Page 458 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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440      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            than leather and coprophagy, was a writer-photographer of gay spiritualities
            in his books Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning and The Fire in Moonlight: Stories
            from the Radical Faeries. Unafraid of opening himself up with the exciting
            1970s, he eventually authored a couple of stories in Drummer, shot glori-
            ous photos of Robert Mapplethorpe, wrote perceptive articles about Folsom
            Street (The Advocate 346, July 8, 1982), and astutely collected and edited the
            anthology, Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, which he
            somehow managed to get published by Alyson Press in 1990.
               Suddenly, in the beat-down of the Embry-Goodstein Punch-and-Judy
            show, Goodstein moved The Advocate back to LA because he could; and
            Embry couldn’t. He was trapped in San Francisco, in exile from his home
            base in LA, because the LAPD was salivating to harass him.
               Was it karma that caused Embry to be the victim of his own “unrequited
            envy”? By his acts he seemed always in competition with Goodstein, but
            Goodstein and The Advocate sadistically ignored Embry and Drummer—
            which, every queen knows, is the best way to cut someone dead.
               For his part, Embry never saw a former Advocate employee or associate
            whom he didn’t hire or feature: Jeanne Barney, Pat Califia, John Preston,
            John Rowberry, Aristede Laurent, and others, including LA’s Durk Dehner,
            who  was  mentored  by  Goodstein  into  starting  up  the  Tom  of  Finland
            Foundation. Embry published Dehner as “Durk Parker” in the centerfold of
            Drummer 15 (May 1977) in remarkably sultry photos shot by Lou Thomas
            of Target Studio. Most of these talents had been let go one way or another
            by Goodstein who did not like “neurotic” (his word) and left-leaning (dis-
            obedient) editors and staff.
               To his credit, gay peacemaker Mark Thompson, made individual repair
            of this publishing-war damage in his grass-roots anthology,  Leatherfolk.
            Thompson reprinted writing from Drummer such as my essay on Chuck
            Arnett (Drummer 133, September 1989). He also considered reprinting my
            “Pentimento for Robert Mapplethorpe” (also Drummer 133), but I chose to
            reserve it as the anchor chapter for my own book about Robert.
               In my Rashomon, I watched Embry’s unrequited hate of The Advocate
            impact Drummer as he diverted cash, content, and energy from Drummer
            into The Alternate.
               Unlike Larry Townsend who commanded his confused clients to keep
            his mail-order identity separate from Embry’s, attorney Goodstein didn’t
            even bother to sue over the possible confusion of brand names. Embry was
            a claim-jumper and his bait-and-switch tactic was straight out of the play
            book of the notorious Countrywide Publications which, in New York in
            the 1960s, devised look-alike publications to confuse readers into buying

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