Page 37 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         19

             to Drummer. My observations are those of a pioneer, a participant, and a
             university trained detective of literary history. I have a resume tied to media
             innovation in academia as well as in magazines, books, and video. As a criti-
             cal thinker, I hope I am both objective and intimate enough eyewitness to
             be a professional keeper of the institutional memory of Drummer.
                As a journalist, I have taken care to interview multiple eyewitnesses
             and to fact-check everything possible because Drummer is a vastly under-
             estimated treasure trove of leather history and gay popular culture. I have
             studied every issue of Drummer to find in its pages the internal evidence
             needed to support a revealing narrative of Drummer history, using the maga-
             zine text itself.
                Nevertheless, because I am a fallible human writing about other fallible
             humans, I wish to give the benefit of the doubt to all the living and dead
             involved, and, so, what I write in this book I write allegedly.


             If Embry was cruisin’ for a bruisin’, he got it. He published heated accusa-
             tions against the LAPD in both Drummer 6 (May 1976), and in the nuclear
             challenge of “Getting Off” in Drummer 9 (October 1976). All gays love the
             bravado of I-Am-Who-I-Am Broadway anthems. But, if not his gay fear,
             where was his gay caution?
                After the arrests, most of the small Drummer staff fled. Because of tele-
             phone taps at their homes, search warrants for their houses, police cars tail-
             ing them, and ka-ching lawyers for the prosecution and defense, Drummer
             went into—what I call—its “First Coma” and for a year was on life support.
                Founding  Los  Angeles  editor-in-chief  of  Drummer,  Jeanne  Barney
             wrote to me on July 1, 2006:

                I did not “flee” because of the phone taps. My telephone had been
                tapped since the early 1970s when I first began writing for the origi-
                nal Advocate. I “fled” Drummer because I was tired of having to
                deal with John Embry’s middle-of-the-night revisions, and because
                he owed me $13,000 in unpaid salary and for out-of-pocket pay-
                ments to talent who would otherwise not have worked for us—and
                because I finally realized what a crook John Embry was, and I no
                longer wanted my name linked with his.

                She added on November 12, 2006: “I left because of ethical and moral
             differences” with Embry.

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