Page 420 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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402      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


               Val Martin was Drummer.
               After a three-way conversation including Embry, Al Shapiro, and me,
            we three alone agreed unanimously that Val Martin was the logical hot guy
            to be the first Mr. Drummer at the CMC Carnival, November 1979.
               We appointed Val Martin to the title.
               Two years later, contestants competed for the title.
               The drum iconography of being a “Drummerman” began in 1977 with
            a series of publicity photos shot with no contest in mind. In these centerfold
            photos in The Best and the Worst of Drummer, pages 40-41, each nude model
            is shot with a large marching drum posed over his genitals. The 360-degree-
            sides of the drum are cleverly pasted with covers of early Drummer. The
            caption reads:

               There have been many “Drummers” [guys carrying a drum] since
               the magazine first took shape. When Drummer was a newspaper
               years ago, a drummer [nude and posed like the aggressive drum-
               mer in the American Revolution painting of three men carrying
               flag, fife, and drum] by [photographer] Pat Rocco graced its edi-
               torial page. Much more recently [for photographer Hy Chase],
               sex superstar Jack Wrangler posed, wearing nothing but a drum.
               Ken [a model shot by Dave Sands] grabbed up the drum at the
               Pleasure Chest in our [First] Anniversary Issue. Chuck Quinlan,
               winner of “Mr. Groovey Guy” and “Mr. CMC Carnival” [shot by
               Rob Clayton] posed for us as well. [All the models happened to be
               white.] Then Mr. USA [who happened to be African-American and
               unidentified] posed for us during a session with [British actor and
               photographer] Roy Dean [1925-2002, who was much published in
               LA Drummer, including his cover of Val Martin body-painted by
               Cliff Raven for Drummer 8 (September 1976)].

               Val Martin’s image branded Drummer visually in the 1970s.
               I adored Val Martin’s homomasculine sexiness personally and profes-
            sionally. He was a sweet man, and very hot and sensual at pot parties and
            orgies at his apartment near Folsom Street. As a photographer, I lensed him
            on several occasions, including the Fritscher-Sparrow coded fisting photo-
            graph of him and his partner, Bob Hyslop, on the cover of Drummer 30. On
            May 20, 1979, I also shot 35 photos of the Martin-Hyslop duo for the black-
            and-white “Spit” centerfold of Drummer 31 in which Embry published my
            work, but credited the photos to David Sparrow who was not even present
            at the Sonoma County shoot north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Without


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