Page 40 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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22       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            (aka John Embry) listed as “editor.” It was a ritual that the fictitious “Robert
            Payne” always rode to the rescue when Drummer had no actual editor.


                   1. Beginning in March 1977, I was editor-in-chief working out of
               my home at 4436 25  Street because Embry was still working out
               of his 311 California Street home. While he found and readied a San
               Francisco office, I studied Drummer and initiated my editorial make-
               over on theoretical and practical fronts. Proving no good deed goes
               unpunished, Embry, absentee because of court and cancer (1978-
               1979) seemed to feel that my make-over was a take-over.
                   2. My first association with Drummer was in Drummer 5 and
               Drummer 6, producing Phil Andros’ aka Sam Steward’s first stories
               for Drummer: “Baby Sitter” and “Many Happy Returns.” Steward who
               was sixty-six, alcoholic, and depressed was grateful for my help in
               resurrecting in Drummer his earlier mid-century European publish-
               ing career inside Der Kreis magazine.
                   3. My first writing in Drummer appeared in Drummer 14 (May
               1977) when I produced and wrote: “Men South of Market,” page 46;
                   4. My second writing in Drummer 16 (June 1977) included pro-
               ducing and co-writing: “Tom Hinde Portfolio,” pages 39-46;
                   5. My first  Drummer  byline  was  in  Drummer  18,  (August
               1977) when I directed the photography and wrote the feature “The
               Leatherneck Bar,” pages 82-85.
                   6. As needed, I worked as a producer on the intermediate Los
               Angeles/San Francisco hybrid issues, Drummer 14 to Drummer 18,
               assuming with each issue more responsibilities, and ghost-editing
               the entirety of  Drummer  18. After I put  Drummer  on an August-
               December hiatus in order to collect its hysterical wits, I produced
               my first full issue, credited on the masthead as editor-in-chief, with
               Drummer 19 (December 1977).
                   7. The last of my work as editor-in-chief, but not of my writing and
               photography, appeared in Drummer 33 (December 1979). Embry
               was miffed that in August 1979 I had given early notice, not to strand
               him, but to phase out, and exit officially on December 31, 1979.
               Angry that I demanded my wages for my editing work, he fixed his
               face into a slow burn that exploded in flames. He was still a dubious
               newcomer from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and had depended
               on me, who had first arrived in San Francisco in 1961, as his best
               reference and introduction to local writers, artists, photographers,
               and models. By Drummer 33, he had completed the cleansing of my
               name which he had begun exorcizing in Drummer 31 (September

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