Page 377 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 14                       359


                Ann realized something that only the cleverest social climbers ever
                do. If you want to ride swiftly and safely from the depths to the
                surface, the surest way is to single out a shark and attach yourself to
                it like a pilot fish. This is as true in Keokuk, where one massages,
                say, the local Mrs. Ford Dealer, as it is in Detroit, where you may
                as well try for Mrs. Ford herself.

                Davolt worked industriously to install his name and stabilize his reputa-
             tion within leather culture using Drummer as a baited hook and, I think,
             for his part, preying upon the ancient Embry in a way opposite to that in
             which Davolt tried to destroy and usurp the venerable leather columnist,
             Mister Marcus, whose job Davolt coveted at the Bay Area Reporter. Because
             Davolt tried to start a feud, Mister Marcus dubbed him in print as “Robert
             Revolting.”
                Davolt, so went the story in San Francisco, had the nerve to query the
             publisher of the BAR to fire its star columnist, Mister Marcus, so Davolt
             could replace him. Leather Elder Mister Marcus Hernandez began his
             leather column in the BAR in 1971-1972 when Davolt was in grammar
             school. After eighteen years of not being in Drummer where he belonged,
             “Marcus the Merciless” began a regular column, “Leather Bulletin Board,”
             in the newly Dutch-owned Drummer 170, December 1993. That same issue
             featured my photographs of Donnie Russo on the cover as well in the center-
             fold where my eight-page photo-plus-essay feature, “Russomania,” had been
             skillfully laid out by art director, Brendan Ward.
                Ten days after Davolt died, Mister Marcus, ever the gent, noting their
             huge “personal and professional differences,” wrote a very carefully consid-
             ered elegy: “Honorable in Words and Deeds.” He complimented Davolt,
             but defined him as “stormy.” Tim Brough, author of Sgt. Vengles’ Revenge,
             reviewed Davolt at Amazon.com as “a crank, but my kind of crank.”
                When Davolt and I were invited to a seminar, “Being Obscene?: A
             Panel of Pornographers,” we were scheduled to appear with Susie Bright,
             Tom Bianchi, Tee Corinne, and Willie Walker. The San Francisco GLBT
             Historical Society brochure announced:


                Jack Fritscher, Ph. D., founding SF editor-in-chief, will open the tale
                of Drummer, the landmark gay male leather magazine, and Robert
                Davolt, its last editor and publisher, will close it. Together, they will
                highlight how this magazine not only gave birth to a whole panoply
                of alternative erotic images and publications, but also how the maga-
                zine became the center of a whole cultural phenomenon. Fritscher is a


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