Page 421 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 421

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 16                       403


             permission, Embry reprinted one of my photos of Val Martin in Drummer
             Rides Again (1979), page 45, and again spitefully credited “David Sparrow.”
             Long after Embry departed Drummer, I shot a second “Spit” photo series,
             featuring Palm Drive models Goliath and Thrasher, for the color centerfold
             of Drummer 148 (April 1991) which Tony DeBlase, after selling Drummer,
             also published as the cover of his DungeonMaster 47 (January 1994). Building
             that Drummer 148 issue on the “rough sex” idea I had suggested when he
             asked me for a theme, DeBlase featured my Drummer story “USMC Slap
             Captain” and reviews of two of my roughest videos, Slap Happy and Rough
             Night at the Jockstrap Gym.
                Four years before Val was “Mr. Drummer,” he was the first “Mr.
             Leather” chosen at the Hawks’ Leather Sabbat, Halloween 1975, at Troopers’
             Auditorium, Los Angeles.
                That event was emceed by another immigrant, my longtime friend,
             Peter Bromilow (1933-1994). We met as playmates through Jim Kane in
             1969. He was a strapping tall leatherman and British stage actor who had
             played in many films, including the role of the butch knight, Sir Sagramore,
             in the film, Camelot (1967). A friend of the film’s star, Vanessa Redgrave,
             Bromilow came to Hollywood to shoot the musical at Warner Brothers in
             Burbank, and he never left. He appeared in many films including David
             Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1992). He often visited me in San Francisco and
             we loved to hang out midday at a little lunch-and-beer-bar with outdoor
             tables, sitting among the returning fishermen on the sunny boat docks in
             China Basin, south of South of Market before its charm gave way to urban
             developers. Peter’s wicked wit made him a popular LA leather personality
             and event emcee. In his Hollywood apartment where we smoked cigars,
             drank wine, and had sex, he had hung a poster-size framed photo of his very
             longtime friends, Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson, both in period-
             drag costume for their film, Mary Queen of Scots (1971). The duo had signed
             it: “Dear Peter, From two Queens to an even bigger Queen! —Vanessa and
             Glenda.”
                The LAPD vice squad, connecting circumstantial dots, drew a target
             on Val Martin’s back. His face had been on the back cover of Drummer 2
             and on the front cover of Drummer 3 which reported his leather coronation
             by the Hawks motorcycle club. Drummer 3 also condemned the LAPD for
             raiding the fundraiser at the Black Pipe bar. Val did not work for Drummer.
             He had nothing to do with Drummer editorial policy and he had done
             nothing illegal, but the LAPD had a price on his head because he was the
             “recruiting poster” for the kind of new masculine queers that the cops saw
             walking out of the bars—and into the pages of Drummer which recruited


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