drummer 31 in 1980, Embry refused to name John W. Rowberry
            as “editor-in-chief.” Rowberry was a manager without portfolio, until Embry
            begrudged him the limited title of “assignments editor,” which by Drummer
            40, in 1981, metastasized into “editor.” In  Drummer 49 (1981), Embry,
            always quick to give staff “masthead titles” instead of salary increases, listed
            Rowberry as “associate editor.” Sorting Rowberry’s titles can correct cer-
            tain leather timelines cloned out of the Leather Archives & Museum’s early
            “Leather Timeline”—before the LA&M began its twenty-first-century fact-
            checking oversight, and fine-tuning, of that timeline first drafted in chunks
            by Tony DeBlase and me as announced in Drummer 126 (March 1989).
               Vetting of Rowberry’s pedigree lies in the masthead credits of nine 1980
            issues (31 to 39). Only after entering his second year as “assignments editor,”
            did Rowberry, according to DeBlase ( in Drummer 100), finally achieve the
            single-word title of “editor” in Drummer 40 during the sixth, nearly seventh
            year, of middle Drummer. I was editor-in-chief of 1970s “Divisadero Street”
            Drummer. Rowberry was editor of 1980s “Harriet Street” Drummer which
            became AIDS Drummer. Rowberry mainly plugged leather contest photos
            and video reviews. He was a lone wolf from LA and never part of the San
            Francisco Drummer Salon of serious writing and erotic art during the orgy
            of the Titanic 1970s.
               Critical thinkers should be careful of any free-range revisionist’s fore-
            shortened perspectives written years after the facts. Revisionists should also
            be wary that for far into the future there will always exist one more “last”
            eyewitness of Drummer history, just as there is always one more “last” eye-
            witness of the Holocaust to keep facts sorted properly.
               DeBlase thought these distinctions important enough to hire me in 1988
            to startup what would be my continuing leather-history column, “Rear-View

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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