Page 359 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 13                       341


                While Embry paid many of the staff on the cheap under the table, he
             paid Mario as if he were staff, so that, in one gesture of monkey business,
             Mario could show an income and earn social security while at the same time
             the pair of them could take home more pay from Drummer. It was their busi-
             ness and their cash, but it caused resentment, and a bit of scandal, among
             both the actual workers whose pay was so famously small, and the contribu-
             tors who were so frequently unpaid. Besides the cash, Mario got credit where
             credit was not due. Even though English was his second language, and even
             though he was not a writer, nor a photographer, nor an artist, nor even
             interested in any business other than his career, Embry began crediting him
             as “General Manager” (issues 58-66) and as “Co-Publisher” (issues 67-98,
             their last issue before the sale to Anthony DeBlase).
                The ambitious Mario spurned San Francisco because, living “La Dolce
             Evita (Loca),” he figured LA was better for his music career. He was one of
             the main reasons that Embry, who was also permanently angry about them
             both being “deported” out of LA, never quite adjusted to living in San
             Francisco where they both ended up because of their Drummer publishing
             venture which had found its first, best, and only success in San Francisco,
             and because of their real estate holdings which they had bought during their,
             to them, endless exile in the Bay Area. Neither one of them was able to make
             it in LA, or even back to LA.
                Frequently absent from Drummer, but never missed, Mario took extended
             trips to LA well into 1990 when he appeared in Oxnard, fifty-six miles from
             stardom in Hollywood, in a local production of Evita. Swimming laps in his
             cologne, he was typecast with no irony as the sleazy Lothario “Magaldi,” the
             over-the-top tango singer who gives Evita her first “leg up” singing “On This
             Night of a Thousand Stars.” The Los Angeles Times wrote, July 19, 1990: “As
             the first rung on Evita’s ladder to the top, nightclub singer and romantic idol
             Augustin Magaldi, [Mario] Simon is a pompous, vain popinjay—sort of a
             Wayne Newton of the pampas.” For someone who was always acting, Mario
             Simon (1942-1993) just couldn’t act.

                August 30, 1979 (Thursday): I drove to Berkeley to visit Sam Steward
             in his home and to drive him to lunch at his favorite blue-collar steam-table
             cafeteria several blocks away.

                September  1979: Publication of  Drummer  31. While  managing the
             work of incoming writers, artists, and photographers for this and future
             issues, I edited the contents of this 88-page issue to which I contributed
             eight pieces of my writing as well as forty of my photographs, and published


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