Page 457 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 18                       439


                Dear Jack: Now that my long-time association with Drummer is
                “officially” terminated would you kindly return any material of
                mine that has not been used.... If Embry has published [these lat-
                est pieces], I am certainly unaware of it. Just wanted to add that I
                think you are doing a spectacular job with the magazine, giving it
                tone and thrust it so badly needed. Keep up the good work. —Ed
                Menerth

                Embry hurt  Drummer. Defections like Menerth’s and columnist
             Halsted’s caused me to begin to write even more features to fill those holes
             left by disgruntled columnists in a golden age of sex when most would-be
             writers, artists, and photographers preferred getting laid, or, in Halsted’s
             case, chose to start his own magazine, Package, to rival Drummer by pick-
             ing up specific coverage of the LA leather scene after Embry fled West
             Hollywood for San Francisco. Some of Menerth’s on-file writing may have
             appeared in Drummer in 1979, but Menerth, who had been part of early
             LA Drummer, had exited, as noted, a year before I ankled out of Drummer
             December 31, 1979.
                When, with Drummer 12, Embry in 1976-77 had to flee LA, he simply
             mimicked publisher David Goodstein’s destination. Goodstein, who had
             settled in San Francisco in 1971, had moved The Advocate north out of LA
             after he bought it in 1974 from Advocate founders, Dick Michaels and Bill
             Rand who in 1967 had started up publishing 500 copies of letter-sized pages
             in the samizdat style. When the tabloid, The Advocate, set up shop at 1730
             Amphlett, Suite 225, San Mateo, minutes south of San Francisco, future
             Drummer  hire Pat (Patrick) Califia was its San Francisco editor; Mark
             Thompson was its associate editor; and John Preston, for eleven months, its
             general editor—before he was fired and became a contributor to Drummer.
             While Embry had been driven out of LA by the LAPD, Goodstein was
             driven out by gay activists who could all too easily demonstrate outside
             the doors of The Advocate in LA, but would never ever go to San Mateo to
             protest anything.
                Over time, Thompson matured into the most leather-savvy of non-
             leather journalists at the leather-lorn Advocate. We met in 1978 when he,
             investigating the mystic side of leather, came to my 25  Street home to inter-
                                                          th
             view me both as the author of Popular Witchcraft (1972) and as the editor-in-
             chief of Drummer. We sat at my kitchen table for what, I think, turned out to
             be for him, as a young investigative reporter, a slightly shocking conversation
             about the wild carnality that was frankly happening in the fast-evolving San
             Francisco leather scene. The gentle Thompson, familiar with sexuality gentler


               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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