Page 46 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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28       Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


                                           II

                           On Hiatus: Four Near-Death Stoppages

               II. 1. 1976 HIATUS #1 (April-December) is caused by the April 10 Slave
               Auction arrest by the LAPD whose continuing harassment, including
               court hearings against John Embry and Drummer staff, virtually stop
               the presses for eight months when the infant Drummer was less than a
               year old.

               II. 2. 1977 HIATUS #2 (February to May) is caused by  Drummer
               moving incrementally in John Embry’s van from Los Angeles to San
               Francisco; founding LA editor-in-chief Jeanne Barney quits with
               Drummer 11; replacing her with no one, the distressed Embry lists him-
               self as editor of Drummer 12-18; founding San Francisco editor-in-chief
               Jack Fritscher, having produced features and fiction by Sam Steward for
               teenage Drummer, is hired full-time March 1977 after ghost-editing parts
               of Embry’s “half-LA and half-San Francisco hybrid” issues  Drummer
               15 through Drummer 18; Fritscher is first credited as the founding San
               Francisco editor-in-chief in Drummer 19.
                   Eyewitness Rewind: As a sex refugee in the culture wars, Embry
               assessed his own state of mind at the time and wrote about his tension-
               filled  “Tale  of  Two  Cities”:  “The  change  from  ‘LAPD  Land’  to  San
               Francisco was like abandoning East Berlin for Oz.” (January 29, 2008
               email to Jeanne Barney). He repeated his psychology in his Super MR 5,
               page 39, and in his Manifest Reader 26, page 53: “The day we took the
               final load [of months’ of loads] from LA and drove across the Bay Bridge
               for keeps, I felt like we had finally made it out of East Berlin.” Upon its
               arrival, Drummer needed to get its bearings.

               II. 3. 1977 HIATUS #3 (August-December) begins after publication of
               Drummer 18 (August) when new editor Fritscher quiets down production
               for four months with no new issues of Drummer until the first fully San
               Francisco issue of Drummer 19 (December), taking time to reorganize
               production operations, hire local staff, compose a style guide, and create
               new and emerging content and format while deleting references to minors,
               bestiality, and pro-Nazi ads; soon after, in early Autumn 1978, Embry,
               gut-sick with anxiety about his arrest, is diagnosed with colon cancer,
               goes absent from the office, has surgery on March 16, 1979, and again
               goes absent for recovery for four months leaving Fritscher and art direc-
               tor Al Shapiro the space and time of many months to reshape, reinvent,
               and revive LA Drummer into the San Francisco Drummer that resultantly
               went international, turning Drummer from a fledgling LA magazine into
               a thriving San Francisco magazine reflecting and amplifying the first

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