Page 47 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 47

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         29

                Golden Age of Leather: 1977-1979; with Drummer 21 as the Platonic
                Ideal of Drummer, those classic issues are Drummer issues 19-30.

                III. 4.  HIATUS #4 (October 1989-January 1990) happens without
                warning on October 17 when the Loma Prieta earthquake destroys the
                Drummer office, as well as the fiscal foundation of the Anthony DeBlase-
                Andrew Charles ownership of  Drummer; monthly issues struggle out
                saved by editor Joseph W. Bean; the earthquake is also a metaphor of
                AIDS tectonically shifting the tone and contents of the magazine, and
                of DeBlase’s faltering and unsustainable business model causing him to
                advertise inside Drummer 140 (June 1990) that the magazine is for sale
                to anyone; soon after Martijn Bakker of Amsterdam becomes the third
                and final, and foreign, publisher, closing the quintessentially American
                Drummer forever in September 1999.


             My father grew up as a child laborer on a Minnesota farm and escaped
             on an athletic scholarship to a small Illinois town where my mother was
             a cheerleader. Later they both worked in sales and marketing, surveying
             demographics. There is a show business axiom in Hollywood: “Will it play
             in Peoria?” Growing up there with that test-market consciousness, I was
             taught a heartland insight into American popular culture: Give the audience
             what it wants. So, synergistically, Drummer to me was a piece of cake. I was
             gay. I was leather. I was a writer. I was a founding member of the American
             Popular Culture Association in 1968. I aimed to gather, write, and publish
             what my leather pals wanted. Drummer was a way to put real stuff about
             real guys monthly between two covers.
                Having taught magazine journalism as a tenured university professor for
             fifteen years, and then working as a corporate marketing professional from
             1977 onwards with a full-time career at Kaiser Engineers the entire thirty-
             two months I edited Drummer, I felt I owed respect enough to Embry and
             to Drummer to be completely familiar with every form-and-content aspect
             of the magazine. So, as editor-in-chief, I paid to modernize my mid-century
             graphic skills at a UC Berkeley seminar conducted by Anthony Dubovsky
             and Marc Treib: “New Graphic Presentation Techniques for the Design
             Professional,” June 1978. At Stanford University on March 24, 1979, this
             Drummer editor also won two Bay Area Golden Gate awards for technical
             writing and advertising design of corporate marketing brochures for Kaiser
             Engineers in Oakland.

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