Page 335 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 13                       317

                    In the same Manifest Reader 16, Karr seemed to hew to Embry’s
                Blacklist agenda in his review of the 1992 Lammy Award Winner, Gay
                Roots: Twenty Years of Gay Sunshine, An Anthology of Gay History,
                Sex, Politics & Culture, edited by Winston Leyland. Karr correctly
                mentioned some contributors such as Jean Genet, the Malcolms
                Boyd and McDonald, Walt Whitman, and Yukio Mishima. However,
                journalist Karr failed to anchor the local-color “hook” of his review
                in the glories of Embry’s salad days as the publisher of Drummer
                insofar as the only gay drama included in Gay Roots was also the
                only selection that was published originally in Drummer: Corporal in
                Charge of Taking Care of Captain O’Malley. As editor-in-chief, I had
                written and published that erotic play in Drummer 21 and Drummer
                22. Corporal in Charge was, as well, the title of one of my antholo-
                gies of my fiction that had appeared originally in Drummer. In fact,
                Corporal in Charge and Other Stories was the first book collection
                of Drummer writing.
                    If Karr had connected Drummer to the Lambda Literary Award
                winner Gay Roots, Embry could have basked in the credit of hav-
                ing been the publisher who debuted that drama made canonical by
                inclusion in Gay Roots. In the Grudge Match that was his publishing
                life in San Francisco, Embry never really understood the esthetic,
                intellectual, and spiritual gestalt and power of Drummer which he
                thought of as a little more than a campy leather magazine using sex
                pictures to sell dildos through his main business: mail-order.
                    The whole of Drummer was greater than the sum of its parts.
                Or, in Kurt Koffka’s phrase, “The whole is other than the sum of its
                parts.” That “whole,” which readers loved, eluded Embry, but was
                understood by Drummer columnists such as Guy Baldwin and Larry
                Townsend, editors Tim Barrus and Joseph W. Bean, and publisher
                Anthony DeBlase.


             November 1977: In the erotic mosh pit of the 1977 CMC Carnival, I met
             bodybuilder Dan Dufort from LA. In Drummer (May 1978), on pages 8 and
             14, I published two of my photos of Dufort for “Cigar Blues.”
                On August 25, 1978, Dufort played matchmaker at his home at 7560
             Willoughby, Los Angeles. He introduced me to his friend, the blond LA
             bodybuilder, Jim Enger, who, like Mapplethorpe, had asked specifically to
             meet the editor of Drummer. During the torrid thirty-one-month Enger-
             Fritscher affair, the professional instantly became personal. And the per-
             sonal became public. In gay popular culture, the coupling of the famous

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