Page 330 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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312      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


               My “Annotated 1978-1979 Drummer Eyewitness Timeline” grew from
            my editorial desk calendar. In 1979, San Francisco and Drummer were both
            freaking out over assassination, riot, murder, lust, cancer, hysteria, cash, and
            creativity. As editor-in-chief, I exited Drummer officially as New Year’s Eve,
            1979, flipped into the 1980s with its transformative threesome of Ronald
            Reagan, the VCR, and AIDS.
               Because timelines are Roshomon and inevitably repeat narrative text,
            some items in this fact-checked rear-view mirror offer different provident
            angles on calendar and character. For all the bliss of writing, the creating
            of a Drummer issue took a prodigious amount of work. During the wild
            1970s with all the sex and fun and love affairs we all enjoyed, I kept focus,
            and edited solo fifteen issues of Drummer (18 to 33), more than anyone
            else at that time, and contributed 147 pieces of writing and 266 photo-
            graphs (including covers and centerfolds) before the end of 1979. During
            this splendid time, I had edited more than half of the Drummer issues in
            existence. As my desk calendar changed to the new decade, I continued con-
            tributing much more writing and many more photographs to many issues of
            Drummer after the second publisher, Anthony Deblase, ended first publisher
            John Embry’s Blacklist in 1986.
               Each issue of Drummer averaged about 100 large-format pages which,
            folded, would equal a 400-page trade paperback book. I edited exactly 942
            pages of Drummer, issues 18 to 33, or the equivalent of a 3,778-page book.
            When I withdrew my editing, writing, and photography during late 1979
            because I wanted to be paid for all this work, Embry was forced to shorten
            each issue by the nearly twenty percent I had contributed “free” each issue.
            “Minus me minus my paycheck,” he had to pare my beefy 96-page average
            issue down to a slim 80 pages in Drummer 28 and Drummer 29. In 2010, he
            died, one of the one percent, having never paid me—one of the ninety-nine
            percent of unpaid Drummer contributors—for this work completed thirty
            years before. Never one to make the huge mistake of trying to live off gay art
            and writing, I have always had a university teaching job or a corporate writ-
            ing job in the real world, even during the very years I worked for Drummer.
            Nevertheless, money was never the point. This 1979 log, growing out of
            the context of 1978 and into the swim of 1980, covers that year’s Drummer
            issues 23 to 33.

                           MY DRUMMER DESK CALENDAR
                           SOME TIMELINE ANNOTATIONS
                                April 1978 - October 1980




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