Page 45 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         27

             to catch, at worst, a temporary disease and, at best, the grass-roots temper of
             gay male psychology as grist for magazine articles, fiction, and photographs.
                As a professionally educated journalist erotically identified with leather,
             patrolling the bars and baths and bistros of San Francisco and sexing my
             way into fuck-and-talk contact, I worked to employ my 1950s and 1960s
             magazine skills, ripening my reporter’s factual insight and my documentar-
             ian’s intuitive discernment into what gay men liked and what they wanted
             in the 1970s. Perhaps, my version of Drummer worked because it helped
             define the pop-culture of leathermen inventing a new lifestyle. As published
             inside Drummer, readers responded that my editing and writing reflected
             their grass-roots leather culture as it blossomed, making 1970s Drummer,
             the peoples’ Drummer. The beauty of Drummer was that Drummer helped
             create the very leather culture it reported on, thus spreading leather identity
             farther. What Drummer started locally spread internationally.

                Editor’s Note

                           1971-1977: A DRUMMER TIMELINE

                    How Drummer was invented in Los Angeles and San Francisco and
                found its slowly emerging international character during the tumultu-
                ous first decade after Stonewall, helping create the very leather culture it
                reported on during the 1970s Golden Age of Leather.

                                    Gestation and Birth

                I. 1. 1971:  In December,  Drummer appears as a small “zine” on yel-
                low newsprint reporting on bars, restaurants, and hairpieces in West

                I. 2. 1973: Drummer appears as the samizdat political H.E.L.P./Drummer
                Newsletter slamming the LAPD for harassment, bar raids, and arrests.

                I. 3. June 20, 1975: Drummer official first issue of 214 issues in large
                format with slick cover.

                1.4. 1977: “The Year Drummer Nearly Died,” fighting for survival, and
                virtually out of business while being retooled during two stoppages of four
                months (February-May) and five months (August-December).

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