Page 305 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 305

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 11                       287

             The institutional memory of Drummer was short and often amnesiac because,
             during twenty-four years and three owners, a thousand people, often using
             subversive outlaw identities, and paid under the table, worked for or contrib-
             uted to its creation. Bean revealed this in-house shortfall when he reported
             that DeBlase did not know who the famous “Sparrow” was, even though I
             had twice introduced DeBlase to my former lover, David Sparrow, who was
             for years listed by his full name on the masthead page under “Photographers.”
             Insisting  on  burying  my  bylines,  Embry  credited  our  “Sparrow-Fritscher
             Photography” reductively as “Sparrow Photography” which should have
             impressed the name even more on DeBlase who was quite canny. Did DeBlase
             who died in 2000 suffer memory loss? How did DeBlase fail to remember
             that before Andy Charles became his lover, Andy was great, good, and inti-
             mate friends with David Sparrow and me back in Chicago in 1969.
                Perhaps DeBlase’s eye was not on that “Sparrow,” my Sparrow. Perhaps
             DeBlase confused my “Sparrow” with the “Sparrow” who was the iconic
             leather author Sam Steward also known as the tattoo artist, “Phil Sparrow.”
             Perhaps DeBlase threw his hands up in frustration in an office full of pseud-
             onyms that were further muddled by the de-selections of Embry’s Blacklist.
             Bean made me even more aware of this identity confusion, and of the loss
             of hundreds of my photographs in June 1997.

               Bean:.... I have to go backwards for just a split second. The photogra-
                  pher, “Sparrow,” David Sparrow.
               Fritscher: Yes?
               Bean: [who had suddenly connected my mention of David Sparrow
                  to another Sparrow] Sparrow! His identity is an important [intel-
                  lectual property] issue because there are in the Drummer archives
                  dozens  or  maybe  hundreds  of  photos  just  marked  “Sparrow.”
                  When I was editor there, I didn’t know who that “Sparrow” was
                  and Tony DeBlase didn’t either. We didn’t know if the “Sparrow”
                  photos had been used or not. [A dozen issues of Drummer num-
                  bered in and above issues 19 to 33 contain hundreds of our
                  “Sparrow” interior photographs and cover shots, nearly all iden-
                  tified explicitly with our byline.]
               Fritscher: Those are my photos as well. So that’s where they are? OK.
                  I get it.
               Bean: When I left, there were a lot of photos there.
               Fritscher: Those aren’t just Sparrow photographs. Those photographs
                  were hi-jacked. and those photographs are mine as well, just for a
                  fact. That’s very interesting.

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