Page 41 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         23

                1979). All that autumn we played office tug-of-war negotiating con-
                tents, credit lines, and cash until we came to loggerheads.
                    8. Although in Drummer 31 Embry published two of my bylined
                articles, “Mr. International Leather” and “Do-ers Profile: Tony Plewik,”
                he deleted my name twice in that issue: as editor-in-chief, and, most
                important to me, as photographer of the twenty-some centerfold
                photos of Val Martin and Bob Hyslop which I shot alone on Sunday,
                May 20, 1979. He also deleted my credit line for my final edit and
                serialization of the draft of John Preston’s novel Mr. Benson.
                    9. By  Drummer  32 and 33, I was disappearing until I was
                “disappeared.” However in some instances, Embry published my
                unsigned work as he had Jeanne Barney’s after she exited. Knowing
                Embry’s tactics, I signed a couple of my pieces internally, one in
                Drummer 32 (October 1979) by using my birth day and month in
                the opening paragraph: “A Confidential Drummer Dossier: 20 June
                1979,” page 19. His “cleansing” plus his effort to “backfill” 31,
                32, and 33 delayed Drummer 33, the Christmas issue, until late
                January 1980.
                    10. After six years on Embry’s Blacklist, I was invited to return
                as a private paid consultant by new publisher Anthony F. DeBlase in
                Drummer 100 (October 1986). I continued contributing for a total
                run of 65 issues, and was listed on the masthead, till the end of
                Drummer, as both “contributing writer” and “photographer” along
                with my Palm Drive Video company named as “contributor,” also to
                the end of Drummer.
                    11. As noted, during twenty-four years under all three owner-
                publishers, I was the most frequent contributor of editing, writing,
                and photography to Drummer, and thus intimate enough eyewitness
                to be keeper of the institutional memory of Drummer.

                The last issue was Drummer 214 (April 1999). The business closed offi-
             cially on Folsom Fair weekend, September 30, 1999. Happily, in the mid-
             1990s, while I continued contributing to Drummer, Embry and I reconciled
             in a Mexican stand-off when he asked to publish my writing in his new MR
             brand magazines, Manifest Reader, Manhood Rituals, and Super MR.
                On the one hand, I had to admire Embry’s brazenness in subject mat-
             ter and bravado against censorship in 1975. But realistically, his brass balls
             meant the infant Drummer could barely survive, and certainly not in LA.
                As founding San Francisco editor-in-chief, I was given my head to
             remodel Los Angeles Drummer, to re-box, and re-brand the product with—
             and here was the challenge—heat, guts, and aggressive masculinity, but in
             a new erotic way that was legal in most places. My desire was to reflect the

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