Page 367 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 13                       349

                March 25, 1980 (Tuesday): Trying to connect brilliant talents, I arranged
             a photo shoot between my two lovers, Robert Mapplethorpe and Jim Enger.
             One was the star photographer and the other was the star bodybuilder. As
             I guided the two, who separately were wonderful, through the shoot in a
             rented condo on Diamond Heights Boulevard, they both began to simmer
             silently—one against the other—with gay attitude. But, by God, by coo-
             ing, and by soothing, I did with them what I couldn’t do with Embry. I
             made sure, despite egos, that we produced the drop-dead gorgeous pictures
             I had insisted we try to make. Both men, geniuses of the camera and body
             sculpture, managed to be polite and civil, although at the end of the ses-
             sion, Enger, a knowledgeable trophy-winning Best Poser, did a Southern
             aw-shucks stall on signing his release until after he could see the proof sheets.
             Mapplethorpe, ever “cool,” did not press the issue because he knew his cam-
             era was full of wonderful trophy shots of an artist who was an extraordinary
             bodybuilder. He figured his printed photos would eventually seduce the
             esthetically minded Enger into signing.
                Despite the dust-up, that same evening, our on-rolling Drummer Salon
             of Enger and Mapplethorpe joined Mapplethorpe’s friend and model, the
             bodybuilder Lisa Lyon for supper at Without Reservation on Castro. Later, at
             7:30, Mapplethorpe, Enger, Lisa Lyon, and I swanned in together to appear
             at Edward Brooks DeCelle’s Lawson-DeCelle Gallery, 3237, Sacramento
             Street, where photographs of the entourage were shot by noted San Francisco
             paparazzo Rink. The famous Lawson-DeCelle photograph of the four of
             us, standing with photographer Greg Day (Enger’s college roommate) was
             published in my book Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera (1994).
             The back cover of the same book featured a two-shot of Mapplethorpe and
             me, also lensed that night by Rink who was known for capturing spontane-
             ous historical moments.
                One of Mapplethorpe’s torso-only shots of Enger from that afternoon
             on Diamond Heights was published in Drummer 133 (September 1989),
             page 14, to illustrate my feature obituary of Robert, “Pentimento for Robert
             Mapplethorpe: Fetishes, Faces, and Flowers of Evil.”

                March 27, 1980 (Thursday): My friend, Jim Singleton, the African-
             American psychiatric nurse at Langley-Porter Hospital, and member of the
             Drummer Salon, died of a lingering and mysterious illness. His funeral was
             Monday, March 31. A gay funeral was something new. Singleton’s funeral,
             whose ritual we rather much invented out of whole cloth, was attended
             by friends Hank Diethelm, owner of the Brig bar; Peter Fiske of the 15
             Association; Castro Street entrepreneur George Benedict; and a hundred

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