Page 358 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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340      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

                   close friend of Drummer author, Sam Steward.
                       Six months previously, in Drummer 26 (January 1979),
                   intent on “queering the cowboy myth,” and on co-opting the
                   sex-appeal of the world-famous Marlboro Man, I had written
                   “Grand National Rodeo Blues: Comes a Horseman.” It was
                   the first gay feature article panting about straight cowboys
                   Drummer  wished were gay, including cowboy  paparazzi
                   photos shot by Fritscher-Sparrow at the Grand National
                   Rodeo, inside the Cow Palace, San Francisco, Halloween
                   weekend, 1978.

               August 6, 1979 (Monday): In a letter addressed to Al Shapiro at
            Drummer, the scatalogical graffiti artist Martin of Holland (died 2011)
            wrote of international rumors about the murder of Robert Opel:

               “Martin Van De Logt
               P. O. Box 66g
               2501 CR Den Haag/Holland

               Dear Allen, Thanks for your letter. It was sad to hear about Robert
               Opel’s death. A few days earlier, I heard another version of the
               shooting. They said it involved the Mafia.... —Martin”

               August 23, 1979 (Thursday): Mark Hemry and I began going out socially
            as a couple, seeing Patty Lupone and Mandy Patinkin appearing in Evita
            previewing at the Orpheum Theater before heading to Broadway. Embry’s
            thirty-something lover, the immigrant from Spain, Mario Simon aka “Mrs
            Drummer,” whose bejeweled hand was always in the Drummer cashbox and
            our paychecks, was, according to Embry, a disco singer “famous in Spain,”
            but not in the Bay Area despite the Drummer money Embry spent producing
            45-rpm records sold through Drummer, because, Embry told discomusic.
            com on May 20, 2010, “of Mario’s heavy accent.” Mario was hardly com-
            petition for his San Francisco contemporary, Sylvester James, the African-
            American “Queen of Disco” (1947-1988) who was a popular recording star,
            and an iconic member of the Cockettes,
               Embry referenced his conflicted feelings for Mario in his editorial in
            Drummer Rides Again: “The rare great love affairs of my life have been with
            guys who were not my type. The ones who were my type (Roberts: Redford,
            Conrad, and Mitchum) turned out frequently,” said Robert Payne, “to be
            hardly worth knowing.”

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